Eye on the Tigers is a White Sox necessity

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Chicago White Sox won’t even pretend that it’s all about how they perform next season, or that success has nothing to do with their opponents.

Asked if the Detroit Tigers' makeup alters how they feel about themselves, new White Sox general manager Rick Hahn cut to the chase.

“They’re the defending American League champs, they’ve added a great player in Torii Hunter and have Victor Martinez, another great player, (returning from injury),” Hahn said. “We have to be aware of what we’re chasing. It certainly factors into the team we want to build.”

It appears to be one of the bigger factors in why the White Sox are unwilling to move pitching talent in a trade to bolster another area on the roster.

“As we look around our room and talk to our scouts and coaches and look at our clubs, we can’t look at ourselves and say maybe we’re an 80-82 win team,” Hahn said. “We can’t think in good faith that’s going to capture the Tigers, given what they’ve accomplished in the players they’ve added. Fortunately, we don’t look at ourselves that way. We like our team.”

Add Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder to Hunter and Martinez in the middle of that Tigers’ lineup and the White Sox’s pitching staff had better meet expectations and likely surpass them.

“We like the fact we’re bringing back Jake Peavy and we like the fact Chris Sale will be a year deeper into his career,” Hahn said. “Our bullpen will have experience under its belt from last year and we’ll add our Opening Day starter (John Danks), who really didn’t factor in much from last year. So we factor in ourselves much better. But we still have some areas we need to improve to compete with the Tigers.”