Rick Hahn conducted a Zoom conference with reporters for nearly an hour on Monday morning, so although most of the questions concerned the firings of Rick Renteria and Don Cooper, he was able to branch out and tackle other topics as well.
For offseason plan purposes, he highlighted right field and DH as positions with production deficits in need of addressing (for the second straight year), and said that he and every other general manager is on the hunt for more pitching. As for the payroll, it’s a complete mystery.
“We don’t know what the impact is going to be on the future economics of the game. We’re going to have to wait and see how the market plays out. It’s going to be a market that’s very likely obviously impacted by these factors that we’ve never seen before in sports, and even in society.
So we’re just going to have to wait and see how the market plays out and hopefully at some point get a better understanding of what next season is going to look like in terms of length, in terms of fan attendance, in terms of revenue, and all that will factor into how we make moves.”
He also followed up on some of the season’s injured or otherwise inactive players, and most of the updates are positive.
Garrett Crochet: In a report you heard first here from ceverettsdinosaurs, Crochet indeed suffered no ligament damage. Hahn said his first-round draft pick is dealing with a flexor strain in his forearm, but said Crochet’s UCL is “clean, no issues there.” He should be fine and fully operational by the start of spring training.
Nick Madrigal: He underwent surgery for the shoulder he separated on what appeared to be a routine slide into third in Milwaukee. Hahn said the procedure is meant to “stabilize the area and make it so that — knock on wood — he should not suffer another separation.” The recovery period is five to six months, so Hahn said Madrigal could be rehabbing when spring training rolls around.
Michael Kopech: After opting out of the season under the guise of professional concerns followed shortly by the emergence of personal matters, Hahn said there is “zero mystery whatsoever” in terms of Kopech’s readiness for the 2021 season, saying he’s been in contact with minor league coaches about his throwing program. They may have to take some time to reintroduce him to live competition after two years away, but Hahn said there are no big-picture questions about his part in the White Sox’s future.
Yoan Moncada: Hahn said it took a “hell of an effort” from Moncada, the trainers and physicians to keep him involved in the season, even if the effects of COVID-19 kept him from being the Moncada that earned an MVP vote last season. There’s a general, low-level uncertainty about his immediate future given that it’s a novel coronavirus and nobody knows how long effects may linger, but Hahn didn’t express any concern about the aforementioned effort doing damage by itself.
“I’m at least happy to be able to say, every test we’ve given him, from EKGs to vitamin levels to every scan for blood or picture-wise, CT scan-wise, has come back normal. There doesn’t seem to be any physiological damage to him, which is obviously a good starting point.
Jimmy Lambert: He’s also dealing with a forearm strain, albeit a more serious one than the one Crochet is experiencing. He hit the injured list all the way back in July and hadn’t been heard from since, raising concerns that a second Tommy John surgery might be on the table. Hahn said Lambert is supposed to begin a throwing program after a couple of weeks.
Jose Ruíz: Hahn said he had been pitching with a tear in his meniscus. He had his knee repaired and should be back by spring training.
(Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire)
The Moncada-COVID thing really worries me. We have no idea how long these long-haul symptoms last, and to see neurological effects from a respiratory virus is horrifying.
Block Club ran a story today about people dealing with these after effects. Stay safe, y’all. https://blockclubchicago.org/2020/10/13/these-chicagoans-had-coronavirus-and-never-got-better-long-haulers-face-bizarre-painful-symptoms-after-recovery/
I think the fact they are being so aggressive on the managerial front bodes well for the payroll next year. Regardless of lost revenue from 2020 they still should have a surplus from racking it in 2017-2019. Also they have 62 mil plus coming off the books before dealing with arbitration raises but even conservatively that probably puts them with everyone back they want minus colome and mccann, and 45-50 mil off last years payroll. Plenty of money to get a front end starting pitcher, a high leverage bullpen arm, and a right fielder. Seems like Vaughn should be able to handle DH duties, and maybe he can mix it up in LF with Eloy…. just a thought. Kopech being on board for 2021 is a huge boost, and the news on Crochett is definitely welcomed as he will be in the mix at some point next year. At a minimum during the stretch run and or post season he can come help the pen.
