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Did Rick Hahn play the 2022 trade deadline smarter than we expected?

Considering the huge disappointment of this season so far, I wondered, “How did we get here?” After a largely successful teardown and rebuild orchestrated by Rick Hahn, they broke through to barely reach the final wildcard spot in 2020. The arrow was pointing up. Hahn made the difficult choice and fired Ricky Renteria after showing his inability to lead the team to a championship level. Then the front office decided to hire Tony La Russa, which clearly wasn’t Hahn’s decision. While 2021 has resulted in a division title, playoff results have been equally disappointing in both years. In fact, the 2021 team had a slightly lower winning percentage (0.574) than 2020 (0.583). Looking back as the team continues to struggle to achieve a record over .500, I believe Tony La Russa’s hire was even worse than many believe (except here at the Sox Machine of course). Not only was his roster construction, management of his pitching staff, and overall accountability to his team lacking, but I think many of the roster moves that didn’t work were due to direct influence. from TLR via Jerry Reinsdorf, reversing the judgment of both Kenny Williams and Rick Hahn. Since hiring TLR, the Sox seem to favor adding players who let TLR “manage it,” especially relievers and multi-position players.

For reference, TLR’s last year with the Cardinals was in 2011, and he was with Arizona as general manager of baseball and analyst from 2014 to 2017. Also, in 1999, Joe McEwing played in all positions except pitcher and catcher for TLR, who loved running him so much he asked for a pair of his cleats (Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said he plans to keep a pair of McEwing’s cleats in his office” to remind me what a professional baseball player is supposed to be.” Why the Cardinals Traded Joe McEwing to the Mets | RetroSimba). Since TLR was hired, it seems many White Sox acquisitions have reflected TLR’s preferences.

Off-season 2020-2021

October 29, 2020: Tony La Russa has hired

December 8, 2020: White Sox trade Dane Dunning and Avery Weems to Texas for Lance Lynn – Lynn pitched for TLR with the Cardinals in 2011

January 15, 2021: White Sox sign Liam Hendriks – TLR love bullpen arms

March 30, 2021: White Sox sign Jake Lamb – All-star for Arizona in 2017

Trading Deadline 2021

July 29, 2021: Sox trade Bailey Horn to Cubs for Ryan Tepera – TLR love bullpen arms

July 30, 2021: Sox trade Nick Madrigal and Codi Heuer to Cubs for Craig Kimbrel – TLR love bullpen arms

Off-season 2021-2022

November 30, 2021: Sox sign Kendall Graveman – TLR love bullpen arms

December 1, 2021: Sox sign Leury Garcia – Is he the 2022 version of 1999’s Super Joe McEwing?

March 14, 2022: Sox sign Joe Kelly – TLR loves bullpen arms, he was also a St. Louis prospect in 2011

March 15, 2022: Sox sign Josh Harrison – Another possible restart of the 1999 Super Joe McEwing, he also had a strong rookie year in 2011 for Pittsburgh in the same division as St. Louis.

April 1, 2022: Sox trade Craig Kimbrel for AJ Pollock – Pollock was an Arizona star in 2015

Trading deadline 2022

August 1, 2022: Sox trade Reese McGuire to Boston for Jake Diekman – TLR loves bullpen arms

Prior to TLR’s Rick Hahn-era lease, the Sox didn’t spend free agent dollars on non-closeds or utility players. The only variable that makes sense in this shift in free agent spending direction is Tony La Russa. It’s yet another example of how hiring him may be the most disastrous decision made in the current rebuild.

So if you’re Rick Hahn, you’ve basically been castrated from above (Jerry and Kenny) and now from below (TLR) for your entire career as the Chicago White Sox’s general manager. We’ll probably never know what Hahn would have been doing all those years if he hadn’t had that interference. An owner should give their GM a budget and the GM should have the freedom to use that budget as he (or she) sees fit. The GM should also be free to make decisions about the manager without interference. Since that hasn’t been the case with the White Sox, how would you react if you were Rick Hahn?

Maybe…just maybe…you’d be so fed up with organizational incompetence at the MLB level that you’d take a slightly different approach to this year’s trade deadline in order to avoid getting bogged down in mediocrity. in the future. Let’s assume TLR, as he’s shown throughout his career, wants to throw and throw again, especially a left-handed reliever this year. Let’s also assume that TLR continues to be enticed by Leury Garcia as an all-hole filler on the roster, which isn’t a stretch given his continued playing time. Therefore, TLR is only interested in using the superstar lineup. TLR continues to support its guys Joe “Send ‘Em” McEwing and Frank “F the HR” Menechino and no personnel changes are forthcoming. TLR is Jerry’s hand, and the hand’s word is Jerry’s word.

Would you maybe trade a player you were destined to lose because he ran out of options in Reese McGuire to get an aging, overpriced left-handed reliever so you could tell your boss you did what were you asked? Would you make a solid offer for Shohei Ohtani hoping LA would take it, but knowing it was more likely you wouldn’t have a chance to land him? Would you tell your boss that Mike Rizzo (General Manager of the Nationals) laughed when you suggested your top 4 young players for Juan Soto? Would you make multiple unrealistic offers for other available launchers knowing your offers would be turned down so you could say you tried? Would you retain prospects that you believe will contribute to the major league over the next 1-3 years despite wanting to win now? Would you do all of this knowing that this year’s team has no chance of making the playoffs even if they make it back? Would this lack of success in 2022 cause TLR to retire next year, where it belongs?

Knowing that selling was not an option, I think Rick Hahn may have done all White Sox fans a huge favor by not trading any of our surprisingly growing minor league talent for rental pitchers too expensive and underperforming. As painful as this year has been, if it results in TLR retiring and being replaced by a capable manager, Rick Hahn’s inaction this trade season may have set the White Sox on the path to success. a lasting success from 2023.

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