White Sox land Giolito, 2 more prospects for Eaton

White Sox land Giolito, 2 more prospects for Eaton

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Here's a sentence White Sox fans have not heard in quite some time: Top 10 Minor League system.

But that is the new reality for the franchise, according to MLBPipeline.com's Jonathan Mayo, after the White Sox acquired right-handed pitchers Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez and Dane Dunning from the Nationals for right fielder Adam Eaton on Wednesday. The trio represented the Nos. 1 (Giolito), 3 (Lopez) and 6 (Dunning) prospects in the Nationals' system.

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Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

In span of day, White Sox system skyrockets

Organization's Minor League depth among Top 10 in game after 2 blockbusters

In span of day, White Sox system skyrockets

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- For the second time in as many days, the Chicago White Sox seriously upgraded their farm system by unloading an established Major Leaguer. On Wednesday, it was outfielder Adam Eaton getting shipped to the Nationals for a trio of right-handed pitching prospects.

Not just any pitching prospects. Lucas Giolito is the highest-ranked pitching prospect on MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 at No. 3 overall. Reynaldo Lopez isn't that far behind, at No. 38 overall. Dane Dunning was a first-round pick from the 2016 Draft who, while having a lower profile than his trade-mates, has the chance to be a very good big league starter.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Moncada welcomes expectations awaiting White Sox

Moncada welcomes expectations awaiting White Sox

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- It didn't take long for Yoan Moncada -- the face of the White Sox future, acquired from Boston with three other prospects for Chris Sale on Tuesday -- to get in touch with Jose Abreu, the face of the White Sox present.

"Abreu texted me yesterday," Moncada said through translator Billy Russo during a conference call on Wednesday. "He welcomed me to the White Sox organization. We were talking a little bit about this opportunity for both of us to play again.

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Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

In rebuild mode, Hahn has 5 assets to deal

In rebuild mode, Hahn has 5 assets to deal

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- White Sox general manager Rick Hahn is off to a great start. In trading Chris Sale and Adam Eaton, he has already acquired four of MLB's top 40 prospects in the entire game.

Maybe the first step -- the trading of Sale to the Red Sox -- was the hardest. Now, Hahn is full speed ahead into a rebuild that will reshape the White Sox around youth and energy.

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Richard Justice is a columnist for MLB.com. You can follow him on Twitter @richardjustice. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

Kopech next in long line of Texas fireballers

Kopech next in long line of Texas fireballers

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Michael Kopech threw a 105-mph fastball in June, as you may have heard.

But here's what the accounts from that Carolina League outing did not include: He was throwing an easy 105, if such a thing is possible.

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Phil Rogers is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

White Sox, Sale bid 'bittersweet' goodbye

GM, ace reflect on left-hander's legacy, 7 memorable seasons in Chicago

White Sox, Sale bid 'bittersweet' goodbye

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- On a wall in Rick Hahn's suburban Chicago home, in the bedroom of one of his two sons, resides a picture featuring his son with Chris Sale. It hangs next to a picture of his son with Mark Buehrle.

So rebuilding a team certainly isn't earning Hahn major dad points.

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Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

White Sox get Moncada, 3 others for Sale

Chicago receives 4 highly regarded Minor Leaguers, including MLB's top prospect

White Sox get Moncada, 3 others for Sale

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- If anyone still fostered a shred of doubt regarding the White Sox direction, Tuesday's trade of Chris Sale to Boston answered any lingering questions.

The Red Sox picked up a front-of-the-rotation hurler in Sale, who gives them quite possibly the best rotation in the American League and reinforces Boston's standing as a postseason frontrunner. In adding infielder Yoan Moncada, right-handers Michael Kopech and Victor Diaz, and outfielder Luis Alexander Basabe, the White Sox rebuild began in full force.

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Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Best prospects traded in past 25 years

Best prospects traded in past 25 years

The Red Sox made a splash Tuesday on Day 2 of the Winter Meetings, acquiring left-handed ace Chris Sale in a blockbuster deal that sent Yoan Moncada and three other prospects to the White Sox.

The inclusion of Moncada, MLBPipeline.com's No. 1 overall prospect, is particularly significant, as it marks the first time in at least 25 years that baseball's top overall prospect has been traded, based on the rankings done by MLB, MLB Pipeline and Baseball America.

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Renteria: Rebuilds require organization-wide effort

Sox skipper managed Cubs in '14 as they assembled eventual title team

Renteria: Rebuilds require organization-wide effort

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Rick Renteria knows about rebuilding.

He was part of the Cubs' ongoing process, which eventually resulted in the 2016 World Series championship, when he managed one season on the North Side in '14. So Renteria is ready to work with young players in his first go at the White Sox helm, after serving as the team's bench coach under Robin Ventura in '16, but he also knows it takes a village to grow a consistent winner.

