SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- They’re ready to be patient, but the White Sox are also poised to strike if the right move comes along.
Though it sounds far likelier a rebuild is on the way, whatever direction they’re headed this offseason, the White Sox sound well prepared. White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said Thursday morning that his club followed up on a month full of dialogue with several days of productive conversations at the GM meetings at the Omni Scottsdale Resort. While nothing is imminent and they still don’t intend to divulge their plans, Hahn is ready for whatever pace the offseason presents.
“Someone may surprise you and come right out of the gate aggressive or respond to a proposal and say that works for us, let’s proceed,” Hahn said. “Or it may take some more surveying by them of what else is on the trade market or free agent market, and you may not see things coming together until the winter meetings or thereafter.
“There’s no magic formula to making sure you have this in place by Dec. 15 or Jan. 15. You just have to be in place by opening day.”
If the White Sox choose to unload their players, patience is critical.
[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]
The contracts of Chris Sale, Jose Quintana and perhaps Adam Eaton give the White Sox critical flexibility from being forced into any deals. Sale has three years left on his, Quintana has four and Eaton has five if all their team options are picked up. Even if they held onto all of them into the season, the White Sox aren’t on the clock like they would be with some of their 2018 free agents — Todd Frazier and Melky Cabrera.
Given their value and contracts, the White Sox can’t settle for anything less than an absolute victory if they make a trade.
Having patience allows them not to settle.
“The pace and magnitude of any of our moves, regardless of the direction, are going to be dictated by the market,” Hahn said. “You can’t say you’re going to trade player X before we do anything else because it might not be the right time to get proper value on a given player. We’re in a position right now where we have a few players who are under control only for another year, so there’s a bit of a clock on them. But on guys who are controllable longer than that, there’s not necessarily any urgency to make a move until you feel like you’ve peaked out on value and it makes the most sense for the long-term benefit of the club.”
Still, with the White Sox holding the best assets in a market thin on options, a deal could come together quickly. Hahn and the White Sox front office met from Friday to Sunday at the nearby Biltmore Resort to determine their best course of action. And now he’s had three more days of meetings with other executives and agents to make gains on earlier conversations.
If another team is ready to meet their price, Hahn is properly equipped.
“We had a lot of good discussions on a number of different fronts and have a firmer idea of some of the opportunities in front of us,” Hahn said. “We’ll spend the next few days and potentially weeks going through our options and start moving forward.