It has been one of the worst kept secrets for the Chicago White Sox front office, but whispers of it have now turned into screams, thanks to a USA Today story that reported Ken Williams will be promoted to team president, while assistant Rick Hahn will take over the general manager post Williams has held since October 2000.
Williams sent an email to writers about the topic before the Thursday's night game, doing his best to put the fire out.
"No one's 2013 status, not even mine, will be discussed while we are singularly focused on winning a championship and more immediately, (Thursday night's) game," Williams wrote.
Williams was at Kauffman Stadium for the White Sox's 4-3 loss to the Kansas City Royals, and he was asked directly by reporters about the story. He refused to address the matter.
However, the writing has been on the wall for some time. The White Sox have no president of baseball operations in their organization, so it's a new title. Also, it's a title that Williams has wanted, stating numerous times that he would love to be able to have some of the baseball decisions but not have to deal with the media or the grind that the GM job entails.
The model of what Williams wanted was demonstrated last offseason, when Theo Epstein was hired by the Cubs to be their president of baseball operations.
As far as Hahn, he has been groomed for the job for years. He had been handling most of the negotiations with agents -- another task that Williams grew tired of. Other strengths for Hahn are knowing the organization, since he's been around for 12 seasons, as well as knowing the ins and outs of the league's rule book when it comes to service time and other details that Williams didn't always seem as interested in.
The one weakness Hahn admittedly had was scouting, but the organization put an emphasis on improving that area over the past five years, and it was Hahn who was responsible for getting Philip Humber off the scrap heap.
Hahn has been atop the list of possible general managers for the past three years, and he will apparently get his shot in the organization he wanted to stay with all along.
As far as the news being a distraction to his team, the Sox did lose, keeping their AL Central lead over the Detroit Tigers at just two games, but the Royals have had their number all year long. Kansas City went 12-6 against Chicago to dominate the season series.