Let's get the rumor mill cranked up and project all of the upcoming White Sox trades.
•The slumping Alex Rios to the upstart Pittsburgh Pirates.
•Jeff Keppinger to the aging, beat-up Yankees, since third baseman Kevin Youkilis is shelved following back surgery and Alex Rodriguez is never coming back.
•Jesse Crain to Boston.
•Adam Dunn to Baltimore, or maybe back to his old team, the Washington Nationals.
White Sox general manager Rick Hahn is not going to deny any of the rumors. Hahn is not going to confirm anything, either.
Meeting with the media before Sunday's 4-0 loss to the Cleveland Indians at U.S. Cellular Field, Hahn made that quite clear before taking questions.
"As we sit here right now, our strong preference is that we start rattling off a winning streak that gets us right back in the thick of this thing," Hahn said. "We feel the talent's there and the upside remains there.
"Stranger things have happened. If that does happen, then we're going to return to our accustomed role at the deadline, and that is looking to add guys and continue that run.
"Obviously, we've seen everything you've seen. We've felt the frustration that the fans have felt. The players have felt the disgust that the fans have felt at times, and we're very cognizant of how we've played. So if that does not happen, you will see some changes.
"We aren't going to delude ourselves; we're not going to wish cast our performance this year. We're going to respond to our performance to date and make adjustments when the time calls for it."
The nonwaiver trade deadline is July 31, and Hahn is going to be busy, even if he's often out of sight.
"That's not something that we are going to say publicly, that if we are X games back on this date, or given that we were X games back on this date, we're a seller or a buyer," Hahn said.
"Instead, it's going to be how we're playing, what the schedule looks like, the likelihood that we could climb back in this thing, and weigh it against the offers that are currently available to us on the table and what we're able to accomplish if we decide that now's the time to pull the trigger on a specific deal."
Hahn said opposing GMs continue to call.
"I think it's been a pretty healthy pace right now, and it has been for the last few weeks," he said. "I think that's part of the reason you're seeing the rumors out there, some more accurate than others.
"But I think the more different parties or different clubs are involved in having trade talks, the more likely that some information is going to leak out."
Former White Sox general manager Kenny Williams hated leaks, and Hahn has picked up the baton. That's the main reason he's not going to talk about any trades until after they happen.
"If we make a deal or when the deal occurs, we will come out here and explain precisely what the thought process was on why we pulled the trigger on that at that time and what we expect going forward," Hahn said. "Until that point, the focus is on winning."
The Sox (32-47) lost their fifth straight game Sunday and finished the month of June at 8-19. That's why the roster is almost guaranteed to look vastly different on the last day of July.
"I think we're all more than a little surprised the way it's played out this season," Hahn said. "Thus far, the performance has been way below what we projected, what the players feel they're capable of doing, which is why you have that frustration inside those walls in there."