For the past 12 seasons, Chicago White Sox fans have grown accustom to what most would call an aggressive style of acquiring players at and around the MLB trade deadline. However, with former GM Ken Williams promoted to Executive Vice President and new GM Rick Hahn getting his first crack at the MLB trade deadline, should White Sox fans expect a different approach from Chicago’s front office?
Really, you can answer both yes and no to that question, and here’s why.
First, let’s start with why we could see a new style of negation from Hahn.
Unlike most of Williams’ years as GM, the Sox are expected to be sellers rather than buyers come this deadline. It has already been reported that the South Siders are willing to deal who everyone except their young ace Chris Sale and their veteran captain Paul Konerko. So, if Chicago does it fact decide to trade away some, if not most of their current roster to playoff contenders, there’s no doubt the start to the Hahn era will seem different and new. Also, after years and years of being one of baseball’s worst farm systems, the Sox are finally starting to grow their own talent rather than buy their players, which in return means there is less pressure to go out and trade for guys at the deadline. Hahn and the Sox haven’t exactly come clean and said they are in a rebuilding phase, but the writing is somewhat on the wall at this point.
Now, like I said earlier, you could also say no, the White Sox won’t change their aggressive mindset come this deadline. Why? Well, for starters, even though he’s no longer the GM, Williams still has a lot of say when it comes to what the Sox will do with their current roster. Although Hahn now has the title of General Manager, Williams, and the rest of Chicago’s front office will still have input into all of the decisions made at the deadline.
Another reason I believe the White Sox could still be very aggressive come this trade deadline is their need of some big-name talent. Other than Sale, the Sox don’t really have much star power. Konerko could also still be considered a franchise player, but Chicago would be lucky to get another full season from the 37-year-old slugger. With this in mind, it wouldn’t surprise me if Hahn pulled the trigger on a big name player come July 31.
Although you could make a case for both yes and no to whether or not Hahn will be aggressive come this year’s trade deadline, when it’s all said and done, I’d be shocked if Hahn made much noise. The current Sox team has underachieved for basically the entire 2013 season. However, Hahn and the other members of Chicago’s front office don’t have a lot of options regarding trade value in my opinion. Other than maybe moving Jesse Crain and possibly another reliever, I don’t foresee the White Sox doing a total team overhaul like some have predicted.