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Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

With Moncada trade, White Sox rebuild underway

With Moncada trade, White Sox rebuild underway

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Here we go.

After hemming and hawing about whether to rebuild or try to contend, seemingly since Chris Sale's rookie season, the White Sox decided on a full rebuild on Tuesday.

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Phil Rogers is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Winter Meetings interview with Rick Renteria

Q. When you hear the word "rebuild" mentioned in conjunction with the White Sox, what goes through your mind?
RICK RENTERIA: Honestly, I haven't heard the word because I haven't really been -- you guys know me, I don't do a whole lot of reading. Most of my information comes from the guys that know what they are doing. Obviously we got back a couple of high-end prospects, and we're looking forward to see how they end up developing with us as White Sox.

You know, we're obviously going to miss Chris. He was an integral part of our organization and our team. My only concern is obviously whatever players, what group of players I have, those are the ones I have to manage. So at this point, we have what we have right now and we'll see how it continues.

Q. When you started the conversations with the front office before you got hired, was there the transparency that there might be different players, there might be younger players, you might be in a mode like they are assumed to be in right now; that it could be a rebuild over a couple years?
RICK RENTERIA: I think that the conversations we had, when I expressed myself, the ability or the desire to be able to handle either/or. There was talks of the possibility, but there was nothing set in stone at the time obviously. But again, it goes back to me handling the job with whomever it is that we have available to us and trying to get the most out of those guys that we have.

Q. Your reputation has been that you've been good with younger players, and apparently that's what's coming in right now. Looking forward, how do you position yourself to deal with that?
RICK RENTERIA: You know, again, whoever it is we have, I think when you're looking at an organization, and that's what we're looking at as a whole, everybody plays a huge hand in helping these young men develop. My conversations with coaches allows them the autonomy to do what they do, the hitting coaches and fielding coaches, the pitching coaches. We have guys with a tremendous amount of experience.

The one thing that I think the game, the industry, has shown is that younger players are filtering in a lot sooner than they used to in the past. You still have to continue to teach at the Major League level, and that's one thing that's evident throughout. I think you have organizations that have kind of shifted their mode and started building with a younger core of players, and you have to have a vision and an idea of how you want to move forward with them. But the one thing that you have to have is belief and trust. It's not the easiest thing to do, but it's doable, obviously.

Q. When you have a transient group of position players at the Major League level, how difficult is it for coaches and managers to deal with that, and more importantly, how difficult is it to establish leadership when you have many changes in the position player group every year?
RICK RENTERIA: I think as the manager, you have to establish, you know, what your vision is and what the vision is of the organization in terms of who we're going to be.

Most of the times, when I'm talking to guys right now, even in small conversations, we talk about playing the game. And that means that you have to be a selfless individual. People have to buy into that idea. This is an industry that rewards the players with compensation, but you are always trying to establish players' ideas in terms of how they are going to perform for you as an organization and know that if you win, everybody wins.

And I've said that before. You guys have heard me say the same thing. But guys have to know that they are going in there to do a particular job. They have to take care of their piece and everybody has to follow suit.

And ultimately, and I know it's a cliché, ultimately I know it's about the name on the front of the jersey, not the name on the back.

Q. Do the leaders have to be anointed from within the realm?
RICK RENTERIA: I think leaders kind of express who they are over time. You have to earn trust. People's trust is earned through your actions and through your conversations, through your consistency and approach and conversations that you have with them. They need to know that when you say something, you mean it and that you follow through with it and that you'll try to hold a consistent line across the board with everybody in terms of commitment.

You want guys to go out there and enjoy the game. It's a very difficult game to play. But there's a process to everything. We all know that. They've got to take those steps to give themselves the chance to do what they need to do and trust in garnering other players to come in and be leaders. Takes time. It's also a process. I don't think you can bully your way into doing it. It doesn't really serve -- in the long term, it doesn't serve a good purpose.

Q. Obviously Moncada is the big name in the group that you guys got yesterday. What do you know about him and what's your thoughts about working with a top prospect?
RICK RENTERIA: I've seen a little video of the guys. Moncada, the first clip I saw of him, he reminded me a little bit from his set up and everything of Peno (phonetic), and now he's a switch hitter and shows some discipline at the plate. I know that at 21 years of age, he still has a long way to go in terms of what he's ultimately going to be. I think he's a very talented human being who we hope is going to be an impact-type player.

Kopech is a young man who is about 6'3", very good arm. Obviously we have people within the organization that believe that we can harness that strength and that skill set and have him become a pitcher, command the zone, things of that nature.

But, again, our job is going to be to have these guys become as quickly -- to become as comfortable as quickly as possible with the way that we are going to go about preparing to play the game, and hopefully they enjoy it.

Q. How much do you like molding or working with young players?
RICK RENTERIA: You know, I don't mind working with young players. I also think that the one thing that you have to do is -- we were just talking about this earlier. But every human being is the sum total of all their experiences, so you've got to get to know people first, see what it is that motivates them, what kind of clicks with them to get them to act out on certain things that you might have them perform on a more consistent basis.

I think that baseball has its own language. It's something that is indescribable at times. But working with the younger guys, I relish it. I look forward to it. But I also look forward to working with older veteran players, too. It's the same. My approach doesn't change a lot, other than you give people with experience their place.

Q. You alluded to players coming up sooner than they used to. Do they come up too soon, really, in your view, in terms of development?
RICK RENTERIA: In terms of their experience, it might be at times too soon for some more than others. You have guys that you can call up and they spend a stint with you for a little bit. You kind of gain from information from their experiences there and they gain knowledge and experience, and you may end up sending them back out, but it's not a loss.

The truth is their skill set, if it's performing at a high level and helping you win ballgames on a daily basis, or at least giving you a chance to win ballgames on a daily basis, then they remain and they continue to grow there. The super elite, there are some super elite guys now in the Big Leagues that come up very young and learn how to play the game at the Major League level.

So if their skill allows them the opportunity to perform and be there, then so be it. The whole point is hopefully that as an organization, you structure yourself to have the identity and mind-set that keeps them consistently moving forward and being the guy that helps transition the other young guys that end up moving up as time goes on.

Q. After watching things melt down last year, is it exciting for you to be on the ground floor of the new direction the White Sox seem to be taking?
RICK RENTERIA: First of all, I'm extremely excited for the opportunity. But I also see that there seems to be a commitment obviously to trying to make some adjustments. Obviously in this trade it brings in some youth and some strength in terms of power with the pitcher and an impact-potential position player and the other two kids we got.

I'm looking forward to just being able to be a part of something that is hopefully positive moving forward. My experiences in the past have served me well, I think, and I'm going to use them to my advantage at this time.

Q. What have you been doing since you were hired?
RICK RENTERIA: Season finished. My wife and I went to New York for a few days, and then came back. We went to the Instructional League. We were there for three or four days and went to the Dominican to see the kids in the Dominican, which was really nice.

I remember pulling up, telling everybody it kind of reminded me a little of Pirate City a little bit. They have their fields there. I saw them work, I saw their energy, and all the things that we should never lose in terms of being professionals, that energy and love for just being out there and playing. I saw that. It's a nice reminder to all of us.

I think everybody forgets how much time and energy development puts into development of players. I just wanted to make sure they knew we cared about all of them and look forward to working alongside and helping us move forward.

Q. Managing this team for the first time, do you think it's harder or easier to do it in a rebuilding year as far as outside scrutiny?
RICK RENTERIA: As far as outside scrutiny, we've talked about this, I've never really worried about being scrutinized or asked questions about why I do what I do, how I do it and when I do it. That's not an issue with me.

I think if you have young players, if it becomes a younger group, a younger core, you're worried about making sure you're not stunting their development. I worry more about that than worrying about answering questions about how I manage the game.

Q. Someone said to me in a quiet way that you are a disciplinarian with younger players, too. Can you let us in on that?
RICK RENTERIA: Again, I think that we're intended to play the game a certain way. I think that everybody has to buy in to working well, preparing to play the game a certain way. I think hustle is important to me. I think the ability to be disciplined is important to me. But I also know that you have to enjoy the game that you're playing. You don't want to make it a burden. You want to make it something they buy into because they know it's the right thing to do.

Will I have a hand in dealing with certain issues? Like every manager does. I might do it in my office and I might do it wherever it needs to be done at a particular time. Yeah, I think discipline is a part of my responsibility and I think it's something that I'll be dealing with as we move forward.

Q. What type of attitude do you want your team to have?
RICK RENTERIA: I want a high energy -- we want to beat everybody's attitude on a daily basis. At least give ourselves a chance.

Again, winning and losing are results, and we've talked about this, and you guys hear this all the time. I know they are clichés, but we go out and prepare these guys to play the game the way they are supposed to and give them a chance to have the other club say: These guys never quit. If we can have an opponent say that we never quit, then we're on our ways.

Q. As far as the potential of your team right now, you have three potential free agents that are still on the team after next year. How do you get to them as far as playing a team game, as opposed to looking forward to their free agency and trying to put up numbers?
RICK RENTERIA: I think people confuse, or maybe -- I don't see their being a conflict. I think if you play the game and do things the way you're supposed to, you're still going to generate your numbers. I don't think you pigeonhole a power hitter to be a slap hitter. You don't make a Porsche a Volkswagen and you don't make a Volkswagen a Porsche. They are who they are.

