The free agent market came alive on Monday with the Mets signing Justin Verlander and the Phillies striking a deal with Trea Turner. Though fans shouldn’t expect the White Sox to make any similar deals due to budget constraints, their bread and butter could be in the trade game once the dust settles.
White Sox general manager Rick Hahn met with the media on Monday night in San Diego and once again reiterated his points shared during his end-of-the-year press conference, saying the bulk of the team’s moves to improve the roster will come via trade. Of those potential trades, Hahn isn’t ruling out a significant blockbuster-type move heading into 2023.
“A year ago, we’re coming off a division championship, we’re wildly prognosticated to win the division going away. So a blockbuster or roster-shaking move was probably a little less on the agenda. This year we have to be open-minded given the way we performed in ’22. Does it mean that’s what’s going to happen? Not necessarily, but we at least have to be open-minded to something like that.”White Sox GM Rick Hahn
“We have all sorts of ideas floating around. Some that we volunteer to other clubs, and some that come through the door from someone else’s brain child. Again, it’s been important to us to look at how we do things with fresh eyes. Everything from our pregame prep to our hitting program to our sports perofrmance side of things to how we make decisions in the front office. Based on how things went last year, we need fresh eyes on everything.”White Sox GM Rick Hahn
Though many would like to see the White Sox strike a deal sooner than later, especially given other contenders’ clear willingness to spend on marquee free agents, Hahn expects a few more dominoes to fall before things ramp up for the Sox.
“In terms of the mega free-agent deal, some of those are probably going to have to come together in the coming days to lead to a little more activity in the other markets. We are not driving that bus exactly.”White Sox GM Rick Hahn
“A little movement in the shortstop market, obviously not one that we’re currently in, but perhaps that has some impact on some of the other clubs that we’re talking about in terms of pivoting toward some trades. Could be that … they miss on someone. Could be they reallocate resources to a different spot because they either did or did not sign a free agent. My point is simply a lot of times trade talks are dependent on what happens in free agency. It’s not just isolated markets. Thus far, 24 hours we’ve been here, you’ve seen more movement on the free-agent side of the ledger. That’s not too surprising. I suspect the next few days will mimic that.”White Sox GM Rick Hahn
Even though the White Sox’ farm system is nowhere near as built up as it once was, Hahn isn’t opposed to moving some of those pieces if it means completing the right trade to help the major league team win now.
“We’d be open to it. There’s a few guys who are on the precipice of contributing in ’23, and there’s others in there toward the top of our list who are a little further away in terms of how much we value because of the way they slate into future rosters. But again, it’s a matter of being open-minded, and we know where we sit in terms of the ’23 team, in terms of our competitiveness, competitive cycle, what our goals are.”White Sox GM Rick Hahn
As it relates to the White Sox being “open-minded,” rumors have already begun to circulate about Liam Hendriks’ name coming up in trade talks. Though nothing appears imminent at this time, there are many teams who could benefit from a lock-down reliever like Hendriks. With two years remaining on his contract for $29M, that’s not only affordable for one of the best relievers in the game but also a significant positive for the Sox that should warrant a notable return.
As rumors and reports continue to surface, we will be providing continued coverage here and on our social media @SoxOn35th. Follow along with us!
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