With team president Ken Williams and veteran general manager Rick Hahn at the controls, the Chicago White Sox completed the first half of their 2023 season Tuesday evening, and almost everybody considers it an unmitigated disaster. Favored by many to win the American League Central, the Sox are 34-47 and fourth in their division.
How much of the blame for that performance falls on Williams and Hahn? That pair has overseen the White Sox since GM Williams was promoted to team president and Hahn named GM to succeed him following the 2012 season. What follows is a mid-term assessment of the front office personnel decisions since the conclusion of the 2022 World Series with a particular focus on the extent to which those decisions have helped or hindered the White Sox’ performance.
Grading the Chicago White Sox at the midway point of the season
The standard of measurement in Wins Above Average (WAA), a variant of Wins Above Replacement (WAR). For this purpose, WAA is preferable because unlike WAR, it is zero-based. That means the sum of all the decisions made by the White Sox front office impacting the 2023 team gives at least a good estimate of the number of games those moves have improved (or worsened) the team’s status this season.
A team’s front office impacts that team’s standing in five ways. Those five are:
1. By the impact of players it acquires from other teams via trade, purchase or waiver claim.
2. By the impact of players it surrenders to other teams in those same transactions.
3. By the impact of players not already under team control it signs at free agency or extends.
4. By the impact of players it loses to free agency or releases.
5. By the impact of players it promotes from its own farm system.
Here’s how the team of Williams and Hahn stack up by those five yardsticks.