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Chicago White Sox

Rick Hahn's Resume as GM

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On 11/9/2019 at 2:06 PM, poppysox said:

We are exactly where RH said we would be when the rebuild started. 

Citation needed.
 

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Will post a great quote from James vegan along that line:

“Big signings — and certainly Machado’s and Bryce Harper’s deals — often get scrutinized for whether the production can strictly live up to the dollar value. But there’s far less discussion of the accumulated cost of mid- or low-tier signings and their potential to completely flop, from even a dollar standpoint, let alone a competitive one.“

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4 hours ago, caulfield12 said:

He’s been successful at profit maximization...despite probably having the worst rate of return on FA spending as measured by $ per fWAR.  Amazingly, it’s negative -1 for $188 million in spending outside of Abreu (who was a KW/Paddy signing).  Even if you’re overpaying egregiously, you should at least get 10-15 bWAR or fWAR.   

That -1 shouldn’t even be possible, imagining that you took all the free agents each cycle, pinned balloons to the wall representing those players, and threw darts while blindfolded until you hit JR’s FA spending limit per year.   We should just pay the Astros to let their proprietary AI/algorithm make decisions.  Over the long term, that would save a ton of money that JR spends on KW and Hahn.

 

Distorting numbers to fit your narrative don't make it a good point.

Hahn has paid 250 million go get 23.5 WAR - 10.6 million per WAR. While that is certainly less than the industry average (which is up to 9.8 million now) it's also not nearly as damning as the absurd 180 million for -1 WAR value you cite. If you remove all successes and only analyze a team based on their failures, they're all going to look bad. 

Hahn has failed enough that you dont have to play a disingenuous stats game. 

Edited by Look at Ray Ray Run

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On 11/9/2019 at 3:13 PM, Y2Jimmy0 said:

I am of the belief that Hahn/KW added Jay and Alonso because they knew their owner wouldn't be the highest bidder. They knew that the player wanted $300 million. They couldn't go there. And yes, Kenny is very involved. He's the Executive VP of the organization. Hahn has lots of autonomy and handles the day to day responsibilities of the club. If trades are made and free agents are signed though, you better believe Kenny is on board. 

Hiring Manny's posse was absurd. If he authorized that he is not competent. What a bad season. Next year should be his last chance to improve the team. Or else. 

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4 minutes ago, Look at Ray Ray Run said:

Distorting numbers to fit your narrative don't make it a good point.

Hahn has paid 250 million go get 23.5 WAR - 10.6 million per WAR. While that is certainly less than the industry average (which is up to 9.8 million now) it's also not nearly as damning as the absurd 180 million for -1 WAR value you cite. If you remove all successes and only analyze a team based on their failures, they're all going to look bad. 

Hahn has failed enough that you dont have to play a disingenuous stats game. 

I think this is a case where the only honest way is to say it both ways in any comment on the matter. Abreu was a really good signing, but it's also a signing with a caveat because it was an international deal. Credit goes to them for taking the risk on that deal which paid off solidly, but outside of one international success the record is incredibly bad. It is not disingenuous to note that as long as both parts are included; it's basically equally disingenuous to give $250/23.5 if you're also not noting that literally all of the positive performance comes out of one intenrational signing and $180 million of it went completely to waste. 

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On 11/10/2019 at 12:13 AM, aeichhor said:

Not sure how you are counting last year the build up when they where just in their second year of going through a tear down. Cubs, astros, and royals went through 3 really bad season before they started seeing the improvement to to start winning. Astros took took 5 season to finally get back to winning and another couple more till they won the world series. Cubs went through 4 seasons of losing before getting into the playoffs. Sox probably would be more ahead if some of the main pieces didn't get hit with injuries and delayed improvements. So if next yr they don't start seeing major improvements then you can start complaining about not see it built up enough. Sox actually improved 10 games from last yr with major holes in the rotation and lineup. Hopefully nothing but continued up from here. 

