(CBS) The White Sox embarked on their rebuild in earnest at the Winter Meetings in December, when they replenished their farm system with a handful of headlining prospects with a trade of ace left-hander Chris Sale to the White Sox and outfielder Adam Eaton to the Nationals.
Since that time, general manager Rick Hahn has been enthused with the reaction he’s received in interacting with the fan base. From his perspective, the feedback has been positive.
“This process that we’ve just started here does resonate with our fans, and certainly there’s been a great deal of support from them despite the fact that, quite frankly, it’s going to be some difficult paths ahead of us, at least in the short term,” Hahn told Chris Rongey on 670 The Score on Wednesday night. “We know we’re closer to the start of this process than the end of it, but we do think once we get through this more difficult time at the front end of it and make some more difficult decisions about moving potentially some of our guys that have become household names around here of late that the long-term benefit is certainly going to be worth short-term difficulty.”
The White Sox changed their course after missing the playoffs for the past eight years and registering four straight losing seasons, including a 78-84 campaign in 2016. Hahn knows it will be a long road back to the top, as the White Sox wait for the likes of infielder Yoan Moncada, right-hander Lucas Giolito, right-hander Michael Kopech and right-hander Reynaldo Lopez to develop into difference-making big leaguers. Those four were the big-name prospects Chicago received in the Sale and Eaton trades.
“I do think that all our of patience may well be tested here along the way,” Hahn said. “I think it’s important for us to be able to see signs of progress, whether it’s by continuing to have another successful draft like the one we had in 2016 or continuing to add to the group of players that we’ve brought in via trade over the last few months and seeing those players, whether it’s through the draft or outside acquisition, develop at the minor league and then the big league level. So we’re going to be tested at times along the way. We know that.
“The key, at least for those of us in the front office, is going to be not to let that impatience derail us from our ultimate goal and try to force the thing. We talked about right after we did the Eaton trade at the Winter Meetings, we’d love to knock off another four of these things over the course of the coming weeks, but unfortunately our desire, our eagerness to get this process moving and keep it moving isn’t what dictates the pace of these deals. It’s dictated by the market. And just right now, even before we get to the results on the field, your patience gets tested a little bit and it forces you try to remain objective and remain focused on the long term.”
The White Sox continue to carry on discussions with other teams, with left-hander Jose Quintana and third baseman Todd Frazier on the trade market. Asked if the White Sox as currently constructed would be the team that first-year manager Rick Renteria opens spring training with in mid-February, Hahn wasn’t certain.
“I don’t think we’re there yet,” Hahn said. “We’re still having dialogue with other clubs. It is possible we end up finding that match on some of these deals that we’ve been discussing. I’m not quite to that point yet, but there certainly is that possibility.”