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Friday, October 26, 2012

White Sox promote Ken Williams and Rick Hahn

The long-awaited transition of the White Sox’s front office will be announced Friday when Ken Williams is promoted to overseeing the baseball operations department, with assistant general manager Rick Hahn elevated to Williams’ GM duties.

A major league source confirmed the moves shortly after the team announced a news conference was scheduled for Friday. The elevation of Williams and promotion of Hahn had been anticipated as early as 2008 — after the Sox’s last American League Central title.

The transitions will complete a 13-year run as GM for Williams, 48, who constructed the Sox’s 2005 World Series title team — their lone world title since 1917. As head of baseball operations, he will retain his title as a senior vice president.

At the end of the 2012 season, Williams spoke of the team’s challenge to attract more fans to U.S. Cellular Field, and he’s expected to provide input outside of the baseball department.

The promotion of Hahn, 41, completes five years of his candidacies as a GM in baseball circles. He either has interviewed, turned down interviews or been denied the chance to interview for GM positions with the Pirates Cardinals, Mariners, Mets and Angels.

Thanks to CV.

Repoz Posted: October 26, 2012 at 05:39 AM | 7 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: white sox

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   1. CWS Keith plans to [omitted] at [omitted] Posted: October 26, 2012 at 11:14 AM (#4284152)
I haven't the slightest clue what to expect from Hahn. Based on what I've read about him, he's a bit more saber-friendly than Williams, but Williams was definitely not the anti-stats buffoon he was sometimes made out to be -- the (first) Swisher and Dunn deals seem to be evidence of that. Williams' comparative advantage was finding pitchers that advanced metrics didn't really have much to say about -- Thornton, Floyd, Santos, Danks (to a limited extent). Is this an organizational trait that won't really change through the transition, or does Williams deserve the bulk of the credit for being able to pull off those deals?

The situation Hahn steps into is neither bleak nor great. He's handed an average-ish team with a terrible farm system. He should have more payroll flexibility than Williams had last winter, but he also has to replace the ~eight wins from the possible departures of Piezynski, Peavy and Youkilis. The division doesn't figure to be appreciably better next year, though, so building an 83-85 win team and hoping for a bit of luck is probably a reasonable strategy.

EDIT: Also -- seven years to the day since a White Sox Winner, and a World Championship! For some reason, the only appropriate reaction seems to be a muted-yet-happy Ron Simmons "Damn".
   2. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 26, 2012 at 11:30 AM (#4284184)
I haven't the slightest clue what to expect from Hahn.

He has to do better with the farm, doesn't he? There's no where to go but up.

Are they retaining the heads of scouting and player development? Seems like that area of the system could use a shakeup.
   3. BurlyBuehrle Posted: October 26, 2012 at 11:37 AM (#4284193)
Also -- seven years to the day since a White Sox Winner, and a World Championship!


In some ways, seems like yesterday. In other ways, seems like a lifetime ago.

Aside: is John Rooney still doing games for the Cardinals?
   4. CWS Keith plans to [omitted] at [omitted] Posted: October 26, 2012 at 11:50 AM (#4284213)
The most noticeable, obvious change would have been simply spending more on the draft, as they spent some rather paltry amounts under Williams, with a couple big bonuses sprinkled in as exceptions (Borchard mainly, probably forgetting one or two). The new CBA rules seems to prevent the Sox from improving much in this area, though.

As far as the scouting and player development, I don't know how to assess the job they're doing. There's a good chunk of useful players on other teams that the Sox either drafted or had in their system for a few years -- Brandon McCarthy, Chris Young (the CFer), Gio Gonzalez, Chris Carter, Mike Morse. Don't get me wrong -- the atrocious state of the farm has to fall on someone's shoulders, I'm just not sure whose.

To answer your question, though, nothing has yet come out regarding any other big time shake-ups. They made a pretty big change last winter when the scouting director Dave Wilder got busted for skimming bonus money (or something of the sort), so I'd be surprised if they made another change a year-and-a-half in.
   5. greenback changed his travels Posted: October 26, 2012 at 11:58 AM (#4284226)
Aside: is John Rooney still doing games for the Cardinals?

Yes.
   6. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 26, 2012 at 01:30 PM (#4284354)
Williams' comparative advantage was finding pitchers that advanced metrics didn't really have much to say about -- Thornton, Floyd, Santos, Danks (to a limited extent). Is this an organizational trait that won't really change through the transition, or does Williams deserve the bulk of the credit for being able to pull off those deals?


I thought Don Cooper deserved a lot of credit for that, although KW deserves credit too.

here's a good chunk of useful players on other teams that the Sox either drafted or had in their system for a few years -- Brandon McCarthy, Chris Young (the CFer), Gio Gonzalez, Chris Carter, Mike Morse.


McCarthy had injury problems even way back then, and they dealt him for Danks, so that was a great deal. Young has great power, but has his on-base problems, and they got a few okay years of Javy Vazquez for him. Gio was a bit of a headcase that had bounced around in a few organizations, and they got Swisher for him. Chris Carter was dealt for Carlos Quentin, who nearly won an MVP in Chicago. Morse had bounced around a lot of places before he finally got it in Washington.

All this really shows is KW is not afraid to deal good minor league talent to get talent to win right now. But yes, the system has fallen into some disrepair - that should be priority #1 for Hahn.
   7. Walt Davis Posted: October 26, 2012 at 05:32 PM (#4284557)
The most noticeable, obvious change would have been simply spending more on the draft

They did spend in the international market though with Ramirez and Viciedo (and maybe others). Wow, Ramirez will be 31.

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