NASHVILLE -- The White Sox reportedly have interest in two players who could fill vacancies on the left side of the infield.
The White Sox were linked to Oakland third baseman Brett Lawrie early Monday and another report surfaced suggesting they have interest in free agent Asdrubal Cabrera.
The team has openings at both third base and shortstop and could try to solve them at the Winter Meetings, which began Monday at The Gaylord Opryland Hotel.
With two third baseman on the roster, the A’s have made Lawrie’s availability known and the White Sox are one of three teams who have some interest, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
In his only season in Oakland, Lawrie, who isn’t eligible for free agency until 2018, hit .260/.299/.407 with 16 home runs and 60 RBIs. He walked 28 times and struck out 144. Lawrie was part of the A’s return in a trade that sent American League Most Valuable Player Josh Donaldson to the Toronto Blue Jays.
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Oakland is said to want a starting pitcher in return.
The White Sox are reportedly one of four suitors for Cabrera, according to MLB Daily Dish. The New York Yankees, New York Mets and Los Angeles Angels also are in pursuit of Cabrera, a career .267/.329/.412 hitter.
Cabrera, 30, hit 15 homers and drove in 58 runs in 136 games at shortstop for Tampa Bay last season.
The White Sox have flexibility on the left side of the infield because they believe Tyler Saladino can play either spot. Even though he only played half a season, Saladino was fourth among all third baseman in Defensive Runs Saved, according to fangraphs.com.
The team hasn’t had a long-term answer at third base since Joe Crede played his final game on Sept. 2. 2008. The White Sox have since started 22 different players at third, including Saladino, Mike Olt, Gordon Beckham and Conor Gillaspie last season.
The team also could attempt to resign Alexei Ramirez, who is a free agent.
All season long, Ramirez stated his preference was to remain with the White Sox. But in November they bought out his $10 million club option for $1 million and made him a free agent. Both Rick Hahn and Ramirez’s representatives have said the two sides would maintain lines of communication and wouldn’t rule out a reunion. However, the White Sox figured Ramirez, one of the top options at short in free agency, would find too good of an offer to want to come back to them on a lesser deal.
While the market for catchers has been one of the fastest to develop in free agency, no shortstops have signed, including Ian Desmond, who is the best bat of the bunch.
Though he’d like to upgrade his offense and find solutions for his roster as soon as possible, Hahn said he wouldn’t force any deals.
Last December, the White Sox were the early toast of the Winter Meetings after they traded for Jeff Samardzija and signed David Robertson to a four-year deal.
“We would love to be able to make some moves and address other needs as we hit town next week,” Hahn said Friday. “At the same time, there is no extra credit for getting a guy on your roster in the second week of December versus the third or fourth. A lot of more active clubs last year got a fair amount of their work done after they left the Winter Meetings in fact.”