Posted on January 28, 2017 by Bryan Zarpentine
The Chicago White Sox have spent the winter engaged in what can only be described as a mini-fire sale. The White Sox have traded ace Chris Sale to the Red Sox and Adam Eaton to the Nationals, and they may not be done yet. Speaking publicly on Friday, White Sox GM Rick Hahn intimated that more trades could be on the horizon, even with time dwindling down until the start of spring training next month. Starter Jose Quintana, closer David Robertson, and third baseman Todd Frazier would be the most likely players to be traded.
Hahn didn’t guarantee any or all of those players would be traded, but he implied that he’d like to continue making moves. “The way I’d characterize it is the same way after we did the (Eaton) trade, and that is if we had our druthers we would continue to make transactions like that one and the Sale deal in rapid succession,” Hahn said.
At this point, it’s impossible for Hahn to deny that the White Sox are going through a large-scale rebuilding process. However, he does say that he’s resisting the urge to rush the process, as he continues to hold out for the right trade.
“Our desire is to get through this process and build a sustainable core of talented players as quickly as possible,” Hahn says. “Unfortunately our desire, our impatience, our eagerness isn’t what’s going to dictate this market or the schedule of these moves. The timing of many of these moves is going to be based upon the market and our ability to get similar value and what we feel is appropriate value.”
In the case of Quintana, many teams have expressed interest, but those teams appear to be slowly dropping out of the race to acquire him with spring training fast approaching, as the White Sox don’t appear to be willing to budge on the high price tag they have on Quintana. Of course, with Quintana being under contract for four more seasons, the White Sox are in no rush to trade him if they don’t get the kind of offer they want.
Frazier and Robertson have received less interest, but both have heard their names mentioned in rumors this winter, and both could still end up being traded before the start of the season. Hahn admits that it could be a difficult situation for those players if they end up staying in Chicago for the 2017 season.
“It’s obviously out there,” Hahn said. “We’re all aware of it. I’m aware of it. I’m sure the players, when they see their names, they’re aware of it. It’s just the nature of the business now and the day and age we live in.”
Naturally, a veteran like Frazier says he isn’t bothered by all the trade talk this winter. “We know the business, how it is. I talked with Rick yesterday, everything looks pretty good,” Fraizer said. “I probably still could get traded, you never know, that’s just the way it goes. But my focus, right now, is on spring training and building relationships right now with the team.”
Quintana, meanwhile, has spent his entire big league career with the White Sox and is less accustomed to being the focal point of trade talk, although he says he’s not bothered by it. “I hear a lot about trades this year, but I don’t have control over that,” said the lefty. “I’m happy to be here, and I have new teammates this year. We have some good talent this year, and I’m here. I have all my focus on the White Sox.”
At this stage in the offseason, trade talk is starting to quiet down, but Hahn still seems intent on keeping his options open and considering every possibility with regard to trades. The players connected to the trade talk don’t appear to be bothered by it, but it’s still too early to know for sure if those players will be in Chicago when the season gets underway and if they’ll be able to remain focused after a winter full of trade rumors.