Ken Williams is expected to be part of the White Sox contingent at the winter meetings Monday in Nashville, Tenn., but it definitely will be Rick Hahn's show.
Williams' repeated phrases of "championship players" and "pieces" when referring to potential acquisitions have been replaced by Hahn's emphasis on "value" and "resources."
"I certainly believe if we win, put a product on the field that merits the fans' patronage and devotion, that they're going to come," said Hahn, who is looking to solidify third base and add a left-handed hitter. "If it's a splashy move, it will be made only because we think it can help us win more games, which is the goal.
"As I've said before, we have more than enough resources around here to win, and it's our job to allocate them to give us the best chance to win, not to allocate them in a way that potentially increases attendance because of something splashy."
Most of the foundation is in place, thanks to the bulk of the pitching staff returning, as well as six of eight regular position players. The Sox could clear $9.5 million by trading Gavin Floyd but likely would need to add a right-handed pitcher to balance a heavily left-handed tilted rotation.
The probable departure of free agent catcher A.J. Pierzynski (77 RBIs) leaves the Sox with leadoff batter Alejandro De Aza and designated-hitter Adam Dunn as their only regular left-handed batters. Hahn has acknowledged the left side can't be overlooked, especially after left-handed hitters drove in 277 runs in 2012, compared to 182 in 2011.
Hahn has enough on his to-do list to stay out of the business department's ominous task of rebuilding the Sox's ticket base. Home attendance fell below the 2 million mark in 2012.
After the Sox's ill-fated "All-In" slogan in 2011 following the flurry of free agent signings, it would be prudent of Hahn to take the methodical approach he embarked on with re-signing Jack Peavy and picking up Floyd's option.
"A lot of times those (splashy) things look really good in December and January, and it turns out they don't fit with the rest of the club and the team struggles through the summer," Hahn said. "I'd much rather make some (moves) that are perceived as less splashy moves that ultimately lead to us having a better overall team and a more competitive team throughout the summer."
The Sox could look to acquire a young power hitter if they deal Floyd, especially since Paul Konerko's contract expires next fall, and Dunn can become a free agent after 2014.
Trayce Thompson, the Sox's top power-hitting prospect, will need at least another year of minor league seasoning, so Hahn could look further ahead as well as toward the immediate future.