With Rick Hahn now operating as the Chicago White Sox general manager, the team’s front office has a fresh set of eyes on the baseball operations. While Kenny Williams will still have a role the moves that the White Sox make going forward, Hahn has already proven that he will not be a mere puppet to Williams. The White Sox have remained fairly quiet this off-season after signing starting pitcher Jake Peavy to a two year extension. The White Sox remain in search for a third baseman, though a poor free agent market and slow developing trade market, has increased the difficulty for the White Sox in finding a starting third baseman for the 2013 season.
After Brent Morel started the 2012 season as the starting third baseman for the White Sox, injuries and a slow start offensively to the season led the White Sox to acquire Kevin Youkilis from the Boston Red Sox. With the White Sox in 2012, Youkilis hit .235/.336/.409/.745 to go along with 15 home runs and 46 RBIs. Youkilis’ production with the White Sox mirrored his production he had to to start the 2012 season with the Red Sox. While the White Sox do have interest in bringing back Youkilis for the 2013 season, a strong market of interested teams may prevent the re-signing from happening.
“It’s not a shock that he’s heard form a bunch of teams, it’s not a shock that he’s popular and it’s not a shock that it’s going to be hard to bring him back, but we continue to have dialog with him and other options and it’s still early so we’ll see where it goes.” ESPN Chicago
The biggest reason why Youkilis has generated a lot of interest on the open market is because of how thin the market is for free agent third basemen. For that reason, Youkilis has emerged as the top free agent third baseman on the market. Youkilis has drawn interest from teams such as the Cleveland Indians, Chicago Cubs, Philadelphia Phillies, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Seattle Mariners. With that strong of a market for Youkilis, it stands to reason that the White Sox will be priced out of Youkilis’ price range.
There has been speculation that the White Sox could fill their third baseman need by moving outfielder Dayan Viciedo back to the third base position. Viciedo debuted as a third baseman for the White Sox in 2010. While that suggestion is more plausible than the suggestion of the White Sox trading Viciedo for a third baseman, it still does not appear to be a likely scenario. There is something to be said for continuity for Major League Baseball players, and that results from the player playing the same defensive position without any changes. It’s essentially the same argument that can be made for not flip-flopping a pitcher between the starting rotation and the bullpen. Fortunately for the White Sox, Viciedo does not appear to be moving from the outfield any time soon.
“I don’t want to rule out anything at this point because we’re sitting here a week before Thanksgiving so it’s foolish to close off any options,” general manager Rick Hahn said. “I will say that we are exploring a lot of options that we rank ahead of moving Viciedo in from the outfield.” ESPN Chicago
It would appear that the White Sox have better options than moving Viciedo from the outfield to third base. One of those options may include trading starting pitcher Gavin Floyd for a young third baseman.