You still have to understand that there are certain aspects of the game that you want to emphasize. I think if they buy into just knowing that there's a process by which we play the game to give ourselves a chance on a daily basis to have success, that they will do it. I don't think it's a hard sell, to be honest. I think they will be able to perform and do what they need to do in order to get their payday and next contract.

Q. You think you can get to these guys?
RICK RENTERIA: I think so.

Q. It's not an easy process when guys are looking forward to free agency.
RICK RENTERIA: I think there's perspective in these things. I don't think players want to be selfish. I think all players want to have and feel like they're committing and doing something that's going to help the whole. That's what we are trying to do.

Q. With Moncada being the one guy you got with Major League experience, how much are you expecting him to compete for a Major League job in Spring Training?
RICK RENTERIA: Once we get him and have our conversations and see him and get together as an organization, we'll see where we sit and where he fits in the process.

Q. And how much of the video you were talking about earlier, how much of that was Major League video versus Minor League video?
RICK RENTERIA: I saw quite a bit of Major League video. I saw some Minor League video, but mostly Major League video.

Q. The amount of strikeouts he had in that Major League time, what did you see to work with?
RICK RENTERIA: Great question. I was just talking about that. I think that's just experience. I think it's him -- for example. I'll give you an example. They were coming down, finishing him off underneath the hands down and in. He's a 21-year-old man who has not seen that type of bite coming from pitchers, and it's probably changing the lane in which he's looking for that particular type of slider where he's got to get it out and away.

He also has shown discipline. He walks. It's one of those things where I think time will tell us, but I think there's a look to him and there's an action to him that I believe will generate change of that particular outcome in the future.

Q. One thing that when you were with the Cubs seemed to be difficult for everybody is player development and winning games at the same time. When teams aren't necessarily ready to win and holding players back from things, do you envision that to being a part of what you might have to do here with the new job?
RICK RENTERIA: You guys have to remember, when I was there, there were guys that we had specific limitations to usage with, whether it was pitchers or position players. Right now, I think, as far as I know, we're dealing with a healthy, healthy crew of players.

Their limitations will simply be us putting them in the best chance to have success. You know, everyday players should play every day. But there might be chances where you might want to give somebody else to take advantage of a particular match up, but that individual needs to know that that's not something you're going to be doing with him every single time. They have to have the confidence and they do need experience in order to find out if they can do that.

Q. Tim Anderson had a nice debut this year and he's a free swinger. Would you like to see him cut back on the strikeouts?
RICK RENTERIA: I think as the season progressed, I think he started spitting out some very difficult pitches. I'm not afraid of his aggressiveness. I'd much rather have someone like that and be able to tone him down. I think experience -- he's a pretty bright kid. I think experience with him is going to end up creating a few more walks. I can't tell you in my mind's eye that I see him as a hundred-walk guy, not at all, but I do see him not being afraid. I see him with runners in scoring position and I see him playing the game and I see him doing things -- I know what the numbers say, but I know what my eyes are telling me, and it's pretty impactful.

Q. What did you see from Carlos the last six weeks of his season versus his struggles early on in the season?
RICK RENTERIA: This guy is a horse. What a tremendous arm with a lot of action. He's learning to command the zone. He's learning that more is not necessarily better. I think he's got a chance to be a tremendously successful, top-of-the-line starter. I think he started calming down a little bit. He's high energy. He's almost got a football mentality to him, which is good. I don't want him to lose that. I want him to direct it a certain way and make it more efficient.
 

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Sale expresses appreciation for White Sox fans

Sale expresses appreciation for White Sox fans

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Chris Sale is gone, but he won't soon forget his seven seasons in Chicago.

"I really appreciate the White Sox fans' support through the years and can't wait to come back to Chicago and see everyone," Sale wrote in a text to MLB.com on Tuesday after he was traded to Boston in exchange for infielder Yoan Moncada, right-handers Michael Kopech and Victor Diaz, and outfielder Luis Alexander Basabe. "I have a lot of great memories in Chicago, and a piece of me will always be in that city."

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Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Winter Meetings interview with Rick Hahn

RICK HAHN: It's never easy to trade a pitcher the caliber of Chris Sale, a player that our amateur scouting staff identified early on, prior to 2010 draft, and our player development people along with Major League staff helped maximize his high, high level of talent at the Big League level.

As I talked with Chris this afternoon to inform him of the trade, pass along our great gratitude as an organization for everything he did in our uniform and obviously wished him well, it was not an easy phone call to make, but one, quite frankly, based upon the return that we were able to procure in this trade was one that we were extremely excited about making.

We have made no secret heading into the off-season our goal is to put ourselves in the best position to contend for an extended period of time for multiple championships. Given where we were as an organization entering this off-season, we knew we were going to have to make some painful decisions. But if we had the opportunity to acquire some high-impact talent that would be around for a number of years, it was time to start that process.

