White Sox

No secret about it: White Sox want to lock up Youkilis

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No secret about it: White Sox want to lock up Youkilis

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. -- Rick Hahn reiterated Friday morning he wants free agent third baseman Kevin Youkilis to return to the White Sox.

The White Sox general manager noted his preference for Youkilis and discussed several other topics before he departed the GM meetings on his way home to Chicago after a busy week in the Southwest.

While he acknowledged the team has internal options -- though a team source indicated Dayan Viciedo returning to third base from the outfield is less than ideal -- Hahn signaled he has also explored several external solutions.

Hahn plans to continue discussions with Youkilis agent, Joe Bick, as well as further explore potential trades.

Youkilis, who had 15 homers and 46 RBIs after he came over in a June 24 trade from the Boston Red Sox, is the top third baseman available on the free agent market and could command a deal out of the clubs price range.

Theres obviously external options in the free agent market, such as Youkilis, who weve made no secret about and continue to have interest in, Hahn said. Well continue to have dialogue with and theres a handful of trade ideas that were bandying about here.

Hahns comments arrived one day after four other MLB executives said they believe the club is open to dealing Viciedo, Gordon Beckham, Alejandro De Aza and Gavin Floyd in order to fill its needs.

Hahn believes he and his front office successfully laid the groundwork for several avenues the past few days and plans to take time to evaluate them. Just which direction the White Sox will go to fill the vacancy is up in the air with Hahn suggesting Thursday the South Siders could be involved in a potential three-way trade or none at all.

Those revelations arrived at the end of a week that began in Glendale, Ariz. as Hahn, executive vice president of baseball operations Kenny Williams, owner Jerry Reinsdorf and others held organizational meetings from Saturday through Monday.

Though he felt his 12 years alongside Williams has him prepared for his new title, Hahn, who was named GM on Oct. 26, admits there are still some aspects which have required an adjustment.

The last two weeks has been a little bit of a blur, Hahn said. Kenny had said over the years You never really know what its like until youre sitting there and youre the one that has to make the final decision on a trade and how that feels. And obviously Ive had friends from other clubs who have moved up to the GM role and heard from them about how the transition is difficult to describe until youre actually sitting there and actually doing it. Im not shocked by it, but I get what theyre saying now.

So how long might it be before Hahn pulls the trigger on a deal with significant impact on the 25-man roster? Perhaps one isnt too far down the road, though Hahn said hes still not certain he wants to break up what could be a strong 2013 starting rotation by trading away Floyd or another starter.

Theres no magic timing, but certainly its conceivable something happens in the coming weeks, Hahn said. Although we have pitching depth, and that makes us somewhat popular within the game as a potential trade partner, were only going to use that if we feel like we arent compromising our ability to compete in 13.

CSNChicago.coms Patrick Mooney contributed to this story.

ESPN.com ranks White Sox MLB's worst rotation

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USA TODAY

ESPN.com ranks White Sox MLB's worst rotation

On Wednesday morning, ESPN.com released their rankings of all 30 MLB team's starting rotations. The rankings were a nod to the current structure of the rotation, as well as how they were likely to perform in the future. And that is why the Chicago White Sox being ranked dead last in the league is somewhat alarming. 

Overall, the White Sox rotation is 28th in WHIP and 29th in strikeouts. 

Lucas Giolito is currently the team leader in wins with four, but his ERA sits at an unsightly 7.19. James Shields has been decent in spurts, but a general lack of run support has limited his effectiveness. Carlos Rodon has been a mixed bag since returning, but was able to reach the seventh inning in his last start. This is encouraging considering that he hadn't made it that far in any of his previous three starts. And Reynaldo Lopez continues to rack up quality starts—much like Shields—but has two wins to show for it. 

Veteran players like closing pitcher Joakim Soria and Shields are sure to be hot names on the trade market, and that could go a long way towards bringing in additional prospects to build up the White Sox farm system, and lead to a much improved rotation in the future.

So the White Sox obviously deserve to be ranked lowly until they can groom their minor league starter prospects into MLB-ready staff members, something that looks like it could take longer than originally expected. Flame-throwing top prospect Michael Kopech is still amassing high strikeouts numbers, but he is walking over six batters per outing, showing an obvious issue with control. 

White Sox fans can take their mind off of ESPN ranking the team's rotation 30th in the league by turning their attention to Eloy Jimenez. He has been absolutely crushing it in Double-A Birmingham, and will likely be making his debut with the Triple-A Charlotte Knights on Saturday. That game will be live on NBC Sports Chicago. So sit back, relax and look forward to the future, wherever it may take White Sox faithful. 

White Sox Talk Podcast: Ask Us Anything Part 2

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Ask Us Anything Part 2

In Part 2 of "Ask Us Anything" we answer the following questions: Who will be the biggest free agent the White Sox sign this off-season? What are the chances they trade Avi Garcia before the deadline? What's your assessment so far of Luis Robert?  Who's on your all-time busted prospect list? Is Omar Vizquel the next White Sox manager? Would the 1994 White Sox have won the World Series if there wasn't a strike?  What's the long term plan at third base? These questions and many more on this edition of the White Sox Talk Podcast.

If you missed Part 1 of 'Ask Us Anything', you can listen to the full episode here 

Listen to the full Part 2 of 'Ask Us Anything' at this link or in the embedded player below: