(CBS) — The White Sox have shown a willingness to spend big in the international market and they were seriously interested in acquiring Japanese star pitcher Masahiro Tanaka.
But in the end, they were not willing to go to the level the Yankees did, particularly when it came to a seven-year commitment.
White Sox general manager Rick Hahn joined The Mully and Hanley Show on 670 The Score Thursday morning and admitted he was “disappointed” not to land Tanaka, but he was proud of the pitch the team made.
Listen: Rick Hahn On The Mully And Hanley Show
“I feel like we put forth a real solid effort,” Hahn said. “We made an aggressive offer that a lot has been speculated about and, actually, a lot of the speculation is fairly accurate about the level we were willing to go to to sign Mr. Tanaka.”
Hahn was excited about Tanaka fitting into the rotation behind Chris Sale, creating a “1-2 punch for the next several years,” as the GM put it.
But a seven-year commitment was too much.
“It would have been tough at seven years, absolutely,” Hahn admitted.
The White Sox organization has long been careful when it comes to giving pitchers longterm deals. They only recently have been willing to go above a three-year limit — forced to do so by the inflating pitching market — but did so with Sale’s five-year contract.
“To acquire elite pitching talent, you have to go beyond thee years, which we’ve been willing to do and we were willing to again here,” Hahn said. “At the same time, we have to still be somewhat responsible about the resources going forward and how everything can fit together to make a competitive team and the risk involved in certain longterm commitments. And this one just got a little bit beyond where we were comfortable going, in the end”