Afternoon updates: Rick Hahn, José Abreu win Sporting News honors

It’s not formally awards season, but the White Sox got a head start on taking home some hardware via the Sporting News. Rick Hahn was named the Executive of the Year, and José Abreu received the MLB Player of the Year nod.

A White Sox general manager hadn’t received the Executive of the Year honor since Bill Veeck in 1977, with Roland Hemond being the only other member of the franchise to take home the award five years before. You may remember that Kenny Williams was beat out for the honor by Mark Shapiro in 2005, so I suppose it’s payback that Hahn garnered the recognition despite the White Sox finishing behind the Indians.

The White Sox issued a press release with Hahn’s response:

“I am humbled by this honor – both because of the list of previous winners but also due to the absence of the names of so many of my co-workers who should join my name on this year’s award,” said Hahn. “I view this award as recognition of excellent work by many across the entire White Sox organization to set us up for a bright future. We don’t win this award without what Kenny Williams has meant to this organization for the past three decades nor without the tireless work and dedication of our scouts, player development personnel, coaches, clubhouse staff and front office personnel to whom I am indebted.”

Abreu became the third White Sox to be named MLB Player of the Year, joining Frank Thomas (1993) and Early Wynn (1959). Thomas ended up winning the AL MVP, while Wynn finished third behind Nellie Fox and Luis Aparicio in the voting that year.

If you’re wondering about any recent correlation, 13 of the last 14 Sporting News winners have taken home the MVP honors in his respective league, with Jose Altuve the only exception. He received the honors from the Sporting News in both 2016 and 2017, but while he won the MVP in 2017, he finished third in voting the year before behind Mike Trout and Mookie Betts.

* * * * * * * * *

The Offseason Plan Project can’t commence until MLB Trade Rumors releases its annual arbitration projections, and it did so this morning. But because this was a most unusual season, there’s a lot more uncertainty than usual in how the parties will go about figuring next year’s salaries.

MLBTR is trying to cover all possibilities by issuing three different projections based on potential methods for calculation:

  • Method 1: Applies model directly with actual statistics from this 60-game season
  • Method 2: Extrapolates all counting stats to would-be 162-game totals.  One home run becomes 2.7 home runs.
  • Method 3: For non-first-time eligibles, finds the raise they’d get in a 162-game season, then gives them 37 percent of that raise

Tim Dierkes previously reported that a record number of non-tenders are expected, so keep that in mind as you assess these numbers for the arb-eligible White Sox:

Adam Engel$1M$1.4M$1M
Jace Fry$800K$1M$800K
Lucas Giolito$2.5M$5.3M$2.5M
Reynaldo López$1.7M$2.2M$1.7M
Evan Marshall$1.3M$1.9M$1.4M
Nomar Mazara$5.6M$5.9M$5.7M
Carlos Rodón$4.5M$4.5M$4.5M

(Photo by Josh Nelson)

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Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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I am not following the intent of Method 3. What is it supposed to be conveying?


It reads like a more circuitous way of doing method 1, but the fact that Mazara sees a higher arb number in method 3 make it seem at least a little different?

But I have no idea what that difference is on the surface

Michael Kenny

Probably just a baseline for the other two, assuming their performance is consistent with previous years.


“Is Reynaldo worth $1.7-2.2 million,” is one of the biggest wild card questions to follow this off-season imo

I think they end up tendering him, but especially in this Covid suppressed environment, it is not cut and dry

Eagle Bones

Hes not great, but what kind of arm would that kind of money buy on the open market? Then again, if the owners really go full scrooge this offseason, maybe they can get someone better than him for that kind of money.


Not that it goes 1 for 1 to another player, but an extra 2 mil to sweeten the deal for bauer might be what it takes if he is really going to be a year by year merc.


The non-tendering around the league will have a larger effect than usual on my plan.


Things Rick Hahn did this year to win Exec of the Year:
– Passed on available managers to play the season out with Ricky only to fire him the moment the season ended when his best replacement options are confirmed cheaters and similarly inexperienced managers
– Manipulated Nick Madrigal’s service time to gain additional control rather than promoting him early on and fielding the best team possible all year in a year where the Sox missed winning the division by one game
– Failed to sign his primary target of Zach Wheeler
– Signed Steve Cishek and Edwin Encarnacion
– Chose not to add at the trade deadline
– Traded for Nomar Mazara

Non-sarcastic things Rick Hahn did this year to win Exec of the Year:
– Signed Yasmani Grandal
– Signed Dallas Keuchel when he missed on Wheeler

Even though I was generally in favor of the EE and Cishek signings at the time, I’m assuming we’re allowed to grade the moves as they played out, since that’s when the award is given out. So I guess the Grandal and Keuchel moves are enough to win the award?


