White Sox

Rick Hahn says it is 'very likely' Jose Abreu will be with White Sox past this season

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USA TODAY

Rick Hahn says it is 'very likely' Jose Abreu will be with White Sox past this season

The White Sox have dealt away Chris Sale, Jose Quintana, Todd Frazier and a number of relievers since starting the rebuild in an effort to acquire as much young talent as possible. Meanwhile, Jose Abreu has stayed on the South Side.

Abreu is a free agent at the end of the season so rumors and speculation are commonplace around the Cuban first baseman. Would the White Sox try to cash in before the trade deadline this season? If they were going to do so, they probably would have done so earlier in the rebuild.

In an interview on MLB Network, general manager Rick Hahn said what he and the rest of White Sox brass have been saying about Abreu for a while now. They like Abreu as a leader and mentor to the team’s young talent during the rebuild.

“Jose has huge value to us,” Hahn said. “Not just in terms of what he does in between the lines, but in terms of role he plays in the clubhouse. I think that’s a large part of the reason that, although you’ve seen us move some premium type talent as part of this rebuild over the last couple years, that Jose is still here. When it comes to lining up value, all 29 other clubs can certainly put probably a similar value on him in terms of what he does between the lines. From our standpoint, we get the benefit of seeing what he does in the clubhouse, which probably increase how much we value him vs. others.”

What about extending Abreu with a new contract? Hahn gave an indication that the White Sox would like to keep Abreu beyond this season.

“He’s been here throughout the early stages of this rebuild and it’s certainly very likely that he’ll be here for the more enjoyable stages that lie ahead of us,” Hahn said.

The White Sox aren’t exactly looking like a contender at this stage, but the team is starting to win more games. More of the team’s young players are up with the team (Eloy Jimenez) and more of them are starting to contribute in big ways (Yoan Moncada, Tim Anderson). It sounds like there’s a good chance Abreu will still be around to lead the new generation of White Sox talent when the rebuild will no longer be in the “rebuild” stage.

 

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Rick Hahn 'intrigued' by offseason talks White Sox are involved in

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USA TODAY

Rick Hahn 'intrigued' by offseason talks White Sox are involved in

The baseball offseason is moving at a quicker pace than recent years and White Sox general manager Rick Hahn is among those happy to see that.

Hahn and the White Sox contributed to that quick start to the offseason by signing Yasmani Grandal on Nov. 21. He said he prefers that in an interview with Bruce Levine and Matt Spiegel on 670 The Score on Saturday.

Hahn also gave an update on the team’s offseason.

“We still have work to do, but at the same time we’re obviously quite pleased to have added Yasmani Grandal, much to no one’s surprise bringing back Jose Abreu and we’re intrigued by some of the talks we have going on right now,” Hahn said. “Obviously you can’t convert on everything a point that was publicly driven home this past week, but at the same time we know that regardless of whether we convert on one specific target or not, there are still a lot of reasons to be excited based on the guys we currently have, much less what we may add in the coming weeks.”

The comment about being unable to convert on everything is surely a reference to Zack Wheeler signing with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Hahn didn’t give any hints as to what the White Sox are working on, but he did say he prefers the speed of this offseason.

“We’d certainly prefer to do things sooner rather than later,” Hahn said. “That’s generally true regardless of the time of year.”

If Hahn wants to get things done quickly, it would make sense that the winter meetings could be a time of White Sox activity. Hahn wasn’t biting on that.

“There’s nothing magical about getting a deal done Tuesday at the winter meetings,” Hahn said. “It creates a little more buzz perhaps and fulfills some expectations within the fanbase and the media.

“A guy is not going to have any less impact on your team if you acquire him Dec. 20 vs. Dec. 12.”

Hahn also gave updates on various current players on the team:

  • Yasmani Grandal has been studying up on White Sox pitchers and how he can help the young pitchers develop.

 

“This guy’s No. 1 goal and No. 1 priority is to make the pitchers better," Hahn said. "He’s texting me two, three times a week still with stuff he had seen on our guys and conversations he’s had with our guys about how he thinks we’re going to be able to get them better in the coming months.”

  • Hahn was asked if the White Sox would add another middle infielder to provide cover until Nick Madrigal comes up. He didn't rule it out, but cited Leury Garcia and Danny Mendick as capable of helping out. Hahn has previously said he expects Madrigal to be up for most of the 2020 season.
  • Nothing new here, but Hahn said Michael Kopech will enter spring training "without restriction" and will have "some innings management" throughout the season. Kopech missed 2019 after undergoing Tommy John surgery late in the 2018 season.
  • Carlos Rodon's timeline to return from Tommy John surgery hasn't changed. Hahn said they will re-evaluate him in April to see where he is after spring training. He is still tentatively expected to return in late July or early August.

 

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Are the White Sox about to sign Marcell Ozuna or not?

Are the White Sox about to sign Marcell Ozuna or not?

Depending on which report you choose to believe, the White Sox could be on the verge of filling the void in their outfield with one of the bigger names on this winter’s free-agent market.

Dominican reporter Frank Castillo tweeted Saturday that the White Sox will sign Marcell Ozuna, planning to announce the free-agent deal Monday.

Well, that was followed up by a report from The Score’s Bruce Levine, who said the White Sox are not about to sign Ozuna.

So there’s that.

The White Sox were connected to Ozuna earlier this offseason, as well as more recently, with MLB.com’s Jon Morosi writing last week that the team had interest in Japanese import Yoshitomo Tsutsugo, but were waiting to hear on the decisions of Ozuna and fellow free agent Nicholas Castellanos first.

Ozuna turned heads with his fantastic 2017 season for the Miami Marlins, when he slashed .312/.376/.548 with 37 homers and 124 RBIs. Since being dealt to the St. Louis Cardinals, Ozuna hit .263/.327/.452 with 52 homers and 177 RBIs in two seasons.

The White Sox have a pressing need in right field, making it little surprise that they’ve been tied to numerous options, including Ozuna, Castellanos and Joc Pederson. Ozuna, though, exclusively played left field in St. Louis. Were the White Sox to add him, would they insist he play right field? They’ve expressed little to no interest in moving Eloy Jimenez out of left field.

It’s rumor season, and there should be plenty more of them with the Winter Meetings starting Monday in San Diego. The White Sox are expected to continue the aggressive approach they’ve displayed already this winter with the signing of Yasmani Grandal and their reported high bid to Zack Wheeler, who took less money to pitch for the Philadelphia Phillies.

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