Trade talks picking up, White Sox GM Hahn says

Written By Sun-Times Wire Posted: 11/20/2013, 12:26pm

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After setting the table at the GM meetings in Orlando, Fla., for possible trades, White Sox general manager Rick Hahn will go back to the winter meetings in Orlando on Dec. 9 for getting some important work done.
First baseman Jose Abreu has been added and reliever Matt Lindstrom’s option has been picked up, but the Sox have oodles of room for improvement at catcher, in their bullpen, the outfield and another infield position or two.
Free agency is one way to go, but the trade market is the most likely avenue for Hahn, who, while not giving up on contending next season, is most concerned with a bigger, long-term picture.
Trade talks since the GM meetings are gathering steam.
“In terms of the intensity of talks, it has definitely picked up in recent days,’’ Hahn said Tuesday.
“There’s been a lot of names exchanged. A lot of ideas thrown across the board. Not perhaps real good ideas, which is why nothing has taken place on the trade front just yet. I think activity is picking up.
“We well could have something in the next day or it could take through Orlando when the logjam sort of breaks.’’
The only untouchables or close to that are Chris Sale, Avisail Garcia and Abreu. And the Sox seem to have little intention of moving left-hander Jose Quintana. Because they have depth in a rotation that includes four lefties, left-hander Hector Santiago — who ranked third among Sox starters in innings (149), starts (23) and ERA (3.56) – could be shopped in a trade. So could outfielder Alejandro De Aza, who was one the more productive hitters but struggled in the field and had too many bad moments on the bases.
Hahn, a guest on MLB Network’s ‘Hot Stove’ show Wednesday, repeated his belief that the Sox can win next season because of their young pitching staff.
“We’re not writing off 2014 at all,’’ Hahn said. “You’ve seen a team as recently as this season in the Red Sox go from last to first. We also feel we have a strong enough pitching core, which is the hardest thing to get, that we’re in a good position as we re-tool this thing. We’re not necessarily turning a page and saying this is all about 2015, it’s more of a longer-term view that we’re trying to have this off-season.
“As a result, my guess is that most of the remaining transactions will come via trade. Certainly there is a chance we make some shorter-term commitment in the free-agent market if the right opportunities arrive, but we’re trying to take the perspective that we have a shot in 2014 given the pitching. Nobody, starting with [chairman] Jerry [Reinsdorf] on down, wants to sit through what we sat through in 2013. But any move we make has to fit in with the longer term perspective of getting this thing right.’’