White Sox know offseason carries great importance
BY DARYL VAN SCHOWUEN Staff Reporter November 10, 2013 7:38PM
Los Angeles Angels v New York Yankees
Updated: November 10, 2013 10:05PM
Don’t put it past Rick Hahn to be active in trade talks and the free-agent market in the coming months.
Granted, the White Sox general manager landed his big free-agent fish in $68 million Cuban first baseman Jose Abreu. While that acquisition helped save face, the blush from the embarrassment of 2013 hasn’t worn off yet.
Hahn and the rest of the hierarchy, including chairman Jerry Reinsdorf, have never been more humiliated by what happened on the field. Hahn will explore all of his options, including discussing trades about any of his players except for Abreu and Chris Sale.
Hahn will lay the groundwork for the offseason at the general managers meetings Monday through Wednesday in Orlando, Fla. Catcher, outfield and possibly third base are areas of need. As well as Jose Quintana progressed during his second year, the departure of Jake Peavy left the Sox without a true No. 2 starter, although they believe the depth of their rotation is a strength.
The Blue Jays are rumored to have interest in second baseman Gordon Beckham, but it’s not the first time. The Sox were known to be interested in making a pitch for free-agent outfielder Curtis Granderson (who’ll be 33), the Yankees made the south suburbanite a qualifying offer, which means he’ll cost the Sox their second-round draft pick. That raises Granderson’s price for Hahn, who badly needs every pick he can get to bolster a lacking farm system.
But with about $56 million committed to 2014, plus the arbitration cases of Beckham, Alejandro De Aza and Dayan Viciedo, it’s not like the Sox are strapped for cash. Their 2013 payroll started at about $112 million.
Paul Konerko’s status for next season has yet to be resolved. Hahn needs to know where that stands, and the sooner the better so he can plan for 2014. Konerko and Gavin Floyd, who is coming off Tommy John surgery, are the only Sox free agents.