White Sox GM Rick Hahn on trades, Abreu, injuries
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From White Sox general manager Rick Hahn’s session with media Tuesday:
On possible trades before July non-waiver deadline:
“We certainly hope so. We’re going to continue to be aggressive out there and have the same conversations or have the same tenor of conversations we’ve had for the last 18 months, doing everything we can to put ourselves in a strong long-term position. I think obviously this time around, this trade deadline is going to be considerably different from last one based upon the amount of moves we already made versus what we currently have at the major league level. So it’s probably going to be a little bit quieter than what we had 12 months ago for good reason. At the same time our views or our intentions remain the same.”
On interest in some of the Sox’ veteran pitchers:
“Yes, teams are definitely interested in numerous guys on our roster that could potentially help them win. I don’t think there’s any club anywhere throughout the league, regardless of the position they’re in, that doesn’t feel like they could improve from a pitching standpoint so that’s certainly an area of conversation.”
On Jose Abreu’s name being out there:
“That kind of stuff we have talked about, whether it’s with him or his representatives or really anyone in that clubhouse that has questions. We have the type of relationship where it’s fairly open and we address things as candidly as they want to hear. Jose’s been the subject of these rumors probably for two years now, at least a year and a half. Obviously, it hasn’t really affected him from a day to day standpoint and I suspect that will continue to be the case over the next two or three weeks. I think it’s more the winning and losing that gets to him than speculation or reading his name in the paper that he might be moved. There’s no misunderstanding in terms of how we feel about him and he knows that.”
On top prospect Eloy Jimenez, who is out at AAA Charlotte with an adductor strain:
“He’s progressing nicely. We hope to have him back here in probably another week to 10 days at this point. One thing that given the situation we’re in right now is that we’re always going to err on the side of caution with these guys. There’s no need to rush anyone back whether it’s at the big league level, try to push Avi through for these last five games before the break or make sure Eloy’s out there everyday in Charlotte. It’s more about making sure guys are 100 percent healthy and in a position to succeed. There’s no reason to push Eloy if there’s any reason whatsoever with him. We’re going to make sure everything is 100 percent resolved and go from there.”
On whether the injury alters Jimenez’ timetable:
“Not yet. We don’t have to make that decision until we get to the last month of baseball. I think people understand that we’re going to respond to his readiness and make our decision accordingly. Right now he’s on the DL, so that decision isn’t really on the table. Given the progress he’s made when he’s been active, that issue could be back on the table at some point here in the not too distant future, but for now it’s moot.”
What’s your latest take on Luis Robert, who is hurt again:
“The athleticism comes through, all five tools are on display. The one thing that might be lagging a little bit behind due to the (left thumb) injury is the power. Understandable with a hand injury that that doesn’t come back as quickly as you’d expect, and that may not come back till next season after he’s had a full time off. But the hit tool, the speed, the defense, all that’s there and all of it’s pretty loud. It was good to see him, obviously, for the stretch where we had him active. So far he’s progressing nicely. We gave you a four-to-eight-week window, hopefully it’s a little closer to the shorter side of that instead of the longer. And then we’ll get him back out there this summer and hopefully again in the fall.”
On top two draft picks Nick Madrigal and Steele Walker, who aren’t 100 percent healthy:
“On Nick, when he showed up in Glendale, he shared with us that he had to fight through a sore hamstring for the last about three weeks. Understandably, if you know the kid or at least know of the kid, you understand why he was continuing to grind through that, because he was trying to win a national championship and then showed up to us, wanted to keep playing through it, which we shut down. He’s progressing nicely. He’ll likely be back in the lineup with the Arizona affiliate hopefully by this weekend if not sooner and then go from there to Kannapolis once he gets his rhythm back.
“Walker had an oblique. He missed part of the college postseason because of that oblique, and we’re letting him fully recover from that before we get him out there, too. The Madrigal thing’s extremely minor. The Steele Walker thing was something we knew when we drafted him, and we’re just giving him time to heal before we get him playing.”