(CBS) Even after making an array of offseason noise — including adding top-of-the-rotation right-hander Jeff Samardzija and closer David Robertson — White Sox general manager Rick Hahn has a nagging item on his to-do list.
He needs to figure out his left field quandary.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Rounding Out The Warmest Weekend Of The Winter
Rumors continue to fly about White Sox outfielder Dayan Viciedo, who the team has seemingly had on the trade block forever after getting inconsistent production. Viciedo hit .231 with 21 homers and 58 RBIs and a .686 OPS in 145 games in 2014. He also left plenty to be desired on defense, which the White Sox have sought to improve.
“We need to figure out exactly what we’re going to wind up doing in left field,” Hahn said in an interview with Laurence Holmes on 670 The Score on Wednesday night. “Is Viciedo going to be back out there, or we will make a little different move and get a different type of player out there and use Dayan a different way? That’s still to be determined.
“I said a week ago there was no magic to getting everything done out here (at the Winter Meetings) in San Diego, and I meant it. We’re certainly pleased we were able to address two big needs, but we’ve got a fair amount of time before spring training to round out the rest of what we want to do.”
Hahn acknowledged that Viciedo continues to garner trade interest. The Mariners are one of the teams most involved.
“This is a real talented kid, and it doesn’t shock me that there’s interest in him,” Hahn said. “You’re talking about a 26-year-old who’s got power to all fields. Those just don’t grow on trees. You got to balance the risk-reward of moving him versus what you’re getting back and the potential that he’s going to fulfill what we all believe he’s capable of.READ MORE: MISSING: Khoshaba Dikyanos, 84, Last Seen In Lincoln Square
“It’s really a balancing act. Are we best off with him in our lineup, the likelihood that he’s going to meet his potential in our lineup versus what we could potentially acquire elsewhere in exchange for him? Right now, he’s one of ours.”
As for the trade acquisition of Samardzija, Hahn hasn’t discussed a contract extension with him. Hahn emphasized that the White Sox understand that Samardzija wants to test the open market in November 2015, but he’s hopeful that Samardzija will end up in Chicago in the long term.
The White Sox have exclusive rights to negotiate an extension until then.
“We’re optimistic,” Hahn said, “that given his roots and his passion for the organization and the fact that he’s going to get to know us over the coming weeks and months and see what we’re about and where our organization is headed, that we might have the ability to extend his stay and make it a longer-term fit, which would likely be mutually beneficial for everybody.”
In addition to the Winter Meetings news, Hahn discussed a variety of other topics, including the options of whether to bring young left-hander Carlos Rodon through the big league bullpen or let him be a starter in the minor leagues before getting called up.MORE NEWS: Chicago Speed Cameras To Start Issuing $35 Tickets To Drivers Going 6 MPH Over The Limit On Monday