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When will White Sox contend? That’s a TBD, GM Rick Hahn says

The White Sox beat the Rangers 6-1 Thursday, improving to 58-69 in the third season of their rebuild.

Yoan Moncada is congratulated by Tim Anderson after hitting a home run Thursday.
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Will the White Sox contend next year?

Judging from reaction on social media, general manager Rick Hahn’s answer wasn’t exactly a hit.

“Let’s talk in Glendale,” Hahn said Thursday.

In other words, let’s see how the offseason unfolds. Let’s wait till trades are made, free agents are signed and how the final weeks of Year 3 of the rebuild play out. And then we’ll see, during spring training, exactly what a reasonable expectation is for Year 4.

“In six weeks, I’ll go down this path a little deeper,” Hahn said.

For now, Hahn is embracing progress made by several young core pieces, including Yoan Moncada, who homered and doubled in his first game off the injured list, a 6-1 Sox victory against the Rangers.

But fans are getting antsy — and uneasy — after the team’s post-All-Star performance. The Sox had put up a respectable 42-44 record before the break.

“There’s a lot to be excited about,’’ Hahn said. ‘‘In terms of putting ourselves in a position to contend, let’s get to the offseason and then set some priorities and see how good we are at being able to convert on those priorities before we assess it.”

Sox fans can’t be blamed for growing impatient. Their hopes — raised all offseason by Hahn himself — of signing free agent Manny Machado were dashed by the small-market Padres during spring training. The Sox haven’t been to the postseason since 2008. They haven’t been in contention since 2012.

And when the rebuild began before the 2017 season, the message from the organization was that contending could be happening about now.

“Oh, I get it,” Hahn said. “We all get it. We all get the impatience. We feel the impatience.”

The series opener against the Rangers featured a mix of players such as Moncada and Tim Anderson who figure in the rebuild and others such as veteran lefty Ross Detwiler who don’t. Detwiler was at his best, though, with a career-high eight strikeouts in six innings as the Sox won for the 11th time in 18 games.

“Probably my best start,” Detwiler said. “I really can’t remember the first few. Have I gone longer than six?”

No, he hadn’t. Detwiler (2-3) lowered his ERA to 5.51. Jimmy Cordero pitched two scoreless innings in relief, and Kelvin Herrera finished up with a scoreless ninth.

Jose Abreu collected his 97th RBI with a sacrifice fly and closed to two of his 1,000th career hit with a single. Anderson extended his hitting streak to nine games with an RBI single.

The Sox are 58-69 with 35 games to play.

“The season’s not over just because playoff implications aren’t there for us,’’ said catcher James McCann, who had a home run and a double. “There’s a lot to play for. There’s a long-term plan. It’s important to continue the grind and the culture-building, learning how to win together. What happens here in the next six weeks will carry over into spring training, which carries over into next year.”

And what will next year bring? The Sox will have a bona fide ace in Lucas Giolito starting on Opening Day and a healthy Michael Kopech in spring training. Carlos Rodon should be back by midseason. Dylan Cease and Reynaldo Lopez have fairly high ceilings.

A high-end free-agent pitcher and significant addition for the outfield would go a long way toward contention.

“Nobody wants to sit through the losing,” Hahn said. “It’s frustrating. We feel the same frustration any fan probably feels with wanting to get there and wanting it to come sooner, especially in this day and age.”