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.
"There's still some talented players in Chicago," Hahn said. "There's still some exciting young players that are going to be part of this going forward. There's Tim Anderson, there's Carlos Rodon. There's a handful of others that come Spring Training we'll focus upon even more."
Maybe in the excitement of acquiring infielder Yoan Moncada, the top prospect in all of baseball per MLBPipeline.com, and hard-throwing right-hander Michael Kopech (No. 30 overall), Hahn couldn't think of another player to add to the mix. Then again, maybe the rest of the White Sox veterans, even those on the younger side, should rent instead of looking to buy.
Basically, anyone but Anderson and Rodon will be available over the upcoming days, weeks and months leading into Spring Training. After being what Hahn termed as "mired in mediocrity," the organization has gone down a seemingly exciting path to a rebuilding phase and an attempt to contend for a number of years. It's the same road traveled by the World Series-champion Cubs, as well as the Astros, Brewers, Braves, Reds and Phillies.
Hahn went as far as to mention that while they were doing the medical review on the Boston deal, they had a couple of other meetings.
"Whether you're close or not, [it's usually] the same answer here: You tend to be about a phone call away from something coming together," Hahn said. "More often than not, that phone call doesn't come.
"We're talking on a handful of different fronts. And it's possible something else comes together here. If not, we'll visit it later in the week."
Washington made a strong push for Sale, with a deal topped by right-hander Lucas Giolito and outfielder Victor Robles. The Nationals could put together a similar package in pursuit of left-hander Jose Quintana, an All-Star in 2016 who has worked at least 200 innings in each of the last four seasons. He also is under control through 2020, via two years at $14.35 million total and two club options for $10.5 million each.
Outfielder Adam Eaton, an offensive spark plug and a Gold Glove-caliber right fielder under control through 2021, also has drawn strong interest. The White Sox could look to the Cardinals and try to pry loose catcher Carson Kelly, who can work with Zack Collins, last year's first-round selection, in providing much-needed consistency behind the plate.
Third baseman Todd Frazier represents a true power hitter with a positive clubhouse presence, while David Robertson and Nate Jones stand as cheaper but successful closing options for teams not in on Aroldis Chapman or Kenley Jansen. Hahn quipped about being ready to make another trade on Tuesday evening if the right opportunity presented itself, but in reality there's no rebuilding timetable.
If the White Sox talent demand is met in each instance, they clearly are ready to move.