Rick Hahn negotiated the long-term contracts for two franchise icons. - Jonathan Daniel
Rick Hahn was one of the first hires of the Kenny Williams era 12 years ago. Today, he takes over Williams' old job. What happened in between?
With Rick Hahn taking over as the new general manager for the White Sox, let's take a look at how he got to where is today. Literally today, in this case.
Taking a sweep through the archives, references to Hahn's direct influence became increasingly sparse, likely because his role in contract negotiations became a given.
Nov. 28, 2000
The departure of assistant GM Dan Evans leaves the White Sox short an experienced negotiator, so the organization makes a pair of hires. Dennis Gilbert is the headliner because his employment might be a baseball first -- a former agent working for an owner. The undercard hire is Winnetka native Rick Hahn, an associate at sports agency Steinberg, Moorad & Dunn, who steps into the role of director of major-league administration. (Chicago Sun-Times, Nov. 29, 2000)
Feb. 16, 2002
The White Sox promote Hahn to assistant general manager. (Sun-Times, Feb. 17, 2002)
Nov. 14, 2002
The White Sox sign Paul Konerko to a three-year, $23 million extension. Hahn is credited with brokering the deal, and the negotiations are considered "hassle-free." (Sun-Times, Nov. 15, 2002).
March 10, 2003
Long-term extension talks with Mark Buehrle break down, resulting in a one-year, $445,000 deal. Sources say the last deal on the table was potentially worth five years and $27 million, but Hahn says Buehrle and agent Jeff Berry wouldn't go for the club option in the fifth year, which would buy out his first year of free agency. (Sun-Times, March 11, 2003)
Dec. 11, 2003
During the winter meetings, Hahn and Buehrle finally agree on an extension for three years and $18 million guaranteed and a $9.5 million club option for 2007. Buehrle comments on the previous deal, saying he thought he could do better than $11 million guaranteed and two option years instead of one. (Daily Herald, Dec. 12, 2003).
July 6, 2004
In late June, the White Sox surprised baseball by sending a package of highly touted prospects (Miguel Olivo, Jeremy Reed and Michael Morse) to Seattle for the prize of the deadline season, Freddy Garcia. Garcia is set to become a free agent at the end of the year, but Hahn and Williams are able to sign him to a three-year, $27 million extension. (Sun-Times, July 7, 2005)
Nov. 30, 2005
Though the negotiations aren't as tidy thanks to the open market, Konerko signs an extension worth five years and $60 million.
Feb. 14, 2006
In commenting about the Rob Mackowiak trade, Hahn says, "`Everyone thought we got him as an insurance policy for Joe Crede at third base, but you know what? This guy can really play some center field.'' They can't all be winners. (Sun-Times, Feb. 15, 2006)
Feb. 14, 2007
The White Sox tack "vice president" onto his assistant general manager title. (Daily Herald, Feb. 15, 2007)
July 8, 2007
With Williams in San Francisco for the All-Star Game, Hahn and Buehrle work out a four-year, $56 million extension. Both sides gave up some ground in the prolonged negotiations -- Buehrle didn't get a complete no-trade clause, but the Sox offered him full protection in the first year, and salary escalators in the event the Sox struck a deal before Buehrle's 10-and-5 rights kicked in.
Williams would later say that he had sat on trade proposals for tabout the negotiations:
"I sat on something for about two weeks that I could have done at any moment. I held out hope that something would ultimately change, and thank goodness for the patience of Rick Hahn and his skills because had I been handling it directly, [Buehrle] would be wearing another uniform." (Sun-Times, Feb. 18, 2008).
Sept. 15, 2007
Oct. 13, 2007
The St. Louis Cardinals interview Hahn for their general manager vacancy after firing Walt Jocketty. Hahn removes himself from consideration after the World Series. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Oct. 13, 2007 and Nov. 1, 2007)
Sept. 22, 2008
Five-year-old Jake Hahn tells his father that the coin toss for home field in the event a one-game playoff between the White Sox and Minnesota Twins would land on "heads." Father adheres to the sage advice, and Game 163 would be played at U.S. Cellular Field. (Daily Herald, Oct. 5, 2008)
Oct. 13, 2008
July 31, 2009
Hahn and Williams convince Jerry Reinsdorf to approve a deal for Jake Peavy 90 minutes before their last-second deal that sent Aaron Poreda, Clayton Richard, Adam Russell and Dexter Carter to San Diego. (Daily Herald, Aug. 2, 2009)
March 12, 2010
Hahn tops Baseball America's "Top GM Prospects" list
March 22, 2010
"[GM] Kenny [Williams], [VP of Communications] Scott [Reifert], I'm sure [assistant GM] Rick Hahn will say he didn't have nothing to do with anything because he's always involved but when you ask him I guess he just goes behind peoples' back and says whatever.''
Oct. 13, 2010
Dec. 3, 2010
On the verge of signing with another team, A.J. Pierzynski calls the Sox to give them one last shot. Hahn calls back, and the two sides work out a backloaded, two-year, $8 million deal in "10 to 15 minutes." (Daily Herald, Dec. 4, 2010)
Oct. 29, 2011
Sept. 20, 2012
The USA Today reports that the White Sox will promote Hahn to general manager.
Oct. 26, 2012
The White Sox officially promote Hahn to the position of senior vice president and general manager.