White Sox say progress made in talks

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – With transactions at a minimum so far during baseball’s annual winter meetings, the Chicago White Sox are saying they are starting to feel a slight current in the water.

“Today was a good day in terms of substantive talks with other clubs and agents and I do feel that there’s progress made in terms of knowing what the likely alternatives are,” general manager Rick Hahn said. “And I realize there’s an expectation or a hope that some quote-unquote good news is going to come from these meetings and that may well happen.”

On the other hand ...

“Frankly, we are not going to do something just because the expectation is that we are here and there something has to get done publicly in terms of a finality with a deal or signing,” Hahn said. “Again, we don’t get any extra credits or extra wins come this summer by acquiring a guy on Dec. 5 vs. Dec. 15.

“Our goal is by Opening Day to have the best combination of talent that gives us a chance to win the most ballgames. If that’s a result of deals that happen while we are in Nashville, great. If it requires us to take the information gathered here back to Chicago and choose a path that comes to fruition in the coming weeks, that’s fine too.”

What the White Sox could be close to learning is where A.J. Pierzynski and Kevin Youkilis could be headed. Both were linked in reports to the New York Yankees at various points Tuesday.

If both sign with teams soon, that would wipe options off the White Sox’s list, but in all actuality neither player fit onto the roster as it is presently constructed.

If and when Pierzynski moves on, the White Sox are prepared to make Tyler Flowers their guy behind the plate. Options at third base aren’t as clear. Brent Morel could be an option, at least in a platoon situation, if he is recovered from back issues. Moving Gordon Beckham or Dayan Viciedo to third is way down on the option list.

“There are options that are there,” Ventura said, when asked about third base. “I don’t want to go down the road of naming what they are, but you are looking at a team that’s fairly right-hand dominant, so you got to look at some left-handed options that might fill that one, or other spots.’’