Youkilis gives Ventura lineup flexibility

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Youkilis gives Ventura lineup flexibility

MINNEAPOLIS -- No Paul Konerko? No problem.

White Sox manager Robin Ventura has a little flexibility these days with Kevin Youkilis on his roster.

Even though Konerko sat out Wednesday for routine maintenance, Ventura didnt have to think hard to find an able replacement. He simply slid Youkilis from third base over to first base and place him in the third spot in the lineup, dropping Adam Dunn to cleanup.

Eduardo Escobar is hitting second in the series finale against the Minnesota Twins and play third.

I think today is just a good day to play with that and have Youk bat third and more of a prototypical second hitter with Escobar and move it around a bit, Ventura said. Move (Dunn) to fourth. More of you look at who youre playing that day and see how that roster that day fits. That looked like the best lineup to me.

Konerko isnt the only regular out of the lineup.

Ventura is also giving Gordon Beckham and Dayan Viciedo the afternoon off. Jordan Danks is playing in left and hitting eighth while Orlando Hudson will hit ninth and play second base.

Its for the long haul, Ventura said. A 12 oclock start for some of them. There are guys who got to play. This is a good time. We got these days games like this. It gets these guys in there who have been on the bench for a little bit and give them energy and move them around a bit.

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.