Winter Meetings 'productive' for White Sox
Club lands third baseman Lawrie, lays groundwork for future deals
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Don't judge the success of the White Sox Winter Meetings simply by the sheer amount of transactions.
General manager Rick Hahn reiterated that point in a roundabout way Thursday morning, as he spoke to the media following the Rule 5 Draft and the conclusion of the five days spent at the Gaylord Opryland Resort.
"I feel overall it has been productive, not simply because we were able to address one of our needs, but because we made some progress on other fronts," Hahn said. "Obviously nothing is completed until you get it signed, sealed and delivered, but at this point we are pleased with the dialog on other fronts, in addition to the deal we were able to close."
Brett Lawrie became that deal closed, as the White Sox used two Minor League hurlers to acquire their new third baseman from Oakland. With other irons firmly placed in the fire during the Nashville stint, there's a chance that one of those moves coming to fruition moves Lawrie to second. The White Sox can get creative in terms of bringing a third team into the mix for a potential trade, not to mention exploring the international market.
Adding a talented young player still with considerable upside, versatility and cost control for the next two years, such as Lawrie, presents Hahn the financial maneuverability to add and improve. Hahn wasn't about to force matters just to have greater accomplishments at the Winter Meetings, but future deals might have taken root this week.
"There's a heightened expectation or fever pitch when you're down here at the Meetings, so you certainly want to be able to address needs, ideally multiple needs, while you're here," Hahn said. "But there was no urgency to do this here. This just happened to come together and we were able to close on it and now it's on to the next one."
The Lawrie trade didn't really start to come full speed until early Wednesday evening, and then the final deal arrived quickly. The White Sox gave up left-hander Zach Erwin, who was the team's fourth-round pick in the 2015 Draft, and right-hander J.B. Wendelken, who was part of the return in the 2013 Jake Peavy trade.
Minor League left-hander Will Lamb was acquired from the Rangers on Thursday in exchange for Minor League right-hander Myles Jaye. Lamb has held left-handers to a .200 average in his career and is projected as a future left-handed reliever type, although he is not on the 40-man roster.
No moves were made in the Major League phase. Right-hander Manaure Martinez was added from the Phillies with the eighth pick in the first round of the Triple-A phase.
Finding a third baseman sat at the top of Hahn's priority list, and mission was accomplished by the trade for the right-handed-hitting Lawrie. But the White Sox also put in place the groundwork to make equally substantive moves.
Todd Frazier holds the interest of the White Sox, although the early demands of top prospect Tim Anderson for the Reds third baseman seem to be too great for their liking. The White Sox almost certainly won't be pursuing free agents that would cost them Draft compensation, but they most definitely continue to look for offensive upgrades.
GM's Bottom Line
"We're not going to do anything just to calm the masses. We're going to try to do the right move that on July 1, it's not going to be like, 'I like this guy, but I really wish they acquired him on Dec. 9 instead of Dec. 12.' It doesn't matter." -- Hahn