The Chicago White Sox are going to the playoffs. They made it officially by clinching the American League Central Division on Thursday afternoon with a win over the Cleveland Indians. It is the first division title since 2008 and the first back-to-back postseason berth in franchise history. A lot of things went into this success but general manager Rick Hahn deserves a lot of credit.
It all started in 2016. Hahn traded a superstar named Chris Sale to the Boston Red Sox for Yoan Moncada, Michael Kopech, and two other prospects. A day later, he traded Adam Eaton to the Washington Nationals for Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, and Dane Dunning.
A couple of months into the 2017 season, one we knew would be tough at the MLB level, he signed Luis Robert as an international amateur free agent. A couple of months after that, he sent Jose Quintana to the Chicago Cubs for Eloy Jimenez, Dylan Cease, and two other prospects. All in all, he added a nice young group of prospects in a short amount of time.
There were already some good players in Chicago that they didn’t trade away in the form of Tim Anderson, Jose Abreu, and Carlos Rodon. During the tough years of the rebuild, they took advantage of high draft picks in the form of Andrew Vaughn, Nick Madrigal, and Garrett Crochet. By the time 2020 rolled around, most of those young kids became impact players at the MLB level.
Hahn traded Dunning to the Texas Rangers for Lance Lynn and Nick Madrigal to the Chicago Cubs for Craig Kimbrel. Those moves have supplemented a team that had hopes of becoming perennial playoff contenders. So far, the plan is working as this team is a lot more than playoff contenders.
They have even made a few free-agent signings that have made an impact. Signing guys like Yasmani Grandal, Dallas Keuchel, and Liam Hendriks have really helped the White Sox win games over the last two seasons. The free-agent market is always tricky and Hahn has mostly done well so far once the rebuild was officially over.
The Chicago White Sox front office has done a really good job since 2016.
There is a long way to go but the team is in a good position. The reason that it is in this position is because of Rick Hahn. When you go through a rebuild, you hope that you hit on a good amount of your moves. Well, Hahn has hit on most of them.
All of the impact players on the roster have come in different ways but they are all because of big decisions made by Hahn and his front office. Hopefully, the players are able to reward him and his team for the great job they have done. This team is in it for the long haul. 2021 is just the beginning.