You can’t call the Chicago White Sox anything other than a really good baseball team. They went 93-69 because the roster was good enough to win that many games. If it weren’t for some devastating injuries to key players, they might have won even more games.
We know about what moves Rick Hahn has made over the past five years to get them to this point but those aren’t in consideration here when it comes to his grade for 2021. It is the moves from the end of last season leading up to the final out of their season this year.
The first move was the firing of Rick Renteria and the hiring of Tony La Russa. We all know that it was Jerry Reinsdorf’s guy but Hahn knew that it was an upgrade, even if it wasn’t the best possible upgrade with some of the names available.
There was also the risky decision of trading Dane Dunning to the Texas Rangers for Lance Lynn. Dunning is a solid young pitcher but Lynn went on to come in third place for the AL Cy Young. He is an outstanding pitcher and the perfect attitude to have in this young clubhouse.
He also decided to bring back Carlos Rodon after some early career struggles. They weren’t going to and then made the last-minute decision to bring him in closer to spring training. He had to win the fifth starter job and ended up coming in fifth for the AL Cy Young. Two of the five rotation pieces that the White Sox had in 2021 were Cy Young worthy which is very nice.
The trade deadline is where some knocks start to come for Rick Hahn. He made a good trade for Ryan Tepera but Cesar Hernandez was not a good enough second-half answer at second base. They didn’t give up much for either so it was a bit of a wash anyway.
The bad trade was sending Nick Madrigal and Codi Heuer to the Chicago Cubs for Craig Kimbrel. Kimbrel wasn’t very good in his role with the White Sox and now we have to see Madrigal and Heuer play well for the Cubs for the next decade. Hopefully, Hahn can somewhat salvage that one by making a good trade when he sends Kimbrel away.
Rick Hahn has been a very good general manager for the Chicago White Sox.
2021 Final Grade: B
Rick Hahn would be getting an A if he didn’t trade Nick Madrigal and Codi Heuer to the Cubs for Kimbrel. Before that, things were great for the White Sox and he put it all together. The team needs more but there is a lot of time for that. 2021 was a great step in the right direction as they were a playoff team with ease.
Now, things are going to get harder for Hahn and the White Sox. He completed the very difficult task of rebuilding this team from the ground up. Now it is about providing them with the proper pieces to get them over the edge and win a World Series. Hopefully, starting in 2022, he is able to do just that.