Ventura: Dunn likely to see more time at first

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Ventura: Dunn likely to see more time at first

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Adam Dunn is likely to log more time at first base next season in an attempt to lighten Paul Konerkos workload.
White Sox manager Robin Ventura said thats the plan for now several months before the club heads to Glendale, Ariz. for spring training. Ventura addressed that and several other topics when he addressed the media for 15 minutes on Tuesday at Day 2 of the winter meetings.
Konerko, who is headed into the final season under contract, turns 37 in March.
I think that will probably happen, Ventura said. I think, for Paulie, what goes through the course of the year is a lot. Its a lot to have him be the everyday first baseman. I think Adam proved to be at the end he can play first base and give Paulie more time and when you get to that age, not that hes done by any means, its going to help him to have time off and not be on his feet so much.
Dunn made 52 appearances at first base for the White Sox last season.
He finished the season with an ultimate zone rating -- a metric that measures how many runs a player saves per season over an average defender at that position -- of 0.4. Prior to 2012, Dunns season-best UZR at first base (in more than 100 innings) was -3.1 in 2010.
Hes athletic, Ventura said. Thats another part of it. Youre not sticking a guy over there who cant play. He can play. So getting him committed to do it isnt going to be hard to do. He likes being on the field.
Ventura said hes on board with it if the White Sox opt to make Tyler Flowers the starting catcher next season. Flowers defensive skills and game-calling are solid, though Ventura wants to see what the backstops bat can produce with regular plate appearances.
Youre going to be comfortable, Ventura said. If thats what happens, just seeing Tyler, youre just going to have to give him at-bats and I think he needs more at-bats for us to have a very good sense of what hes going to be offensively.
Ventura already has a good sense of what to expect from John Danks and his rehab from an Aug. 6 shoulder surgery: a pitcher determined to help out the club as soon as possible. With that in mind, Ventura plans to make certain Danks is ready before he gets back on the mound.
I would like to be very cautious with him because he wants to pitch, Ventura said. Hes that kind of kid that having been hurt for the whole year, he wants to pitch as fast as he can. But I think for us knowing what kind of pitcher he is, you have to be careful to make sure hes 100 percent healthy when he comes back.

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.