I’d add the Abreu extension. It doesn’t look so bad any more, even if it was a courtesy signing…

Also – I’m guessing it’s more of an “exec of the last 3 years-ish” award. As brutal as the Shields trade was, the Sale, Quintana, and Eaton moves all look really, really good.


Luis Robert extension and promotion


Ill try to counter some of these.

Passed on available managers to play the season out with Ricky only to fire him the moment the season ended

Rick deserved to get a year to try his hand with a better team then rebuilding garbage. Plus, i believe the Sox were playing it like next year was supposed to be the full contending year.

Manipulated Nick Madrigal’s service time to gain additional control rather than promoting him early on

While service time manipulation is garbage the Sox are not the only team that does this. On top of that Madrigal missed a month from an injury. If he doesn’t get hurt maybe they win the division anyway and then he looks even smarter that he was able to get an extra year and still won it which the team was on pace to do.

Failed to sign his primary target of Zach Wheeler

If i remember correctly didn’t the sox offer the most money? He just picked Philly to stay close to family and to keep playing in the NL? Unlike the past offseason when the Sox wanted to finish 2nd in a big free agent this is one you cant really blame the sox for losing out on.

Chose not to add at the trade deadline

The sox seemed to be in a bit of a crappy spot for this years deadline. In that the farm system was very much top heavy and really did not have anything to deal unless they wanted to give up somebody like Vaughn or a player already on the main roster like Dunning.

Trooper Galactus

Thank you for not offering a counter for the Nomar Mazara trade. Good fucking lord, what a crap move.


meh. It was worth a shot. let’s see what Steele Walker turns out to be before denigrating the trade. I see it from a perspective of trying to catch lightning in a bottle while waiting on Springer.


It doesn’t have so much to do with Steele Walker in my view. It has everything to do with how it affected our ability to compete this year. A guy like Marcell Ozuna would have been nice for a season. He absolutely demolished pitching for the Braves this year.

That said if they get George Springer or some solid piece this offseason I won’t dwell on it.

As Cirensica

No… for rebuilding teams, it was worth a shot. For teams that are in contention with a solid core, these kind of moves bring unnecessary risks that subtract the contribution of the core. The stars and scrubs model does not work.


while Wynn finished third behind Nellie Fox and Luis Aparicio in the voting that year.

’59 was quite a year


My first glove was an Early Wynn model, which I guess automatically made him my favorite player at the time. I came along pretty late in his career, and the main thing I remember today about him pitching in games was that he really struggled trying to get that 300th win – and, unfortunately, that win came for Cleveland when he finally got it.

Some will also remember the year (mid 80s) they hired him for the radio booth, whew, that was rough.


“He’s got a cannon for a gun”


In 1982, the Sox added Early Wynn to the radio crew and Ken Harrelson to the TV crew. These were not improvements; happily, the product on the field was the strongest since 1977.


Like most of the people who follow this site, I live and die with the results of each game. In my case, that would be since 1960.

I’d just like to say that, in my 61 years as a White Sox fan, there has never been the collection of talent that the White Sox organization has today. Never. Not even close.

And the best part is, the future really looks great. These guys aren’t rentals, or high-priced free agents on big contracts that will sour long before their expiration date. They are young, controllable talent who are fun to watch, and on a trajectory that has most of us looking forward to the next five seasons.

It was built while working within significant budget constraints, trading three players we weren’t winning with in exchange for high ceiling prospects, identifying and signing international talent, and generally improving the organization in ways we may not recognize immediately.

Rick Hahn is at the core responsible for acquiring these players and building this organization.

He deserves this recognition.


I go back a few more years than you do and I agree with you 100%. The only other time they had young talent even close to what they have now was the group of future All Stars that Bill Veeck traded in the ’59/’60 off season.


I don’t know this story. Who did he trade away?


