White Sox shifting trade focus

CHICAGO – White Sox general manager Ken Williams hates to be denied. Look no further than last year’s pursuit of Jake Peavy for proof on that.

So even though he might not get either of his first two trade options now that deals for Prince Fielder and Adam Dunn appear to have fallen by the wayside, Williams only seems to be more determined to make a move and help the offense ahead of Saturday’s non-waiver trade deadline.

No sooner did a report surface Thursday that the White Sox were out of the Dunn sweepstakes that Williams’ backup plans started coming to the forefront.

Veteran left-handed hitters Brad Hawpe of the Rockies and Lance Berkman of the Astros both are rumored to be higher on the White Sox’s wish list now.

Both fit the bill of not only having power but the ability to hit for average, as well as get on base. Hawpe, 31, is in his seventh major-league season, all with the Rockies, while Berkman, 34, is in his 12th season, all with the Astros.

Struggling through leg and rib injuries, Hawpe has just seven home runs this season, but has hit two in the past three games after smacking one as a pinch hitter Thursday. Hawpe is a career .281 AVG/.374 OBP/.493 SLG hitter.

Berkman also has had to work his way through injury, starting the season on the disabled list after having arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. He is batting .245/.372/.436 this season, all well below his career marks of .296/.410/.549.

As the deadline for making deals gets closer, Williams’ visibility has decreased, giving the impression he is working harder on the phones in private.

Manager Ozzie Guillen, though, said that isn’t necessarily the case. Guillen is still saying that he thinks the White Sox won’t be making a significant move by Saturday, and to bolster that claim, he said he hasn’t even talked to Williams about trades for the past two days.

“I expect [the team] to stay the same way; I believe so,” Guillen said. “I think if Carlos [Quentin] swings the bat the way he did a couple weeks ago, we’re set. Everybody has to pull it together. We have to go and continue to do what we’re doing and see what happens. I don’t have any gut feeling. I just go by years and day-by-day.”