Chicago White Sox GM Rick Hahn have some interesting things to say about his team in 2017 and beyond.
There have been some fans speculating that the Chicago White Sox may try to be competitive this season, but do not expect that to be the case. At SoxFest this weekend, White Sox general manager Rick Hahn admitted that this team may not be competitive.
When asked about competing while rebuilding the club, Hahn seemed to shoot down that idea.
“It’s tough to serve two masters in that regard,” Hahn said, according to Jon Greenberg of the Athletic. “I think that what we’re going to look for from this 2017 team is playing the game the way we want it played.”
“The focus of our scouting department, of our player development people, of the Major League staff is on building something that’s sustainable,” Hahn continued. “In the short term we might have to pay some price at the big league level.”
“Obviously if we had a team that finished under .500 and we remove Chris Sale and Adam Eaton, among others probably, so it’s tough to stand up here with a straight face and say to you, ‘This team’s ready to contend.’ In reality we’re closer to the start than we are the finish of this process of rebuilding this club.”
This means that Hahn and Co. are more concerned about the rebuild going well, rather than competing for the playoffs next season. So, I am deeply sorry if you are one of those fans expecting the Sox to compete in 2017. It is just not on the agenda. If something crazy happens and they compete, great! But do not expect anything like that to happen. They are in this for the long haul.
Personally, one part of this I had never thought about was the team-friendly contracts that most of these players have. Melky Cabrera and Todd Frazier both become free agents at the end of this season, and assuming David Robertson and Jose Quintana get traded, Jose Abreu and James Shields will be the only players making over $10 million. This puts the Sox in a serious position to acquire outstanding talent in free agency when they are ready to be competitive.
While you may be concerned that the Chicago White Sox may not be good for a couple of years, you can rest easy in believing the future is bright.
Hahn just asks fans to be patient, and he also asks that we trust in this process. Do not expect much from the Sox in 2017, but look for prospects and young players to consistently improve. Fans should be able to see the direction that this organization is going. It is something that is exciting and worth the wait.