The White Sox have to come away from the winter meetings rather satisfied. They may not have accomplished as much as the Dodgers, but Rick Hahn made productive use of the face time with three acquisitions:
- A front-line starter to join Chris Sale and Jose Quintana (Jeff Samardzija)
- A high-leverage reliever who happens to have closing experience (David Robertson)
- Another left-handed bullpen candidate (Dan Jennings)
The Sox took pretty direct routes to the first two players, and the pursuit of Samardzija stands out. I'm still surprised that the public process was as clean as it was, considering both how long the rumor lingered, and the potential for the Jon Lester decision to push more teams into the fray. Somehow, Hahn was able to wrap it up before Lester picked the Cubs. Best I can tell, only the Red Sox appeared as a potential challenger for the Shark's services, and there wasn't much heat to it.
Nobody should (and few here will) confuse that above sentiment with saying the Sox are done. There's always something amusing about the fans who flatly respond to good/big news with an inventory of roster holes, real or perceived. If Hahn were forced to respond to Facebook comments -- at gunpoint or something -- this would probably be the healthiest way to go about it:
But hey, maybe Hahn reached for his floppy hat, tackle box and fishing pole after the Robertson signing before helpful reminders kept him in the office. But he's probably aware of the most pressing roster spots, starting with left field, where it appears the Sox tendered Dayan Viciedo only because they didn't want to get nothing for him. The old Viciedo-to-the-Mariners chestnut resurfaced on Thursday, but after comparing the scuttlebutt from the Chicago side...
Source: White Sox in serious talks with Mariners on moving Viciedo. Targeting a reliever in return— Scott Merkin (@scottmerkin) December 11, 2014
Seattle has kicked the tires on Dayan Viciedo for a couple of years . Everyone loves his raw power.— Bruce Levine (@MLBBruceLevine) December 11, 2014
... to the Seattle side ....
Hearing not. Those talks seem to have cooled. @antreas_x mariners close to viciedo?is that true?— Bob Dutton (@TNT_Mariners) December 11, 2014
@LookoutLanding - Was told the White Sox were the one pushing for the deal last spring and midseason, maybe it's the same again— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) December 11, 2014
... I'm guessing the talks resemble something like this:
Hahn: So. Viciedo.
Hahn: Jack. Z. Jackie Z.
Zdurenciek: Why did you have to hit every button in this elevator.
Hahn: [/talks into watch] We have a discussion, I repeat, we have a discussion.
Divish expounded on it in his Seattle Times live blog:
As expected, the idea of talks being "serious" with the White Sox for a trade of Dayan Viciedo is coming from the White Sox. The Mariners aren’t that interested in Viciedo, much like they weren’t interested in him in last season and last spring. They know he’s a complete liability in the outfield. It is unlikely that they would ever give up a major league piece or a prospect of any value to get him.
The White Sox are pushing Viciedo because there’s a good chance they may have to eventually DFA him. He simply doesn’t fit. There are questions about his work ethic and attitude to go with shoddy defense and regressing offense.
Why trade for him when he will be on waivers likely by the end of spring.
Which seems about right. For those wondering, if the Sox DFA him by two weeks before Opening Day, they'll only be on the hook for one-sixth of his 2015 salary, which would be upwards of $750,000 or so.