12/02/12 2:40 PM ET
Hahn prepares for first Meetings as White Sox GM
By Scott Merkin / MLB.com
General manager Rick Hahn, who was officially promoted from a successful run as the team's assistant GM at the start of this offseason, wanted to take care of the White Sox starting rotation first and foremost. He did that by forging a two-year, $29 million extension with staff leader Jake Peavy on Oct. 30 and then picking up Gavin Floyd's $9.5 million contractual option for 2013.
Now, the focus turns to figuring out what to do at third base. Actually, the focus has been on that position for the last month and beyond, deciding whether to make a full-on attempt to bring back free agent Kevin Youkilis, give another chance to Brent Morel, who recently told MLB.com his back is healthy for the first time in a year, or make another move via the trade or free-agent market to fill the void.
Although attention has been turned to the White Sox hot corner, Hahn never will turn away from adding to already impressive pitching depth. The decision on what to do with the catching situation involving free agent A.J. Pierzynski, a popular and successful figure on the South Side for the past eight years, or Tyler Flowers, who looks to be next in line as the team's backstop, remains ongoing.
One thing not on the agenda for Hahn is making a move just for the sake of doing something at the Winter Meetings, let alone making a big move to give an extra push to the White Sox fan base. Hahn strongly believes that if a winning team is put together, fans will respond.
"I would much rather make what are perceived as less flashy moves, but have a better overall team throughout the summer," said Hahn on a recent conference call to discuss the Winter Meetings.
Whitesox.com will be on hand for extensive coverage of Hahn's first Winter Meetings in charge, and reporting all the ensuing news involved. There will be daily stories, breaking-news updates and a story from Robin Ventura's manager session with the media, scheduled for 5-5:30 p.m. CT on Tuesday.
Most of all, we want to hear from you, the fans. We want to know what you think the White Sox should do and hear about any questions or issues you would like addressed concerning the team.
Both Hahn and former GM Ken Williams will be in attendance among the White Sox group. And while both were promoted during the offseason, the plan in place that seemingly has worked the past 12 years won't change. Hahn will do more of the talking with other GMs and agents, just as he has during the offseason. But when the time comes to make a move, it will be an all-inclusive White Sox front-office discussion to figure out the plusses and minuses.
There might be a few more sleepless nights in Nashville because of Hahn's new role. Then again, the Winter Meetings never have been the time for executives to catch up on sleep.
"What has been surprising to me is that for the last 12 years, I've lived and breathed this job," Hahn said. "It has been a high priority for me, but frankly, sitting in the GM's chair, it is literally the last thing I think about when I go to bed and the first thing I think about in the morning."