Hahn, White Sox not feeling pressure to make move
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN Staff Reporter July 7, 2014 10:45PM
Updated: July 7, 2014 11:26PM
BOSTON — There’s no reason for White Sox general manager Rick Hahn to post a ‘‘DEALING’’ message on Facebook, no need to let the world know he’s ready to wheel and deal as the trade deadline approaches.
For one thing, Hahn isn’t dealing with the same set of circumstances he was a year ago, when he was shopping pitchers Jake Peavy, Matt Thornton and Jesse Crain and outfielder Alex Rios, to name a few. These Sox aren’t as bad as that team was and have a few more building blocks — first baseman Jose Abreu and outfielders Adam Eaton and Avisail Garcia, to name three — in place.
For another thing, Hahn’s trade chips — second baseman Gordon Beckham, shortstop Alexei Ramirez, outfielder Dayan Viciedo and left-hander John Danks — have years left on their contracts or aren’t eligible for free agency yet.
‘‘There’s certainly no urgency to do anything,’’ Hahn said before
the Sox opened a four-game
series Monday against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. ‘‘I think most of the players I’ve read about online that are rumored to be out there are all under control beyond this season. There’s no urgency to cash in an asset, so to speak, before it expires.’’
That said, Hahn will make any deal that makes long-term sense. If he makes a trade, it will be because the return makes it worthwhile. There is no gun to his head with any player.
‘‘Whether that happens in the next two weeks or it takes until the offseason or spring training, we are not going to force the issue,’’ he said.
Ramirez, Viciedo and Danks have done little to hurt their trade value of late. Ramirez made the American League All-Star team Sunday, Viciedo hit a three-run home run in the Sox’ 4-0 victory Monday and Danks has had a nice run of good starts in the last month and a half.
While they are considerably better than they were last season, the Sox haven’t been good enough to warrant putting Hahn in buying mode at the deadline. It probably would take a nine- or 10-game winning streak to make him think about that, and the Sox haven’t won more than four in a row all season.
‘‘We really haven’t had that run of momentum of success that we hoped for,’’ Hahn said. ‘‘We’ve fallen into a couple of ruts along the way that last year were much more difficult for us to dig ourselves out of. We are pleased to be able to stop the negative trends when they have come upon us.
‘‘At the same time, we haven’t gone on that positive run of success that we’ve been waiting for that is going to put us in position to clearly be in the thick of a pennant race.’’
The Sox (43-47) are catching the reigning World Series champions at the right time. The Red Sox are 39-50. The Sox’ record represents who they are, neither overachievers or underachievers.
‘‘I think we’ve earned that
record,’’ Hahn said. ‘‘If you look at our run differential [minus-31], it’s about what you would expect in terms of our record. Dealing with injuries we’ve had and some of the lack of consistency and performance, that’s what you get.’’
Scott Carroll, who was 2-5 with a 5.05 ERA entering his start Monday, pitched 62/3 innings of one-hit ball to complete a stellar cycle through the Sox’ rotation, which has a 0.72 ERA in the last five games. Carroll walked two and struck out five.
Javy Guerra and Zach Putnam applied a clean finish, giving the Sox their second shutout in as many games. Hector Noesi, Eric Surkamp and Jake Petricka combined on one Sunday against the Seattle Mariners.
Adam Dunn hit his 453rd career homer to move past former Red Sox star Carl Yastrzemski into 35th place on the all-time list.