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White Sox GM: Only 1 way to really 'win' a deal

Hahn discusses how Moncada deal has panned out
@scottmerkin
May 7, 2019

CLEVELAND -- Chris Sale, who is one of the best starting pitchers in the Major Leagues, opened the 2019 season with a highly uncharacteristic 0-5 mark for the Red Sox. Yoán Moncada, after striking out 217 times in 2018 during his first full season, seems to have found a groove

CLEVELAND -- Chris Sale, who is one of the best starting pitchers in the Major Leagues, opened the 2019 season with a highly uncharacteristic 0-5 mark for the Red Sox.

Yoán Moncada, after striking out 217 times in 2018 during his first full season, seems to have found a groove in '19. He drove in four during the White Sox 9-1 victory on Monday and is on pace to score 123 runs. Do those numbers mean the White Sox are gaining ground on that rebuild-opening trade with Boston from Dec. 6, 2016, which also included important components in right-handed pitcher Michael Kopech and outfielder Luis Basabe, even though Sale shut down the South Siders on Friday?

In a recent conversation with MLB.com, White Sox general manager Rick Hahn explained that winning a deal is never the focus.

“The goal is to satisfy the needs of both clubs,” Hahn said. “That’s a little easier to do when you are in a rebuild and you are dealing with a club that’s looking to win immediately, whether it’s the trades we made with Boston or the Cubs or Washington.

“We all look for immediate satisfaction. You see it from time to time, people joking, ‘If Moncada gets a hit off of Sale, the White Sox win the trade.’

“That kind of tongue-in-cheek silliness speaks more to that larger desire to find a winner and a loser,” Hahn said. “It’s very possible for both clubs to win in the acquiring of the big league talent in the short term and when our turn comes, these guys play a vital role in us getting our rings in the future.”

Sale played a major part in the Red Sox's 2018 championship, which represents the ultimate victory. So the deal fed Boston immediate gain, while the White Sox are highly optimistic about the long-term outlook.

“I don’t know if it necessarily matters going forward what [Sale] does anymore when you are assessing that trade,” Hahn said. “They signed him to an extension, so that’s different going forward than what they acquired him [for]. But during the period of control they acquired, he helped them win a World Series championship. He played a really big role.

“So that’s a great win for them. Whenever our time comes in the next few years, if Moncada and Kopech and others we’ve acquired play an important role in us winning the World Series or two along the way, then we would have won as well. That’s the best of both worlds.”

Jimenez getting better

Eloy Jiménez, the No. 3 prospect overall per MLB Pipeline, began running on flat ground Sunday as part of the left fielder’s continued quick recovery from a high right ankle sprain suffered while chasing a Grayson Greiner home run at Guaranteed Rate Field on April 26.

“I feel a little bit sore, but it’s OK,” said Jimenez of the aftereffects from running. “It’s nothing I can worry about. It was 12 days ago that happened and I know it’s going to be there, but I feel really good.”

Jimenez also has been throwing and hitting. He could go on a Minor League rehab assignment by this weekend.

“I’m really close, but it doesn’t depend on me. It depends on the team,” Jimenez said. “Keep working on that and hope to get back soon and help the team win.”

Shworles named White Sox honorary bat girl

Lesley Shworles of Frankfort, Ill. has been selected as the honorary bat girl representing the White Sox, as announced by Major League Baseball on Tuesday. Each team has a representative in support of the annual “Going To Bat Against Breast Cancer,” an initiative that is commemorated each Mother’s Day to raise awareness and money for research. All respective honorees have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to the battle against breast cancer.

With the White Sox playing in Toronto for Mother’s Day, Shworles will be recognized on May 19 at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and Facebook and listen to his podcast.