NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Rick Hahn is fairly certain there will be a surge of action on the trade market in the near future.
The White Sox general manager believes once some of the marquee free agents come off the board teams with payroll once allotted for those players will begin to search for substitutes. Hahn seemed to believe the White Sox offseason is far from over during a media session Wednesday at the winter meetings.
Last month, rival executives said they believe the White Sox have made pitcher Gavin Floyd, outfielders Alejandro De Aza and Dayan Viciedo, and second baseman Gordon Beckham all available on the trade market. Hahn has also said he has been willing to listen to other teams about any players, though he admits some would be harder to move than others.
Once they realize we arent getting this guy they need to explore other options and they are more willing to spend some payroll on those spots, Hahn said. I think youve started to see that free-agent tier below the premium tier starting to find some homes. Thats starting to move since we got here. But the trade market may start to wait on those premium free agents. Look, if youre a club in on one of those, you dont have to give up talent to get somebody. If you have the money, you give up the money before you give up the money and the talent.
Wednesdays action at the meetings included talk of a four-team deal. Hahn last month spoke about the possibility of a three-team deal or two involving the White Sox and hopes to get in on the action if anything comes down.
I want to get a little piece of that, Hahn said. I dont want all my friends getting together and having fun without me.
27-year-old Justin Jirschele made quite an impression in his first season as manager of the White Sox Class-A affiliate in Kannapolis. He helped lead the Intimidators to the South Atlantic League championship, and was named White Sox Minor League Coach of the Year. Jirschele came on the podcast to speak with Chuck Garfien about how he went from playing minor league baseball with the White Sox to coaching in their system. He talks about how growing up with a dad who was coaching minor league baseball helped mold him as a manager who is wise beyond his years. Jirschele also gives a report on some of the top White Sox prospects he managed last season such as Jake Burger, Alec Hansen, Dane Dunning and Miker Adolfo.
The White Sox farm system is baseball's best, according to one of the people making those rankings.
In the wake of Major League Baseball's punishment of the Atlanta Braves for breaking rules regarding the signing of international players — which included the removal of 12 illegally signed prospects from the Braves' organization — MLB.com's Jim Callis tweeted out his updated top 10, and the White Sox are back in first place.
Now obviously there are circumstances that weakened the Braves' system, allowing the White Sox to look stronger by comparison. But this is still an impressive thing considering that three of the White Sox highest-rated prospects from the past year are now full-time big leaguers.
Yoan Moncada used to be baseball's No. 1 prospect, and pitchers Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez weren't too far behind. That trio helped bolster the highly ranked White Sox system. Without them, despite plenty of other highly touted prospects, common sense would say that the White Sox would slide down the rankings.
But the White Sox still being capable of having baseball's top-ranked system is a testament to the organizational depth Rick Hahn has built in such a short period of time.
While prospect rankings are sure to be refreshed throughout the offseason, here's how MLB Pipeline's rankings look right now in regards to the White Sox:
4. Eloy Jimenez
9. Michael Kopech
22. Luis Robert
39. Blake Rutherford
57. Dylan Cease
90. Alec Hansen