White Sox GM putting in ‘a lot of work’ to improve team before deadline

“It’s really impossible for me to predict when any deals will happen,” Rick Hahn said. “More things tend to happen with the [July 30] deadline in everyone’s face.”

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White Sox general manager Rick Hahn. (For Sun-Times/John Antonoff)

John Antonoff/For the Sun-Times

DETROIT — Nothing has materialized from the Eduardo Escobar trade rumor — one report had the second baseman already on his way to the White Sox five days ago — and general manager Rick Hahn was typically coy on trade talk in general on a Zoom call Friday.

“It’s really impossible for me to predict when any deals will happen,” Hahn said. “More things tend to happen with the [July 31] deadline in everyone’s face. That said, we’re putting forth a strong and consistent effort and we’ll see what happens here.”

The Sox are feeling less pressure to add offense to the outfield, what with Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert possibly returning from injuries in August, and a cast of fill-ins patching things up. Escobar would be a substantial upgrade at second base, with Nick Madrigal out fo the season, but the Sox aren’t the only team with interest.

An arm or two to shore up the bullpen is also being sought.

“Nothing’s done until it’s absolutely done, so I’m very hesitant to project out or predict when anything’s going to to come to fruition,” Hahn said. “A lot of work is being put in, we’ll see what happens.”

Jimenez and Robert

The Sox are hopeful that Robert and Jimenez, who have resumed baseball activities in Arizona, could return from their injuries by August.

Hahn said the next updates on the pair will ideally be given when they’re assigned to minor league affiliates for rehab assignments.

“At that point, a 20-day clock begins,” Hahn said. “If everything goes smoothly in that time period, you’ll see them back in Chicago.”

Hahn said the front office visualizes different scenarios of how the team will look in the final two months of the season, “both with internal options and potentially anything from outside.”

With myriad injuries, the Sox entered the day with a 48-32 record, their best start since 2006, and a five-game lead over the Indians in the AL Central.

“It’s hard not to look at the standings and look at the guys who contributed to the team this year and not be really proud and impressed with what players and coaches in that clubhouse have been able to do under challenging circumstances,” Hahn said.

Eaton returns

Outfielder Adam Eaton, who hadn’t played since June 14 because of a strained right hamstring, was reinstated and and played right field. Eaton is batting .195 with five homers, 27 RBI and 30 runs scored over 54 games.

Eaton, 32, signed to a $7 million deal in the offseason, said more than the hamstring has been ailing him.

“A little bit of everything,” he said. “When one thing goes a little haywire ... you break a little bit of the chain and some of the links of the chain don’t want to operate quite as well. So, just try to get everything working and back in order. We are in a good place.”

Engel slapped a single to left his first time up.

Moncada’s hand

Moncada’s bruised right hand, the result of an awkward head-first slide Thursday, was not bad enough to warrant going on the injured list.

“The first 24 hours after the injury, the indications are he doesn’t need that much time to come back and contribute to us,” Hahn said. “We want to win every one of these nine ballgames [on the road trip] and if Moncada is able to contribute to five or six of those ballgames, then that makes us better.”

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