The hope is that Hahn wouldn't bring up the last part on his own volition if his front office weren't gearing up to take advantage of the closing window itself, especially since the other teams involved in the bidding are not the traditional Rockefellers (Cardinals, Padres, A's, Astros, Reds). There'd be some resignation if the Sox lost out to the Yankees or Dodgers along the lines of the Masahiro Tanaka sweepstakes, but not so much when it involves markets equal to or smaller than Chicago.
Since the last time we sized up Robert's market, Yoan Moncada exploded. The Sox' top prospect cut his strikeout rate by 5 percent while enhancing his overall line to .345/.419/.549, the defensive reports have been promising, and nobody on the depth chart is making a better use of the time at second. The 25-man roster isn't material to a prospect's development in a rebuilding year, but the methodical way Moncada is checking off liabilities makes it difficult for Hahn to slow others' rolls.
One problem with promoting Moncada immediately is that it takes a little magic out of the rebuilding. He is the reason why CSN Chicago chose to broadcast Charlotte Knights games, and he's the reason why a lot of Chicago outlets are suddenly hanging out in North Carolina and Indianapolis. Carson Fulmer and Zack Burdi and Nicky Delmonico may join him in or beat him to Chicago, but they were all in Charlotte last year and, relatively speaking, nobody cared.
Once he's called up, there isn't a position-player prospect who projects to an everyday role until A-ball. Zack Collins and Luis Alexander Basabe have both wobbled out of the gate in Winston-Salem, and Alex Call has been hurt. If Moncada struggles the way Fulmer did last year and Tim Anderson has this year, the lack of depth makes the next year and a half feel a lot longer.
Having Robert in the system -- and perhaps some shiny new prospects from the draft -- makes it easier to weather any early Moncada struggles. And if Moncada hits from Day One and the Sox are still losing games 6-2, the conversation eventually returns to the same question: "Who else do we have?" Based on the scouting consensus, Robert would help replace a lot of the minor-league buzz that Moncada takes with him. It's not that the Sox need to let the coverage dictate their approach, but that there needs to be more than one position player everybody is breathless about.