INDIAN WELLS, Calif. -- Rick Hahn reiterated Friday morning he wants free agent third baseman Kevin Youkilis to return to the White Sox.
The White Sox general manager noted his preference for Youkilis and discussed several other topics before he departed the GM meetings on his way home to Chicago after a busy week in the Southwest.
While he acknowledged the team has internal options -- though a team source indicated Dayan Viciedo returning to third base from the outfield is less than ideal -- Hahn signaled he has also explored several external solutions.
Hahn plans to continue discussions with Youkilis’ agent, Joe Bick, as well as further explore potential trades.
Youkilis, who had 15 homers and 46 RBIs after he came over in a June 24 trade from the Boston Red Sox, is the top third baseman available on the free agent market and could command a deal out of the club’s price range.
“There’s obviously external options in the free agent market, such as Youkilis, who we’ve made no secret about and continue to have interest in,” Hahn said. “We’ll continue to have dialogue with and there’s a handful of trade ideas that we’re bandying about here.”
Hahn’s comments arrived one day after four other MLB executives said they believe the club is open to dealing Viciedo, Gordon Beckham, Alejandro De Aza and Gavin Floyd in order to fill its needs.
Hahn believes he and his front office successfully laid the groundwork for several avenues the past few days and plans to take time to evaluate them. Just which direction the White Sox will go to fill the vacancy is up in the air with Hahn suggesting Thursday the South Siders could be involved in a potential three-way trade or none at all.
Those revelations arrived at the end of a week that began in Glendale, Ariz. as Hahn, executive vice president of baseball operations Kenny Williams, owner Jerry Reinsdorf and others held organizational meetings from Saturday through Monday.
Though he felt his 12 years alongside Williams has him prepared for his new title, Hahn, who was named GM on Oct. 26, admits there are still some aspects which have required an adjustment.
“The last two weeks has been a little bit of a blur,” Hahn said. “Kenny had said over the years ‘You never really know what it’s like until you’re sitting there and you’re the one that has to make the final decision on a trade and how that feels.’ And obviously I’ve had friends from other clubs who have moved up to the GM role and heard from them about how the transition is difficult to describe until you’re actually sitting there and actually doing it. I’m not shocked by it, but I get what they’re saying now.”
So how long might it be before Hahn pulls the trigger on a deal with significant impact on the 25-man roster? Perhaps one isn’t too far down the road, though Hahn said he’s still not certain he wants to break up what could be a strong 2013 starting rotation by trading away Floyd or another starter.
“There’s no magic timing, but certainly it’s conceivable something happens in the coming weeks,” Hahn said. “Although we have pitching depth, and that makes us somewhat popular within the game as a potential trade partner, we’re only going to use that if we feel like we aren’t compromising our ability to compete in ’13.”
CSNChicago.com’s Patrick Mooney contributed to this story.