GM Rick Hahn won’t say whether Sox are buying or selling
BY BRIAN SANDALOW For Sun-Times Media July 18, 2014 10:44PM
Updated: August 20, 2014 6:18AM
General manager Rick Hahn laughed when asked before the game Friday if the White Sox will be buyers or sellers leading up to the July 31 trade deadline. Then just after declining to answer the question, Hahn volunteered some information.
“Look, we’re not where we need to be; we know that,” Hahn said. “We are realistic about where we are today. We are realistic about where we are likely to be over the next 10 weeks or so.”
Any answer to the original question is somewhat more complicated than last year, when the Sox went into the All-Star break with a 37-55 record on their way to a miserable 99-loss season. In 2013, there was no doubt they would sell as many pieces as possible to clear payroll space and add young players, all this while falling into one of the top draft picks.
The Sox cleared out high-priced Jake Peavy and Alex Rios, picked up Avisail Garcia and ended up with the No. 3 overall selection that was used on Carlos Rodon. Over the winter, the Sox added Jose Abreu and Adam Eaton to a team that is much improved but still below .500 at 46-51 after the 3-2 victory against the Astros. The Sox trail the first-place Tigers by 91/2 games in the American League Central.
“If there are opportunities to continue the process that we started over a year ago, in terms of putting long-term pieces in place that will allow us to compete on an annual basis, we will continue down that path,” Hahn said. “But we’re not going to force anything. There’s no urgency to make any moves at this time. It’s going to be based upon the fits and what the return is going to be.”
The players can help Hahn figure out exactly what he needs to do. But as Adam Dunn pointed out, they haven’t played well consistently.
“It seems like we’ll have a decent run and follow it up with a pretty good losing streak,” Dunn said. “The main thing in the second half, you need to be more consistent and eliminate the three- or four-game losing streaks.”
Something like that might motivate Hahn to add pieces.
On Friday, Jose Quintana pitched five innings and left trailing 2-0, but Sox pitchers retired the last 22 batters. The offense rallied to take the lead in the seventh on Tyler Flowers’ double. Dayan Viciedo had a two-run home run in the sixth inning.
Regardless, Hahn’s work isn’t done.
“We’re still a work in progress,’’ Hahn said. ‘‘We’re certainly pleased about a lot of the developments over the past year.
‘‘We’re hopeful to add to that in the coming weeks, and if not the coming weeks, then certainly the coming months into the offseason.”
Rick Hahn and Robin Ventura were asked about Ozzie Guillen’s comments during the All-Star break that he would like to return to manage the Sox after Ventura’s done.
“If I’m not doing it anymore, I don’t care who’s doing it, so it would be fine if it was him,” Ventura said.
Hahn said he “didn’t see the comments specifically” because he was out of town but didn’t sound amused, saying, “My focus is on winning multiple championships with Robin Ventura.”
◆ Hahn said Carlos Rodon will make his debut in the Arizona Rookie League early next week and will spend around a week there before heading to Class A Winston-Salem.
Rodon likely will pitch only out of the bullpen this year.