White Sox

White Sox stay quiet as trade deadline passes

White Sox stay quiet as trade deadline passes

They listened to offers more than ever, but ultimately the White Sox couldn’t be convinced to move All-Star pitchers Chris Sale or Jose Quintana by Monday afternoon’s deadline.

While a flurry of deals was completed industrywide, including an impressive week-long selloff by the New York Yankees, the White Sox largely kept their 25-man roster together at the 2016 nonwaiver trade deadline. Aside from Sunday’s trade of reliever Zach Duke to the St. Louis Cardinals for outfield prospect Charlie Tilson, who is expected to join the team in Detroit on Tuesday, the White Sox didn’t do anything else despite bringing an open mind into talks. In spite of strong interest, general manager Rick Hahn said Monday afternoon that the team didn’t receive the type of offer necessary to complete what would have been a franchise-altering trade.

“We did not get to a point where we felt strongly enough about anything to bring it to Jerry (Reinsdorf) to present a viable option for making us better going forward,” Hahn said. “In order to dip into that core and make a move that would have long-term impact on the Chicago White Sox, we were only going to do it if we felt it was going to have a much stronger long-term positive impact on the club’s competitiveness going forward. And that did not occur.”

Even though Hahn suggested on July 21 that it would be extreme, there was some belief the White Sox could deal Sale or Quintana and attempt to begin to replenish a thin farm system. Upset by the team’s poor play, Hahn said he, Reinsdorf and executive vice president Kenny Williams had discussed the team’s direction as the front office was sick of being “mired in mediocrity” in an attempt to win every year.

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

There’s little question the White Sox at least mulled trade offers for their two aces. Reports suggested the White Sox heavily scouted every level of the Boston Red Sox farm system last week.

But they also placed a high premium on Sale, who has team options through 2019, and Quintana, who has them through 2020. One source said the White Sox wanted “far more” than the Atlanta Braves’ haul for Shelby Miller from the Arizona Diamondbacks last December. The Braves acquired No. 1 pick Dansby Swanson and outfielder Ender Inciarte as part of the deal.

The price was apparently high enough to deter teams from putting Hahn in position to make a deal he said he had no pressure to make because both players are signed for several more seasons.

Hahn said the White Sox intend to take the same approach into the offseason, but could see an improved market given the poor expected free agent class. Veteran journeyman Rich Hill is one of the top free agents to be.

Hahn is hopeful that the offseason market will be better than the one the team encountered leading up to the Aug. 1 deadline. One aspect the White Sox think hurt the current market is that contending teams didn’t want to part with major league players in the thick of the pennant race.

“It’s going to be different and in all probability it could well be stronger,” Hahn said. “We are going to remain open-minded over the next few weeks and heading into the offseason with the desire to improve ourselves for the long-term, and the clubs involved at that point may well be quite different from the ones we were talking to over the last few weeks.  

“We certainly expect a different dynamic at that point.”

Strikeout machine Alec Hansen wants to be the best ... OK, one of the best

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AP

Strikeout machine Alec Hansen wants to be the best ... OK, one of the best

GLENDALE, Ariz. — On a day when Jose Abreu and Yoan Moncada took live batting practice for the first time this spring, off in the distance was a lanky White Sox prospect standing in the outfield grass.

But Alec Hansen was doing more than shagging flies. He was watching both hitters very closely.

“I was looking to see how much pop they had,” Hansen said of Abreu and Moncada. “I kind of look at that to see the difference in power between minor league ball and the major leagues. It’s nice to see it’s not a huge difference. That makes me feel a bit more comfortable.”

At 6-foot-8 — actually 6-foot-8-and-a-half, according to his spring training physical — Hansen is a big man with big plans for his baseball career. He might be quiet on the outside, but he has booming expectations for himself on the inside.

“I want to be the best,” Hansen said in an interview with NBC Sports Chicago.

The best? The very best?

That’s what Hansen aspires to become, though later in our conversation, he did dial back a notch, settling for becoming “one of the best.”

Either is fine with manager Ricky Renteria, who is overseeing these uber-confident White Sox prospects and accepts their lofty expectations.

“I think their mindset is where it’s supposed to be,” Renteria said. “None of these kids are concerned or consumed with the possibility of failure. Much more they’re consuming themselves with the understanding that they might hit some stumbling blocks, but they’re going to have a way to avoid overcoming them and push forward and be the best that they can be.”

In his first full season in the White Sox organization, Hansen led the minor leagues with 191 strikeouts. He’s proud of that accomplishment but admitted something: He’s not that impressed because he didn’t do it where it really matters — in the major leagues.

When you watch Hansen pitch, it’s easy to see that the talent is there. His coaches and teammates rave about his ability. With his enormous size and power arm, he is loaded with strengths.  

Though there is one weakness that Hansen acknowledges he needs to work on.

“Sometimes I have a tendency to think too much and worry. I think worrying is the worst thing that I do just because I want to be perfect,” Hansen said. “I think everyone wants to be perfect, some more than others, and I worry about things getting in the way of achieving perfection.”

To Hansen, that doesn’t mean throwing a perfect game. He actually takes it one step further.

He wants to strikeout every single hitter he faces.

“I love striking people out,” Hansen said. “Not having to rely on anyone else and just getting the job done myself and knowing that the hitter can’t get a hit off me. That’s a great feeling. That they can’t put it in play. Like a line drive out. That’s terrible.”

At some point, Hansen will have to lower these impossible expectations for himself. This is an imperfect game. There’s no place for nine-inning, 27-strikeout performances. Players end up in the Hall of Fame because they learn how to succeed with failure.

In the meantime, Hansen is here in big league camp watching and learning anything and everything.

“I’m a good observer. I listen. I don’t really talk too much. I’m a pretty quiet guy. I like to sit back and observe and see how these guys go about their business. Just trying to be at their level, hopefully one day surpass them.”

Surpass?

“It’s kind of hard to surpass some of these guys. I mean, they’re at the tip-top, like the pinnacle of the sport,” Hansen said. “I guess you could say, to get on that level and then be one of the best in the league.”

He might be on his way.

White Sox free up spot on 40-man roster by outrighting Dylan Covey

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USA TODAY

White Sox free up spot on 40-man roster by outrighting Dylan Covey

The White Sox freed up a spot on their 40-man roster Sunday, outrighting pitcher Dylan Covey to Triple-A Charlotte.

Covey pitched in 18 games last season, making 12 starts for the South Siders. Things did not go well, with Covey turning in an 0-7 record and a 7.71 ERA in 70 innings.

While there was an outside chance that Covey could have provided at least some starting-pitching depth heading into the 2018 season, the team's recent additions of Miguel Gonzalez and Hector Santiago — not to mention Covey's results from last season — wiped out that idea.

At the moment, the White Sox starting rotation figures to look like this by Opening Day: James Shields, Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, Gonzalez and Carson Fulmer, with Santiago seeming like a good option to provide depth as the long man in the bullpen.