White Sox Ready To Add In Free Agency

"We know we are not quite where we want to be," Rick Hahn says.

Bruce Levine
November 12, 2019 - 8:22 pm
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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (670 The Score) -- A year after striking out in their pursuits of stars Manny Machado and Bryce Harper, the White Sox are again ready to be serious players in free agency.

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They're just not going to be naming names this time, creating a little more mystery as to who they'll seriously pursue.

"We were pretty clear both last year and this year as we head into this offseason that we want to improve the team," general manager Rick Hahn said at the GM Meetings on Tuesday. "We are pleased with where some elements of this club are at, but we know we are not quite where we want to be. We are going to improve ourselves any way possible. That is whether it's free agents or trade. Most people aren't that interested in hearing about the labor. They are more interested in seeing the baby. If we end up converting on any of these free-agent targets or potential trades, we will happily go into great detail how it came to be."

Hahn spoke in a more general tone in addressing the White Sox's needs, which include a right field, designated hitter and their rotation.

"In an ideal world, we balance it out with some quality left-handed bats," Hahn said on the lineup's needs. "We do not want to get too rigid that we are passing on really good right-handed hitters just for balance's sake. We will not be so closed-minded to pass on a really good right-handed hitter."

One area of need that should be addressed soon is first base, as Jose Abreu and the club have a mutual desire to reach a new deal. A three-year deal for Abreu seems likely to get done soon. 

"There is a lot of love and mutual admiration and desire on both sides going right up to (chairman Jerry Reinsdorf)," Hahn said of bringing Abreu back. "Jose knows how we feel, and we will remain in contact until Jose figures out where he wants to play next year."

Hahn noted that "economic flexibility remains" for the White Sox after they missed out on Machado last winter. Without Machado in the picture, the White Sox moved Yoan Moncada from second base to third base, and he broke out with a 25-homer season in which he posted a .915 OPS. 

"There is a reason to feel very optimistic about this path," Hahn said. "Again we love to add premium talent any way we can.

"I will say the ease that the way Yoan has assumed third base both offensively and defensively is fantastic. That is something that we are excited about. It is not a great surprise to us, but it's obvious if we signed the other player that would have not happened last year. In general, we like having really good players. So if we have the possibility to add another one, we are not going to feel good missing on that opportunity. There are only so many elite players in the game. Missing one doesn't feel good, even if the guy playing that position turned out well. I would rather have both."

Hahn wouldn't bite when asked to speculate on a win total goal for the White Sox for 2020. He's keeping the entire process in mind.

"Expectations are we are close to where we want to be," Hahn said. "We also know very clearly we are not there yet. There is still some internal development that is yet to occur. Not every potential player that we have targeted is ready for Chicago yet. So there are some areas of need. We are getting close to where we want to be. If we can improve via free agency or trades, we are anxious to explore them."

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