Not only have the Chicago White Sox not ruled out a potential trade this week at the general managers' meetings, they aren't ruling out using some starting pitching to make it happen.
The GM meetings, taking place in Orlando, Fla., are typically a place where the groundwork is laid for moves later in the winter, but deals this early in the offseason are not unheard of. Regardless, it would be a long shot for the White Sox to fill a need this early.
"Other clubs are starting to get a lot me more specific about who they are targeting and what they are willing to give up to make it happen," general manager Rick Hahn said from the meetings Tuesday. "I think this is going to be productive from a standpoint more of fact gathering and laying the groundwork for deals as opposed to having any deal come to fruition this week but you never know.
"Teams are getting fairly substantive so there is a decent chance that something can happen. But I think it's more likely than not more groundwork."
The bulk of the action around baseball is expected to come at the Dec. 9-12 winter meetings, which also will take place in Orlando. Potential White Sox moves are to make upgrades at third base and/or catcher, as well as to add a late-inning left-hander for the bullpen.
The White Sox's farm system is not considered to be in the upper half of baseball when it comes to prospects so to strengthen the roster, the club will have to be creative with deals.
While the White Sox's clear-cut strength at the major league level is starting pitching, Hahn is open to either adding arms or using those on hand to make a deal that fits the team's needs.
"Even though we feel that [pitching] is a strength, and one that we may have to potentially use to address other needs, it is something we would look at in terms of adding pitching potentially," Hahn said.
The White Sox could move a starter to add to the offense this season, or keep the rotation intact and look to add a bat in 2014 the way they did at the non-waiver trade deadline when Jake Peavy was used to land outfielder Avisail Garcia.
"It's better to be really good at something, no doubt, and if we can be really good at run prevention we're probably closer to that than in terms of run scoring," Hahn said. "But we were so far below where we needed to be from a run-scoring standpoint that it is really the bulk of or focus in terms of needs.
"Obviously tightening up the defense is part of that which helps run prevention, but being at the bottom of the league in runs scored, on base [percentage] and toward the bottom in slugging, that's not really a recipe to help us win long term."
ESPNChicago.com's Jesse Rogers contributed to this report.