White Sox

Rick Hahn hoping to make some deadline deals but expecting White Sox to be quieter than last summer

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AP

Rick Hahn hoping to make some deadline deals but expecting White Sox to be quieter than last summer

As the trade deadline approaches, White Sox fans shouldn't be expecting a repeat of last summer. At least that's what Rick Hahn says.

The White Sox general manager talked about the potential for deadline deals this month and was sure to point out that he expects his front office to perhaps be significantly less active than it was a season ago, when it made a bevy of trades that included the high-profile crosstown swap with the Cubs, the selling off of much of the bullpen and the shipment of big names Todd Frazier and Melky Cabrera away from the South Side.

This time around, the assets aren't quite as plentiful. And while Hahn would certainly like to add more talented youth to his rebuilding effort, he's not promising another busy July 31.

"We're going to continue to be aggressive out there and have the same conversations or have the same tenor of conversations we've had for the last 18 months, doing everything we can to put ourselves in a strong long-term position," Hahn said Tuesday. "I think obviously this time around, this trade deadline is going to be considerably different from last one based upon the amount of moves we already made versus what we currently have at the major league level. So it's probably going to be a little bit quieter than what we had 12 months ago, for good reason. At the same time our views or our intentions remain the same."

Just because the White Sox might not be super busy at this year's deadline doesn't mean they'll be completely inactive. There are pieces that could draw the interest of contending clubs. Starting pitcher James Shields is a veteran arm who's been to a pair of World Series and could help get a team to a division title or a playoff spot at the back end of its rotation. Three bullpen pitchers — Joakim Soria, Xavier Cedeno and Luis Avilan — have improved as the season has gone on and could end up being the sign-and-flip guys they appeared to be when they were acquired over the winter.

"Yes, teams are definitely interested in numerous guys on our roster that could potentially help them win," Hahn said. "I don't think there's any club anywhere throughout the league, regardless of the position they're in, that doesn't feel like they could improve themselves from a pitching standpoint, so that's certainly an area of conversation."

While young players can most definitely surprise — just look at what Ti'Quan Forbes, acquired in last August's trade that sent Miguel Gonzalez to the Texas Rangers, is doing this season — it doesn't seem that any of the above-listed guys are the type to land a highly touted prospect in return. Shields, Soria, Cedeno and Avilan wouldn't figure to demand the kind of return packages the White Sox got in the Quintana trade with the Cubs or even the trade with the New York Yankees that sent David Robertson, Frazier and Tommy Kahnle out of town in exchange for, among others, Blake Rutherford, a top-100 prospect in baseball. For that reason, it's possible that no trade made this summer could have earth-shattering effects for the rebuild.

Fans might speculate about the kind of trade that could, however. Would the White Sox deal away some of their prized prospects in a move like that?

"We've talked about that from the start, that there will come a time where we're doing prospect-for-prospect-like trades where we're dealing from a position of strength to fill positions of need in the system. We've had some conversations with other clubs along those lines. Do I think that's likely in the next three weeks? Probably not," Hahn said. "Simply because this tends to be the time when it's more veterans-for-prospect mindset for most clubs.

"But in the coming three to 12 months, you might see a little more of those as we again want to make sure we're diversified enough across our prospect base to have enough premium talent all around the diamond."

The White Sox won't be sleeping through the trade deadline. But a big deal? A lot of deals? Probably not.

Remember That Guy: Chris Snopek

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USA TODAY

Remember That Guy: Chris Snopek

Chris Snopek was born September 20, 1970 in Cynthiana, KY. He was a multi-sport standout in high school, averaging 18.5 points and 8.0 assists on the hardwood, as well as hitting .576 with 20 HR as a senior on the diamond. He was a standout third baseman/shortstop at Ole Miss, hitting .407/.491/.725 with 13 home runs and 62 RBI (a school-record at the time) in 54 games as a junior. The White Sox made him a 6th round draft pick in 1992.

In 1994, Snopek played for the Double-A Birmingham Barons, where he was one of two players on the team with 50+ RBI and 50+ walks. The other one was Michael Jordan.By 1995, Snopek hit .323/.402/.494 with 12 HR in 113 games for Nashville (AAA); that batting average good for second in the American Association. He made his MLB Debut on July 31, 1995, going 2 for 3 with a run, RBI, walk and stolen base as the starting third baseman. The 6’1” right-handed infielder drew a walk in each of his first five career MLB games; the first White Sox player to do so since Ray Morehart in 1924.

The White Sox had Robin Ventura at third and Ozzie Guillen at short, so Snopek had to settle for a start here and a start there. He was sent back down to the minors but returned in September. On September 20, 1995, Snopek connected for his first career home run; the blast coming off Indians starter Joe Roa. The milestone round tripper came on Snopek’s 25th birthday. He remains the only player in White Sox history whose first career home run came on his birthday. It was his lone homer of 1995, though Snopek did quite well in his first taste of MLB action, hitting .324 (22 for 68), .407 vs lefties (11 for 27) in 22 games.

Entering the 1996 season, he was the #52 overall prospect according to Baseball America (in between Jason Varitek and Dustin Hermanson); topping the White Sox organizational top ten:

White Sox top 10 prospects according to Baseball America entering 1996

  1. Chris Snopek
  2. Jeff Abbott
  3. Scott Ruffcorn
  4. James Baldwin
  5. Jeff Liefer
  6. Mike Cameron
  7. Jimmy Hurst
  8. Luis Andujar
  9. McKay Christensen
  10. Greg Norton

Snopek started the 1996 season in a utility role, making spot starts at third and short as well as pinch hitting. On April 28, 1996, he became the first White Sox shortstop to start and hit cleanup since Ron Hansen in 1967 (Only José Valentín & Alexei Ramírez have done it since). In limited duty, Snopek hit 6 home runs in 1996 – all off lefties.

Snopek got his chance in 1997 when Robin Ventura suffered an ankle injury, getting the nod as the opening day third baseman. He went 0 for 5 that game and never got it going, hitting .218/.263/.319 in 86 games. The following season, after struggling to the tune of .208/.291/.248 in 53 games, Snopek was traded to the Red Sox at the end of August, where he finished the season and as fate would have it, his MLB career, with eight final games. He bounced around the minors the next four seasons.

In 2017, Snopek and a business partner purchased P360 Performance Sports in Jackson, Mississippi, where they offer baseball training facilities and instruction programs. Snopek also serves as the Assistant Varsity Baseball Coach at Madison Ridgeland Academy in Mississippi.

Chris Snopek… remember that guy?

White Sox Talk Podcast: Inside the White Sox prospects trip to the Dominican Republic

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Inside the White Sox prospects trip to the Dominican Republic

Thirteen of the White Sox top American born prospects are in the Dominican Republic this week for a cultural exchange trip organized by the White Sox, giving players like Dylan Cease, Nick Madrigal, Zack Collins and Dane Dunning a first-hand experience to learn about the country where many of their Latin teammates like Eloy Jimenez call home. Chuck Garfien speaks with Ryan McGuffey who is covering the trip for NBC Sports Chicago. They talk about the White Sox training academy in the Dominican Republic (3:50), what the players are learning and how they're bonding on the trip (6:30), the crazy atmosphere going to a Dominican Winter League game (11:10), going with Reynaldo Lopez to the home where he grew up (14:40), personal stories from the trip (23:15) and more.

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below: