Hahn exploring ways to fill roster holes

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Hahn exploring ways to fill roster holes

PALM DESERT, Calif. -- With several key free agents on the market, Rick Hahn has the next three days to explore other ways to potentially fill roster holes.

Its not that the White Sox general manager is opposed to retaining catcher A.J. Pierzynski, third baseman Kevin Youkilis or reliever Brett Myers.

Hahn, unless he offloads salary through trades, has limited resources and prefers to be realistic about the chances of signing those players.

After a career season at the plate, Pierzynski could be in line for a big payday while Youkilis is the top third baseman in a thin free agent class. A big salary for either player could be hard for the White Sox to achieve with nine players already under contract for 89.25 million. The teams payroll should be roughly the same as last season when the White Sox opened the season at 97.669 million.

The odds of signing an impending free agent decrease once they hit the open market, Hahn said last week. You dont how aggressive other teams would be. Our chances would likely take a serious hit once he got out there.

The White Sox do have a plethora of starting pitchers already under contract. Jake Peavy and Gavin Floyd were signed last week and John Danks is rehabbing from surgery Aug. 6 and all signs are positive. Pitchers Chris Sale, Jose Quintana and Hector Santiago are also under team control.

Hahn said last week he believes the club could be very popular among other franchises in need of starting pitching help. He also said he will listen on all offers in hopes of an improvement to the roster through trade.

Floyd, who is set to earn 9.5 million in 2013, could be of particular interest to contenders looking for a one-year, affordable stopgap.

Teams arrived at the meetings on Tuesday afternoon. The meetings begin on Wednesday morning and conclude Friday. Hahn and the White Sox are fresh off their organizational meetings, which began Saturday in Glendale, Ariz.

White Sox manager Robin Ventura declines to discuss future amid speculation about return

White Sox manager Robin Ventura declines to discuss future amid speculation about return

The uncertainty surrounding Robin Ventura’s future will drag on a little longer.

The White Sox manager — who doesn’t yet have a contract offer for 2017, according to a baseball source — said Wednesday afternoon that he intends to wait until the current season is complete to discuss what’s next.

Ventura’s fifth season at the helm concludes on Sunday and according to USA Today report, the door has potentially been opened for a sixth. But Ventura didn’t broach the topic during Wednesday’s pregame media session and White Sox general manager Rick Hahn wasn’t available for comment. Hahn has previously said he’d wait for the season to end to talk and is expected to address the media on Monday, according to team officials.

“I appreciate all the concern,” Ventura said. “But like I’ve said all year long, I’m waiting until the end of the year. Rick and I always have discussions, but I’m waiting until the end of the year. 

“I’m not going to get into it. But I’ve always felt, especially this year, that I’m going to wait until the end of the year. 

“That’s just the way I like to do it.”

The White Sox are headed for their fourth straight sub-.500 record under Ventura unless they win their final five games. The club has only posted a winning record in Ventura’s first season (2012) and they’re 373-432 overall during his tenure.

The USA Today report suggested the decision on whether or not Ventura would return in 2017 is up to him. Ventura said he likes his job and also is aggravated by it. He’s disappointed with the team’s failures in 2016 after a 23-10 start and wouldn’t discuss whether or not he was interested in managing were the team to go into rebuild mode. Ventura also said he’s more focused on the club’s day-to-day operations.

“I enjoy the job,” Ventura said. “Right now we’re dealing with rain and trying to figure out how we’re going to do this. I’m figuring out how to get to the end of the year right now. That’s the biggest concern, and making sure everybody finishes it on the way that they should professionally.”

Outfielder Adam Eaton supported Ventura and said his even-keel management style is effective. Eaton said he’d welcome Ventura back. But Eaton also knows the decision isn’t his to make.

“I’ve always enjoyed Robin,” Eaton said. “I’ve always backed Robin. I think he’s a tremendous manager, people person, communicator. So for me I’ve enjoyed my time with him. I’d welcome him back. I’d love to have him back, but at the end of the day, it’s up to the higher-ups again.”

Ventura’s one concern is that the issue distracts from his players’ preparation over the final five games. Given everything else that has occurred this season, from the Adam LaRoche saga in spring training to Chris Sale’s suspension in July, Ventura wants to avoid adding another distraction. It’s one of the main reasons he has pushed off talking about his future.

“It was quite a ride,” Ventura said. “It really was. You just deal with it when it happens. Like I said, every team has its challenge and this one is no different. We had some unique ones, I would say this year. You handle it, you handle it inside the clubhouse and that’s my job.”

Source: White Sox have not decided on Robin Ventura's status for 2017

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USA Today Sports Images

Source: White Sox have not decided on Robin Ventura's status for 2017

Contradicting an earlier report from USA Today, CSN White Sox Insider Dan Hayes is reporting that the White Sox have not decided whether or not to retain manager Robin Ventura in 2017.

Stay with CSNChicago.com throughout the day for more information on this developing story.