So today was the first step in what will very likely be an extended process but one that we feel, if we continue to acquire similar-type players with the upsides of the individuals that we acquired today, will be for the extended long-term benefit of the organization.

With that, questions.

Q. With the interest you had from various teams besides Boston and the talent packages you were being offered, how tough was this decision to make, where to pull the final move on it, and how much did you go back and forth with your Boston people before deciding on the Boston fit?
RICK HAHN: There was extensive debate. Obviously we took this decision quite serious, and there were a number of talented players involved not just in the Red Sox package but in other packages that we were debating, and those conversations went up to late this morning until we decided the Red Sox deal was the one that made the most sense for us, based on the players that were coming back.

Q. How was the last, maybe, from 6:00 on last night, what was it like in the room until this morning?
RICK HAHN: Stuffy. Didn't smell great. (Chuckles.)

There was a great level of excitement since we got here about the caliber of players that we were likely to receive back. We view Moncada as a premium position player, a guy who is going to play up the middle for us, be an impact offensively and defensively for us for a long time. And Kopech, we project him out as a front end of the rotation starter, the kind of guy that's pretty rare in terms of peers throughout Minor League Baseball right now.

Basabe, another switch-hitting up-the-middle talent plus defender in center fielder who can run. And then Diaz, a plus-plus arm who has some secondary offerings to back it up.

These are the type of impact players that we need to continue to acquire and build up to get our system to the point where we are able to have that extended run of success, and there were similar-type players being offered from other clubs, and there was a level of excitement in that room as we debated which was the best path for us. And although there were a few minutes along the way where you take time to realize the caliber of player that you're giving up in Chris and, as I said, someone who's success is a tribute not only to his great ability but our amateur scouts and player development and Major League coaches and one of our own. In the end we knew this was something we had to do for the benefit of the club.

Q. Does this in your mind, in your people's minds, open up the floodgates for the possibilities of numerous other players possibly being dealt over the next couple days here and in the future?
RICK HAHN: I don't know if it necessarily leads to a quickening of our pace. We've had conversations leading up to these meetings as well since we've gotten here on a number of different fronts, and we're extremely open-minded on ways to continue the process that we started today.

It's conceivable more comes together while we're here, or it may take a few more weeks on certain fronts and conceivably into the season as well. We don't view this as a quick fix; this is something that we're going to do with diligence and with the proper patience in order to maximize our returns.

Q. Rick, you've been making a lot of moves the last couple years the other direction, going for it, signing free agents, making trades, how difficult is it to reset and what finally convinced you now is the right time?
RICK HAHN: It was an organizational decision, something that Jerry Reinsdorf and Kenny Williams and I and others, Buddy Bell, and Jeremy Haber in the front office have been discussing for a long time. It doesn't -- this path, you're right, doesn't fit with how we have acted over the last several years. We've been in a more of a "win now and patch and play" type of situation.

We feel the same frustration that the White Sox fans have felt over the last few years which those plans may look good on paper or entering Spring Training make everybody feel optimistic haven't played out the way everybody inside and outside of the organization anticipated.

That extended period of frustration and not being able to see a path in order to rectify that based upon where we were in terms of our resources as an organization led to very serious conversations over not just the last few months but over the last few years about when is the right time to pivot to taking this longer-term approach.

And ultimately, based upon where we were during the off-season and the landscape ahead of us, we felt now is the type to, again, put ourselves in a position where we can have that success over extended period, maybe change our time horizon as we look to make these moves, our focus as we make these moves.

Q. Rick, in Moncada you acquired a tremendous prospect. The Red Sox were so high on him they even bring him up last year, they brought him up as a third baseman. But his favorite position is a second base. Do the White Sox view him as a second baseman, and how soon you think he will be (indiscernible)?
RICK HAHN: There is still some development left in this player, obviously. He's extremely young, has had success already at the higher levels, but he's not a finished product.

In terms of his time horizon, the good ones have a way of forcing the issue. But we project him, in all probability, to start in the Minors. Second base, third base, we think he's capable of playing both, but at this point we would have him playing second base for us.

Q. With Kopech, obviously a limited time this year, pitched in the fall league. What stood out to you guys from him in the fall league and with his past, the suspension and the broken hand and an altercation earlier this year? How were you able to look at that when taking this deal into account?
RICK HAHN: We did a lot of due diligence in all of the players in terms of their make-up and background, and with Michael there were a couple of incidents that we wanted to look into. And we got comfortable with what led up to the background and the back story behind him. He's an extreme competitor, you can see that from the physicality in his mound presence, the stuff is obvious with the plus-plus fastball and the slider.

