White Sox looking at a limited market for third baseman
So, who's on third for the White Sox?
It's been an ongoing question since Joe Crede went down with a back injury in 2007, cutting a sensational career short in the process.
The Sox have taken a patchwork process at the position the past five seasons, and they are currently looking for yet another new third baseman as the representative for free-agent Kevin Youkilis reportedly was talking to the Yankees and Indians on Tuesday at baseball's winter meetings in Nashville, Tenn.
Youkilis was often banged up, but he proved to be fairly productive for the White Sox last season after coming over from the Red Sox in a June 24 trade.
In 80 games with the White Sox, the 33-year-old Youkilis hit 15 homers and drove in 46 runs.
On the flip side, he batted .236 for the White Sox and struck out 69 times in 292 at-bats.
With such a thin market for quality third basemen this off-season, Youkilis is in demand and the White Sox are looking elsewhere.
"It is a very limited sandbox to play in," general manager Brian Cashman told Yankees reporters in Nashville on Tuesday. "There's not a lot out there."
Veteran Indians beat writer Paul Hoynes reported Jack Hannahan received an offer from an AL Central team Tuesday, but it likely came from the Twins and not the White Sox.
The Indians declined to tender Hannahan a new contract last week after he batted .244 with 4 home runs and 29 RBI in 105 games while dealing with a back injury.
CBSSports.com writer Danny Knobler tweeted this Tuesday: "How weak and overpriced is 3B (market)? Frustrated White Sox have even looked for guys they could convert to 3B."
If the White Sox stay inside the organization, look for Brent Morel to get another shot at third base -- assuming he's able to keep his back healthy.
Morel opened last season as the Sox' starter at third and batted .177 with no home runs and 5 RBI in 35 games before missing the rest of the year with a bulging disc and lumbar strain.
Morel batted .194 in 34 rehab games with Class AAA Charlotte and .227 in seven games with A Winston-Salem.
Reporters asked White Sox manager Robin Ventura about Morel on Tuesday.
"You go back to him being healthy," Ventura said. "That's the No. 1 thing for him. He's not out of the equation for me at all. Him being healthy and coming back, he's a good third baseman, when he's healthy."
Free-agent catcher A.J. Pierzynski is reportedly talking with the Yankees, and his departure would likely plug Tyler Flowers into the Sox' starting lineup and make them even more right-handed.
As it stands now, designated hitter/first baseman Adam Dunn and center fielder Alejandro De Aza are the only regular left-handed hitters.
"You are looking at a team that's fairly dominant right-handed right now," manager Robin Ventura told reporters. "You have to look at maybe left-handed options that might fill that one (third base) or other spots."
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