Fans' embrace let White Sox add Cabrera

CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox front office might have purchased a new closer last week in David Robertson, but it appears as if the team’s fans were the ones who purchased new left fielder Melky Cabrera.

General manager Rick Hahn admitted Tuesday that because “sales” have been up all offseason, and especially since Robertson and Jeff Samardzija were acquired during the winter meetings last week, chairman Jerry Reinsdorf agreed to spend more than expected.

That meant the addition of Cabrera over the weekend for three years and $42 million, bringing aboard a new left fielder and No. 2 hitter in the lineup.

“Things have gone well so far from a sales standpoint, which played a role in Jerry allowing us to go beyond our originally targeted payroll,” Hahn said soon after the Cabrera signing was made official Tuesday. “As we sit here today, we’re beyond where we expected to go in terms of the 2015 payroll. That is, again, a direct result of Jerry saying he saw the fit (in Cabrera), he understood what we wanted to do and, in the end, gave us the flexibility to convert on the deal.”

That came in contrast to last week’s statement following the Robertson signing (four years/$46 million), when Hahn admitted that finances were now tight. Hahn said that wasn't a bluff.

And while Hahn said Tuesday that the club is under no edict to trim the fat from any other areas of the roster, more changes are still expected. One obvious move ahead is finding a new home for Dayan Viciedo, who was tendered a contract earlier this month and figures to make at least $4 million in the upcoming season.

“I don’t think it behooves us to get very deep into any conversation about any specific player in terms of potential future moves,” Hahn said. “I will say that there’s certainly an opportunity for Viciedo to play a role on this club however, the amount of (at-bats) for him have certainly diminished. I don’t think it would be a great shock to hear from other clubs that perhaps have a larger role for him and have interest in him joining their club to fulfill that role.”

Considering what Viciedo is set to make in 2015, the obvious need the White Sox have to trade him and the fact that his offense and defense have been disappointing, he isn’t in possession of a whole lot of trade value these days.

If that is the downside, though, to adding Robertson, Cabrera, Jeff Samardzija, Zack Duke and Adam LaRoche, the White Sox will gladly deal with it. Filling as many needs as they did with the caliber of players they brought aboard, not even the optimistic Hahn could see it all go down in the fashion that it did.

“We’re pleased with how we’ve been able to come through, but frankly I do think we probably have had a roll here that if you had told me six weeks ago we’d been able to convert on, I probably would have been a little surprised by,” Hahn said. “It’s what we set out to do. It’s what Jerry and Kenny (Williams) wanted to see from all of us, and the fact we’ve been able to convert on it makes us real pleased. The attitude we have down the hall, in our department, is we should feel good about what we’ve done, but it’s on to the next one now.”