We project him out about as well as just about any Minor League starter out there right now. There is still a fair amount of development left for him given the missed time and where he finished the season, but he did perform extremely well out here or in the Arizona Fall League, which sorta reinforced those projects that we have for him.

Again, not a finished project by any stretch, but a guy we project out to have a strong potential of helping to anchor a rotation in the future.

Q. Clubs get caught on that treadmill where they're between 75 and 85 wins, and they think, okay, this is the next step we're going to go, and it doesn't happen. How much does that play into that decision?
RICK HAHN: It's a big part of it. Last thing you want to be is caught in between. You don't want to be a club that's not good enough, not capable of winning a championship but at the same time is just sort of mediocre or stuck in the middle. We try each off-season to be realistic about where we are as a club and what are going to be the opportunities based on the free agent or trade market or internally to improve ourselves and get us to that spot where we are going to be able to contend for a championship.

In the past few years we've been aggressive in trying to patch some of those holes, and unfortunately they haven't played out the way we anticipated when we made those deals. This is an effort to move more toward being able to sustain ourselves at that higher echelon. There may well be some pain along the way. That's part of this process in terms of the performance at the Big League level. But ultimately we think whatever, you know, sacrifice we make for the short-term at the Big League level is going to pay off for an extended period at the Big League level, because the last place we want to be is caught in between.

Q. Moncada was an amateur or free agent coming out of Cuba recently. Where were you guys in that process in 2015 and was there ever a point in this negotiation when the cost that the Red Sox paid to get him might have made him an untouchable?
RICK HAHN: We didn't discuss his signing bonus or the tax or any of that stuff with the Red Sox in terms of his accessibility in this trade; it was more about the talent that they were receiving and what we acquired coming back. We admired him as an amateur. We were interested in him as an amateur and quickly realized we weren't going to be able to sign him as an amateur.

Q. A lot of clubs recently the last few years have gone through the rebuilding process, including one in your own town. Is it a fun process or a painful process?
RICK HAHN: It's probably a bittersweet process because you wind up sitting up here potentially talking about moving a five-time All-Star and CY Young candidate, which is never enjoyable, especially when it's a home-grown guy.

At the same time there is a level of excitement of what this could potentially look like down the road. We have a lot of work ahead of us and similar such moves ahead of us to the once we made today, but there is the idea of being able to put yourself in that position to on an annual basis contend and to be self-sustaining for the most part with your own homegrown players. Has a great deal of appeal not only to the front office but when you talk to our scouts about it and the challenges it presents and the opportunity it presents as well as our Major League coaching staff.

We had organizational meetings back in Arizona a month ago prior to the general manager meetings, and while we weren't public about these conversations, there was a great deal of enthusiasm in the room for where we potentially could go over the next five, six years even though the front end of that may be painful.

Q. Did you contact Jose Abreu about Moncada?
RICK HAHN: We had a conversation with Jose at the time Moncada was an amateur. They were teammates in Cuba. I haven't spoken to Moncada directly today, but in speaking with his representative he mentioned the fondness he has for Jose and the excitement he has to potentially be playing with them in the future. Jose spoke very well of him at the time.

Q. Scouting reports?
RICK HAHN: He gave us scouting reports. Us, not ESPN, a scouting report.

Q. If you're going to do this, you're going to go all in, assuming, would you prefer to get most or all of it done by the time you guys hit Arizona so you can start building this the way you want to?
RICK HAHN: We would love to get as much as possible done as soon as possible, but that desire to do it quickly isn't what's going to dictate how quickly it happens. What's going to dictate is our ability to make trades that we feel good about that do further our cause.

There is no rush to do it from that standpoint. It's much more important to do it right than to do it quickly. Do it too quickly, do it hastily without the proper vetting of targets could put yourself in a worse predicament, if you aren't careful.

Internally, yeah, we want to move as quickly as possible. We're ready to do more deals today if the right opportunities present themselves. But we're not going to force the issue. If nothing happens right now, we have some talented players under control going forward, some who are under control for the next four or five years who conceivably could fit in as this next young core grows together and be on the next potential championship core.

The short answer is, yeah, we feel a desire to do it as quickly as possible, but in reality we are going to have to follow the market and the value of these players and what makes the most sense.

Q. Dombrowski said you called him on Friday and said the asking price was different than it used to be. What was the discussions with the Red Sox like this time compared to any previous discussions?
RICK HAHN: There have been a lot of reports out there about what we asked for last time. I'm not the sure what that's alluding to, public reports, there were some fairly aggressive asks that apparently came from me that weren't necessarily entirely accurate. There have been players -- David and I have had these conversations with regard to Chris for over a year now, and certainly this time around there were different players than a year ago that were in the mix, in part because some of those players played so well that, frankly, they're contributing at the Big League level in Boston and less accessible than they might have been a year ago.

