White Sox

Levine: White Sox Came Close To Big Trade, Hahn Says

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Rick Hahn and Robin Ventura. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)

Rick Hahn and Robin Ventura. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)

Bruce Levine Bruce Levine
Bruce Levine covers both the Cubs and the White Sox for CBSChicago.co...
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(CBS) – The White Sox appeared passive this week as the non-waiver trading deadline passed without the team making a deal. On the surface, you could say they weren’t trying very hard to add on.

GM Rick Hahn says you would be dead wrong with that assumption.

“We did come close on something,” Hahn said of a three-way deal that included a player the White Sox have been after for awhile.

“For whatever reason, it fell apart at 1 pm. (Thursday). It was real quiet for us after that,” Hahn said.

Chicago has been muddling along five to seven games behind Detroit for most of the season. After losing 99 games last season, they are much improved but maybe a closer and two starting pitchers away from the top clubs in the American League.

“At the bare minimum, we have a better feel for the value of our players going forward,” the GM said. “We hopefully laid some groundwork for future deals going forward. That would be the ill-fated three-way deal I mentioned, or other ones that we didn’t get very far on.”

Hahn did say that some of the proposed deals for his players alluded to prior to the deadline were way off from factual.

“Every year it is inaccurate,” Hahn said about the shoddy rumor mill this season. “There is a small circle of people who know what is going on. As a result, a lot of information gets passed around as fourth- or fifth-hand. I will say that rumors related to the Chicago White Sox were (in) my 14 years probably at an all-time low in terms of accuracy.”

The White Sox are to blame for some of the lack of information, due to their iron-clad hold on all trade info. Only the three-headed leadership group of himself, Kenny Williams and Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf  are privy to any detailed information before a trade or signing. In other organizations, group knowledge of trade info leaks down to other areas and individuals.

“We have been together a long time,” Hahn said of the management group. “There is a lot of trust, and guys know how we operate, internally. You can’t control what the other club does, but there is usually enough trust and history to keep things quiet.”

When questioned, the Sox do not usually refute inaccurate reports. That usually muddies the storyline around the team and brings some needless attention to players who are not really being pursued by other clubs.

“Once in a while you have a conversation with a player to tell them not to worry about (a report) because it is not accurate. You also have to be aware of the fact one day it might be accurate and that can create a more stressful situation.”

John Danks was rumored to be on the trading block the past month.

“I have been traded before,” Danks told me. “There is no fear of being traded. Just going to another team and getting adjusted as well as leaving your close teammates is difficult. I heard all the rumors, and nothing bothered me too much. I was ready either way.”

With the waiver deal still a possible way to move players, both Hahn and Danks agree the movement is not over yet.

“Things are going in the right direction here,” Danks said “We don’t sit where we want to be yet, but you can see it coming. I hope I am around to see it through.”

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