GLENDALE, Ariz. — While the conversation was focused on those who are in camp, Rick Hahn still wouldn’t close the door on any potential moves.
Seemingly in a hunt to improve his offense for two months since Todd Frazier’s acquisition, the White Sox general manager stressed confidence in his club on Friday. He also reiterated the belief that the White Sox offense is better than the group that last season scored three or fewer runs in 82 of 162 contests. But even though spring training is upon them, Hahn expressed that he and the front office have still contemplated upgrades, perhaps before the team’s April 4 opener at the Oakland A’s.
“I’d like to focus on the guys we have now as opposed to potential additions down the road, whether they come in the next few weeks or over the course of the season,” Hahn said from a bench on the back patio at Camelback Ranch. “Based on the group we have now, we’re improved our offense based on the additions of Frazier, (Brett) Lawrie, Alex (Avila) and Dioner (Navarro). On top of that, we expect internal improvement.”
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Hahn is smart not to entirely rule out any potential additions. Not with the current crop of free agents available as well as the potential for trades.
But even if they don’t add on, Hahn has to expect more from the current offense. Frazier and Lawrie — who combined to hit 51 home runs last season — should upgrade the White Sox at positions where they ranked 30th in OPS in last season. The club also expects to get improvement from Adam LaRoche and Melky Cabrera and Adam Eaton, all of whom had slow starts. The White Sox also hope Avisail Garcia can start to make some of the gains of which they believe he’s capable.
Still, Hahn continues to leave the door open for additions. He hasn’t promised the White Sox would make more moves. But he hasn’t said they won’t, either.
“There is a high level of confidence in the club,” Hahn said. “You’re always looking to find ways to get yourself better, whether it’s the guys already in that clubhouse or potentially acquisitions from other clubs. But even if this is the group from which we have to choose our 25, we feel there is great deal of talent and a lot of upside and a fair amount of optimism. At the same time, we have to prove it, not only meet in a lot of instances, but exceed expectations based on how we performed last year.”