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With apparently little to gain in trade, White Sox stick with status quo

White Sox GM Rick Hahn on not making any moves before the trade deadline 

Chicago Tribune

The White Sox front office stood pat Friday afternoon. The team seemingly took a step back against the Yankees later that night.

Not ready to give up on this season yet and unwilling to sacrifice the future for the short term, the Sox didn’t complete a trade before the 3 p.m. deadline. They opted not to sell off players such as pitcher Jeff Samardzija but also didn’t add offensive help to a team that had reinserted itself into the American League wild-card race before a 13-6 loss to the Yankees.

“We were fairly aggressive on multiple fronts, and there wasn’t that type of deal for us to do,” Sox general manager Rick Hahn said. “Frankly, it’s a little frustrating. We were optimistic we were going to get something done. Ultimately, the cost just didn’t justify the return.”

The Sox didn’t much look the part of a contender in one of rookie left-hander Carlos Rodon’s worst outings of the year Friday at U.S. Cellular Field. But a 17-9 stretch before the loss, including their 7-1 trip to Cleveland and Boston, made the team comfortable with not selling off pieces, as was expected a month ago when the club was flailing.

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“You almost feel the way we’ve played in the last week you’ve already traded for guys,” Sox manager Robin Ventura said before the game. “These guys are playing in a way that we haven’t seen in the first couple of months.”

Hahn said the Sox shifted their strategy and weighed adding short-term, two-month rental pieces. But with a growing but not overstocked minor-league system, they determined it would cost too much of their future.

A player like former Tigers outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, who went to the Mets, might have been a nice addition, but it would have been a pure rental as he becomes a free agent in 2016. The Sox were wary of giving up too much, especially given that they are looking at a run at a wild-card spot rather than at the AL Central-leading Royals.

“We passed on perhaps some opportunities to do something that might have been a little short-sighted and might have compromised us for an extended period,” Hahn said.

Hahn said the team “had fair yet significant asks” when it came to trading off some current pieces, but didn’t have extensive talks about it over the last week.

Samardzija, a free agent after this season, is the biggest piece to stay after widespread trade speculation. Hahn said the Sox still hope to sign Samardzija to a long-term contract, or they could opt to receive a compensation draft pick if he turns down a qualifying offer.

In keeping Samardzija, the Sox are able to put a better product on the field this season, and if they have enough success, perhaps have a better of convincing him to stay on the South Side.

“If this momentum continues to grow and we’re able to do something special here in October, then I think it enhances our ability to re-sign him,” Hahn said.

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The Sox hope their team rewards the faith the front office showed.

"(Samardzija) is a guy who’s going to help us win, get us to where we need to be, especially with the way he’s throwing now,” Sox left-hander John Danks said.

“For them to not break us up and not do anything to hinder that means a lot. Now it’s time for us to go play.”

ckane@tribpub.com

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Twitter @ChiTribKane


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