I could see clubs waiting until February before committing to free agents. Hahn seemed to hint as much .” get a better understanding of what next season is going to look like in terms of length, in terms of fan attendance, in terms of revenue, ”
I don’t think they can assume anything until a vaccine is ready, so I could see the market completely blocked until that point.
I don’t think you can assume anything even with a vaccine. Who knows how effective it will be and how many people will be able / willing to get it.
I wonder if we will see teams give multi-year contracts with a lopsided amount of money deferred given so much uncertainty about revenue for ’21
I was thinking the same thing. Not sure about other teams, but Hahn’s comment about wanting to get more information about those things certainly doesn’t sound like they’re going to be aggressive early in the offseason as I can’t imagine we’ll know a lot of those answers until much closer to the season.
I think Hahn’s comment indicates that he won’t jump in early and beat or set the market, as he did with Grandall. Rather, sit back and watch it evolve.
“as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns”
I’m thinking of doing a “White Sox Insider” book this offseason.
Subtitle: “Things I learned while dating Garret Crochet’s sister.”
May I request some sweet pop-up pics of dinosaurs? Maybe wearing Sox hats?
Jim – how will you be determining the OPP payroll limit? Blindfolded dart through? Roulette wheel?
After Encarnacion gets launched, I’d like to see the W Sox NOT go after a “DH-only” type. I’ve had it with the Dunn/LaRoche/Alonso/Encarnacion failures.
Ideally, (don’t know if this guy even exists) I’d want a middle of the order hitter with extra base power, a good batting eye, has enough speed to score from 2nd on a single or from 1st on a double, and in a pinch could grab a glove and play a position. Dreaming? One guy on this team that fits this description is Eloy, but I doubt if that’ll happen.
When the W Sox signed Grandal, all the talk was for a 3-headed DH of Grandal/McCann/Collins with the added feature that any of those 3 could back-up 1B and have Jose also DH…sounded like a very viable plan … and then they signed Encarnacion.
Now talk is of having Abreu and Vaughn as a 1B/DH combo. Sounds again like a viable plan, but Hahn seems to infer that DH is on their shopping list.
I’m campaigning for a non-one-guy-DH. Obtain players with a glove and some speed, preferably corner outfielders. Assuming all these guys are here in 2021 – Eloy, Mazara, Abreu, Moncada, Grandal, McCann, Vaughn, Mercedes, Collins can all DH at the right time. And if you want to give Robert or Timmy a day off from the field, they could DH or PH once in a blue moon.
The flexibility created by not having a full-time DH (and a bad one at that) would prove amazingly beneficial (IMO)
I think you’re shooting a tad high with your description, but I 100% agree that it would be good if they ring in a guy who can at least credibly play defense somewhere. Getting a guy on a cheapish one year deal would be good as it makes it so Vaughn is a nice to have and not an absolute necessity for next year (and then hopefully he’s ready to take over full-time in 2022). I’m going to blow my Offseason Plan here, but when I did my first sweep of the FAs, the name that stuck out to me as the best fit was Robbie Grossman. I’m assuming he should be able to be had on a cheap-ish one year deal and he meets most of the criteria you laid out above. If he’s too expensive, maybe Brad Miller? Would be good if the guy in this spot could play a cromulent corner OF so they could get Eloy off his feet a bit (said the same thing last year and they kind of leaned into the other direction).
The player you’re thinking of is Marcell Ozuna
Hahn identifying RF and DH as problems needing addressing would be more encouraging if I believed he could reliably find a solution to said problems.
Trooper, whaddya think about Giants Mike Yaz?
I think there’s basically no way to acquire him without crippling their farm system. They have to spend money on the solutions because too many prospects stalled or flopped in 2019 and they couldn’t make good in 2020 to recoup trade value.
I am hoping Andrew Vaughn is the DH solution and we focus resources on RF and SP.
Him being A solution makes sense. Not sure he should be THE solution. That seems like a recipe for no depth.
Eloy is the depth at DH, just get a good enough fourth outfielder in case they need to press him into service regularly. Given Eloy’s general struggles staying healthy, that probably should be a priority anyhow.
Hahn has generally had success making trades for guys teams didn’t want to pay, so I put my money on Starling Marte being a target.