Hahn On Sox: 'We Are Allowed To Have Nice Things'

The White Sox are continuing their pursuit of Bryce Harper and Manny Machado.

Bruce Levine
December 11, 2018 - 10:54 pm
Bryce Harper

Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

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LAS VEGAS (670 The Score) -- After two years of leading outmanned White Sox teams amid the early stages of a rebuild, manager Rick Renteria considers the team's pursuit of elite free agents Bryce Harper and Manny Machado to be music to his ears and those of the fans waiting for the organization to make a big splash.

"It would be foolish for us to think our fan base would not be disappointed (if we miss on the signings)," Renteria said. "We certainly hope they appreciate the talent we have in this system and how they are evolving. It certainly would give us a boost in the arm to be able to acquire a player or players of significant talent. Regardless of what happens, they should know we are trying to put a good product on the field."

Renteria is proud of the work the White Sox have put in and enthused by the outlook ahead. He also knows adding a key pieces in free agency who have a winning background can be an important part of taking a rebuild to the next level and accomplishing the ultimate goal. 

"Some of the guys who have been on winning clubs and a part of that their whole life, they have a feel and determination plus a certain edge to that certain type of player," Renteria said of creating a winning culture. "Can you learn that? Absolutely. That edge to win and learn how to complete can be accomplished. When you lose a lot, you need to reaffirm that you are a winner. There are players from the outside that have been a part of winning clubs. There is a certain edge that comes with that, a certain respect that comes with that as well."

With the knowledge that Machado has been less than a Charlie Hustle-type player in the past, Renteria was asked if he could bench a $300-million player if he refused to go hard. In his White Sox tenure, Renteria has displayed no fear of benching players who didn't hustle -- but he's also directed a young, unproven team.

"I have made it clear to the players: I am a no-nonsense type guy," Renteria said. "My job is not to embarrass players and make them feel that they are not carrying their weight. My job is to show them there is a certain way to play as White Sox. The players know that we have a certain way we want to play. If guys are contemplating becoming a White Sox, they should know we go about it a certain way. We look forward to a player dealing with players (instead of getting instruction from coaches). Ultimately, they will be able to police themselves. Everybody has to be comfortable with me taking an action like that (benching a guy for not hustling). When I do, I believe we will be backed."

General manager Rick Hahn is confident the White Sox can be true competitors in free agency, even as other teams may typically have bigger payroll budgets.

"We deserve a seat at the table," Hahn said. "We are allowed to have nice things. Part of the reason we did this (rebuild) was to put us in this position of going out and getting nice things long term from the prospect and trade or free-agent market. That said, we don't want to create an unrealistic view of what we are trying to do this offseason. We made no secret there are a couple of intriguing long-term fits out there. We said we will do the best we can to see if that possibility can line up for the long term."

Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.​