Please stop this comparison.  Cubs, Astros, and Royals all had new front offices.  They went through multiple field managers.  They didn’t let the people who drove the car into the ditch drive the tow truck as well.

 

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10 minutes ago, Balta1701 said:

I think this is a case where the only honest way is to say it both ways in any comment on the matter. Abreu was a really good signing, but it's also a signing with a caveat because it was an international deal. Credit goes to them for taking the risk on that deal which paid off solidly, but outside of one international success the record is incredibly bad. It is not disingenuous to note that as long as both parts are included; it's basically equally disingenuous to give $250/23.5 if you're also not noting that literally all of the positive performance comes out of one intenrational signing and $180 million of it went completely to waste. 

How is that disingenuous? 

It would be disingenuous if I said, Rick got 24.5 WAR out of 62 million - what a genius. Fact is, some of his FA dollars outperformed by a lot and some were awful. That's the nature of free agency.

He got about 1 WAR for every 10.8 million spent which isn't great by any means, but tells the story of his free agent signings in general.

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5 minutes ago, Look at Ray Ray Run said:

How is that disingenuous? 

It would be disingenuous if I said, Rick got 24.5 WAR out of 62 million - what a genius. Fact is, some of his FA dollars outperformed by a lot and some were awful. That's the nature of free agency.

He got about 1 WAR for every 10.8 million spent which isn't great by any means, but tells the story of his free agent signings in general.

I really disagree. There's a big part of the story missing - on average all of his positive free agent performance has come from one single signing, every other dollar we'd have been better off not spending. That is as big of a part of the story as Abreu's success.

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5 minutes ago, Look at Ray Ray Run said:

How is that disingenuous? 

It would be disingenuous if I said, Rick got 24.5 WAR out of 62 million - what a genius. Fact is, some of his FA dollars outperformed by a lot and some were awful. That's the nature of free agency.

He got about 1 WAR for every 10.8 million spent which isn't great by any means, but tells the story of his free agent signings in general.

If he continues his trend of his first 7 years, do you really think he can build a perennial contender?

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2 minutes ago, Dick Allen said:

If he continues his trend of his first 7 years, do you really think he can build a perennial contender?

How can the last 7 years be a “trend”? Comparing 2013 to 2018 seems just weird 

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7 minutes ago, Greg Hibbard said:

How can the last 7 years be a “trend”? Comparing 2013 to 2018 seems just weird 

It's not. Whether the ultimate goal is winning or not, he is signing free agents and trading for players he thinks can play. So many of these were just pissing away money. Jon Jay? Please. Alonso wasn't techinically a free agent, I guess that makes it even worse, but Yonder Alonso for $9 million? Really?  Another trade, Nova, why $9 million on him?  They spent $22 million on those 3. Why? What did they add to the rebuild?  Why not spend it on 16 year old international guys and a bunch of lottery tickets? 

McCann was good for a losing team. Hopefully he can keep it up, and we can put him in Rick's win column. But If he snaps back to being what he was in 2020, not saying he will, and hoping he will not, is that a win when you are paying someone to be good on a bad team? Even with Abreu, he has spent over $250 million on free agents only to lose, lose, and lose some more. When he was "going for it", LaRoche? Trading for Samardijza? It's one colossal blunder after another.  Even Robertson and Frazier, he salary dumped with Kahnle a guy they could still use, and got back a poor man's Ryan Sweeney who may never play in the major leagues. 

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22 minutes ago, Dick Allen said:

If he continues his trend of his first 7 years, do you really think he can build a perennial contender?

I'm not sure what led you to believe that I am defending Rick Hahn. 

I'm merely saying stastical integrity matters.

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35 minutes ago, Balta1701 said:

I really disagree. There's a big part of the story missing - on average all of his positive free agent performance has come from one single signing, every other dollar we'd have been better off not spending. That is as big of a part of the story as Abreu's success.

When the majority of your signings are small, you're going to have a lot of variance regarding who produces what. 

