In this short series, yours truly, the BeefLoaf attempts to examine WTF Rick Hahn is doing with the White Sox? I’ll dig high and low (while possibly intoxicated) to try and decipher what is going on and also what alternate path I might take. BUT FIRST….the tale of the tape.
Position: White Sox General Manager aka CEO and shit of the Rebuild
Education: Harvard, Northwestern, Michigan
Accomplishments: 2016 Hot Stove Champion; 2018 Payroll Championship Runner-Up
Likes: Corny Catch Phrases
Position: 4th best blogger for Section 108
Education: BCA, DeLaSalle and Dominican University of Illinois (DUI for short)
The back end of the bullpen is a spot where Rick Hahn did actually reinforce with some real parts, the trade for Alex Colome (basically a salary dump by the Mariners) and the free agent signing of Kelvin Herrera represent upgrades over the incumbents in the White Sox bullpen. I’m generally not a fan of paying market price for most of your high leverage bullpen innings, it seems like bad business, especially on a non-contending team. When these signings occurred, I gave them the tentative thumbs up of a “this seems ooooo-kay”. I have since changed my tune on that, but we’ll get to that shortly. I am not ready to jump to the conclusion that the White Sox bullpen is much improved over last season, Joakim Soria was terrific out there last year, Luis Avilan wasn’t too shabby either and the White Sox shed them in trades. The signings above represent a moderate improvement over two back-end options….well, and something else.
What about the prospects?
Last year was a year in which we started seeing some of the fruits of Rick Hahn’s previous labor, Jace Fry and Aaron Bummer both showed reliable last year and a bunch of other young relievers, namely Ian Hamilton, Ryan Burr (who’s major league debut the 108ers saw in Detroit, he pitched mad af), Jose Ruiz, Thyago Vieira and Caleb Frare (the later tree cumming over in trades for Int’l Spending Cap $$$) debuted to varying results. WAIT!! Let’s clear something up that I have read everywhere, which is total bullshit. I have read that the White Sox couldn’t use their International $$$ to sign July 2 prospects. While it is true they were in the penalty and weren’t able to spend more than $300K on any individual prospect, they were still free to sign as many of those prospects as their cap would take on. That’s exactly what AJ Preller did, under similar penalty. It is unclear to me which is better, but to say the White Sox “couldn’t use the $$$” is total bullshit. Anywho, the future looks pretty bright in the bullpen, even if only Fry and another arm here (pick’em out of a hat, I hope it’s Burr, because I like watching angry mufuckaz pitch) make it, that’s a nizzz little start to a bullpen.
Oh yea, Nate Jones, Juan Minaya and Dylan Covey are still kicking around here as well. They are a veritable wild card of potential outcomes, but Nate’s been really good in the past, Minaya has been mediocre and Covey has shown some upside, so it’s possible out of this group you get 1 dependable arm as well. That’s a really nice start to a bullpen, non-contending team or not.
Aren’t you forgetting a few people??
Yes, but I am doing that on purpose, because I need to finish big and I don’t really know what to do with my hands right now. Okay, fuck it, let’s end this shit.
WTF is Rick Hahn doing?
At first, I really wasn’t sure what Rick Hahn was doing and if I wrote this a month ago, I probably would’ve come to an entirely different fucking conclusion. Hahn is clearly BUILDING DEPTH in the bullpen. There, I said it. The signings to reinforce the back end of the bullpen not only make the 2019 team better, but they make the 2020 and future teams better. Yes, I actually see an effort by Hahn to squirrel away talent. Kodi Medeiros had to join the 40 man this year, but other promising bullpen arms that still aren’t on the 40 man roster include, former 1st round pick Zack Burdi, Tyler Johnson and Zach Thompson. This is not to mention any failed starters along the way that will end up converted. Hahn has clearly made a point of stocking up on bullpen arms to be able to withstand injury and prospect failure. This is how you build depth in a position. This is how you ensure that you have low cost internal options to fill in when players get hurt, are ineffective or move on in free agency. This is where you utilize your depth to trade a higher cost player of the same position for something else you need and fill in with your own on hand talent. The bullpen, along with the outfield both seem primed and ready for the next half decade, we’ll see if the rest of the organization improves along with it.
If you read through all 4 of these posts, I want to thank you for lending your weary eyes to look through my thoughts on the current roster. I’m skeptical, but optimistic that Rick Hahn will continue to look for improvements all across and not settle for thinking he did a good job a couple of winters ago by just starting this process, we are probably 40% of the way there, still A LOT to go.