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Friday, October 21, 2011
Might be time for White Sox shuffle at top

By Doug Padilla

CHICAGO – At this point, one of these Rick Hahn rumors is going to become official so if the White Sox don’t want to lose their general manager star in the making it might be time for a promotion.

The White Sox assistant general manager has been the right-hand man to GM Kenny Williams for 11 seasons now and is highly respected for his work with contract negotiations and his growing expertise as a talent evaluator.

Reports have now surfaced that Hahn is a strong candidate for the Los Angeles Angels’ general manager vacancy. He was also talked about as a possibility for the Cubs opening and interviewed with the New York Mets last offseason when they had a GM opening.

Somebody is expected to take a chance on Hahn at some point and this could be the time. Hahn is a native of Winnetka, went to the University of Michigan and also Harvard Law School so he has ties to a variety of areas.

He also has ties to the Angels’ neck of the woods having worked at Steinberg, Moorad & Dunn sports agency in Newport Beach, Calif., for two years.

The White Sox could go the route that the Cubs are expected to follow and make Williams a team president much like the team across town is about to do with Theo Epstein. Then Hahn can move into the White Sox’s general manager role.

How the White Sox divide up responsibilities between Hahn and Williams could go a long way to deciding if Hahn would be up for the promotion. If their duties stay the same and only their titles change that might not be enough of a challenge for Hahn.

But there is a possibility that things might not be much different if Hahn goes to the Angels. The talk has always been that field manager Mike Scioscia has a huge influence on player personnel decisions, perhaps as much or more than any other manager in baseball. Would the GM role with the Angels essentially be akin to an assistant GM job elsewhere?

It’s obvious, though, that the clock is ticking on Hahn once again. Saying that he will one day get a GM job isn’t just giving him a compliment, the number of teams expressing interest in him is growing.

If the White Sox want to keep Hahn, they might want to show him what he means to the organization.