For example, in 2016 he signed 5 guys for 16.5 million - a little over 3 million per player. They generated negative WAR but is that far from what was expected? Not really. 3 million dollar players perform negatively as frequently as positively.

The sox have invested in the dumpster aisle in FA so expecting consistent results just doesnt seem logical. 

Have they wasted money by being risk averse? Obviously that appears to be the case, but you cant remove successes to evaluate an overall outcome.

I also want to ask why James McCann gets only 1 WAR in soxmachien piece when he was 2.3 WAR against FG and 3.8 WAR a bref.

Edited by Look at Ray Ray Run

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12 minutes ago, Look at Ray Ray Run said:

I'm not sure what led you to believe that I am defending Rick Hahn. 

I'm merely saying stastical integrity matters.

I am not the only person on this site that thinks you defend Rick Hahn. One player averaging about 3 WAR a year as the feather in your cap in  7 years of work, and getting slightly better than replacement on the other $180 million you spent,  isn't exactly getting it done. 

Maybe he's due to be right. 

I can't believe Hahn's performance is up for debate. It's as clear as can be. 

Edited by Dick Allen

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5 hours ago, Eminor3rd said:

The widely-held misconception that the GM is primarily responsible for all the things listed in the OP is fascinating to me, because it leads fans to spend a lot of time and energy forming very strong opinions about these people as if they can actually know them — which, since no one actually can, on either side of the argument, leads almost to the creation of a fictional universe inside a fans mind where being the GM of a team is actually just like playing OOTP. Where people actually think that each decision is made by a single person, inside the near vacuum of how a fan views the game — virtually ignoring all the context of running a business, such as satisfying ownerships demands, balancing a budget that achieves revenue and profit goals, professional development of employees who have been delegated important tasks, etc.

 There’s no doubt that this franchise has been a joke the last ten or fifteen years, from top to bottom — certainly in terms of performance on the field and, from all outward appearances, as a brand and promotional entity as well. But the line of thought that connects a poster talking about Rick Hahn as an intelligent person based on his education and mannerisms and another poster arguing the opposite using evidence such as the White Sox’ lack of success acquiring amateur talent in Latin America is bizarre. 

Said poster expressed optimism that Rick could take us to the next level due to his "intelligence" and I summarized the track record of the organization under Hahn's watch to serve as a counterpoint.  What in the fucking world is bizarre about that?  Are all smart people automatically good at their jobs?  His track record suggests that's not the case, which is the point I was trying to make.

I get you work in baseball in some capacity (minor league team?) and apparently know far more about how major league front offices work than the rest of us, so please enlighten on what Hahn is not responsible for in the OP?  Is he not responsible for shaping the strategic direction of the organization with Jerry & KW?  Is he not one of the most essential voices when it comes to free agents & trades?  Does he not have direct oversight of the player development and scouting functions?  No one said he's the only one responsible for our mess over the last years, but he's certainly one of the primary players and should no doubt be held accountable for our recent struggles.

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I think profits are what’s most important to the White Sox. Winning is secondary. If they happen to win while making money then cool. I don’t think Hahn has near the authority people believe he has to make deals and sign free agents. Same with Kenny Williams when he ran day to day operations. And I do believe RH and KW knew from the very beginning that Reinsdorf would never sign Machado for that much so they signed his buddies and hoped another team wouldn’t beat their lowball offer. 

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21 minutes ago, Dick Allen said:

I am not the only person on this site that thinks you defend Rick Hahn. One player averaging about 3 WAR a year as the feather in your cap in  7 years of work, and getting slightly better than replacement on the other $180 million you spent,  isn't exactly getting it done. 

Maybe he's due to be right. 

I can't believe Hahn's performance is up for debate. It's as clear as can be. 

Again, my post history is readily available. Review it and show my "support of Hahn." 

Again I'm not debating anything; you are. I am stating that you can't remove successes when analyzing outcomes. I also stated you dont even have too - he grades out poorly without doing such. 

