Hot Stove a hot topic as White Sox staying course

GM Hahn likely to field questions at SoxFest on team's lack of additions since Frazier deal

January 25th, 2016

CHICAGO -- When general manager Rick Hahn last addressed the media to announce the trade for Todd Frazier, he made it clear that the team would study all avenues of run production and run prevention moving forward, exploring any way to give the 2016 White Sox an added edge.

"We shall see," said Hahn, when asked if the White Sox still had the resources to acquire a big-name free agent after Frazier was added on Dec. 16. "We're going to continue to be aggressive on numerous fronts and certainly continue to talk to various free agents, as well as other clubs about trades, and we'll have to see how the coming weeks unfold."

In the end, however, Chicago did not subsequently land -- much to the chagrin of the White Sox faithful, no doubt -- Alex Gordon, Justin Upton or Yoenis Cespedes. Just how involved the Sox were on those free-agent outfielders likely will be a point of discussion at this weekend's SoxFest, running from Friday through Sunday at the Hilton Chicago.

With a little under one month until pitchers and catchers report to Camelback Ranch, the question of where the White Sox go from here now arises. They could be done with their major offseason work, barring a tweak here or an interesting non-roster invite there.

They could pursue other free-agent outfielders, such as Dexter Fowler, or a more experienced shortstop, such as Ian Desmond. But both players received qualifying offers, requiring Draft pick compensation if signed, and while the Sox top pick (No. 10 overall) is protected, the organization seems dead set on keeping all three of its picks in the Top 50.

Trades also could be explored, with the Rockies and Dodgers seemingly having a surplus of outfielders, with Charlie Blackmon, Corey Dickerson and Andre Ethier reportedly on the market. But the White Sox already traded away three players from their Top 30 prospects in Trayce Thompson, Frankie Montas and Micah Johnson, and for a system that is improving but certainly not yet loaded, they don't want to move too much of their future. There also has to be a match for the other side, and the White Sox would certainly be reluctant to depart with top prospects such as Tim Anderson and Carson Fulmer, who no doubt would be requested in return.

Adding Frazier, Brett Lawrie, Alex Avila and Dioner Navarro has improved this team. Fans wanted more, and Hahn has talked about always feeling there's one more move to be made. That move will be made, though, only if it's a clear step forward from what the White Sox have.