Most teams spend the entire winter, if not longer, putting the starting rotation together.
The White Sox are set after extending Jake Peavy and picking up Gavin Floyd’s 2013 option on Tuesday, but new general manager Rick Hahn still has plenty on his plate.
Let’s start at third base, which was manned by Kevin Youkilis the final three-plus months of last season.
As expected, the Sox declined Youkilis’ $13 million club option.
“We will see,” Hahn said when asked about third base. “It’s Oct. 30 so we have a little bit of time to address some of the other needs, and certainly third base is one we’re going to have to talk about in more detail and explore some options over the winter months.”
The White Sox could give Brent Morel another shot, assuming his troublesome back is healthy. Minor-league standout Carlos Sanchez is another option, and don’t be surprised if Dayan Viciedo is moved again, from left field back to third.
Hahn said there is a chance Youkilis could return.
After joining the White Sox in a June 24 trade from the Red Sox, Youkilis batted .236 with 15 home runs and 46 RBI in 80 games.
“He’s certainly an option,” Hahn said. “We’re not closing the door on any of our free agents. It’s a little easier to sign them before they hit the market, but I had a real nice conversation with Kevin (Monday).”
Hahn said he’s also talked with relief pitcher Brett Myers, who was 3-4 with a 3.12 ERA after coming over in a July 21 trade from the Astros.
“We’d like to have both of them back, but they obviously need to see what their market is,” Hahn said. “We’re going to stay in touch and hopefully work something out at some point.”
Catcher A.J. Pierzynski is the third and final Sox player headed for free agency, which opens late Friday night.
White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf has already had lunch with the 35-year-old catcher, who hit a career-high 27 home runs last season.
Reinsdorf and Pierzynski are extremely close, but Tyler Flowers is waiting in the wings if a new deal can’t be reached.
“Nobody has meant more to Chicago over his time in a White Sox uniform than A.J. Pierzynski,” Peavy said. “He’s been a tremendous player on the South Side for quite awhile. We wish him the best in free agency and obviously, we all hope he comes back.
“If it doesn’t happen, that’s something we can’t control. But I can tell you this, I think everybody thinks the world of Tyler Flowers as a catcher and believes he can do the job.”Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.