This time around versus the deadline or versus last year when we had the conversation, I think it was a little more the universe of players that we were focused on was narrower than in the past, and David and I were able to fairly quickly zoom in on the key elements of the deal and then needed to build it out from there over the last few days.

Q. No secret that the Washington Nationals are out looking at a lot of players, too, including Chris Sale. Wondered last night especially or today how aggressive were they, if you can say, and whether anything came close with them?
RICK HAHN: I don't think it's really appropriate to talk about deals we didn't make instead of focusing on the deal we did. I will say there were other clubs that were aggressive on Chris. We had a lot of productive conversations, and ultimately it came down to two in the end, and both of them were aggressive and presented us with solid packages that we had to choose between.

Q. What sort of a sell line to fans now that this has started? Is it anything more complicated than be patient, invest your energy in the Minors, follow our Minor League teams?
RICK HAHN: There is some of that, but there are still some talented players in Chicago. There's still some exciting young players that we think are going to be part of this going forward, whether it's Tim Anderson or Carlos Rodon and a handful of others that we will focus on come Spring Training even more.

I think the message is that we realize that the way we had been approaching this for the last few years wasn't bearing fruit, and given that and given the frustration, we're taking a different approach. With that approach we think that the long-term benefit is well going to be worth whatever potential short-term hardship may arise from it.

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MLB.com Columnist

Anthony Castrovince

Sale's changing Sox send ripple effect

Sale's changing Sox send ripple effect

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Were the Winter Meetings lobby a ticketed attraction (and maybe we shouldn't give people ideas here), then the Chris Sale trade that went down on Tuesday at the Gaylord National Resort & Conference Center would allow this year's event to qualify as money well spent. This is the kind of stuff we come for -- the big, bold splash involving a perennial All-Star and Cy Young Award candidate who is, ahem, changing Sox.

A swap this seismic doesn't occur in isolation. It has ripple effects throughout the industry. And here, in no particular order, are the teams most affected.

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Anthony Castrovince has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2004. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

With Sale gone, White Sox ponder more moves

With Sale gone, White Sox ponder more moves

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- White Sox general manager Rick Hahn sat on a dais at the Gaylord Resort & Convention Center for nearly 20 minutes on Tuesday, discussing the five-player trade with the Red Sox that sent ace Chris Sale to Boston.

But it was his answer to the final question -- albeit an off-the-cuff response concerning how to sell the move to the White Sox fan base -- that truly could indicate the depth of this team's rebuild.

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Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

For Sale: What the White Sox got

Chicago boosts farm with MLB's top prospect, fireballer, two more high-ceiling Minor Leaguers

For Sale: What the White Sox got

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Perhaps the biggest name being bandied about since the Winter Meetings began, left-handed ace Chris Sale, has been dealt to the Red Sox. To get the five-time All-Star, Boston president of baseball operations Dave Dombowski had to seriously raid the prospect cupboard, dealing four of the organization's Top 30 to the White Sox.

The headliner of those four, of course, is No. 1 overall prospect Yoan Moncada. Signed two months shy of his 20th birthday, Moncada received $31.5 million to sign out of Cuba, a record bonus for an amateur player. That blew past the Red Sox's international pool, forcing them to pay an additional $31.5 million in penalties.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

White Sox contribute 3 items to Play Ball auction

White Sox contribute 3 items to Play Ball auction

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- When Shannon Forde passed away during Spring Training 2016, then-White Sox manager Robin Ventura paid heartfelt tribute to his friend.

"It breaks your heart. Married, with two young kids. She was just a sweet person," said Ventura, who played for the Mets from 1999 to 2001 and got to know Forde, New York's senior director of media relations, who passed away at 44 after a long battle with breast cancer.

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Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Quintana commits to World Baseball Classic

Quintana commits to World Baseball Classic

With the World Baseball Classic just a few months away, the rosters are beginning to take shape. More names surfaced Monday as the World Baseball Classic released an initial list of 30 players who are confirmed to be participating in the 2017 tournament.

Spanning 16 countries, the players include 24 Major League All-Stars, but the upcoming WBC, which will take place in March, provides a global stage for veterans and rising stars alike.

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Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lawrie, Garcia settle with White Sox for 2017

Club non-tenders righty Smith; 6 headed to arbitration

Lawrie, Garcia settle with White Sox for 2017

CHICAGO -- The White Sox agreed to terms on a one-year, $3.5 million contract with second baseman Brett Lawrie and a one-year, $3 million contract with outfielder Avisail Garcia, as announced by the team Friday. The White Sox declined to tender a 2017 contract to right-handed hurler Blake Smith, making him a free agent and leaving their 40-man roster at 38 entering baseball's Winter Meetings, which begin on Monday.

