As Chicago White Sox General Manger Rick Hahn stood at his podium addressing media questions prior to the Opening Ceremony of 2019’s edition of Soxfest, one thing was made clear over and over – every move is preparing the team for the future.
It’s no secret that Hahn and the White Sox organization would love to sign a top-tier free agent like Manny Machado or Bryce Harper, and while all signs indicate that the team is still in the running to acquire one of those two players, you never know what the future might hold when multiple teams are leaping at the opportunity to acquire a generational talent. Hahn said himself that he would be personally disappointed if the White Sox failed to acquire either of the big-ticket names on the market right now, but he also advised not to get too caught up in what’s in front of you.
While it’s certainly encouraging to hear that the White Sox have a backup plan should Harper and Machado decide to sign a contract elsewhere, and that every effort put forth in this off-season is a building block for future conversations and a “seat at the table,” it’s still difficult to think about the possibility of this off-season being successful if the team misses out on two of the most talented players of the past decade. There are a lot of fans – myself included – who are waiting to see just how dedicated the White Sox are to winning, and coming away with a star player this off-season will be a big indicator of that dedication.
In his own brief meeting with the media, White Sox manager Rick Renteria said that as much as he would love to have a guy like Machado on the roster, if it doesn’t happen then your only choice is to move on and figure out how to win with the team you already have. A refreshing statement from a manager who finds himself going into his third year at the helm of a team that is poised to have one of the youngest and most exciting teams the South side of Chicago has ever seen.
The situation the organization finds itself in has a seemingly endless string of consequences that would require skills known only to Marvel’s Doctor Strange to find an outcome that satisfies everyone. With the way MLB’s off-season goes these days, it’s hard to avoid being inundated with rumors, false reports, Twitter burner accounts and internet theories that take hold as the problem builds on top of itself until finally someone does something. Should the White Sox end up introducing Machado or Harper as a member of the team remains to be seen, and Rick Hahn made it clear he wasn’t going to divulge any information that hasn’t already been released to the general public.
It’s entirely possible that the White Sox don’t come away with Machado or Harper, and the fan base needs to be prepared for that reality. Regardless of what happens, if this does indeed give the White Sox some magical reputation that deems them worthy of an opportunity to speak with other free agents in the future, then only time will tell.
“Don’t lose the forest through the trees” is a nice concept but unfortunately there are a lot of frustrated fans who would like to see some new ground laid in a plot of land that hasn’t really seen much cultivation from this organization in the past.
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