Early in the afternoon, the second day of the Winter Meetings yielded nothing resembling news for the White Sox. It figures -- I had the day off and plenty of time to write about any kind of move, so it would've been too convenient for the Sox to adhere to my schedule.
I did what I could to throw the Sox into deal-making mode by going to a movie theater for the first time in four years, figuring news might break while I couldn't get to a computer for a couple hours. That didn't work. But I enjoyed "Lincoln." And they still do the roller-coaster-on-a-film-strip-through-floating-refreshments thing.
Alas, we were treated to the samey same-same sameness that transforms early December into early February, except without pitchers and catchers on the horizon.
RE-ESTABLISHING THE CRAP OUT OF THIS PLOT:
No. 1: In the A.J. Pierzynski storystream, the latest update is a rehash of what the Sox said before Pierzynski became a free agent.
No. 2: Rick Hahn said that he's involving Kenny Williams in his decision-making, which he said he was going to do many times.
No. 3: Brent Morel isn't out of the White Sox's plans, but he's going to have to prove he can get through spring training in full working order before the Sox can consider him. Yup.
No. 4: Hahn says there's progress, but no pressure to get a deal done this week, as much as everybody would like to see something happen, which he said leading into the meetings. At this moment, the sexiest rumor so far involves Jack Hannahan.
Perhaps the best thing to come out of the winter meetings so far is Hahn's appearance on the MLB Network. While it falls into this category of telling us what we already have learned, he has a few tangents and elaborations that further fill out his executive profile:
White Sox non-meetings news:
Otherwise, we're looking at peripheral items that aren't specifically related to the events of the week, like Hahn hinting that the Sox are thinking about giving Ventura a more-platoonable lineup:
Hahn said he hopes to give Ventura a more flexible roster that would give him the wherewithal to be a better in-game manager.
"Perhaps this year we'll give him a roster that has a little more flexibility, which will be a challenge for him to put the guys in the right position, to get the most out of the player who has some positional flexibility or having more lineup options on a given day based on who we're facing,'' Hahn said. "Part of that is incumbent on us.''
Ventura plans to do more tinkering of his own, specifically giving Adam Dunn more playing time at first while Paul Konerko DHes.
Hahn also shed some light on the fourth/fifth outfield slots, specifically addressing the bottleneck of left-handed outfield options:
"Dewayne gives you opportunity to steal a base for you, which Jordan is still learning," Hahn said. "At the end of camp we’ll take the best guys to help us win. If that doesn’t include Dewayne Wise - which would be a stretch – but if that’s the case we’ll go with the best guy. We want to have Dewayne in that mix, but no decisions have been made."
Danks, who batted .224 in 50 games, has minor league options. Outfielder Blake Tekotte, acquired last month from the San Diego organization, likely will start 2013 in the minors to work on an adjustment in his swing, Hahn said.
(The Danks But No Danks theory still holds...)
They have faith that Alex Rios will do his part to make the fourth outfield less essential in his corner. He enters the season with a nasty track record of following good seasons with awful ones, but Hahn says Rios and the hitting staff has him in a good, repeatable place:
"There were mechanical adjustments made and clear differences in his approach that we, and he, feels contributed to his success," general manager Rick Hahn said. "It's stuff that is easily for him to maintain and for us to identify and correct if he starts drifting away from that." [...]
"I know (Rios) is very comfortable with (manager) Robin (Ventura), (hitting coach) Jeff Manto and our coaching staff, and likes being here," Hahn said. "I don't have a crystal ball to know what his season will look like, but I know we're dealing with a comfortable player who has made adjustments and changed his approach and had success because of that. There's reason to believe his success will continue."
Scott Merkin talked to Matt Thornton about life as a non-lock. He and his family just moved to Arizona, so it's going to suck for him if he gets traded to a Grapefruit League team. Ever the professional to the media, Thornton had nice things to say about a guy who could take his job, Donnie Veal:
"Any time you have a pitch like Donnie has in his curveball, that's so sharp and filthy, I mean, nobody wants to play catch with Donnie because they don't want him to throw them curveballs," said Thornton of Veal, who limited left-handed hitters to three hits in 32 at-bats after retiring the first 27 he faced. "Now imagine trying to hit that. Donnie was a great story for us on top of our season."
- Washington Nationals: Dan Haren, one year, $13 million.
- Boston Red Sox: Shane Victorino, three years, $39 million.
- San Francisco Giants: Marco Scutaro, three years, $20 million.
- Miami Marlins trade Yunel Escobar to the Tampa Bay Rays for infielder Derek Dietrich.
Houston Astros trade Wilton Lopez to the Colorado Rockies for Alex White and Alex Gillingham.