The compensation pick: A "real consideration"

Ever since Jeff Samardzija rejected the qualifying offer on November 13th, there has been plenty of conversation of whether the White Sox should or would relinquish compensation pick they received as a result. The compensation pick will end up being either the 27th or 28th pick in the draft and the value of the slot figures to be just over 2 million dollars. That being said, the fair market value of the pick could be calculated to be worth more than five times that amount. Given the intersection of the state of the White Sox farm system and the team’s desire to compete in 2016, it’s a crucial decision for the White Sox to decide over the next month or so.

Nick Hostetler at SoxFest 2016 / Brian Bilek, Future Sox

Nick Hostetler at SoxFest 2016 / Brian Bilek, Future Sox

When I spoke with Chicago’s new Scouting Director Nick Hostetler on Friday he admitted that the White Sox’ pursuit of compensation-attached free agents was definitely something to watch for the first year scouting director:

“It helps a little bit talking with Rick and Jeremy (Haber) and Kenny on a daily basis and knowing what’s going on so you’re not caught off guard if something should happen or there’s rumors of what is the truth and what is not the truth. It’s been a little bit more on Twitter, a little bit more on the blogs reading stuff to see if something popped that I didn’t know about and call them and say, “Hey, is this true?”

General Manager Rick Hahn faced plenty of questions on the qualifying offer pick throughout the weekend. When I was speaking with Hahn on Friday, he stressed the value it could bring to the draft process, saying the pick, “allows us to either move money up or move money back. If we want to try to get different types of talent later or earlier in the draft, it provides us a great deal of flexibility.” Even so, the fourth-year General Manager felt the need to elaborate towards the possibility of losing the pick, “I will say that, if for whatever reason we wind up without that sandwich pick, we’ll still have two in the top fifty and have ourselves a standard draft so to speak.”

Rick Hahn at SoxFest 2016 / Brian Bilek, Future Sox

Rick Hahn at SoxFest 2016 / Brian Bilek, Future Sox

When speaking with the fans at his two seminars with Robin Ventura, Hahn referred to the pick as a “real consideration.” At the same time, Hahn stressed the importance of making good on the team they have right now and the season they have ahead:

“At the end of the day, our focus right now is putting ourselves in the best position to win in 2016. The 27th/28th pick in the draft, is important but it’s a longer-term consideration. At the end, it depends on balancing those things out and prioritizing what we feel is important right now. If we do, for whatever reason, wind up losing that pick at least we’ll still have a full complement in the draft.”

With the offseason winding down, there are only three players remaining who have received qualifying offers on the market. Outfielder Dexter Fowler and shortstop Ian Desmond are the two players that have been tied to the White Sox but the White Sox do hold plenty other options. Hahn had opened the SoxFest festivities by assuring the media that the team is still active: “We are still going to work with what seems to be a rather fluid market for players right up until Opening Day.” It remains to be seen whether the White Sox will own the compensation pick come June, but you can at least be sure that Hostetler will be watching, and Hahn will be involved.

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