- Bruce Levine, Chicago baseball beat reporter
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CHICAGO -- Chicago White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said Monday he has more work to do changing the personnel of his underachieving team.
The ballclub that Hahn must turn around has been among the worst in baseball this season with a 40-69 record going into Monday's game against the New York Yankees. Trading away veteran pitchers Matt Thornton, Jesse Crain and Jake Peavy before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline was only a portion of the plan to resurrect the White Sox lineup for 2014.
Asked for his reaction to the Yankees' Alex Rodriguez being suspended by Major League Baseball for the rest of this season and all of 2014, Hahn joked: "I've got 99 problems and A-Rod ain't one of them."
Getting players traded through waivers is not easy but can happen even on a large scale. Last year's blockbuster deal came in August when the Los Angeles Dodgers absorbed over $240 million in contracts in obtaining Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez and Josh Beckett from the Boston Red Sox.
"I am spending more time now on waivers now than I did before the deadline," Hahn said. "It is a busy period of time right now. Essentially during this month every player around baseball goes on waivers. The bulk of the activity is in the early part of the month."
With 13 suspensions handed down by MLB on Monday, there are teams like the Texas Rangers, who lost Nelson Cruz for the rest of the season, that will need outfield help. Chicago right fielder Alex Rios was the target of the Rangers during discussions between the two clubs before the deadline. Rios and his $60 million contract were actually claimed by the White Sox during the waiver period in August 2009 from the Toronto Blue Jays.
"This is something that we look at on a daily basis," Hahn said. "We are having conversations with the other clubs. Just because it is past Aug. 1 doesn't mean that activity has ceased."
Hahn still must replace two outfielders, add a third baseman and try to deal for a catcher before next season. Replacing Paul Konerko will also be a likely part of the team's makeover.
"If everything rolls the right way we won't hesitate to do something," Hahn said. "It's a matter of aligning the talent and the economics while making sure it is the right fit for us going forward."
Hahn saved his club close to $25 million in the trades of Peavy, Thornton and Crain, giving him payroll relief going toward next season.