(CBS) White Sox general manager Rick Hahn reached out to Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein on Sunday to rekindle trade talks surrounding left-hander Jose Quintana.
Two days later, Hahn found himself in an awkward position — literally — trying to discuss more details with Epstein. At a fan festival with his son at the All-Star Game in Miami, Hahn took a phone call from Epstein and needed discretion.
“I get a phone call from Theo and I literally hid behind an exhibit at a fan fest to talk to Theo about the specifics of the deal,” Hahn said in a conference call Thursday after the White Sox sent Quintana to the Cubs in a blockbuster five-player deal that returned them highly regarded prospects in outfielder Eloy Jimenez and right-hander Dylan Cease.
“I essentially had to ditch my child at the Miami Convention Center,” Hahn added in an interview on 670 The Score.
The call was important.
“At that point, he expressed a willingness to potentially include Jimenez and Case,” Hahn said. “We spent the next several hours, including the bulk of the time while I was sitting at the All-Star Game, texting back and forth trying to put together the final two pieces on the back end of this deal. From Sunday morning until the end of Tuesday night, it was a pretty quick turnaround on things. But you’re only able to do that because both sides, the White Sox and the Cubs, have spent all that time and the scouts and analysts and the front office have spent that amount of time preparing to move quickly this time of year. We had that level of comfort in terms of who these players are.”
The White Sox had previous trade talks regarding Quintana with other teams that reached “the five-yard line” but fell through, Hahn said.
Hahn and Epstein exchanged texts shortly after the completion of the amateur draft in early June to gauge interest in a Quintana trade. Those talks weren’t serious until it heated up again Sunday.