The cloak-and-dagger element to trade negotiations in sports has always been overstated, but in the case of Chicago White Sox G.M. Rick Hahn, the stereotype may actually be true.
While Hahn was negotiating with Chicago Cubs President Theo Epstein, the trade for pitcher Jose Quintana came together extremely quietly, and the White Sox leader went to awesome lengths to make that happen.
“It wasn’t easy to parcel everything together, but then by Tuesday morning I was at FanFest with my son Charlie in Miami and I got a call from Theo,” Hahn recalled. “I literally hid behind an exhibit at FanFest to talk to Theo about the specifics of the deal.”
The idea of Hahn hiding behind a standee at the MLB All-Star Game is a hilarious one, but what resulted from the conversations is no joking matter. The White Sox acquired two more prospects that they can add to their already stacked farm system, and the Cubs have added a pitcher that fortifies a rotation that sorely needed help.
After Hahn’s disappearing act, he continued texting Epstein throughout the week in Miami, including during Tuesday’s All-Star Game at Marlins Park.
“At that point he expressed a willingness to include (Eloy) Jimenez and (Dylan) Cease, and we spent the next several hours, including while I was sitting at the All-Star Game, trying to put together the final two pieces on the back end of this deal,” he said. “From Sunday morning to the end of Tuesday night, it was a pretty quick turnaround.”
With the trade, the White Sox now have two of the top five prospects in baseball, according to MLB Pipeline, and they have nine of the top 100 prospects in the game.