While the White Sox don't figure to unload multiple players before or after the July 31 nonwaiver trade deadline like they did last season, they still are a popular team on the rumor mill.
Shortstop Alexei Ramirez and second baseman Gordon Beckham frequently are mentioned as trade candidates, and so is outfielder Dayan Viciedo.
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According to ESPNBoston.com, the Red Sox are looking to beef up their lineup and would consider trading a young right-handed starting pitcher such as Brandon Workman, Rubby De La Rosa or Allen Webster for Viciedo, who was 4-for-4 with a solo home run (No. 10) in Friday night's win over Seattle.
The Mariners, in town to play the White Sox this weekend, desperately need a right-handed bat.
Seattle had six left-handed hitters in the lineup Friday against left-handed Sox ace Chris Sale, and they have long been rumored to covet Viciedo.
The Sox desperately need a right-handed starter or two, and the Mariners reportedly are willing to part with Brandon Maurer and another player for Viciedo.
The rumors should intensify as the month progresses, but manager Robin Ventura isn't overly concerned about outside distractions.
"That's part of the game," he said. "There are a lot of rumors that start that aren't true. Those are the ones where guys get carried away thinking they're getting traded, but it's not true. You still have to focus on what you're doing."
Viciedo said he doesn't give trade rumors much thought.
"I don't really worry about that," Viciedo said through a translator. "That's something I don't control. I just worry about coming in and playing the game hard every day."
The best hitter on the team typically bats third, and Jose Abreu undoubtedly fits that profile with the White Sox. Abreu batted third for the 42nd time of the season Friday, and he has batted fourth 30 times.
Manager Robin Ventura has been hitting Conor Gillaspie third when Abreu is in the cleanup spot.
"There are times when I think we're better off with (Abreu) batting third," Ventura said. "And there are times, when Conor's swinging it good and depending on the matchup, it's nice to have Conor in front of him, get some more guys on base when he gets up there.
"I don't think there's any set way to do it with (Abreu), but I know I like guys on when he comes to the plate."
Abreu, who hit his 27th home run Friday night, doesn't care where he hits.
"The important thing is you are playing and then the second thing is you know you are doing something to help the team," Abreu said through a translator. "That's about it."
Heating back up:
One of the Sox' top players in April and May, shortstop Alexei Ramirez tailed off in June.
Ramirez is getting back in a groove, having hit safely in three straight games and six of his last seven.
With All-Star Game selections coming Sunday, Ramirez can make a strong case for being added to the American League team.
"I think you just go through a period where you're maybe not as sharp as you've been," manager Robin Ventura said of Ramirez. "He likes to play every day, and that's part of playing every day. You're going to go through some ups and downs; you're going to have stretches that don't look quite as good. His at-bats, he still looks fresh."