CHICAGO – When October began, the playoffs started for ten teams in Major League Baseball and one general manager in the Windy City.
After asking for patience from White Sox fans for three years, and after a miss on Manny Machado the previous winter, Rick Hahn had to come through. With a young core ready to take their next step, a healthy amount of proven veterans were in need to help the team compete in 2020.
Three months later, Hahn did what he had to do in his “postseason” to help the White Sox compete for one of their own once the spring begins.
Edwin Encarnacion, Yasmani Grandal, and Dallas Keucher were signature signings for the franchise that gives the team All-Star potential at three different spots in the lineup. Other players like Nomar Mazara, Gio Gonzalez, and Steve Cishek shore up areas of need for the team in 2020.
“I think we were able to accomplish everything on that list and a few other things when you include the Luis Robert extension or bringing back (Jose) Abreu,” said Hahn when asked if he was happy with the offseason. “So we’re certainly pleased. We know whether it’s over the course of the next few weeks or the course of the next few months there’s still more work to do to get us to where we want to be, but in terms of the work done over the last few months, we’re really pleased.”
So are White Sox fans, who’re ready to shake off over a decade of playoff frustration this upcoming season. While many had doubts, there is general satisfaction with the job that Hahn is done, and has brought plenty of positive energy to this weekend’s Sox Fest at McCormick Place West.
That hasn’t been the case for a while, with the team either failing to win while spending money or rebuilding, at times hopelessly “mired in mediocrity” as Hahn memorably said back in 2016. Yet the general manager was careful on Thursday not too caught up in that hype.
“That is outstanding,” said Hahn of the fans optimism. “Quite candidly, we haven’t accomplished anything yet. We haven’t won yet. This whole process was about winning championships, was about finishing with a parade at the end of October down Michigan Avenue. Until that happens, I don’t think any of us are really in a position to feel satisfied or feel like we’ve accomplished anything.
“We’ve had a nice winter, we’ve had, frankly, in our opinion, a really nice three years since we started with the Chris Sale trade three years ago last December. We think the very bright days are ahead of us and we look forward to enjoying them. But in terms of feeling like we’ve accomplished something or being satisfied, ask me after the parade.”
If he keeps up the work on the roster, and things come together on the field, that could be sooner than later.