With the general managers meetings hitting their stride in Phoenix, Rick Hahn has debriefed the media in various sessions.
The points he hit may not surprise anybody on an individual basis, but the answers align nicely with the discussions we've been having here early in the offseason. Put them all together, and he seems to be framing the White Sox's hot stove season in a pretty healthy perspective.
On contending: "We sit here on the one hand realizing that we have the prime of Chris Sale's career ahead of us, the prime of Jose Abreu's career ahead of us and wanting to make sure we're in a position to capitalize and win within that window. We want to win, we want to win again quickly and we want to win again repeatedly in the coming years. … We still have work to do to continue that process."
On free agency: "We aren’t going to be precluded from any single player because of running up against the limits of our payroll. And in terms of the rumors, we’ve always operated under the standpoint that we’re going to be involved in any premium player that’s available, whether it’s via free agency or via trade. In years past some of those free-agent fits may have been a little less realistic because of what their market was going to bear out to be versus what we were able to pay. This year I understand why we’re associated with some of the more higher-profile free agent types."
On the bullpen: "We don't feel the need to go out and get a so-called proven closer. We certainly want to have multiple upgrades, and if some of those upgrades give us viable back-end options, that's great.''
On Alexei Ramirez: "Given how we view our club and where we view our club over the next couple of seasons, we currently view Alexei as an important part of that. Being strong up the middle is the priority for any good club, and we don't intend to take a step back there. We're open-minded and we have depth in the area, so it's reasonable to hear his name out there. I get that, but it's certainly not something we're pursuing on our end or are eager to convert on."
Hahn also appeared on MLB Network, resplendent in a blue-and-white gingham shirt with a spread collar.
Any objections? I can't think of any, unless you demand specifics at this point.
The only odd White Sox nugget seemed to arrive via a botched game of telephone.
On Tuesday afternoon, Ken Rosenthal posted a few tweets about clubs and their areas of interest. For the White Sox:
#WhiteSox have pursued catchers such as #Astros’ Castro, #Padres’ Grandal in past, but more focused now on RH starter, bullpen help, LH bat.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 11, 2014
Everything here checks out -- specifically the point about Castro, about whom the Sox inquired in those leaked Astros emails several months ago. That particular aspect didn't confirmation, but Bruce Levine did it anyway:
Confirming @Ken_Rosenthal earlier report of White Sox interest in Houston catcher Jason Castro .— Bruce Levine (@MLBBruceLevine) November 11, 2014
Which, OK, fine. Twitter isn't Levine's strong suit -- I don't think he's ever successfully linked to one of his own stories -- but there you go.
Unless he's saying that the Sox are still interested in Castro. That's possible, but that wouldn't be a confirmation of what Rosenthal said -- that'd be something completely different. Levine was asked if his information actually differed, but Twitter doesn't seem to be a two-way medium for him.
Nevertheless, Hardball Talk still got a headline out of it:
Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com and Bruce Levine of CBS Chicago both report that the White Sox are interested in Astros catcher Jason Castro.
And that's the item Dan Hayes linked to when citing "multiple reports" on a CSN Chicago story.
PHOENIX — They're happy with Tyler Flowers, but the White Sox would explore an upgrade at catcher.
That's the word from general manager Rick Hahn on Tuesday hours after multiple reports surfaced that the club is interested in acquiring Houston catcher Jason Castro.
No word on whether the Sox are also interested in Purple Monkey Dishwasher.