Four names emerge as White Sox trade candidates

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Four names emerge as White Sox trade candidates

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.

Derek Holland not satisfied despite strong outing in White Sox loss

Derek Holland not satisfied despite strong outing in White Sox loss

Derek Holland turned in one of his best starts of the season on Sunday afternoon. Unfortunately, the White Sox had nothing to show for it after a 5-3 loss to the Oakland Athletics on Sunday afternoon.

In six innings, Holland allowed four hits, one earned run, and two walks while recording six strikeouts. He was charged with his only run in the seventh, when he allowed a single to Yonder Alonso, who came around to score after Holland had been pulled from the game.

Despite his confidence in the bullpen, which has been one of the White Sox biggest strengths this season, Holland would like to see himself go deeper into the games.

“I should be getting into the 7th and not having 110 pitches,” Holland said. “The bullpen's done a great job of picking us up in the seventh, eighth and ninth. The starters, and really pointing more to myself, we need to...I need to go out there and go longer."

Entering Sunday, three of Holland’s last four starts had been the worst outings of the season – allowing 22 earned runs over those four games. Despite the team’s 5-3 loss, Holland felt his outing was a step in the right direction.

“I felt good about everything out there,” Holland said. “(Omar Narvaez) and I were right on the same page. There were just a couple of things that got away from us. Just one of those things. Defense made the plays for us when they needed to, unfortunately we just didn't come out on top."

Manager Rick Renteria also had high praise for the 30-year-old southpaw, who bounced back from one of his shortest outings of the season.

“I thought Holland, hopefully what's not lost is Holland's outing today was really, really good,” Renteria said. “He kept us in the ballgame. They've got some kids that can swing the bat. They were putting things together. All we were trying to do at the end was minimize any damage they could produce. We weren't able to.”

Tough luck for Tommy Kahnle as White Sox blow lead, get swept by A’s

Tough luck for Tommy Kahnle as White Sox blow lead, get swept by A’s

Tommy Kahnle has been one of the White Sox brightest bright spots, but fell victim to some tough luck that could ding on his under-the-radar All-Star bid.

Kahnle allowed the tying and go-ahead runs in the White Sox 5-3 loss to the Oakland Athletics Sunday in front of 28,089 at Guaranteed Rate Field, marking only the sixth time in 31 games the 27-year-old right-hander has allowed a run in 2017.

In the eighth inning, Kahnle allowed a broken bat single to Franklin Barreto, then Ryon Healy reached on a Todd Frazier error. Khris Davis tied the game with a single to left, knocking Kahnle out of the game, and Oakland took the lead when Yonder Alonso blooped a single off David Robertson that plopped into left field out of the reach of Melky Cabrera. Consider the hit probabilities, according to Statcast, of those three hits and the error:

Barreto: 78 percent
Healy: 5 percent
Davis: 62 percent
Alonso: 2 percent

That Kahnle coughed up the lead was surprising given his stealthy success leading a strong back end of the White Sox bullpen this year. The White Sox, prior to Sunday's defeat, were 28-0 when leading after seven innings. 

"Our bullpen's doing a great (job), it really is," manager Rick Renteria said. "I think you can't take away from what they've been doing for us all year long. We've been going to them a lot."

On that improbable Alonso bloop single, Cabrera was shifted more toward center field. 

"He was actually playing a little more to the pull side than he was to the line," Renteria said. "I don't think he was going to be able to get to it, regardless of the effort he might have given us. These guys are all a little fatigued, they're a little tired right now. They're giving you what they've got right now."

Entering Sunday’s game, Kahnle’s 1.2 WAR was sixth-best American League relievers, behind Boston’s Craig Kimbrel (2.2), Houston’s Chris Devenski (1.6), Cleveland’s Andrew Miller (1.6), Los Angeles’ Blake Parker (1.4) and Toronto’s Roberto Osuna (1.3). His 44.8 strikeout percentage is among the five best in baseball along with Kimbrel, New York’s Dellin Betances, Los Angeles’ Kenley Jansen and Milwaukee’s Corey Knebel.

Kahnle has been undoubtedly spectacular this year even with Sunday’s hiccup, though with Garcia seeming likely to be on the American League All-Star roster, Terry Francona wouldn’t have to take him to fill the game’s requirement. That this year’s All-Star Game doesn’t count — it’s the first since 2002 that won’t dictate home-field advantage in the World Series — could alter Francona’s roster construction to reward more starters and closers, and the Cleveland Indians manager would certainly be justified if he wanted to take his own setup guy in Miller.

The White Sox handed Kahnle the lead on Adam Engel’s first career home run (a solo shot in the third) and Jose Abreu’s dash home on a passed ball in the fourth. Starter Derek Holland was solid, allowing one run on four hits with two walks and six strikeouts over six innings. Melky Cabrera added a solo home run in the ninth inning, his eighth of the season.

Adam Rosales and Matt Joyce homered off Robertson and Chris Beck, respectively, in the ninth inning to give the A’s a comfortable ending to their three-game sweep of the White Sox. Beck was hit by a comebacker after allowing that home run and left the game with a bruised left hamstring, and is considered day-to-day.