To pick up veterans like Roy Sievers and Minnie Minoso (again) after the 1959 World Series, Veeck traded away John Romano, Norm Cash, Earl Battey, Johnny Callison, and Don Mincher. Cash’s big corked-bat season came a couple years later, so in that sense he was the precursor to Sammy Sosa.

A catching tandem of Romano and Battey would have been pretty impressive in the mid-60s.


They had a lot of young talent in the early 1990s. Thomas, Ventura, McDowell, Fernandez, Alvarez, Bere (to a much lesser extent)

As Cirensica

The most expensive projected arb salaries belong to the worst two players on that list and should be non-tendered.


I was watching the Dodgers shellac the Braves and missed the first part of the Rays-Astros game when a Sox fan who lives by Petco used a megaphone to heckle the Astros:

With no fans at the stadium on Wednesday night for Game 4 of the American League Championship Series between the Astros and the Tampa Bay Rays, the voice coming from somewhere beyond the outfield could be heard loud and clear, listing each Houston player remaining on the roster from those seasons.

“Jose Altuve: You are a cheater, shame on you,” the man said. “Carlos Correa: You are a cheater, shame on you.”

For about 30 seconds in the Astros’ 4-3 win, Tim Kanter had done something many fans wished they could: Tell the players who won the 2017 World Series to their faces — or backs, to be more precise — how they felt.


I really hope the Astros dont win this series. It would be beyond annoying if those players get off free for cheating for years then win the title the next year. Especially how they acted after the rulings.

But its 2020 and nothing good can happen so of course they’re gonna come back from 3-0 and win the title again.


Who did the Sporting News name in 1972? Dick Allen was a god that year.

Ted Mulvey

A player from the same city but different team: Billy Williams.


Big mistake.


I’m probably not going to do an offseason plan. There’s so much uncertainty over the entire game this winter. The arbitration variables are just one example. Are teams going to budget as normal, or will they scale the budget back to make up for this year or in anticipation of attendance being way down next year? If budgets are lowered, will the free agent market freeze up as a result?

Will the coming CBA fight change teams’ approaches to this winter?

The shortened season and the absence of a minor league season impact how much teams know about their own players and other teams’ players. Trades are going to be difficult. The only Sox minor leaguers who have any real value in the marketplace are draftees from the last couple of years, players whose prospect shine is recent enough to still intrigue. So if you trade Collins or Burger or Mercedes or Rutherford, you’re basically throwing them in as fillers. No one will give you anything but their own filler for them. You’re left trading off your major league roster or using someone like Vaughn.

I can’t wrap my head around any of it, but I’ll be anxious to read what the rest of you come up with. And I hope by next winter the world, the White Sox, and my head are all in a better place.

As Cirensica

I hear you. I have been mulling it over and it just does not have the same feel. I am not even sure if we are gonna have a normal season. Covid19 is not going away anytime soon. We might have a fanless season again with who knows haw many games. Probably the owners will hate to have no fans and pay full salaries for a 162 games. No minor leagues. Lots of scouts out of their jobs. How can GM assess trades properly? Haw can you think of signing free agents with this much uncertainty?


I think most teams are going to budget based on your vision of the landscape. Any team that just plows ahead as normal will have their pick of free agents and trade targets. Ignoring the pandemic effects could be the new market inefficiency.


If we have regional differences where some stadiums allow more fans than others, that would create another wrinkle

karkovice squad

Haw can you think of signing free agents with this much uncertainty?

Sox attendance didn’t have as far to fall as everyone else. They have a good TV deal and ratings were up. There’s windfall money from the new national TV deal. They found new advertising opportunities.

The business case for buying low on good talent in a depressed market is pretty strong for them. Choosing not to spend would be done in pursuit of some other agenda.

karkovice squad

The uncertainty here seems like a much more realistic sketch of the future than the one showing everything as absolutely great, praise Hahn.


ah, i see asinwreck beat me to it. well done asinwreck.


some even labeling him a hero or deserving of an award. Told of this, Kanter laughed.
“This is going to sound really corny: We studied heroes in mythology classes, and they’re half-god and half-man,” he said. “I assure you that I’m 100 percent a man and totally flawed in the ways that we all are.


I think Rodon is addition by subtraction at this point. Let him go duck hunting while the Sox look to shore up the rotation.

Don’t go away mad. Just go away.