Despite being in contention until the final week of the season the Chicago White Sox are a baseball team with several holes to fill. New general manager Rick Hahn will be tasked with filling those holes. In order to fill those holes and stay around $100 million in payroll the team will have to great creative.
Being creative will mean trading away something that the team has an abundance of in order to fill the weak areas. The starting pitching will be the White Sox most valuable asset this winter. To get better across the diamond Hahn will need to made a move involving at least one pitcher.
The most obvious name on the moving block is Gavin Floyd. Floyd has been up and down of late. Last week the White Sox picked up his $9.5 million option but that does not ensure that he will be back next season.
Floyd was 12-11 with a 4.29 ERA in 29 starts in 2012.
“I suspect given this market for pitchers that is out there right now, I think we’re going to hear from a lot of teams about our starting pitching depth,” Hahn said. “I think we’re going to be pretty popular in that regard vis-a-vis trades because we’re in a better position than a lot of clubs right now.”
The White Sox re-signed Jake Peavy and will welcome back John Danks next season. Danks had been out of action since undergoing shoulder surgery on Aug 6.
Chris Sale, Jose Quintana and Hector Santiago are all under contract and Hahn is optimistic about Triple-A starters Simon Castro and Nestor Molina.
The White Sox could move into 2012 without Floyd who has made 29 starts or more each of the last five seasons.
Third base is the position in which the White Sox figure to pay the most attention to in the off-season. The team allowed in-season acquisition Kevin Youkilis to walk away and the team is not convinced about Brent Morel. Morel missed a large part of last season with back problems. Once activated from the DL he was sent to Triple-A. Morel hit .177 with 2 extra base hits in 113 at-bats.
The White Sox will also need to make a decision about their vacancy at catcher. A.J. Pierzynski is a free agent and the team must decide whether to make him an offer or go in a different direction. While Hahn has said that Tyler Flowers could take Pierzynskis role the 26-year-old has batted just .205/.307/.388 over parts of four seasons for Chicago