Мобильный 1 Add news
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010June 2010July 2010
August 2010
September 2010October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011March 2011April 2011May 2011June 2011July 2011August 2011September 2011October 2011November 2011December 2011January 2012February 2012March 2012April 2012May 2012June 2012July 2012August 2012September 2012October 2012November 2012December 2012January 2013February 2013March 2013April 2013May 2013June 2013July 2013August 2013September 2013October 2013November 2013December 2013January 2014February 2014March 2014April 2014May 2014June 2014July 2014August 2014September 2014October 2014November 2014December 2014January 2015February 2015March 2015April 2015May 2015June 2015July 2015August 2015September 2015October 2015November 2015December 2015January 2016February 2016March 2016April 2016May 2016June 2016July 2016August 2016September 2016October 2016November 2016December 2016January 2017February 2017March 2017April 2017May 2017June 2017July 2017August 2017September 2017October 2017November 2017December 2017January 2018February 2018March 2018April 2018May 2018June 2018July 2018August 2018September 2018October 2018November 2018December 2018January 2019February 2019March 2019April 2019May 2019June 2019July 2019August 2019September 2019October 2019November 2019December 2019January 2020February 2020March 2020April 2020May 2020June 2020July 2020August 2020September 2020October 2020November 2020December 2020January 2021February 2021March 2021April 2021May 2021June 2021July 2021August 2021September 2021October 2021November 2021December 2021January 2022February 2022March 2022April 2022May 2022June 2022July 2022
News Every Day |

The White Sox Plague, Part 2: The Front Office

Kansas City Royals v Chicago White Sox
It’s been a long decade, Rick Hahn and Ken Williams. | David Banks/Getty Images

When you’re set up to fail, you don’t necessarily have to commit to it so hard

Welcome to the next part of my ongoing series on analyzing the symptoms of the disease that is the 2022 White Sox. Having examined the “contributions” of ownership to this fandemic, let’s now delve into the people that are putting the team on the field; GM Rick Hahn and team president Ken Williams.

When Rick Hahn took over the GM’s chair after the 2012 season, the White Sox were coming off of an 85-win season and narrowly missed a division title and playoff appearance with a late-season collapse. The rotation was bolstered by the breakouts of Chris Sale and José Quintana, with Hector Santiago also on the rise. Adam Dunn and Alex Rios had rebounded from their disastrous 2011 seasons. Paul Konerko continued to be a middle-of-the-order threat. Dayan Viciedo flashed his potential with a 25-home run campaign. Gordon Beckham was totally gonna have his big breakout any day now, seriously.

Times were good.

Sadly, ensuing events showed how skin-deep the good vibes were, and the entire house of cards came crashing down quickly. It immediately became apparent that Ken Williams had left Hahn quite the mess to clean up, which gave the new GM quite a bit of leeway with fans for the ensuing lack of success and his many blunders along the way. However, having needed nine seasons just to put together a single winning squad, and with the franchise health looking as shaky as ever beneath the surface, what exactly is the malady here, in 2022?

Trading a brighter future for a shittier present

As discussed in the ownership installment, the White Sox, by nature, operate their franchise very much in the near term. Until the 2017 teardown, there was little planning beyond a two- or three-year period. Prospects flamed out quickly, long-term contracts for veterans were avoided, and trades usually involved a quick fix with a poor or nonexistent long-term outlook.

Living in the now was very much how Williams ran the team, except he was a lot better at pulling it off than Hahn was. Where Ken traded away ash and trash to acquire major contributors like José Contreras, Freddy García, Jake Peavy, and Matt Thornton, Rick’s track record includes a series of disasters including Jeff Samardzija, Yonder Alonso, Nomar Mazara, and James Shields.

It’s bad enough when you actively making your team worse with moves like these, but trading away players who would go on to become stars in their own right just compounds the failure. As a fan, it’s galling to watch the likes of Marcus Semien, Chris Bassitt, and Fernando Tatís Jr. morph into All-Stars knowing they could have been doing it on the South Side.

This is not to say that the talent given up is the primary problem. Nobody’s lamenting the loss of Alex Call or Justin Yurchak, but when the guys they’re bringing in are so bad they can’t even last the season on a team that’s trying to lose, that’s not a good look.

Free agent landmines

Free agency is a risky business, so it’s no wonder the risk-averse White Sox tend not to be major players in it. However, not signing mega-deals shouldn’t be a hinderance to finding productive players on the open market. Sadly, Hahn’s track record reads like Sideshow Bob stepping into rakes.

Sure, Hahn has had recent/limited successes like Carlos Rodón and Johnny Cueto, but it’s hard to give him to much credit for those when he released the former from the team before signing him after striking out in free agency elsewhere and didn’t sign the latter until literally Opening Day after losing one of his incumbents in spring training. That looks less like prudent planning and more like, “Eh, may as well give it a try.”

