SAN DIEGO — On the last day of the winter meetings, the White Sox made yet another move, small in comparison to the whoppers they made on Day 1, but significant nonetheless.
And they say they’re still not done.
“I hope we have more [moves] left,’’ general manager Rick Hahn said. “There are other areas that we’d like to address. Obviously, we’ve had a productive week and are pleased with what we’ve been able to do over the last several weeks. At the same time, we’re going to head back to Chicago, regroup and try to knock off a few more targets on our list. We’re not done yet.’’
Here’s what Hahn and executive vice president Ken Williams were able to get done this week:
† They acquired righty Jeff Samardzija along with pitching prospect Michael Ynoa from the A’s for Marcus Semien, Chris Bassitt, Josh Phegley and Rangel Ravelo. Sandwiched between lefties Chris Sale and Jose Quintana, Samardzija gives the Sox the strongest threesome of starters in baseball, according to Fangraphs’ WAR calculations.
† They signed closer David Robertson for $46 million over four years. He was the most proficient reliever in the free-agent market.
† They traded righty Andre Rienzo (6.82 ERA in 2014) to the Marlins on Thursday for reliever Dan Jennings (1.34 ERA). Jennings provides manager Robin Ventura with a second lefty option in the bullpen along with Zach Duke, who signed a three-year, $15 million deal as a free agent in November.
† They claimed left-handed-hitting Rob Brantly off waivers. Brantly, the Marlins’ Opening Day catcher in 2013, is a major-league-ready player who hit .255 in Class AAA in 2014.
It was an extraordinary few days for the Sox in the midst of a flurry of trade and free-agent activity all around baseball.
“From [our] standpoint, we leave here very pleased with the three acquisitions,’’ Hahn said. “But from an industry standpoint, it’s great to have this much excitement around baseball in the middle of December.’’
Left field remains an ongoing area of concern, with Dayan Viciedo on top of the Sox’ depth chart for now. A team drawn to Viciedo’s power, upside and youth — the Mariners have liked him for a year or so — should be willing to give the Sox something of value, perhaps more relief help, in return.
Signing Tony Campana and J.B. Shuck early in the offseason spoke to the Sox’ desire to field a more athletic, defensively improved team. If Viciedo’s expected $4.4 million contract in arbitration goes off the books, Hahn might have more wiggle room on a close-to-tapped-out budget that is approaching $100 million for next season. Colby Rasmus, an underachieving Blue Jay-turned-free agent, fits the profile of a good defender with speed the Sox might add to the outfield mix.
The Sox are set in center with leadoff man Adam Eaton, in right with Avisail Garcia, at first base with Jose Abreu and most likely at shortstop with Alexei Ramirez. Micah Johnson and Carlos Sanchez will compete for second base during spring training, while third base and catcher with Conor Gillaspie and Tyler Flowers are at least satisfactory with room to be better.
With a bullpen of Robertson, Duke, Jennings, Jake Petricka, Zach Putnam, Daniel Webb, Javy Guerra and possibly Carlos Rodon, Maikel Cleto and Frankie Montas, enough depth exists to use in a trade to upgrade in other areas.
“We’re pleased with this week; it was a good week,’’ Hahn said. “We picked up three of our targets, addressed three different needs. We’ll take that any old week.’’
Note: The Sox passed on selecting a player in the Rule 5 draft. No Sox were taken by other teams.