FINAL GRADE – B+
Overall, I believe Rick Hahn again mastered the total talent pool exceptionally well. The team spent modestly while filling pitching needs in the rotation and bullpen, a single trade and several shrewd acquisitions adequately covering their needs. Further investing in their young players such as Matt Davidson and Adam Engel by giving them the chance to perform helped the team avoid unnecessary free agent acquisitions.
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The Welington Castillo signing still looks odd to me, however, as one could make the case the team did not need to do this. But, Hahn made this signing very early winter meetings process and may have tried to get a jump what no one knew yet would be a very slow offseason for free agents. In a normal year, this would have been a great signing. An, this past winter perhaps not so much.
To paraphrase Bill Clinton’s election strategy in 1992 “It’s the economy, stupid” one can look at the White Sox strategy as “It’s the rebuild, stupid.” The team’s decisions during Spring Training demonstrate it is all about developing the youth of this rebuild this year at all levels of the organization by investing in its top prospects and their upside potential and not current performance.
Simply put, it’s unrealistic to expect the team to invest in any player who does not figure into helping the team in 2019 and beyond. If a player does not fit that profile requirement, they are extraneous to this model.