Hahn Downplays Narrative On Jay, Alonso Additions

"They make us better," Rick Hahn says of two players close with Manny Machado.

Bruce Levine
January 10, 2019 - 5:08 pm
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(670 The Score) As the White Sox have positioned themselves as one of the finalists for star infielder Manny Machado in free agency, general manager Rick Hahn on Thursday pushed back at the widespread belief across the MLB landscape that the team has acquired first baseman/designated hitter Yonder Alonso and outfielder Jon Jay because of their close relationships with Machado.

Alonso is Machado's brother-in-law, while Jay is a good friend. The three often train together in the offseason.

"These players are here because we feel they make us a better team," Hahn said in response a question about the recruitment angle of Machado. "I am not going to get into relationships they have with other players. It is certainly a positive but by no means the reason to make a move and acquire either player."

Hahn and his front office staff have been annoyed, at the least, with some of the rumors flying around about their pursuit of Machado and the contract terms they may or may not have offered.

"That is a very fair question and a ripe one considering the time of year with so many rumors floating around," Hahn said. "On the one hand, I try to keep my fan hat on so to speak. I try to harken back to the days I would run home from school and hear baseball rumors in free agency.

"In the age of Twitter, the horse race of free agency is certainly part of it. From a club perspective, quite frankly, it's frustrating. There is a lot of misinformation out there. There were numerous players reported that we are in on that we have never had conversations with. There have been reports of offers and non-offers that under the rules we are not allowed to respond to. So you must let those things play out. I realize it's part of the business but especially when it's a part of negotiations which are understandable purposely confidential, something we don't conduct through the media, frankly, gets frustrating. We don't let it be a distraction. We stay focused on the matter at hand. We just keep talking with the relevant parties until these matters are resolved."

The White Sox would like to add another starting pitcher in free agency, Hahn said. Of course, that's not the big storyline at this time as Machado and Bryce Harper remain on the open market. 

With that in mind, Hahn was then asked about how the fan base should handle the rumor mill, and he responded by referencing one of his counterparts with the Cubs. 

"Theo Epstein had a good quote recently -- 'you don't want to tell the fans how to enjoy their offseason,'" Hahn said. "I agree with that. That is part of being a fan and getting excited about what is rumored to be going or to consume whatever is being put out there no matter how much truth is being considered. That is just about being passionate. I respect that fact that there is a level of excitement about we are doing around here. For me, it can get worrisome to the point (if) it gets false information out there that may influence fan perception. At the same point, I know that these matters will be resolved. At that point, we will be able to speak a little more candidly about how we viewed and approached things. How fans perceive and respond to things is important, and we are aware of it."

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