But fans are far more familiar with signings like Jeff Keppinger, Adam Eaton, Adam LaRoche, Felipe Paulino, Emilio Bonifacio, Dioner Navarro, Austin Jackson, and Jimmy Rollins. Among others, these were players signed to solve a roster need who promptly provided negative value production. And hey, criticize spending $330 million on Bryce Harper all you want; it’s a lot more efficient to throw $25 million a year at him for 4-6 WAR than dump $4 to $12 million into an instant DFA candidate.

I could stand for the team to sign a guy who everybody thinks will be good to a big contract only for it to go bad. What I can’t stand is for them to keep signing players whose benefit to the roster is dubious at best because of their bargain price, and having to watch said players shit the bed year after year.

Poor resource allocation

Discussed ad nauseum in the preseason podcasts (hint: Check out the SSS pod), now that the White Sox are finally spending, their allocation of said spending is just plain weird. No other team invested such a massive proportion of their payroll in their bullpen, and that’s even after the Dodgers bailed out Hahn by trading for Craig Kimbrel’s exorbitant option year.

On the one hand, it’s difficult to complain that the White Sox feel price is no object when it comes to relievers. Kendall Graveman has been a needed addition, and Joe Kelly seems like he will be a positive contributor even as he struggles with various maladies. Liam Hendriks has been arguably the best reliever in the AL during his White Sox stint. Sure, that’s more than $30 million of relief arms, but that’s an acceptable return on investment for a team looking to win.

The problem is that commitment to spending to fill a need does not really extend to the rest of the roster. Yasmani Grandal was one notable exception to this, and despite his performance falling off a cliff this season his contract is still well above water. Hey, record spending for the franchise worked out! But spending to get an outfielder? A second baseman? A frontline starter? Perish the thought.

I wish this were something isolated, but the repetitious nature of the problem makes it impossible to ignore. When people come at me with the line that there was nobody better available last offseason, they conveniently ignore that Hahn has had multiple offseasons to address these problems. This is why instead of having a guy like George Springer in the outfield or Trevor Story at second base we’re stuck with overstretched utility players and/or flinging first basemen everywhere and hoping they don’t kill themselves.

Waves of talent hitting the breakwater

One of the promises of the rebuild was a commitment to rebuilding the farm system, creating waves of talent which could sustain a competitive major league team and provide trade capital when needed. Indeed, the farm was rebuilt, and fed the team enough talent to create a postseason contender. Sadly, none of it was sustainable.

With the Sale and Eaton trades, the White Sox overnight went from a bottom-five farm system to one of the better ones in the league. The Quintana and David Robertson/Tommy Kahnle/Todd Frazier trades further gave the system a much-needed shot in the arm. Top 5 draft picks were eventually added to the mix. Things were looking up.

While the above are all fine and good, they are not sustainable sources of talent. A cost-controlled young talent like Sale is not a repeatable trade asset. Top 5 picks should not be part of the plan for a club intending to win. Second- and third-tier prospects have to step up to fill in the gaps as the first-tier players inevitably get promoted.

And therein lies a big part of the problem. While most of the first-tier prospects did eventually matriculate, they mostly came from outside of the organization or were early first round draftees. When it came to developing rawer prospects, the returns just were not there, and watching fringe prospects like Luis González and Semien turn into real contributors elsewhere is not a good reflection of the minor league system this front office has put together. The failure to get serious value out of less-heralded talent will continue to be a hinderance to extending any competitive window.

The Man Behind the Curtain

Williams took, and rightly deserved, a great deal of criticism for the state of the franchise after his promotion to team president. The end of his tenure saw the White Sox farm system universally considered a laughingstock (which was pretty consistent with the middle and beginning of his tenure, too) and a roster loaded down with aging veterans. Basically, he pulled the pin, discarded the spool, and handed the grenade off to Hahn, running away while counting to five.

... or was it three?

Williams has since settled into a boogeyman role, where his primary purpose seems to be to just hang around out of sight to deflect blame from Hahn. Every bad move was clearly the result of Ken still pulling some of the strings behind the scenes; surely the boy wonder GM wasn’t to blame here! To be fair, KW’s day-to-day role remains ambiguous even a decade later, and that’s probably by design.

On occasion, however, Williams has been notably involved in White Sox business, particularly with the scouting and signing of José Abreu and Luis Robert. So while he’s mostly a deposit point for excess fan anger, at least there’s a couple positive contributions we can point to on his behalf.

Seriously, though, not to be a Bob and all, but what is it you do here, Ken?

Even after decades of being a White Sox fan, I can’t get past the penny foolish/pound wise operations of the White Sox front office. On the rare occasions this team spends money, it generally turns out well. Of the 10 free agent contracts over $30 million in the history of the franchise (yes, 10), only Adam Dunn and Dallas Keuchel could be considered truly disappointing, and in retrospect both of those players contributed meaningfully to competitive teams during their respective tenures.

