White Sox Assistant General Manager Rick Hahn was nice enough to hold a conference call for a few bloggers and site operators, and discussed the state of the team.
On giving Scott Linebrink a four year deal:
"It simply has not gone as well as hoped. As you know, we sort of have a loose rule with not going beyond three years with pitchers. We broke that rule with Mark[Buehrle], but generally we believe in that philosophy. The good news is we feel his stuff still looks good. Since he has been here, we have fixed two mechanical issues he was dealing with, and we are excited to see him come to spring fully healthy this year."
Will the rotating DH position work this season:
"If it doesn't work, be rest assured we will do everything in our power to correct the problem. There is already a list in place for "replacements" if the DH situation doesn't work. We always have a contingency plan, and this is no exception. With that said, we do feel strongly in Andruw and Mark the DH position."
With Dayan Viciedo playing a lot of first base this Spring, has the organization made the decision on his long term position:
"There is an internal debate within the organization where he profiles, but we don't want to close the book on him at any position just yet. His value is increased as a third basemen, but also allows us to have flexibility in him being able to play multiple spots on the diamond."
How does the organization project Tyler Flowers
"Tyler is a catcher. In terms of playing another position, his bat will be strong enough to be a 1st basemen, but I want to make clear that he is a catcher. Tyler has made great progress over the last year and responded to every challenge we have thrown at him. Again, we project Tyler to be a long term catcher, but his bat could help us this season in another way."
How young players on the cusp of the Majors fit with this club:
-"With us having no fixed DH, that could open up a spot for a younger player if he forces our hand. However, we are also able to use prospects to acquire outside talent to better major league club, as you have seen us do before. Point blank, the most talented guys are going to play."
On the track Jared Mitchell is on:
"Jared is a very coachable and receptive kid, but hasn't played a lot of ball, so we don't want to put him on the [Gordon] Beckham track. He is talented enough however to force our hand, and that's a good problem to have."
On the strengths and weaknesses of the organization, and plans for 2010 MLB Draft:
"Our first general rule is not to draft for need, but best overall player, especially if we see that player as a fit. Overall, the catcher position looks promising. Upper levels of the OF also looks good. We feel our system has got more athletic, which is something Kenny[Williams] has been wanting for quite some time. As always, we could always use more pitching. The other position we would like to upgrade is middle infield, but those can be the most difficult to find. With Gordon[Beckham] and Alexei[Ramirez] , we feel like we should be ok for the next few years, but it's always nice to have depth."