July 20, 2012; Cleveland, OH USA: Cleveland Indians third baseman Jack Hannahan (9) goes to his knee after hitting a solo home run in the seventh inning against the Baltimore Orioles during the game at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric P. Mull-USPRESSWIRE

White Sox Winter Meetings Recap Day 2:..........

If the end result of this day-to-day blog coverage of the Winter Meetings is that I will chronicle the White Sox completely deconstructing the notion of this event being any more conducive to actual roster activity than any other four, arbitrarily chosen days in Decemeber, then so be it.

But this larger statement of the AL Central being spectators to the baseball world at large is a bit more troubling. The Tigers are more or less set, and stagnant due to a lack of need, but still, the biggest move by a division member was the Cleveland Indians offering four years, $44 million to Shane Victorino…and still getting rebuffed in favor of a three-year deal in Boston. That prompts a lot of reactions.

  • Whoa Cleveland! I had no idea you had that much money stuffed inside your pant leg until you shook it all out at once!
  • Looks like no one wants sweaty pant leg money, Cleveland, no matter how much of it you can shake out
  • Exactly what are you doing there, Cleveland?

With a hollowed-out veteran core, persistent trade rumors surrounding Shin-Soo Choo, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Justin Masterson, it’s not clear what purpose Victorino would serve besides giving Indians fans someone to love until Francisco Lindor arrives. However, since the Indians are also in on Kevin Youkilis, and apparently have the money to make their bid less laughable than originally thought, they could have their minds on more immediate success, somehow.

The Royals are in a similarly bipolar position, simultaneously being said to be considering trading their top hitting prospect Wil Myers to give them a ready-made ace and immediately bolster their rotation, or hacking apart their lineup and trading Billy Butler for top of the line pitching prospects.

But what  about the White Sox? Is there no bone to throw in and cook in our broth of generalized Gavin Floyd trade interest?

Well, that earns the qualification of something.

I will say this for Jack Hannahan–he’s what the Sox wanted Brent Morel to be in 2011. He can provide decidedly above-average defense when healthy, he can keep his OBP over .300 and fill out the bottom of a batting order respectably, and is left-handed.  I was always kind of hoping Brent Morel would wake up one day and be left-handed.

Hannahan wouldn’t embarrass himself, which is something White Sox third basemen have been known to do, but he wouldn’t be Kevin Youkilis, or be an asset. This lineup already has too many players staving off embarrassment, and not enough holding their own, and too many good hitters, and not a single dominant one. Not to mention that someone has to cover up for the fact that Gordon Beckham is taking up more than his fair share of outs. Hence the antsiness about proposals to maintain the offensive status quo, and prickly response to Jack Hannahan.

Something else needs to happen.

That’s an inspired, and certainly inexpensive solution if Hannahan is the best the Sox are able to contribute to their 3rd base issue, but the identical .681 OPS’ that Hannahan and Morel have against opposite-handed pitching keeps excitement low.

This is less of a individual development and more of a logical progression as Konerko ages  and continues to stiffen. No one is impressed by Dunn at 1st base–at least not consistently–but Konerko will be 37 in March. This is the new reality for him.

This, is a development only if I never trusted the sincerity of Hahn’s earlier claims that he would remain in talks in Pierzynski throughout, up until the moment he signs. If the Buehrle process is any model, the White Sox will do everything short of walk their longtime players down the aisle to their new marriage, since it affords them the positioning to monitor the market as it accelerates, and to have the last call as to whether they leave at all.

 

Follow James Fegan on Twitter @JRFegan

Tags: A.J. Pierzynski Chicago White Sox Jack Hannahan

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