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February 24, 2020
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White Sox still not satisfied: ‘Ask me after the parade’

White Sox still not satisfied: 'Ask me after the parade'
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Scott Merkin

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CHICAGO — General manager Rick Hahn just might have come up with a new White Sox slogan while answering a question about the team’s offseason buzz during a press conference in the lead-up to SoxFest.
“In terms of feeling like we’ve accomplished something or [are] feeling satisfied,” Hahn said Thursday

CHICAGO — General manager Rick Hahn just might have come up with a new White Sox slogan while answering a question about the team’s offseason buzz during a press conference in the lead-up to SoxFest.

“In terms of feeling like we’ve accomplished something or [are] feeling satisfied,” Hahn said Thursday at Guaranteed Rate Field, “ask me after the parade.”

To be honest, both Hahn’s demeanor and outlook have not changed since this rebuild began at the 2016 Winter Meetings. All of the excitement derived from the talented young players — acquired via trades or the more recent free-agent additions — is tremendous. But it’s ultimately about winning.

Not just winning games and sliding past .500. Hahn has talked championships, and multiple ones at that. So even after an extraordinarily busy offseason, when the White Sox announced the close of their rebuild and a hopeful move into the American League playoff picture, Hahn is avoiding a celebratory bat flip or taking a victory lap.

“Quite candidly, we haven’t accomplished anything yet, we haven’t won yet,” Hahn said. “This whole process was about winning championships, was about finishing with a parade at the end of October down Michigan Avenue.

“Until that happens, I don’t think any of us are really in a position to feel satisfied or feel like we’ve accomplished anything,” Hahn continued. “We’ve had a nice winter. We’ve had, frankly, in our opinion, a real nice three years since we started with the Chris Sale trade. We think very bright days are ahead of us, and we look forward to enjoying them.”

This offseason featured the addition of catcher Yasmani Grandal, left-handed starters Dallas Keuchel and Gio Gonzalez, reliever Steve Cishek and designated hitter Edwin Encarnación through free agency. José Abreu returned via a three-year, $50 million deal, while the White Sox extended center fielder Luis Robert, the top outfield prospect in all of baseball per MLB Pipeline, before he played a single big league inning. Left-handed-hitting right fielder Nomar Mazara also was brought in via trade from Texas.

Take a quick journey back to Hahn’s press conference to close the 2019 season, and he pretty much laid out this basic plan of attack without specifically going into players targeted. Hahn revealed Thursday that at least one person in media relations thought he was a bit too transparent in that press conference, maybe setting the bar a little high. But Chicago was able to check off every box toward team improvement.

Now, the focus is winning in-season. Count manager Rick Renteria as one individual not afraid to mention lofty White Sox goals in this area.

“I would be disappointed if we don’t make the postseason. That would be accurate,” said Renteria, who also spoke at Thursday’s press conference. “We want to break through. We want this to be an impactful season.

“You can’t force those things. You have to allow them to play themselves out. But man for man, now we at least have a little bit more ammunition to be able to go out and compete, hopefully, on a consistent basis and put those victories on the board.”

Hahn said the White Sox are probably done at this point with any major acquisitions, but they are still debating various potential smaller additions. There could be an occasional trade idea or free-agent signing picking up a little steam, so he would never say never.

It will be the young core of this team that ultimately dictates how far Chicago can jump in 2020. Its growth will certainly be aided by talented veteran additions who have been through the postseason battles with a focus on ending an 11-year playoff drought and title drought dating back to ’05.

“We’re certainly pleased,” Hahn said. “We know that whether it’s over the course of the next few weeks or the course of the next few months, there’s still more work to do to get us to where we want to be. But in terms of the work done over the last few months, we’re certainly pleased.”

“We are going to be what we are going to be,” Renteria said. “If we do our job and we go about preparing and, hopefully, the actions and performances come to fruition, we should be on top of the victory column in terms of wins and losses.”

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and Facebook and listen to his podcast.



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