LAS VEGAS -- White Sox general manager Rick Hahn was answering an opening question about Jose Abreu's future fit with the team during a Thursday afternoon conference call when feedback cut out his response.The screeching noise quieted down after about 45 seconds, leaving Hahn to break the silence."Now you know
LAS VEGAS -- White Sox general manager Rick Hahn was answering an opening question about Jose Abreu's future fit with the team during a Thursday afternoon conference call when feedback cut out his response.
The screeching noise quieted down after about 45 seconds, leaving Hahn to break the silence.
"Now you know all our plans for the next 10 days," Hahn said with perfect comedic timing.
Those who know Hahn's effective way of operating under the radar understand he wasn't about to talk in specifics in terms of the organization's offseason pursuits. Neither Bryce Harper nor Manny Machado came up during this 18-minute session.
But Hahn certainly believes there's a clear path to selling these big-ticket free agents on the White Sox, even coming off a 100-loss season and with the team on the North Side of town in the midst of a four-year postseason run, including a 2016 World Series championship.
"You have to understand these guys are professionals, and they understand deep nuances about each individual franchise," Hahn said. "From a macro standpoint, the idea of potentially being part of a winner in Chicago has very broad appeal.
"From a nuanced standpoint, the chance to be part of the White Sox organization based upon what our future looks like, futures that these players are familiar with and understand having either seen personally some of these young players play or video or talked to other players about them, it's something that they buy into.
"There's an allure not just to winning in this city. There's an allure of being part of building something that's potentially sustainable and potentially great. Where we were in year two of a rebuild, I don't think really plays a huge role in the decision-making process of what a player is buying into in terms of the long-term future."
Hahn reiterated stopgap additions are not on the White Sox offseason list of things to do. Adding a catcher or a relief pitcher, or even a starting pitcher, on a shorter term to help offset the work of younger players will fit into the context of the rebuild beginning on Dec. 6, 2016, when Chris Sale was sent to the Red Sox in a five-player deal returning Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech.
"You could argue that this offseason would be premature, being two years deep into a rebuild," Hahn said on premium talent focus. "But as I've said before, we can't control when certain talents become available and we entered this offseason with the idea of being opportunistic.
"That doesn't mean we can guarantee by any stretch that we're going to convert on these targets. We've said over the years that we expect to be part of that conversation, therefore us being part of the conversation should not come as a surprise to anyone who has been following the way we've gone about this process the last two-plus years now."
Abreu's future an ongoing process
Abreu enters the 2019 season in the last year of contractual control with the White Sox. But for a player appreciated off the field as much as his major on-field contributions as stressed by Hahn on Thursday, it certainly doesn't mean Abreu's run in Chicago is ending.
"We know how important he is, not just on the diamond, and when he's playing, but the stuff he brings off the field and the role he plays as a leader and as a mentor for our young players," Hahn said. "Although he is going into the last year of his contract, that does by no means preclude him from being a part of our future."
Colome happy to join White Sox
Reliever Alex Colome was traded from the Rays to the Mariners not even one season after leading the American League with 47 saves in 2017. He looked at Seattle's core players and thought he would be there for a long time.
"When I started seeing all the [Mariners] trades, it really surprised me. I wasn't expecting that," Colome said through interpreter Billy Russo during Thursday's conference call. "But when they traded me to the Chicago White Sox, I was so happy because I know this is a young team with a lot of energy, and a team planning to be a competitive team and to fight for a playoff spot in the years to come. I was really happy when the trade happened."
Colome hopes to be the White Sox closer, but he knows he will have to earn that spot during Spring Training.
Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and Facebook and listen to his podcast.