White Sox

Rick Hahn sees importance in transparency as White Sox rebuild

Rick Hahn sees importance in transparency as White Sox rebuild

The White Sox know exactly where they want to head and Rick Hahn spent much of SoxFest weekend laying it out for the team's fans.

With a focus on transparency, the White Sox general manager tried to map out the team's direction as it enters the first phase of what he admits could be a painful rebuild. While the plan doesn't have 100 percent backing from the fanbase after the trades of star players Chris Sale and Adam Eaton in December, the mood at this weekend's event was mostly upbeat as fans fawned over many of the team's new top prospects. 

Still, Hahn knows it won't be easy to sell the idea that the White Sox, who haven't reached the postseason since 2008, expect to get worse before they will improve. But as the team embarks on its first rebuild since 1997, he also thinks the current path is overdue and the most direct to sustained success. 

"We want to compete," Hahn said. "Look, we feel that. We feel that very deeply. And not just from out interactions this weekend or this past week from talking to Sox fans or conversations we haven't had. I feel it in my own home. I had an 11-year old when the Cubs were up [5-1] in Game 2 couldn't go to sleep he was so excited and all he wanted to talk to me about was, ‘When are the White Sox going to be back in the playoffs and how?'"

"There's still going to be entertaining elements of the 2017 season, even if it doesn't wind up that we're competing. But I do feel it's important for us to be as transparent as we can be about what we're trying to accomplish and the timeline it may well take."

Hahn touched on several elements of that timeline over the weekend. Through their two December trades and a strong 2016 draft, the White Sox have vastly improved their farm system. Over the weekend, MLB Pipeline issued its Top 100 rankings with the White Sox boasting six players, including three in the Top 16 in Yoan Moncada (No. 2), Lucas Giolito (No. 12) and Michael Kopech (No. 16). 

[RELATED - White Sox put top prospects on display at SoxFest]

The White Sox hope to add plenty more talent whether through the upcoming draft or more trades. But the latter, Hahn promised, will only come when the White Sox think they're receiving appropriate value. Only Todd Frazier, Melky Cabrera, Miguel Gonzalez and Derek Holland aren't under team control past this season. 

"There's really no urgency, there's no deadline, there's no financial pressure to make a move," Hahn said. "The only reason to be motivated to make a move is based upon receiving what we feel is appropriate value and helps advance what we're trying to accomplish over the long term."

Hahn also touched on when the long-term plan could begin to take shape when he was asked about the possibility of dipping into free agency by as early as 2018. The 2019 class is expected to include Bryce Harper and Manny Machado.

"The 2018 and 2019 free-agent classes are stacked," Hahn said. "A number of players will command nine-figure contracts. …

"We know spending is the final piece of all this. When we get there, we expect the resources to be there."

First-year manager Rick Renteria thought Hahn's message went over well. The two shared the stage for town hall sessions on Friday and Saturday. Beyond that, Renteria's interactions over the weekend — including Sunday's ceviche cook off — went well, he said. 

"The new direction, the things that were done over the winter, (fans have) embraced," Renteria said. "I think Rick did a really nice job kind of articulating the direction of the organization the whole fest. That makes it easier for a manager, everybody involved in the process. I know everybody wants us to try and compete on a daily basis, which is what we're going to try and do. All in all, I think everybody had a great time."

MLB The Show: White Sox work around early trouble, comeback to beat Royals

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MLB THE SHOW

MLB The Show: White Sox work around early trouble, comeback to beat Royals

NBC Sports Chicago is simulating the 2020 White Sox season via MLB The Show during the postponement of play. The White Sox, stocked with young talent and veteran offseason acquisitions, were expected to take a big step forward in their rebuild this season. Follow along as we play out the first few months of the season.

Result: White Sox def. Royals 10-6
Record: 30-31, 3rd in AL Central (2.5 GB of Twins)

W: Dane Dunning (1-0)
L: Eric Skoglund (3-6)

Game summary: The White Sox' start to a week facing the two bottom-feeders in the AL Central got off to a promising start, though it didn’t appear to be the case early in the opener vs the Royals.

Lucas Giolito was in a bases loaded jam in the bottom of the first and was on the verge of escaping it unharmed. But with two outs, Nick Madrigal made an errant throw to first base that allowed two runs to score. Then, Maikel Franco slapped a two-run single to center and just like that, the Sox were down 4-0.

The South Siders delivered a steady supply of offense the entire night, however. Nomar Mazara immediately halved the deficit with a two-run double in the top of the second. Tim Anderson and Yasmani Grandal each recorded two-run singles in the fifth to put the Sox ahead 7-4. Jose Abreu and Edwin Encarnacion provided insurance by each hitting their 18th home run of the season.

White Sox lineup:

Edwin Encarnacion: 2-3, HR (18), 2 RBI, R (.328 BA)
Eloy Jimenez: 0-6 (.269 BA)
Yoan Moncada: 0-3, 2 BB, R (.257 BA)
Nick Madrigal: 1-4, 2B, BB, 2 R (.256 BA)
Jose Abreu: 3-4, HR (18), 2 RBI, 3 R (.313 BA)
Tim Anderson: 1-5, 2 RBI, R (.294 BA)
Luis Robert: 2-5 (.239 BA)
Yasmani Grandal: 3-5, 2 RBI, R (.325 BA)
Nomar Mazara: 3-5, 2B, 2 RBI, R (.251 BA)

Scoring summary: 

Bottom first

Ryan O’Hearn reached on error by second baseman, Adalberto Mondesi and Hunter Dozier scored. 2-0 KC.
Maikel Franco singled to center, Jorge Soler and O’Hearn scored. 4-0 KC.

Top second

Nomar Mazara doubled to right field, Jose Abreu and Yasmani Grandal scored. 4-2 KC.

Top fourth

Edwin Encarnacion singled to center field, Mazara scored. 4-3 KC.

Top fifth

Tim Anderson singled to center field, Yoan Moncada and Madrigal scored. 5-4 CHW.
Grandal singled to right field, Abreu and Tim Anderson scored. 7-4 CHW.

Bottom fifth

O’Hearn homered to center field, Salvador Perez scored. 7-6 CHW.

Top sixth

Abreu homered to left field, Madrigal scored. 9-6 CHW.

Top seventh

Encarnacion homered to center field. 10-6 CHW.

Notable performance: Don’t even bother trying to get Grandal out right now, because it just isn’t happening. After Tuesday’s three-hit performance, Grandal is 9-for-12 in his last three games with two home runs and seven RBIs. He’s batting .325 (9th in AL), has 54 RBIs (second) and a 4.9 WAR (first.).

Next game: Wednesday, June 3 - Game 62: White Sox at Royals (Dallas Keuchel, 2-5, 7.18 ERA vs Jakob Junis, 0-5, 5.93 ERA) 

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White Sox Talk Podcast: Hope in a bad time with Laurence Holmes, Tim Anderson

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Hope in a bad time with Laurence Holmes, Tim Anderson

As the country faces tough times not only with the pandemic but the many demonstrations of protest against police brutality, it's time we had a real discussion on the issues.

Chuck Garfien is joined by Laurence Holmes to discuss the murder of George Floyd, and the reactions. Later on, Tim Anderson joins to discuss what he's doing to get involved to help create change.

(5:44) - Getting justice for George Floyd

(14:06) - How to get police reform

(22:00) - How to be a good ally

(29:25) - Laurence getting emotional on the radio

(41:10) - Tim Anderson on the protest in Chicago

(49:10) - Trying to remain positive during this time

Listen here or below.

White Sox Talk Podcast

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