Fernando Tatis Jr.

White Sox sign five international free agents, including Fernando Tatis Jr.'s younger brother, Elijah

0702_fernando_tatis_jr.jpg
USA TODAY

White Sox sign five international free agents, including Fernando Tatis Jr.'s younger brother, Elijah

The White Sox are going back to the Tatis well.

Four years to the day they signed Fernando Tatis Jr. as an international free agent, the White Sox agreed to terms with the now-San Diego Padre's younger brother, Elijah, and four other international free agents Tuesday.

Fernando Tatis Jr. was infamously part of the package the White Sox sent to the Padres in exchange for James Shields during the 2016 season. That trade came right before Rick Hahn's front office launched the ongoing rebuilding project — and right before Tatis became one of the top prospects in the game. Now, he's tearing it up as a rookie shortstop, with a 1.026 OPS in what's been a to-this-point sensational first year in the big leagues.

The White Sox are hoping to strike gold again with Elijah Tatis, a 17-year-old shortstop. Per MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez, the younger Tatis "is known for his strong and accurate arm, and he has impressed scouts with the way the ball jumps off his bat, as well as his ability to square up fastballs."

In addition to staying within the Tatis family, the White Sox also inked 22-year-old Cuban shortstop Yolbert Sanchez, a former teammate of Luis Robert's on the Cuban national team; 16-year-old Dominican third baseman Wilfred Veras, who according to Sanchez has been compared to Edwin Encarnacion; and two 16-year-old Dominican pitchers, Cristian Mena and Erick Bello.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the White Sox easily on your device.

Still upset the White Sox traded Fernando Tatis Jr.? Well, they reportedly agreed to sign his little brother

0410_fernando_tatis_jr.jpg
USA TODAY

Still upset the White Sox traded Fernando Tatis Jr.? Well, they reportedly agreed to sign his little brother

The White Sox are hardly short on talented young players.

But as their rebuilding effort moves toward days of planned perennial contention, South Side baseball fans tend to think the future would look even brighter had the team not dealt away Fernando Tatis Jr.

The No. 2 prospect in the game — ranked one spot ahead of White Sox left fielder Eloy Jimenez — has already hit three home runs this season for the San Diego Padres, who acquired him from the White Sox in a 2016 trade that brought James Shields to the South Side. He figures to man the left side of the Padres' infield — next to Manny Machado — for years to come.

Well, the White Sox reportedly have found another Tatis to try to turn into a part of their future plans.

Elijah, the younger brother of the prospect the White Sox let get away, is just 17 years old. That's the same age Fernando was when the White Sox traded him away.

This latest Tatis is not the first legacy signing the White Sox have made in recent months. They signed Jimenez's younger brother, Enoy, over the offseason.

Will this signing make fans forget that the Padres' shortstop could be a big part of the White Sox plans? Probably not. It likely won't make general manager Rick Hahn forget either. But another name of note joins the organization.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the White Sox easily on your device.

Rick Hahn referred to himself as a 'jackass' as Fernando Tatis Jr. came up again at SoxFest

0126_fernando_tatis.jpg
USA TODAY

Rick Hahn referred to himself as a 'jackass' as Fernando Tatis Jr. came up again at SoxFest

The White Sox farm system is undoubtedly loaded.

Rick Hahn pulled off three big trades in 2016 and 2017 to import Eloy Jimenez, Michael Kopech, Dylan Cease, Reynaldo Lopez, Yoan Moncada, Dane Dunning, Luis Basabe and Lucas Giolito into the organization. Add the other talent acquired through the draft or international signings, and there are few better systems in the game.

So why did the White Sox general manager refer to himself as a "jackass" on Saturday?

In what seems to be an annual tradition now at SoxFest, there was mention of Fernando Tatis Jr., one of the highest-rated prospects in baseball and a one-time White Sox signee who was traded to the San Diego Padres in the deal for James Shields just months before the start of the rebuild.

It's arguably the lone mistake Hahn & Co. have made during this rebuilding process (and it technically took place before the process started), with Tatis closing in on the majors and widely regarded as one of the best young talents around. Tatis was just 17 years old when the White Sox made the deal and had yet to play a minor league game. But that hasn't been much of an excuse in the minds of White Sox fans, who in an alternate reality could've seen Tatis and Eloy Jimenez sharing spots at the top of the prospect rankings.

Last year, a fan lobbed a question toward members of the front office during a panel Hahn wasn't a part of: "How could you whiff on him?" This year, Hahn took the initiative himself.

While praising the organization's success in the international-signing department, Hahn was listing the achievements of the department run by Marco Paddy and eventually got to Tatis, offering up a self-critique in the process.

"Since we’ve hired Marco Paddy and the staff he’s put together internationally, we’ve been as strong as anybody," Hahn said. "Signing Luis Robert, which was an example of us being strong internationally, did put us in the penalty box for a couple years, and we had to use some of that slot money in different ways to add talent. But his first signing was Micker Adolfo, who’s becoming one of the better prospects in the organization.

"He also signed someone that some jackass traded, a pretty good prospect by the name of Tatis."

Ouch. Self burn.

Hahn was likely poking fun at the social-media criticism he receives for making the move as much as he was perhaps admitting any regret at dealing away a guy who turned into a top prospect.

Of course, what shouldn't be lost in all that is that the White Sox have a pair of international signees in the system who figure to one day be a part of the outfield of the future. Nor should it be forgotten that Hahn has made a bevy of moves that have loaded the system and made the future extremely bright.

But if Tatis blossoms into an All-Star shortstop with the Padres, then he'll always be the one who got away.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the White Sox easily on your device.