By slanting your statistics to better suit your opinion, all you do is take away from the valid point you are making - you discredit yourself as bias. 

I can analyze hahns job sans bias - it hasn't been good - but by maintaining data integrity I have been accused of defending him.

Being a GM is no different than running an investment portfolio. One or two diamonds in the rough can drive the success of your portfolio - no one when analyzing you says, yes but if you remove these two calls you're awful. Why? Because samples need to include all data points, not just the good or bad ones.

Edited by Look at Ray Ray Run

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12 minutes ago, Look at Ray Ray Run said:

Again, my post history is readily available. Review it and show my "support of Hahn." 

Again I'm not debating anything; you are. I am stating that you can't remove successes when analyzing outcomes. I also stated you dont even have too - he grades out poorly without doing such. 

By slanting your statistics to better suit your opinion, all you do is take away from the valid point you are making - you discredit yourself as bias. 

I can analyze hahns job sans bias - it hasn't been good - and by maintaining data integrity I have been accused of defending him.

But this isn't the NBA. One player isn't going to move a needle between contention and being awful.  So if it is one player that makes his overall number go from what a monkey could do to what a message board poster could do in a pretty large sample size, you would have to think he's closer to the monkey. I don't think Rick Hahn is a dumb guy, far from it. I just don't think he's a baseball guy.

And I don't think he's the only problem. But he is a problem. KW is a problem. JR is a problem. Their scouts are problems. Their coaches are problems. Their minor league instructors are problems. Their manager seems to be a problem, but to be fair, no one is going to win 85 games with what he has been given. A thorough housecleaning is long overdue, and it seems to me the only way it will every happen is  a sale of the team. 

Edited by Dick Allen

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1 hour ago, Juschill said:

Please stop this comparison.  Cubs, Astros, and Royals all had new front offices.  They went through multiple field managers.  They didn’t let the people who drove the car into the ditch drive the tow truck as well.

 

Jerry's the one driving everything. Start with the top first

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1 hour ago, Balta1701 said:

I really disagree. There's a big part of the story missing - on average all of his positive free agent performance has come from one single signing, every other dollar we'd have been better off not spending. That is as big of a part of the story as Abreu's success.

I really want to complete the exercise of looking at all free agent signings of 29 other teams and their production. I agree the main thing that stuck out when I did for the sox (and soxmachine just did a better job of) was the distribution seemed so dramatic. I think part of that when you are looking at "so and so millions for so and so WAR" is to get to the 250 million part was a lot of players

 

edit: and one thing that I regret is using bWAR because baseball reference was jus so much easier to get to the players and transactions.

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On 11/10/2019 at 10:46 AM, GreenSox said:

The call to accelerate was premature.  But Hahn executed the acceleration - and he did it poorly.
His drafts have been poor.
And what about the June desperation in 2016 - trading for a broken down pitcher, ignoring the advice about Tatis, using a draft pick on a relief pitcher?
Yes, he was probably not allowed to offer Machado market value.  But whose idea was "friends and family"?  That was a clown act.  Further, as mentioned by others, part of his job is to make the business case to not accelerate or, in the case of Machado, to offer market value.  

I think we'll look back at the drafts as positive personally. Go back and look at the drafts from 2000-2010. The Tatis trade was horrible but that's what happens when your superiors choose to "go for it" when not prioritizing scouting and development and building a farm system. You end up trading guys like Tatis prematurely because the infrastructure created cannot handle a "go for it" mentality. I think it was his idea to get Jon Jay and Yonder Alonso. He really wanted Manny Machado and he thought that was his only option considering his owner wouldn't be the highest bidder in the end. 

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1 minute ago, Y2Jimmy0 said:

 

I think we'll look back at the drafts as positive personally. Go back and look at the drafts from 2000-2010. The Tatis trade was horrible but that's what happens when your superiors choose to "go for it" when not prioritizing scouting and development and building a farm system. You end up trading guys like Tatis prematurely because the infrastructure created cannot handle a "go for it" mentality. I think it was his idea to get Jon Jay and Yonder Alonso. He really wanted Manny Machado and he thought that was his only option considering his owner wouldn't be the highest bidder in the end. 

