New challenges await Rick Hahn as new White Sox GM
Chicago, IL, United States (4E Sports) – Rick Hahn will assume more day-to-day authority and responsibility in the Chicago White Sox organization in his new role as General Manager, the team announced Friday.
He will oversee of all player personnel matters, coaching staff decisions, player development and scouting operations.
Hahn replaces Ken Williams, who has been promoted to executive Vice President, where he will focus even more on macro issues, talent evaluation and long-term planning for the organization.
Williams is also expected to have new responsibilities such as building interest in the team and generating new ticket sales. The franchise drew fewer than 2 million fans last season.
White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf called Hahn one of the most respected young executives in baseball today.
The owner said Williams raised the idea of promoting Hahn several years ago, and he believes it’s the right time to increase the scope and range of involvement of Williams while he continues to maintain oversight and final approval on major baseball decisions.
Reinsdorf noted the success of the tandem of Williams and Hahn over the past 12 seasons, and said is excited to see them grow and expand.
The White Sox have made two trips to the playoffs — including a World Series victory in 2005 — under the Williams-Hahn pairing.
The appreciative Hahn says he wants nothing more than to win another championship for the city of Chicago and White Sox fans.
Among the challenges he faces is at working on the status of catcher A.J. Pierzynski and right-hander Jake Peavy, and the expensive options of third baseman Kevin Youkilis and right-haders Brett Myers and Gavin Floyd.
“You have to look at not only the cost on the option to bring them back but also get a sense of trades or free agent options of what’s the marginal cost of replacing this guy. You’d prefer the option was at a reasonable price and it’s good value but it’s not the case in all of these,” he said.
Peavy has a $22 million option, Youkilis’ has $13 million, Myers’ has $10 million and Floyd has $9.5 million. All but Floyd have buyouts.
Hahn expects the club payroll to be around $97 million, the same as it was at the beginning of 2011. Peavy is expecyted to get a big offer elsewhere that will take him out of the Sox plans.