Projecting the White Sox lineup

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Projecting the White Sox lineup

Mark Gonzales joined Chicago Tribune Live on Tuesday to discuss what the White Sox lineup could look like on opening day -- which, by the way, is in less than two months. His breakdown is as follows: Alejandro De Aza, Brent Morel, Paul Konerko, Alex Rios, Alexei Ramirez, Adam Dunn, Dayan Viciedo, A.J. Pierzynski and Gordon Beckham.

Check out the video for Gonzales' explanations on that lineup. Here's what I would do if given the chance to mold the Sox lineup:
1. Alejandro De Aza: A no-brainer. He gets on base and has good speed.
2. Alexei Ramirez: He's not ideal for this spot (a higher-OBP guy would be ideal), but he gets on base more than a Brent Morel, A.J. Pierzynski or Gordon Beckham and would be great to have ahead of the middle of the order. Putting the ball in play is extremely overrated for a No. 2 hitter -- better to have someone who can get on base here than a guy who doesn't strike out.

3. Paul Konerko: Ideally, I'd like to have Konerko hit cleanup to max out his chances to hit with runners in scoring position. But that would mean Dayan Viciedo would have to hit third, which would probably be too much pressure on the soon-to-be 23-year-old rookie.

4. Adam Dunn: Like Gonzales, I'm banking on a rebound here, although I'm more confident Dunn will bounce back than Rios. It's risky to hit Dunn here, because if he struggles as mightily as he did in 2011, the Sox will have a tough time scoring runs early on. But if he bounces back and has some semblance of offensive production, he'll be a good fit here.

5. Dayan Viciedo: He'll have plenty of opportunities to drive in runs here. Good fit.

6. A.J. Pierzynski: Ideally, Ramirez would hit here with Gordon Beckham batting second, but the Sox won't have an idea if that's feasible until a month or two into the season. Pierzynski isn't the best option to hit sixth, but if Rios struggles, there probably won't be a better option on the team.
7. Brent Morel: His spectacular September power production isn't sustainable, but if he really did turn an offensive corner in last season's final month, he should hit higher in the order than he did for most of 2011.
8. Alex Rios: It'd be a pleasant surprise if Rios' bat could come back around, but he's only had about three good months of offense since coming to the White Sox in August of 2009.

9. Gordon Beckham: He and Rios are probably interchangeable in terms of "guys who need to rebound at the back of the lineup," but Beckham gets the nod at No. 9 probably because he doesn't cost nearly as much as Rios.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Winter meetings trades for Cubs and White Sox

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Winter meetings trades for Cubs and White Sox

Hub Arkush (Pro Football Weekly/670 The Score) and David Schuster (670 The Score) joined David Kaplan on the SportsTalk Live panel for Thursday's show.

Baseball’s winter meetings are over. Could Rick Hahn have done more this week? Plus which closer will have a better season- current Cubs closer Wade Davis or former Cubs closer Aroldis Chapman?

How much upheaval will there be on the Bears’ coaching staff this offseason? Plus are the Bulls in slump or are we finally seeing the real team show up?

Listen to this episode of the SportsTalk Live podcast here:

Rick Hahn: White Sox 'still thoroughly, deeply engaged' in trade talks as meetings close

Rick Hahn: White Sox 'still thoroughly, deeply engaged' in trade talks as meetings close

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- The White Sox have a pair of relievers to dangle and have become increasingly busier with two of three free-agent closers off the board.

Prior to leaving the Winter Meetings on Thursday, White Sox general manager Rick Hahn was asked if a pool of relievers including closer David Robertson and setup man Nate Jones had drawn much interest.

Having already traded Chris Sale and Adam Eaton, it’s believed the White Sox are willing to part with most anyone if the price is right. It sounds as if that possibility has improved after the Yankees’ late night signing of Aroldis Chapman on Wednesday, two days after the San Francisco Giants signed Mark Melancon. With only Kenley Jansen still left in free agency and due a big salary, Robertson, who has two years and $25 million left on his deal, could solve several teams’ relief needs. Jones is also a draw with potentially five years left on his current team-friendly deal, which includes two club options and one mutual option for 2021.

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

“We’ve had a lot of interesting conversations on a number of different fronts involving are players,” Hahn said. “And yes, we still have reliever pieces and starting pieces that are appealing to various teams throughout the league. I don’t think anything is going to happen between now and the time I go pick up my bags and head to the airport. But still thoroughly engaged, deeply engaged on a number of different fronts.”

Despite adding five pitchers and two position players through their first two moves, the White Sox still have a long list of desires. That list potentially includes a long-term starting catcher and another big bat among others.