PHOENIX -- The White Sox rebuild has another significant addition in Luis Robert, one general manager Rick Hahn won’t discuss until the deal is final.
But that didn’t stop the White Sox general manager from dropping a massive hint during Monday’s media session at Chase Field. As he discussed each aspect of player acquisition, Hahn briefly and, it would seem purposely, paused when he brought up international prospects. Hahn said he’s pleased with how much talent the White Sox have accumulated in the last 11 months only two days after club signed Robert. While Robert is yet another critical piece to the team’s future, Hahn again suggested the White Sox are only part way through the process.
“We were obviously thrilled with the draft last year and we’re getting ready to hopefully repeat that in the coming weeks,” Hahn said. “We’ve been able to do some things internationally that, umm, nice additions to the system potentially. And the last several trades we’ve done have put us in a stronger position as an organization.
“But we’re pleased with what we’ve been able to do in the last 10-11 months (and) we know we’ve got to repeat that over the next 10-11 again to put ourselves in the position we want to be in for the long term.”
Robert is just the latest puzzle piece that the White Sox have added. Hahn started to scoop up high-end talent last June with the additions of Zack Collins, Zack Burdi and others in the amateur draft. Each of the team’s first five selections was listed in Baseball America’s top-10 White Sox prospect list when it was first issued in November. But that list was totally overhauled when the White Sox added seven more prospects in December with the trades of Adam Eaton and Chris Sale.
The addition of Robert (pronounced Robber), who could be ranked the No. 3 prospect in the White Sox farm system, is the latest big piece. He potentially gives the White Sox another big bat in the future, one that was needed as many of the recent additions have been pitchers.
The White Sox also hold the 11th overall pick in June’s draft and are hopeful for another bountiful draft class. They expect to hold a high pick in the 2018 draft as well.
And that doesn’t count the young talent they could add later this summer when the White Sox begin to sell off more pieces around the Aug. 1 trade deadline. Though the club has outperformed expectations with its 20-22 start, Hahn has always maintained the club is focused on the big picture. That view would appear to include Hahn picking up his mobile phone often over the next few months.
“We’ve received a lot of phone calls because of the talent on this roster,” Hahn said. “We’re remaining very open-minded about whatever opportunities make us better for the long run. Our focus is on doing something that’s more sustainable than one season. We’re in the same mode we were in this past offseason, looking for opportunities to find some long-term pieces to put us in a place to contend on annual basis.
“It’s gotta fit for the long term. That’s sort of the same approach for the entire offseason that was build something for the future. Some of it you’re seeing here in 2017 and some of it’s going to take a little longer.”