Hahn ready to make big move in quest for title

May 17th, 2016
"When the chance to win comes along, you need to do everything in your power to maximize that opportunity," said Rick Hahn.Ross D. Franklin/AP

CHICAGO -- White Sox general manager Rick Hahn didn't waste much time in responding to a Tuesday pregame question about being prepared to make a big move down the line to help his American League Central-leading team.

"We are prepared to make a big move today if it presents itself," said Hahn, speaking to a large group of media in attendance for the opener of a 10-game homestand. "Unfortunately, our timing might not line up with the other 29 clubs just yet.

"A lot of clubs don't look to make those moves until June or July, but we are having dialogue right now hoping something comes together more quickly than that. Given our experience, it's probably going to take a fair amount more time, a few more weeks, before things get real serious along those fronts."

What would the needs be for a team that entered Tuesday's action with the Astros with a 4 1/2-game lead? They could look for another front-line starter to slot behind Chris Sale and Jose Quintana. They could add a bullpen piece to an already stellar unit, despite the relievers' 7.98 ERA over the last five games of the road trip. They also could use a left-handed bat to help balance the middle of the lineup.

Then again, the moves might be designed to give the team organizational depth and some options alongside some of its rising prospects, as represented by the recent pickups of right-hander Anthony Ranaudo and utility player Jason Bourgeois. The plan is to add whatever player possible to strengthen this team's October chances.

"First to get to October, and then to win deep in October," Hahn said of the plan. "Frankly, the only championship they are giving out this year is the 2016 championship, so that's what our focus is going to be in terms of maximizing this unit's chances."

That focus could present Hahn and company with some interesting decisions in their ongoing reshaping-while-contending program. Let's say a difference-making pitcher becomes available, or a left-handed bat that could change the lineup. It would be up to Hahn to decide if such a deal would warrant the moving of such top prospects such as Carson Fulmer, Tim Anderson or Spencer Adams.

The White Sox don't want to be short-sighted in their moves, but they also don't want to let what appears to be a prime chance to win slip away.

"It's going to take a lot. But at the same time, we want to put ourselves in the best position to win in October," Hahn said. "It doesn't mean we are going to be short-sighted or do something in our mind that significantly compromises ourselves going forward.

"But when the chance to win comes along, you need to do everything in your power to maximize that opportunity and feed the guys in this clubhouse, the coaches and players alike, who have been able to build thus far in this season. We want to do what we can from a front-office standpoint to continue that momentum, to reinforce where they have put themselves."