CHICAGO – Chicago White Sox general manager Rick Hahn characterized his feelings on the team’s lack of movement at Thursday's trade deadline as "mildly disappointed."
“We've shown a desire to make trades and we would've loved the opportunity to continue the process we started a year ago of adding key pieces in this sort of restructuring or retooling or whatever you want to call it, going forward,” Hahn said Friday. “Unfortunately the right opportunity just did not present itself.”
Despite losing 99 games last season, Hahn and the White Sox have avoided a complete rebuild, instead opting to acquire young players who can make an immediate impact at the major league level. Before last season’s trade deadline, the White Sox acquired Avisail Garcia from the Detroit Tigers in a three-team trade. Despite Garcia getting hurt in the season’s first week and not playing since, the White Sox expect him to be a part of their future core, along with other recent acquisitions Adam Eaton and Jose Abreu.
Though he refused to go into much detail, Hahn said the team was close to a move Thursday that would have gotten them the type of player they’ve been eager to add of late.
“It was a three-way deal that would've wound up netting us such a piece, a guy who'd been a target for a while,” Hahn said. “But for whatever reason it fell apart about 1 o'clock yesterday and then it was fairly quiet after that till the 3 o'clock deadline passed."
According to Hahn, the work the White Sox did leading up to the deadline certainly wasn’t all for naught.
"At the bare minimum, I think we at least got a feel for some of the value of our players going forward and hopefully laid the groundwork for some future deals,” Hahn said. “Again, would've loved to have done something and sit here today to tell you we're continuing the process. It didn't happen, but hopefully within the coming weeks or months I'll be able to remind you of this conversation and say, ‘This is what we were talking about and the groundwork started around the trade deadline.’ ”
Despite the inactivity, there were plenty of rumors floating around regarding the White Sox on a very busy deadline day. But Hahn said not to trust everything that comes across.
“Every year it's inaccurate, it's the nature of the beast,” Hahn said. “There's a small circle of people who probably know exactly what's going on and as a result, a lot of the information gets passed around as third- or fourth-hand, and as a result inaccurate. I will say I felt that the rumors related to the Chicago White Sox, at least, were in my 14 years, probably the all-time low in terms of accuracy, in terms of specific players being talked about with specific clubs. I don't even know where it started. It had no connection to the reality of the conversations.”
Hahn admitted that with the deadline passing, some players who had heard their names running through the rumor mill might feel a sense of relief.
“It won't shock me if you see a few guys in that clubhouse exhale now, knowing that their name obviously has been bandied about publicly at least for a while,” Hahn said. “Now they're here and we're on the other side of it and they're able to just go and play baseball, not worry about moving families or restarting careers or changing schools or whatever was on their mind. I think if some guys were carrying around a little extra baggage, they can let some of that go and just play baseball.”
Hahn went on to compliment the players for not letting the rumors affect on-field matters, with the team returning home after a 5-2 trip. Even with all that in mind, Hahn wouldn’t rule out moves being made during August.
“We're going to be diligent on the waiver wire,” Hahn said. “We've been able to do some August waiver deals in recent memory and we have some nice groundwork laid on some certain fronts. How our club or other clubs perform over the coming weeks could change some matches. We're certainly going to stay diligent on it. We don't have a specific time for when certain things have to happen on most of the players that are out there. So it may well go into the offseason, into the winter, but if the opportunity to get better is presented, we'll jump on it.”