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White Sox push forward without Deadline deals

Long-term strategy takes precedence over short-term fit

CHICAGO -- The White Sox did not make a move before Friday's 3 p.m. CT non-waiver Trade Deadline, but it sounds as if they probably could have. The White Sox did not enhance the team's postseason chance, but they also didn't mess with the chemistry developed during a 17-9 run ahead of Friday's series opener against the Yankees.

General manager Rick Hahn and executive vice president Ken Williams didn't subtract from the youthful base of this organization, meaning they didn't trade away top prospects such as shortstop Tim Anderson or pitcher Frankie Montas. Ultimately, they stayed true to their reshaping plan set fully in motion at the 2013 Trade Deadline.

"We passed on perhaps some opportunities to do something that might have been a little short-sighted and might have compromised us for an extended period," said Hahn. "Again, our focus has been on putting us in the best position not to jump up and win once, but try to be in this mix on an annual basis. We are not inclined to compromise that.

"Our intent and hope over the last few weeks was to continue the process we started midway thru 2013 and add some pieces that could not only enhance our chances to win now but also add to our future. We were fairly aggressive on multiple fronts and ultimately, at the end of the day, there wasn't that type of deal for us to do."

Hahn paused and added, "Frankly, it's a little frustrating."

Aggressiveness has been the White Sox way of operating when they have a chance for the postseason, but this season stands as something a little bit different. The team's 7-1 road trip and hot stretch dating back to the end of June had Hahn and company entertaining potential rental players, a player such as outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, who is a free agent after the season.

They also focused on players more fitting within their plan, whom they had contractual control over the next few years. But that aggressiveness and due diligence didn't leave anything really imminent.

Jeff Samardzija, who himself will be a free agent after the season, starts Sunday against the Yankees. The White Sox could have traded the right-hander, replaced him in the rotation with Erik Johnson and used those prospects obtained to go after other players, but with the Wild Card standing as the White Sox prime playoff chance in '15, they weren't going to jeopardize valuable pieces of their future on a 50-50 chance to advance in the postseason.

Not when this current group seems to have its act together, a group that has the responsibility of playing well enough where Hahn could explore August waiver deals.

"I wish we were sitting here talking about another addition that would enhance our chances for '15 as well as '16, '17 and '18," Hahn said. "But at the end of the day, there just wasn't a smart, balanced move to make."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and listen to his podcast.
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