Given how easy it is for even their fans to forget about the Chicago White Sox’s existence, the most notable thing about baseball’s ongoing annual general manager meetings has probably been that several reporters for national outlets have written about the team, whose most recent campaign was highlighted by a variety of bizarre injuries to first baseman José Abreu’s dick-and-balls area. The theme of these reports is consistent: The team, which has no good players, could be considering an attempt to acquire some.
Two days ago, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal proclaimed that “if ever there was a time for the White Sox to spend, it’s this winter.” Why would it be time for a team that never spends any money and lost 100 games this year in their sixth straight losing season to spend money? The team’s TV deal, Rosenthal reported, is in its last guaranteed year, and the Sox “expect to enter into a joint venture with the Bulls and Blackhawks.”
That makes for bright times on the South Side. Bringing, as they do, hundreds of fans to the table, the Sox will surely come out with lots of money from such a deal; on top of that, they have lots of money right now since they don’t spend any paying players. (The team projects to spend about $63 million on its current roster next year.) General manager Rick Hahn should thus be flush with cash, and national writers are picking up on the team’s signals that they are aware of this, and aware that other people are also aware of it.
Yesterday, MLB.com’s Jon Paul Morosi wrote an article about what people say the White Sox would like to and could do this winter:
Sources told MLB.com earlier this week that the White Sox have interest in free-agent outfielder Bryce Harper and infielder Manny Machado. On Tuesday, sources also said the White Sox will pursue top free-agent starting pitchers, such as Patrick Corbin and J.A. Happ. [...] Hahn could sign Harper, Machado or Corbin this winter — or perhaps even two of the three.
Today, Fancred’s Jon Heyman identified a potential Sox spending spree as the single biggest storyline of the GM meetings, noting it’s possible they could even consider attempting to sign a star player:
[The Sox] look like they are itching to spend the loot they’ve been saving the past few years as they rebuild. That could mean a look at Machado or possibly Harper, with Machado, a player they targeted in trade last winter before the Orioles decided to hold him until July, perhaps the more likely of the two huge stars for the South Siders.
Hahn, for his part, is basking in the national spotlight, ably getting across the excitement of White Sox baseball at every opportunity. Earlier this week, talking to reporters about the possibility that his team might be interested in looking at good players or even talking to their agents, he made a hard and convincing pitch to skeptics who might wonder why a future Hall of Famer would want to play for the White Sox, stressing the importance of buying into the team’s culture.
“We lost,” he said, “100 games.”
Disclosure: The author of this piece has been provided Gordon Beckham’s used footwear by the Chicago White Sox, and has been sent a Hawk Harrelson alarm clock by a White Sox enthusiast. His opinions are his own.