GLENDALE, Ariz. — The White Sox are all about the kids and intend to let them play this spring.
That was the resounding message from White Sox brass Tuesday afternoon after the team concluded its first spring training workout at Camelback Ranch.
While there's a natural focus on the ongoing trade rumors involving Jose Quintana and David Robertson and the team's continued willingness to discuss them, both Rick Hahn and Rick Renteria said their focus primarily is on the future. With a number of high-profile prospects in big league camp for the first time, the White Sox want to see what their young players are capable of.
"We want to give the guys that are here the opportunity to show what they can do," Hahn said. "If there's injury or some other unforeseen issue, underperformance, along those lines, then sure, we'll certainly look at potential ways to augment this roster. But as we sit here today and we're trying to build for the future, I think giving young players the opportunity to show what they can do at the big league level will serve us better in the long run."
Chief among the big reveals Tuesday were that the White Sox plan to give rookie Charlie Tilson the first look as their everyday center fielder — if he's physically capable — and that Matt Davidson is in line for a healthy number of plate appearances, too. Also, the White Sox will give a number of high-profile innings this spring to their cache of young, big arms.
[SHOP WHITE SOX: Get your White Sox gear right here]
Asked if he had any lineup designs in mind, Renteria said none so far because he's more interested in finding playing time for the club's newest acquisitions.
"Right now I'm thinking about the guys we have in camp and how we're going to be able to get them out to perform, play, show their skills," Renteria said. "We have a lot obviously who are returning, we already know what they're capable of doing. Part of that is balancing getting them ready for the season. The other aspect obviously is seeing some of the other guys we have on the club, making sure we find out what they're capable of doing and what they bring to the table."
What the White Sox still possess is a number of assets that opposing teams might find attractive, including Robertson, Quintana, Nate Jones, Jose Abreu and Todd Frazier, among others. Similar to last spring, when he was willing to add players up until Opening Day, Hahn said he would consider subtractions the rest of the way. Except in the cases of Frazier, Miguel Gonzalez, Melky Cabrera, Brett Lawrie and Derek Holland, Hahn is working without time restraints, which allow him to hang on until he receives the best deal possible.
So while most teams don't normally make trades at this point in the season, Hahn wouldn't be surprised if the inquiries on his players' availability continue. He just won't let it take the focus away from what the White Sox want to accomplish this spring.
"We expect them to continue," Hahn said. "We are going to continue to keep an open mind, and where there's conversations to be had, we will pursue them. At this point, we have had extensive conversations on various fronts, and as we sit here today there's nothing that's gnawing at us or appealing enough to make us move. We are certainly going to keep an open mind, but now the focus tends to shift a little bit to getting ready for the season as opposed to any potential trades."