As befits a team that wants to play with the big boys, this is where Williams and Hahn focused most of their offseason and early season efforts. Chicago signed, re-signed or extended 10 players, most of them established veterans of the stripe of Andrew Benintendi, Elvis Andrus and Mike Clevinger.
The problem is that for every productive move, Williams and Hahn made another bad one. Only three of the 10 free agent pickups have delivered a positive WAA for the Sox, while five have gone negative (two are neutral).
What does it add up to? Nothing, that’s what. The cumulative WAA production of the 10 White Sox free agent signees at the season’s halfway point is precisely 0.0.
There have been hits. As a fifth starter, Clevinger sits at +1.1 WAA. Pitchers Keynan Middleton and Jesse Scholtens, who came over from Arizona and the Padres system respectively, are both at +0.7.
But Benintendi (-0.3) and fellow veteran Clint Frazier (-0.4) have been minor busts, and Andrus (-1.5) has been a major letdown.
The assessment is more kind regarding Chicago’s departures to free agency.
Williams and Hahn allowed four players to get to the open market, the two notable ones being first baseman Jose Abreu and outfielder A.J. Pollock. Both losses were criticized over the winter, and both decisions have proven prescient. Abreu (-2.1) has been a costly train wreck in Houston, and Pollock (-0.9) not much better in Seattle.