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Article updated: 6/29/2013 11:42 PM

It might be time for Hahn, White Sox to look ahead

By Scot Gregor

White Sox general manager Rick Hahn is expected to meet with the media before Sunday afternoon's game against the Cleveland Indians at U.S. Cellular Field.

Don't expect Hahn to come right out and say: "I'm trading Player X here and Player Y there." He's not going to do that out of respect to Sox players still in uniform and because naming names is bad for overall business.

Do expect Hahn to given an update on his patience level when it comes to waiting for the last-place White Sox (32-46) to get their season turned around.

They lost again Saturday, this time by a 4-3 decision to the Indians; the Sox are 8-22 in their last 30 games.

The guess here is Hahn knows the White Sox are not going to contend this season, and the next step is deciding when it's time to start trading players. The July 31 nonwaiver deadline is still more than a month away, so Hahn doesn't have to rush.

When it is time to move, the names should be interesting.

According to CBSSports.com, Chris Sale and Paul Konerko are the White Sox' only untouchables.

We'll see about that, but the Sox obviously like Sale because he is good and relatively cheap with a contract that guarantees $32.5 million through 2017.

As for Konerko, he has 10-5 rights and could veto any trade. But Hahn might just want to keep one of the most productive hitters in franchise history through the end of the season so White Sox fans can identify with at least one familiar face on the field.

Konerko has missed the Sox' last five games with a sore lower back, and he wasn't interested in trade speculation Saturday.

"I'm just trying to get back on the field," he said. "I don't know many teams that are going to want a guy who can't play. Until I get back out there and start doing some things, that's off in the distance."

If Hahn did find a trade partner and went to Konerko with the details, odds seem good the 37-year-old captain would accept the deal and move on.

"You learn the business and you learn when all that stuff goes down," Konerko said. "Usually nothing happens as much as you think it's going to happen and when it does happen it's very close to the end. So you are talking almost a month from now."

Konerko was much more upbeat about his back. After taking some swings Saturday, he's likely to avoid going on the disabled list. But Konerko is not expected to play until Tuesday.

"There was no sharp pain or anything making me afraid to take a swing," he said. "I was a little stiff and heavy, but obviously I hadn't picked up a bat since Sunday. You always feel a little awkward not touching a bat in five days.

"It wasn't a stellar performance or anything but enough to where I could see the light at the end of the tunnel."

As for nearing the end of his stellar 15-year run with the White Sox, Konerko is not going to lose any sleep over it.

"This isn't a life-ending or life-threatening situation," Konerko said. "You go out there and give it everything you've got, but at the end of the day, all you can do is your best.

"If things go that way and they start doing all that stuff, you deal with it. If not, move on from there."

sgregor@dailyherald.com

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