Viciedo, who started out as a third baseman but was moved to the outfield two offseasons ago, won’t completely be removed from consideration, though.
“I don’t want to rule out anything at this point because we’re sitting here a week before Thanksgiving so it’s foolish to close off any options,” general manager Rick Hahn said. “I will say that we are exploring a lot of options that we rank ahead of moving Viciedo in from the outfield.”
Options through both trade and free-agent routes are still in play, although a less-than-stellar crop of free-agent third baseman is making things difficult. That lack of third-base availability is making Kevin Youkilis a hot commodity on the open market which would likely move him out of the White Sox’s price range.
“We knew when free agency hit it would be more challenging to sign our guys,” Hahn said. “It’s a rather thin free-agent market in certain spots, starting pitching among them, as it would have been for Jake (Peavy), and certainly at third base as it is for Kevin.
“It’s not a shock that he’s heard form a bunch of teams, it’s not a shock that he’s popular and it’s not a shock that it’s going to be hard to bring him back, but we continue to have dialog with him and other options and it’s still early so we’ll see where it goes.”
Hahn said that moving Dan Johnson to third base would be a long shot.
The club’s new GM, who moved into his role when Kenny Williams was moved to club president, was asked if he’s had more dialog with other general managers regarding trades or player representatives regarding their free agents.
“Boy, it’s probably about even right now,” Hahn said. “The agents, obviously, after (the GM meetings in) Palm Springs, want to follow up and see how their guys rank and compare vs. what they are hearing from other clubs so it has probably been very even between clubs and agents.”