Unfortunately for White Sox fans, the team tends to go shopping more often in the $5-25 million range, and the returns there are absolutely atrocious. Of the 27 free agent contracts in that range, nearly half were complete disasters, and you have to go all the way back to A.J. Pierzynski’s 2011-12 contract to find even a 3.0-bWAR season out of one of them.

To be fair, this front office does have its strengths. The trades which kicked off the rebuild successfully built a new core of players. The White Sox presence in the Cuban market is unmatched, and the returns continue to be excellent, even in the minors. Arguably no team has more aggressively signed its up-and-coming talent to extensions, which have mostly been to the team’s benefit.

But building a foundation is not enough. When it comes to finishing the house, Hahn is using substandard materials and employing shoddy workmanship. When the basement starts to leak, he’s relying on buckets instead of a sump pump, to predictable results.

As discussed previously, Rick Hahn is operating under certain restrictions. But a competent GM would be able to work around them to create a truly finished product, and not just another flash in the pan.

Read also

Watch Seb Bouin Do Hard First Ascents at a Lesser-Known French Crag

Accounts of Trump angrily demanding to go Capitol were known

Opinion: Scarlett, Devine and White: The plan for next season at Tottenham

Прямой эфир РБК. Главные новости России и мира сегодня (Прямой эфир ежедневно)

News, articles, comments, with a minute-by-minute update, now on Today24.pro

News Every Day

Athletics’ Adrian Martinez will get starting assignment in Seattle

Today24.pro — latest news 24/7. You can add your news instantly now — here

News Every Day

Athletics’ Adrian Martinez will get starting assignment in Seattle

Sports today

Новости тенниса

WTA добавила в календарь новые турниры

Спорт в России и мире

Во второй день чемпионата России кубанские гребцы выиграли 4 награды


All sports news today


Sports in Russia today



Новости России

Game News

Вильфанд предупредил об аномальной жаре в Москве в начале июля


Губернаторы России
Ирина Будеева

Бортовое питание «а-ля рюс»: в самолете перевозчика S7 Airlines пассажирке подали рыбу с червями

КБГУ и ЛГПУ утвердили совместные образовательные программы

Что с сайтом 123ru.net (нас читают и публикуются у нас). Уже более 70 млн. просмотров в мире.

Пересдача ОГЭ по математике в 2022 году: какие задания ожидают школьников

Колумнист Newsweek написала о возможности начала войны между Россией и США в Сирии

Филипп Киркоров с размахом отпраздновал день рождения сына. Среди гостей были Татьяна Навка, Тимати, Яна Рудковская

Министр правительства Волкова рассказала о развитии электронных торгах в Подмосковье

«Ну, вперед!»: Розенбаум высказался о речи лидера ДДТ Шевчука на концерте в Уфе

Жителей и гостей Пушкиногорья приглашают послушать музыку Грига

Тренер Надаля: Пока Рафа борется за "Большие шлемы", он будет играть. Ему нравится соревноваться

Лоренцо Сонего выступит в третьем раунде The Championships

"Челси" заинтересован в Зинченко

Новак Джокович: Семья Беккера может рассчитывать на меня в полной мере. Борис для меня как член семьи

Московские врачи за сутки вылечили 226 человек от коронавируса

Собянин открыл движение по новым эстакадам в ТиНАО

За 10 лет в ТиНАО построено и реконструировано 10 очистных сооружений

Собянин рассказал о стремительном развитии Новой Москвы

Футбольный стадион в Оренбурге допустили к проведению матчей РПЛ

В Уфе в рамках акции «Каникулы с Росгвардией» олимпийский чемпион Семен Елистратов провёл мастер-класс с детьми

«Карта болельщика» будет работать на матчах РПЛ в Нижнем Новгороде с 4 июля

Киркоров показал, как поздравил сына с 10-летием

Названо уникальное достижение Алипа в "Зените"

С легким паром! Выбираем отели с банными комплексами в Подмосковье

Спасатели ГКУ МО «Мособлпожспас» потушили загоревшийся автомобиль, попавший в ДТП в Ступино

Посетители парков в 22 округах Подмосковья смогут проверить здоровье

Путин в России и мире

Персональные новости

Юрий Шатунов

Друг Юры Шатунова рассказал, верил ли певец в проклятие «Ласкового мая»

News Every Day

Canadian Wood Council mass timber fire test performed as expected

Friends of Today24

Музыкальные новости
"Воскресенье " Олег Митяев

Персональные новости
Близкий друг Путина миллиардер Пугачев. Вся правда о Путине, его семье и деньгах. В гостях у Гордона (2021)

Навальный об уволенном за пост священнике (2021)

Slava Marlow – суперуспех и депрессия в 21 год / вДудь (2021)

Обнаглевшие дети путинской элиты (2021)

Дайте собакам мяса (новый звук) -Владимир Высоцкий

Группа "Рождество" - песня "Так хочется жить!" (Видео с концерта в Киеве группы "РОЖДЕСТВО" в 2011 году в Доме офицеров)

Adriano Celentano Любимая песня Челентано (высочайшая энергетика) talentTV