NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Like any other team this time of year, the White Sox are mostly consumed with improving their own roster.
But general manager Rick Hahn admits he is acutely aware of what the Detroit Tigers have done this offseason. The Tigers signed free agent outfielder Torii Hunter last month and are expected to get Victor Martinez back after he missed all of last season with an injury.
Detroit also is in talks to sign their free agent pitcher, Anibal Sanchez, and has been the subject of other speculation. Hahn said hes very aware of what the defending American League champions have done. But he also noted hes happy with how the White Sox, who were in first place for 117 days last season and won 85 games, stack up against their rivals.
We have to be aware of what were chasing, Hahn said. It certainly factors into the team we want to build. We cant look at ourselves and say, as we look around our room and talk to our scouts and coaches and look at our clubs and say maybe were an 80-82 win team. We cant think in good faith thats going to capture the Tigers, given what theyve accomplished and the players theyve added.
Fortunately, we dont look at ourselves that way. We like our team. We like the fact were bringing back Jake Peavy. We like the fact Chris Sale will be a year deeper into his career. Our bullpen will have experience under their belt from last year, that well add our opening day starter from last year John Danks who really didnt factor in much from last year. So we factor in ourselves much better. But we still have some areas we need to improve to compete with the Tigers.
Former White Sox shortstop Omar Vizquel is reportedly about to become current White Sox minor league manager Omar Vizquel.
According to a Sunday report, Vizquel will be the manager of the Winston-Salem Dash in 2018.
Vizquel spent 24 seasons in the big leagues, most of those with the Seattle Mariners, Cleveland Indians and San Francisco Giants. But two of his final four seasons, 2010 and 2011, came on the South Side, where he appeared in 166 games over those two campaigns.
Vizquel is considered one of baseball's all-time great defenders and has 11 Gold Gloves to back that up. He batted .272 with a .336 on-base percentage over a nearly quarter-century major league career that saw him play in four different decades with six different big league teams.
Vizquel has spent the past five seasons as a major league coach. He was an infield coach with the Los Angeles Angels in 2013, and he was a common sight for White Sox fans during his four-year stint as the Detroit Tigers' first-base coach.
Vizquel also interviewed this offseason for the Tigers' open managerial position that eventually went to former Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire. Vizquel was not retained by the Tigers to be a part of Gardenhire's new coaching staff.
Vizquel managed the Venezuelan team in this year's World Baseball Classic. His team advanced to the second round of the competition, losing all three games in that round.
Last season, Winston-Salem was a focal point for those watching the White Sox bevy of highly ranked prospects develop in the minor leagues. Another former White Sox player, Willie Harris, was the manager at Winston-Salem last season.
White Sox Hall of Famer Frank Thomas came on the podcast to talk with Chuck Garfien about his past, baseball's present and the future of the White Sox. He talks about his first major league hit (a stand-up triple!), how fame affected him when he was a player, his appearance on David Letterman in the 1990s and more.
Plus, what was wrong with the baseball this past season? Thomas has some ideas and tells Garfien how many home runs he would have hit with that baseball in his prime. He talks about working with Alex Rodriguez at FOX and what it was like whenever girlfriend Jennifer Lopez came to visit in the studio.
Thomas praises the White Sox rebuild and reveals an idea he presented to GM Rick Hahn about where all the top prospects should play this upcoming season. He describes what it was like going to Roy Halladay's funeral, if he sees the White Sox signing Manny Machado in 2019 and much more.
Listen to the full White Sox Talk Podcast right here: