INDIAN WELLS, Calif. -- Rick Hahn has hinted that hed have to be creative in order to address the White Sox roster needs this offseason, though hes not sure what direction that will exactly take.
Hahn spent the first two days of the general manager meetings in exploratory mode.
Though Hahn has unearthed potential trade partners the past two days he doesnt expect any finalized deals before he returns to Chicago on Friday. Hahn also noted he has listened to offers on anyone on the roster in order to gather more information on other teams needs.
Hahn wont divulge names, but four rival executives said they believe the White Sox are open to trades of second baseman Gordon Beckham, outfielders Alejandro De Aza and Dayan Viciedo and starting pitcher Gavin Floyd.
At the very least we have had good conversations with other clubs and a good sense of how our guys might fit to address some of their needs and how some other players out there might address ours, Hahn said. They will lead nowhere or maybe will lead to some three-way deals in the coming weeks, but at the very least weve got a real good sense of whats out there and how our guys fit. I think you have to at least hear a team out. You never know where it may lead.
The White Sox arent likely to part with a Chris Sale-esque player unless they are overwhelmed. But Hahn said he wouldnt drop the untouchable tag if a club asked about a particular players availability because he can use the opportunity to flesh out what their priorities are and why theyre asking about that player and maybe it leads to something else.
With needs at third base and another at catcher -- most likely a backup for Tyler Flowers -- Hahn has discussed several players on his current roster in potential deals.
Both Beckham and De Aza, who earned 520,000 and 495,000 in 2012, respectively, are arbitration eligible for the first time this offseason and due raises.
Even though hes under team control and not arbitration eligible, Viciedos contract stipulates he must earn 80 percent of the 3.5 million he pulled in last season, which equates to 2.8 million. And Floyd, who will earn 9.5 million, could be a luxury if John Danks rehab stays on schedule and returns by spring training.
With Floyd and eight others signed, the White Sox have already committed 89.25 million toward next season. The team is expected to operate on roughly the same payroll it did last season (97.6 million), Hahn said. All of the above appears to mean Hahn has several trades to make in order to satisfy the clubs need at third base while also managing its payroll needs.
If the White Sox need to relieve a big chunk of salary, two executives believe outfielder Alex Rios contract --- which guarantees him 26 million through 2014 and includes a 13.5 million option for 2015 --- would be much easier to move after he rebounded in 2012. Neither is certain the White Sox have made Rios available, however.
And with almost the entire offseason to go, Hahn hasnt reached that point.
We have a lot of work to do, but we have a lot of time to do it, Hahn said. Theres a couple of moves we want to make. Well just have to wait and see when they present themselves. We may well have to move Player X to create room for Player Y, but we havent got that point yet.