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Cubs, White Sox match up as trade partners

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- While there’s been plenty of chatter over the last year or so about the Chicago Cubs and New York Mets matching up for a trade the same could be said about the crosstown Chicago White Sox. In fact, Sox general manager Rick Hahn didn’t dismiss the notion the two sides possess each other’s needs this offseason.

“We could use some infielders,” Hahn said on Day 1 of the general manager’s meetings Monday. “Controllable young guys are always of interest to us.”

The Cubs have the infielders to give up including former first round pick Javier Baez, veteran Starlin Castro and, of course, starting shortstop Addison Russell. The latter probably can’t be had, but the former two players will be talked about this winter. Castro is under a fairly team-friendly deal for the next three years, while Baez doesn’t have arbitration rights for a couple more seasons. Meanwhile, the Cubs need young pitching which the Sox have in the form of ace Chris Sale, 26-year-old Jose Quintana, 22-year-old Carlos Rodon and even 25 year-old Erik Johnson.

“I don’t think on either side we’ve closed off an opportunity to get each of us better,” Hahn said. “We make trades within our division which is more dangerous so to speak for long-term repercussions if you’re wrong. We’ve done that before. I don’t think it would be any different with the Cubs.”

When reminded the Cubs have an excess of infielders Hahn smiled.

“I think I’ve heard that,” he said. “I’ve read it somewhere.”

The Cubs and Sox have made 26 trades with each other over the years, according to Baseball-Reference.com, the last one coming in 2006 when the Cubs acquired reliever Neal Cotts for pitcher David Aardsma and a minor leaguer. The two current front offices have yet to consummate a deal though.

“There’s the added wrinkle that if you’re wrong you have to live with it eight miles away for each of us,” Hahn said.