Pressure and expectations should be increased big time at this stage in the rebuild. Sox have tons of financial flexibility to use this and next offseason if they play their cards wisely, but badly need to inject impact talent as they shift from tanking to contention. 2020, while unlikely to be a true contention season, is pivotal in taking the step and getting to .500 or better. A 75 win season would be a disaster and fans would be right to call for heads to roll. Rebuilds cannot be perpetual, and the time is now to make bold moves. 

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3 minutes ago, Y2Jimmy0 said:

 

I think we'll look back at the drafts as positive personally. Go back and look at the drafts from 2000-2010. The Tatis trade was horrible but that's what happens when your superiors choose to "go for it" when not prioritizing scouting and development and building a farm system. You end up trading guys like Tatis prematurely because the infrastructure created cannot handle a "go for it" mentality. I think it was his idea to get Jon Jay and Yonder Alonso. He really wanted Manny Machado and he thought that was his only option considering his owner wouldn't be the highest bidder in the end. 

If he was thinking he could get Machado without being the highest bidder, that's incompetence. Everyone, except apparently the White Sox, knew he was going to wherever he got the most money. Maybe they need to write these things on their dry boards on executive row on 35th Street. 

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29 minutes ago, Chicago White Sox said:

Said poster expressed optimism that Rick could take us to the next level due to his "intelligence" and I summarized the track record of the organization under Hahn's watch to serve as a counterpoint.  What in the fucking world is bizarre about that?  Are all smart people automatically good at their jobs?  His track record suggests that's not the case, which is the point I was trying to make.

I get you work in baseball in some capacity (minor league team?) and apparently know far more about how major league front offices work than the rest of us, so please enlighten on what Hahn is not responsible for in the OP?  Is he not responsible for shaping the strategic direction of the organization with Jerry & KW?  Is he not one of the most essential voices when it comes to free agents & trades?  Does he not have direct oversight of the player development and scouting functions?  No one said he's the only one responsible for our mess over the last years, but he's certainly one of the primary players and should no doubt be held accountable for our recent struggles.

You pretty much answered it in your last paragraph. He’s the name on the door, but a huge percentage of the decisions that lead to the success of the players are made by other people, and a huge percentage of the spending decisions that he directly handles are made by ownership. Rick Hahn’s personal skillset is just one of myriad factors that affect all the things in your OP.

To be clear, in case you feel like I’m attacking your post personally, what I’m saying refers just as much to the original notion that Hahn being “smart guy” will make the team successful. 

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2 minutes ago, Y2Jimmy0 said:

 

I think we'll look back at the drafts as positive personally. Go back and look at the drafts from 2000-2010. The Tatis trade was horrible but that's what happens when your superiors choose to "go for it" when not prioritizing scouting and development and building a farm system. You end up trading guys like Tatis prematurely because the infrastructure created cannot handle a "go for it" mentality. I think it was his idea to get Jon Jay and Yonder Alonso. He really wanted Manny Machado and he thought that was his only option considering his owner wouldn't be the highest bidder in the end. 

But that's not apples to apples, as Rick Hahn had two incredible boosts to his drafting compared to KW:

- The 2012 CBA that gave draft budgets and removed the sox being hamstrung by being one of the only teams that followed suggested draft slots (allowing players like Porcello to go to the tigers while we drafted aaron poreda)

- An average draft position of 8th overall compared to drafts often in the late teens/early 20s. 

That's not to defend KW, but they should be better at drafting with those two huge benefits.

And the only quality we can really point to is 1st round, with that draft record benefit. His ability to find value in rounds 3-10 has been terrible. The indians get such a huge boost with a player like Shane Bieber coming up, and sox just cannot seem to find one.

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