MLB.com and MLB Network will have wall-to-wall coverage of the Meetings from the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center outside Washington, D.C. Fans can watch live streaming of all news conferences and manager availability on MLB.com, including the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday at 9 a.m. ET.

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Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Peace & glove: Owners, players reach CBA deal

New agreement includes change to home-field advantage in World Series

Peace & glove: Owners, players reach CBA deal

IRVING, Texas -- Major League Baseball's players and owners reached a tentative five-year Collective Bargaining Agreement through the 2021 season on Wednesday night. The parties will follow up today with a formal document, which then must be ratified by representatives of both sides. 

At 8:40 p.m. ET, an assortment of happy players, owners, lawyers and staffers poured from meeting rooms to exchange handshakes and hugs. That's how quickly 36 hours of round-the-clock negotiations ended, nearly four hours before today's deadline of 12:01 a.m. ET to reach a deal. Short of an agreement, the sport was faced with the best-case scenario of an extension or owners could have imposed a lockout.

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Richard Justice is a columnist for MLB.com. You can follow him on Twitter @richardjustice. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Saladino working back to be stronger than before

Herniation cut short '16 season; offseason regimen has issue under control

Saladino working back to be stronger than before

CHICAGO -- The main issue Tyler Saladino had to deal with during the final week of November was getting stuck in a massive traffic jam, a seemingly common problem for any California native.

As for the back problem -- a herniated disk L5 on his right side, to be precise -- that ended his strong 2016 season on Sept. 21, the 27-year-old White Sox infielder is not only without pain but also feeling confident the malady stands under control.

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Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

The Next Big Leaguers: White Sox Collins

A team-by-team look at future key contributors who starred in the 2016 Arizona Fall League

The Next Big Leaguers: White Sox Collins

The Arizona Fall League always is loaded with talent, and it was stronger than usual in 2016. In the initial installment of MLBPipeline.com's "The Next Big Leaguers," which premieres Tuesday, we focused on five prospects: Dodgers first baseman Cody Bellinger, Twins shortstop Nick Gordon, Cubs outfielder Eloy Jimenez, Red Sox infielder Yoan Moncada and Yankees shortstop Gleyber Torres.

We could have spotlighted many more promising prospects if not limited by time constraints, and below we'll do exactly that.

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Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Quintana to pitch for Colombia in Classic

White Sox left-hander could match up against US in first game

Quintana to pitch for Colombia in Classic

White Sox left-hander Jose Quintana will pitch for Colombia in the World Baseball Classic, his agent told MLB.com's Jon Morosi on Tuesday.

Quintana, who turns 28 in January, is a native of Arjona, Bolivar, Colombia. He has been one of the American League's top pitchers throughout his five-year career, going 13-12 with a 3.20 ERA in 32 starts last year, his fourth consecutive season of at least 200 innings.

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Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

White Sox sign catcher Pena to Minors deal

White Sox sign catcher Pena to Minors deal

The White Sox added organizational catching depth Monday, signing backstop Roberto Pena to a Minor League deal, according to SB Nation.

Pena, 24, hit .235/.273/.376 with eight home runs and 25 RBIs in 74 games between Houston's Double- and Triple-A affiliates last season.

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Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Robertsons touching lives with High Socks for Hope

Robertsons touching lives with High Socks for Hope

CHICAGO -- Take a look at the High Socks for Hope website representing David and Erin Robertson's foundation and it becomes readily apparent that their excellent work in connection to baseball goes deeper than David recording saves on the mound.

The Robertsons, who are parents to a young son, started this important form of assistance in April 2011 after a tornado ripped through Tuscaloosa, Ala., David's hometown and where he played at the University of Alabama. A little more than five years later, they have provided assistance to more people than they could have imagined and the charity is growing larger than they ever thought.

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Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pickett rewarded for faith in ACE program

Pickett rewarded for faith in ACE program

CHICAGO -- The following was the sentiment expressed by Devin Pickett on Nov. 10, 2011, when he joined four other players from the White Sox Amateur City Elite youth baseball program in signing their collegiate letters of intent during a ceremony at the home of the White Sox.

"Words can't express how much they helped me out," Pickett said of ACE. "I've been playing with the program for a couple of years now. They exposed me to a lot of big-time schools. I couldn't ask for more. I really appreciate it."

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Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Raines seeks HOF spot in final year on ballot

Raines seeks HOF spot in final year on ballot

NEW YORK -- Tim Raines seems to be inching closer to Cooperstown. He is hoping his 10th and final year of eligibility for the Baseball Hall of Fame will lead to election.

Raines came close last January. He was named on 69.8 percent of the ballots casted by members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

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Bill Ladson has covered the Nationals/Expos for MLB.com since 2002 and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.