By Bruce Levine-
(CBS) — Like it or not White Sox fans, your team will be going through some changes before Aug. 1.
A part of the team’s focus for the future is to become a bit younger with contract control of the players it acquires via the trade. The White Sox front office has a different approach than most clubs. This July, like last season, Chicago will be interested in other team’s players who can be plugged in now or within the foreseeable future as the July 31 trade deadline approaches.
Additions in the areas of starting pitching, catching and left-handed hitting are the priorities of general manager Rick Hahn. While listening to proposals for his players over the next three weeks, Hahn will keep manager Robin Ventura up to date and ask for his opinion on future moves.
“We will be kept up to date on information, but in most cases it’s not like you know a week ahead of time,” Ventura said. “Maybe before the game, they may say (to) hold a guy out. For most of this time period, you learn this is just a part of the business. When you have played in a certain place for a while and you like it, it is tough. You have to know it is a part of the game. They all come to understand that.”
Ventura doesn’t feel like anyone can hold a player’s hand and reassure him during the July trade period.
“During the season it is not good for our players to read about (trade rumors),” he said. “It has a way of creating doubt. Despite that, there will be a lot of speculation, but I don’t know for sure anything will happen.”
White Sox players getting the most interest so far have been shortstop Alexei Ramirez, outfielder Dayan Viciedo, second baseman Gordon Beckham and left-hander John Danks, who is the only one of that quartet who has been traded in the past. Danks was obtained from Texas in the winter of 2005 for Brandon McCarthy.
“To be honest with you, I have not heard what has been said,” Danks said. “I don’t keep up on it because it is out of my control. If it did happen, it would be too bad but that is a part of the game. I would be happy to stay here.”
The Yankees need left-handed pitching and despite adding McCarthy in a deal with Arizona on Sunday, they still need competent starters. Seattle has been in pursuit of Viciedo for more than a year. Ramirez is a direct match for the Mets and Marlins. Beckham has been scouted extensively by the Blue Jays early in the season and now again recently.
Ventura has seen players get tight in the past when their names came up in trade talks.
“Even the last couple of years, I have seen guys that became concerned about it,” he said. “It is there, and guys can’t help but focus on it because of what it may do to uprooting their families. That stuff becomes the focal point rather than going out and playing.”