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updated: 12/7/2013 8:05 PM

White Sox GM Hahn vows to stay patient

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  • The White Sox haven't made any impact signings since inking Jose Abreu to a six-year, $68 million deal on Oct. 29. But that doesn't mean GM Rick Hahn is going to make a move just because some people might be getting somewhat impatient. "We cannot force moves," Hahn said.

      The White Sox haven't made any impact signings since inking Jose Abreu to a six-year, $68 million deal on Oct. 29. But that doesn't mean GM Rick Hahn is going to make a move just because some people might be getting somewhat impatient. "We cannot force moves," Hahn said.
    Associated Press

 
 

Last week, the Yankees lost Robinson Cano to the Mariners and Curtis Granderson to the crosstown Mets, but they added Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran.

It was seven days of furious activity, with -- among others -- Mike Napoli returning to the Red Sox and A.J. Pierzynski also going to Boston on a one-year deal, Jarrod Saltalamacchia signing with the Marlins, Doug Fister going from the Tigers to the Nationals in a trade, Joe Nathan signing with Detroit, Dexter Fowler going from the Rockies to the Astros in a trade and Norichika Aoki going to the Royals in a trade from the Brewers.

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With the winter meetings opening Monday in Orlando, this is the point on the baseball calendar where you typically see a lot of movement.

The White Sox were busy as well last week, bringing back Paul Konerko and Tyler Flowers on inexpensive one-year deals and reportedly signing former Dodgers relief pitcher Ronald Belisario for 2014.

The moves pale in comparison to the aforementioned bigger transactions. But in fairness to the Sox, they did move quickly on their biggest off-season addition, signing Cuban import Jose Abreu to a six-year, $68 million contract on Oct. 29.

Based on their 99 losses and worst offense in the American League last year, look for general manager Rick Hahn to make at least two more moves heading into the new season. Given baseball's current state of change, Hahn could be a busy man at the winter meetings.

But as the GM said last Wednesday after Konerko signed for his 16th and final season with the White Sox, it's still fairly early in the off-season.

"We still have work to, as we pointed out back when we signed Abreu, which obviously seems like a while ago at this point," Hahn said. "We want to continue to make steps toward retooling this offense.

"We're not closing off any options toward getting better, whether they're on the position side of things, where we clearly feel we have a need to improve, or even on the pitching side, which we feel is a strength right now. It's more about finding the right fits for the long term."

The White Sox could use a serious upgrade at catcher and third base, and they might also decide it's time to replace the inconsistent Alejandro De Aza in center field.

"There is nobody, with the possible exceptions of Jerry (Reinsdorf) and Kenny (Williams), who is as eager or potentially impatient to try to continue to add to what we've done to retool this roster and get things back to where we think they need to be and somewhere where they're going to be sustainable for the long term," Hahn said. "We were able to do some of that last summer when we picked up Avi (Garcia), we were able to do some of that earlier in the off-season when we signed Jose.

"But we're all sitting here eager to continue that process. And frankly it is a bit of a challenge to not just do something for the sake that it's been a little while and we're eager to start doing something, to continue that process.

"But we cannot force moves. We don't get any extra points or wins or runs or anything for getting something done in December versus January.

"This is an effort to get things right for the long term and we have to resist whatever impatience may creep up in order to make a transaction just for the sake of making a transaction."

As the roster sits now, De Aza and Adam Dunn are the only projected regulars that hit left-handed, unless you want to count third baseman Conor Gillaspie.

Hahn is aware about the glaring lack of balance in the Sox' lineup, and he has pitchers like Hector Santiago, Andre Rienzo and possibly closer Addison Reed to trade for a quality left-handed bat or two.

"We've been popular," Hahn said. "I think we've been popular about some of our young position players that we're not eager to move. But certainly, the majority of the calls have been about our pitching."

• Follow Scot's White Sox and baseball reports on Twitter@scotgregor, and check out his Chicago's Inside Pitch blog at dailyherald.com.

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