Hahn senses a surge in transactions

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Hahn senses a surge in transactions

With the winter meetings in Nashville, Tenn only 2 12 weeks away, Rick Hahn senses a surge in transactions may arrive shortly.

The White Sox general manager said Thursday night teams have begun to zero in on their options as evidenced by this weeks megatrade between the Miami Marlins and Toronto Blue Jays. Hahn thinks the White Sox could experience an uptick of their own as they continue to try and fill the holes on their roster, namely at third base and catcher.

Things are starting to happen, conversations are starting to get a little more substantive and offers are flying back and forth so something can happen at any time, Hahn said.

Asked whether more of his conversations are with agents or fellow GMs, Hahn described the split as fairly even. One agent Hahn has had several conversations with is Joe Bick, who represents third baseman Kevin Youkilis. The White Sox have had repeated conversations about Youkilis --- who had 15 homers and 46 RBIs in a White Sox uniform last season --- and have explored several other options, both internal and external. Youkilis has reportedly drawn the interest of a half-dozen teams aside from the Sox, which Hahn said falls in line with what he expected when the veteran reached free agency this offseason.

Its not a shock that hes heard from a bunch of teams, Hahn said. Its not a shock that hes popular and its not a shock that its going to be a challenge to bring him back. But we continue to have dialogue with he and other options and well see where it goes.

Hahn refuses to speculate on whether or not Youkilis or free agent catcher A.J. Pierzynski would return to the White Sox in 2013. He did clarify that the White Sox have several other options at third base ahead of a potential return to the position for Dayan Viciedo, who played left field in 2012. Hahn believes Viciedo is capable of handling the position but doesnt want to ask him to reverse course.

I think hes athletic enough to handle it but at the same time weve moved this kid around a lot, Hahn said. Were asking him a lot of him offensively in terms of the role he plays in our offense going forward so at this time I dont think another move is in his best interest. Its something we have talked about a lot. Its something well continue to consider. We wont rule it out but weve got a lot of other options ahead of that one.

The team also has internal options to ably replace bullpen coach Juan Nieves, who last week accepted a job to be the Boston Red Sox pitching coach. Hahn said he fully expects an internal hire.

Four top prospects among 19 players invited to White Sox big league camp

Four top prospects among 19 players invited to White Sox big league camp

Four of the team's top-10 prospects and a former All-Star are among the 19 nonroster invitees to White Sox big league camp this spring.

The team announced Monday that prospects Michael Kopech, Zack Collins, Zack Burdi and Spencer Adams have all been invited to camp next month. Everth Cabrera, an All-Star in 2013 for the San Diego Padres, Cody Asche, Cory Luebke and Geovany Soto are among the eight minor league free agents who also received an invitation. Pitchers and catchers report to camp in Glendale, Ariz. on Feb. 14 while the team holds its first full-squad workout on Feb. 18.

Kopech was acquired in the Chris Sale trade in December while Collins and Burdi were both selected in the 2016 amateur draft. Adams was drafted in 2014.

Signed earlier this month, Soto is expected to earn a spot on the 25-man roster. Soto, who played for the White Sox in 2015, finished last season with four home runs and an .809 OPS in 86 plate appearances for the Los Angeles Angels.

Cabrera, who produced 4.6 Wins Above Replacement between 2012-13, hasn't played in the majors since he appeared in 29 games for the Baltimore Orioles in 2015. Luebke, who has twice had reconstructive elbow surgery, finished with a 9.35 ERA in nine games for the Pittsburgh Pirates last season. Asche blasted 31 homers with a .240/.298/.385 slash line in 1,287 plate appearances since 2013 with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Other minor league free agents include: left-handed pitcher David Holmberg, right-handers Blake Smith and Anthony Swarzak, and catcher Roberto Pena.

White Sox minor leaguer pitchers Aaron Bummer, Brian Clark, Jace Fry and Matt Purke, infielders Nicky Delmonico and Danny Hayes, and outfielder Courtney Hawkins also have been invited to camp.

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