White Sox 'disappointed' over quiet Trade Deadline

Chicago unable to line up other additions after acquiring veteran lefty reliever Diekman

August 3rd, 2022

CHICAGO -- White Sox fans were less than thrilled with the team’s lack of moves on Tuesday leading up to Major League Baseball’s Trade Deadline at 5 p.m. CT. And general manager Rick Hahn understood the supporters’ ire.

“In all candor, we’re disappointed that we weren’t able to do more to improve this club,” said Hahn, speaking 30 minutes after the Deadline expired. “You saw a year ago at this time, you’ve seen it for the last several years, arguably the last couple of decades, that it’s our nature to try to improve this club at any opportunity we have.

“Unfortunately we weren’t able to line up on some of our other potential targets. Anyone out there who is feeling a level of frustration or disappointment, I’m there with you.”

Sharing frustration is not acceptable in the collective minds of White Sox fans at this point. They want a team greater than its 51-51 record entering Tuesday. They waited through a few rebuild years with expectations of a team competing for the World Series title in 2022, only to see that group hover around the break-even mark.

The White Sox are fortunate to be part of the American League Central, with Chicago trailing first-place Minnesota by three games and the Guardians by two through Monday’s games. And even without any moves following the acquisition of left-handed reliever Jake Diekman from Boston on Monday, Hahn still believes in this group.

“We feel they are very much capable of playing better baseball than we’ve seen over the first few months and that there’s a makings of a potential championship team in there should they get to their accustomed levels of performance,” Hahn said. “One of the things that excites us is about getting this group together, having them play together on a regular basis.

“Finally getting closer to having the group, at least of the six core guys since 2020 that performed well together, we’re close to getting them all back together. And with a little better fortune health-wise going forward, I’m confident that’s a quality group and capable of winning this division and beyond.”

Hahn mentioned money was not an issue for preventing any deals before the Deadline, adding at no point did they go to White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf on anything and “be told no over the last period of time we’ve been talking about deals.”

“Look, it was a different market this year,” Hahn said. “I don’t know if it was a byproduct of having more playoff teams than there have been in the past, or a byproduct of the Wild Card round being a best-of-three as opposed to more of a coin-flip game that sort of led to sellers perhaps being a little more aggressive in terms of their asking prices.

“Again, there were some players that people thought were probably going to get moved that wound up not getting moved for whatever reason, which is an individual team’s choice. But I think the market overall was favorable towards the sellers and we didn’t line up.”

So, how do the White Sox move forward with this current group? Hahn talked about being a simple guy in that the ball goes far, the team goes far. He hoped to see a little bit more of the long ball from the offense, especially at home.

Hahn also talked about accountability across the board, from the front office to manager Tony La Russa and his coaching staff to the players. He sees confidence in this group, with the core on a run of two straight playoff appearances, but he wants to see a little more of the edge they had previously.

“If they live up to their potential, they're capable of winning this thing,” Hahn said. “I know that it looks like, at times, that we've lost a little bit of that swagger. Twenty-twenty-ish, even last year, we were an exciting, energetic young team with some swagger and a chip on its shoulder. I think we need to recapture some of that. That group gets it.

“There's plenty of personality in there. We've seen it. When things are going right, we've seen it. Even though things haven't gone quite as well as we would have hoped over the course of this year, it's time that we see a little bit more of that personality on a daily basis. A little more of that energy and a little bit more of an attitude that we're going to beat you."