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White Sox' Rick Hahn 'disappointed' in trade deadline results

/ by Ryan Taylor
Presented By Nationwide Insurance Agent Jeff Vukovich
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As the trade deadline came to a close on Tuesday evening, the White Sox were quiet, making no moves past their trade to acquire left-handed reliever Jake Diekman from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for catcher Reese McGuire

In turn, the empty-handed deadline left the organization with a bad taste in its mouth. 

"We're disappointed that we weren't able to do more to improve this club," Hahn said. "I think you saw a year ago at this time, you've seen it for the last several years, arguably the last couple of decades, that it's our nature to try to improve this club at any opportunity we have.

"Unfortunately, we weren't able to line up on some of our other potential targets."

There was something different about the market this season. The Sox' front office isn't afraid to be aggressive when it comes to improving their club at the deadline. Last year they made a big trade to acquire reliever Craig Kimbrel after already landing another bullpen arm in Ryan Tepera. They made a trade with divisional rivals to bring in second baseman César Hernández.

This season, Hahn expressed a desire to improve their bullpen. For outside pundits it looked like the White Sox also had an everyday right fielder, second baseman or starting pitcher on their proverbial checklist. 

 

Yet, the club stood pat. 

There are reasons to that, as Hahn indicated it was a "different market" this season between sellers, playoff changes (three-game series for Wild Card) and players with expiring contracts the club assumed would be available, but weren't. 

It wasn't a money issue. Hahn said they did not go to Jerry Reinsdorf for more money. In the end, Hahn claims they were asked for many of their "premium prospects in exchange for rentals" that didn't line up with their intentions. 

The White Sox came into this season with MLB.com's worst-rated farm system in the league, headlined by Colson Montgomery (only White Sox prospect on top 100 list) and Oscar Colás. While Hahn claims they weren't "prospect clutching," they weren't ready to dive into their piggy bank of prospects. 

The Sox feel they received a "quality arm" in Diekman that can provide, at the very least, diversity to the bullpen, since he and Tanner Banks are now the only two left-handed pitchers in the pen. (The other lefties, Aaron Bummer and Garrett Crochet, are both injured.)

Hahn is aware teams around the league, and more importantly the AL Central, got better. The Minnesota Twins brought in pitchers Michael Fulmer, Jorge López, Tyler Mahle and catcher Sandy Leon to greatly improve their active roster.  

"We go into this expecting that everyone's gonna get better and we try to do what we can to get to that level as well," Hahn said.

It's no secret to the general manager the team is chasing down the AL Central lead. The team is underperforming, which is certainly a reason Hahn and the rest of the building are frustrated they couldn't do more at the trade deadline. 

Hahn pointed out the lack of home runs (Sox rank 26th in the league in home runs this season, 22nd since the All-Star break) as a factor in the lack of home wins. The Sox have a losing record at home, which is perplexing for a team that thrives on energy. 

Despite the chatter about what the Sox should have done at the trade deadline, Hahn remains confident about the team that's in the clubhouse. He pointed to the "core six players" and levels of personality already in the locker room.

While he is confident the current team's potential remains high, he's empathetic to fans upset with the Sox' lack of moves at the trade deadline. 

"Anyone out there who is feeling a level of frustration or disappointment, I'm there with you," Hahn said.

 

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