9/27/2013 9:22 P.M. ET
White Sox focus on long-term fix, not splashy free agent
By Scott Merkin / MLB.com
CHICAGO -- During a 25-minute season-ending press conference Friday, general manager Rick Hahn reiterated a point made recently to MLB.com that increased spending on the First-Year Player Draft and in the International market will be two of the top-line items on the 2014 budget.
The White Sox general manager also pointed out that the goal of the upcoming offseason moves, whether they are through trade or free agency, will be geared toward long-term success.
"Is it possible that there will be enough at that point to be a player in free agency? Absolutely," said Hahn, referring to money earmarked for the Draft and international spending. "But again, we're going to shy away from any short-term fix.
"It's going to be getting this thing right so that on an annual basis, we're in a position to contend for the postseason. If a free agent this year fits, a big-name, high-priced free agent is not just going to be for '14. It's going to be with a vision for the next several years thereafter as well."
Hahn is cognizant of the fans' displeasure over the 2013 struggles. But he believes maximizing wins over an extended period of time is what people want to come to see.
"Now I will say, the brand of baseball that we've played, I can understand not appealing to people," Hahn said. "It doesn't appeal to me, making the mistakes that we've made defensively or on the field or even some of the issues we've had at the plate.
"So some of the areas we want to improve probably will resonate with our fans. They'll see our intent is for them to see very quickly a brand of baseball that they probably associate more with what they want to see and White Sox baseball. In the process, they're going to be drawn back.
"Ultimately just to make a splashy move for the say, 'Hey, look,' and hold up a jersey with some guy here in December and hope to sell some tickets ... for me, it's an extended period of winning that's going to bring people back and make them keep coming back."
GM Hahn expects Ventura back as skipper in 2014
CHICAGO -- With one year remaining on Robin Ventura's three-year contract, general manager Rick Hahn left little doubt Friday that Ventura would be back managing the White Sox in 2014.
"I expect Robin back next year, yes," Hahn said during his season-ending press conference. "He has met the challenges this team's put in front of him over the last two years, both the good and the bad, extremely well.
"At the end of the day, I think managers and coaches are judged ... again, results matter, but it's also about communication, enthusiasm, the ability to get the most out of players. We certainly had some challenges here, but I think Robin's met all of them very well."
Ventura has talked not only about a desire to manage again in 2014, but recently told reporters he would like to be with the White Sox past that final year, even though he turned down a one-year extension before '13. Ventura's entire coaching staff will be re-evaluated after this trying season comes to a close.
Hahn didn't want to address any specifics in regard to the staff. And while everyone in the organization takes responsibility for the 2013 debacle, it's ultimately up to the players to translate the staff's hard work into on-field success, like it did in '12.
"We'll address all of that after the season is over," Hahn said of the coaches, with pitching Don Cooper having two years left and hitting coach Jeff Manto having one year. "I don't think it's fair for anyone in uniform for me to single out individual coaches or individual players at this time, while we're still playing, and say, 'This guy fits going forward,' or, 'That guy doesn't fit going forward,' or, 'We're looking to trade this guy.' I would never do that. I don't think that's professional."
Ventura, for one, would like to have his coaches back in full.
"Definitely," Ventura said. "In discussions right now it has been mostly about players and things like that. I hope so."
Chicago-area native Hahn disappointed by summer
CHICAGO -- Rick Hahn is more than just the astute general manager of the White Sox.
He's a long-time resident of the Chicago area and knows the importance of baseball on both sides of town. In looking at a 2013 campaign that will have the White Sox and Cubs combine for more than 190 losses, Hahn sees nothing but a disappointing summer.
"It's really unfortunate. I can't speak to anything going on, on the other side of town. I simply focus on our own performance," Hahn said. "Look, part of the reason I wanted this job is because baseball ... summertime in Chicago and baseball in summertime in Chicago is important.
"Perhaps I have too lofty of a view of its importance in this town, but I look back at this past summer and see it a bit as a wasted summer, because there was an opportunity in our opinion to perform better than we have and we failed to meet that. Certainly if things had gone better on the other side of town there would've been at least a segment, if not all of Chicago baseball, that would've felt a little bit better about the summer.
"We certainly didn't meet our obligation to entertain and to get people excited about baseball in the summertime, which ultimately is what I feel my responsibility is."
This poor summer performance leaves the White Sox with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft and the Cubs sitting on either Nos. 4 or 5.
Keppinger undergoes successful surgery on shoulder
CHICAGO -- Jeff Keppinger underwent successful surgery on his right shoulder Thursday at Rush University Medical Center. The procedure involved a debridement of the right shoulder, but no surgical repair was needed.
Keppinger, who is under contract with the White Sox two more years for $8.5 million total, should recover in two to three months and be ready for Spring Training.
"As for going forward, the intent is to use him how he was originally brought here," said White Sox general manager Rick Hahn. "That is as a complementary player who can be moved around and give Robin [Ventura] some flexibility. The [Gordon] Beckham injury obviously forced him into a little greater playing time earlier in the year than we anticipated, but a healthy Jeff Keppinger can play a key role on a good team, we feel."
Third to first
• The White Sox celebrated Hispanic Heritage Night on Friday, with Mariachi Monumental De Mexico performing a stirring rendition of the National Anthem. Ericka Pinto of Univision threw out one of the first pitches.