While new Chicago White Sox general manager Rick Hahn has only been in power for a short time, already some big moves (as well as non-moves) are making waves here in the Windy City. One thing fresh in all Sox fans’ minds is the loss of catcher A.J. Pierzynski. Everyone knew Hahn, as well as Kenny Williams, wanted to give the young Tyler Flowers a chance to prove his worth. Was that the best move? I would have to lean towards no. I’ve compared Pierzynski and Flowers on a few occasions this past offseason, and while Hahn says he doesn’t see anything lost from promoting Flowers, that is certainly not the case as Flowers’ offensive numbers pale in comparison and absolutely nothing points toward them getting any better with more regular playing time.
However, the decision to let Pierzynski walk to the Texas Rangers partially has to do with another move Hahn made early in the offseason: the contract extension for Jake Peavy. This deal, along with the signing of third baseman Jeff Keppinger, has the White Sox looking at a payroll for the 2013 season at nearly $110 million. So do the Pale Hose even have anything left that they can afford to go out there and get somebody with? Taking a look at their current roster, it’s obvious the team is set with starting pitching. No matter what anyone says, this team can always, always use more bullpen help. This is what Hahn should really be after as the offseason draws to a close.
Right now, the bullpen for next year will most likely consist of Jesse Crain, Matt Thornton, Addison Reed, Nate Jones… and the remaining spots taken up by a pool of seven or eight so-so pitchers, most of whom would be more suited on the AAA roster for an entire season. It would be really awesome if Hahn could shore up the bullpen before it’s too late. Surprises like Sergio Santos and Nate Jones can’t keep happening over and over.
Apparently, it seems the new GM is more interested in another left-handed bat. Rumors are pointing towards lefty outfielder Jason Kubel, who has also taken some time at designated hitter. Just in case Adam Dunn slips back a little bit, having Kubel on the bench for some insurance wouldn’t be bad. However, this doesn’t seem too pressing. But, it’s somehow all that seems to be on the White Sox’s radar right now.
Overall, Hahn barely gets a passing grade at this point. The couple moves he’s made so far are going to take some time to come to fruition. Hopefully, Peavy continues to do well, and Keppinger adjusts to full-time duty smoothly. But Hahn could’ve made a bigger splash in his first year. There’s still some time left for that to happen, but it looks like Hahn may be standing pat with what he’s got.