Hahn says White Sox open for business despite Abreu signing
BY GORDON WITTENMYER Staff Reporter November 11, 2013 10:54PM
Cuban slugger Jose Abreu looks out at his name on the U.S. Cellular Field scoreboard as he poses for photographers after a news conference where the Chicago White Sox announced a six-year, $68 million deal with Abreu Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Updated: December 13, 2013 6:28AM
ORLANDO, Fla. — Already with one major free-agent signing in their back pocket, the White Sox hit the general managers meetings running Monday at the JW Marriott Grand Lakes.
Less than two weeks after introducing $68-million first baseman Jose Abreu to fans, GM Rick Hahn said the Sox are open for business and ready to make deals as they try to improve on their worst season in 43 years.
Hahn said he has spoken with other clubs by phone for weeks with an eye toward accelerating talks during this three-day set of meetings — even if it doesn’t mean a deal gets done until the winter meetings at Disney World early next month.
The Sox are in the market for catchers, outfielders and possibly third basemen this winter, with Yankees free agent outfielder Curtis Granderson — the Chicago native — on their radar.
“While there may not be any significant deals consummated until we’re back in Orlando a few weeks from now — or perhaps even later, a lot of time the foundation is laid this week,” Hahn said.
Former Cubs ace Carlos Zambrano, still just 32, is pitching winter ball in his native Venezuela and hoping to pitch again in the majors, according to his agent, Barry Praver.
“He’s very much interested in continuing his career,” Praver said of Zambrano, whose last comeback attempt ended in shoulder soreness late this summer while pitching for the Philadelphia Phillies’ Class AAA affiliate.
Whether Big Z ever makes it back to the majors (he has eight strikeouts, 15 walks and a 3.20 ERA in 19 2/3 innings this winter), the Cubs’ six-time Opening Day starter would like to mend fences and return for Cubs Convention and other team events, Praver said.
“I have no doubt that he would come back,” he said. “Carlos speaks very fondly of Chicago and Cubs fans.”