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Sox pondering options

Published: Friday, Nov. 30, 2012 10:12 a.m.CST

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(MCT) — General manager Rick Hahn isn't about to be rushed into action at the winter meetings that start Monday because of the free-agent signings and trades that the Tigers and Twins have made.

For starters, Hahn calmly talked to reporters during a conference call Thursday about the options the White Sox have at third base, where free-agent Kevin Youkilis is attracting interest from several teams.

"We have a list prioritized," Hahn said. "We have conversations along different avenues. But there may come a point where we decide ultimately the options we have internally are superior to what's out there in the market via free agency or via a trade.

"While third base is a priority, it's not necessarily one that's going to mandate an acquisition from outside the organization."

Hahn acknowledged moving Gordon Beckham from second to third base was discussed but it is not likely. Beckham said early last week the Sox had not approached him about such a move.

Hahn also said a platoon system could be employed at third. That likely would require the acquisition of a left-handed hitter who would soften the blow if left-handed-hitting catcher A.J. Pierzynski signs with another team — which appears more likely.

Hahn has remained in contact with the agents for Youkilis and Pierzynski but said the market for each needed more "clarity" before knowing where they will land. Tyler Flowers probably will take over in the likely event Pierzynski departs, but Hahn appears willing to wait as long as possible this winter to select his best roster.

Hahn said the Sox, who have 10 players signed at $89.95 million for 2013, would have to move a large salary to add a significant player.

"But to make certain moves, no," Hahn said. "There is a little bit of room to maneuver, but to do anything described as major, we would have to free up some cash."

The Sox could aim high and monitor negotiations between the Mets and All-Star third baseman David Wright. But acquiring Wright in a trade would cost the Sox several top prospects as well as signing him to one of the top contracts in baseball. The Padres' switch-hitting third baseman, Chase Headley, could be another possibility under such a scenario.

Hahn said teams have inquired mostly about the Sox's pitching, and he acknowledged he most likely would trade it in any deal.

Conversely, a tweet from ESPN's Jim Bowden said the Sox were one of four teams interested in free-agent reliever Mike Adams.

The Sox's 40-man roster is full but that could change if they elect to non-tender pitcher Philip Humber and infielder Dan Johnson — likely — by Friday night's deadline.

Hahn said the Sox would talk directly to their currently unsigned players under team control so whatever happens will not "come as a shock."

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