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Levine: White Sox Willing To Make A Pitching Deal

By Bruce Levine--
CBSChicago.com

CHICAGO (CBS) -- As one of the surprise teams in baseball, the Chicago White Sox could be content by sitting on their 4.5-game lead in the American League Central.

The team's surprise hot start wasn't expected by many experts. Despite the good ball his team has played, general manager Rick Hahn wants to look for more additions through trades and not sit idly.

The White Sox added seven new position players in the offseason. For the most part, all of the new guys have contributed to the winning and a new attitude on the field and in the clubhouse.

Still, pitching is always the name of the game.

Hahn admitted on WSCR Radio's "Inside the Clubhouse" on Saturday that he's in the market for more pitching -- and not just a starter.

The White Sox will be looking to solidify the fourth and fifth starter spots for sure, but don't discount the team seeking a big, back-end bullpen arm. Striking while the club is on top would be ideal for the aggressive Chicago front office.

For now, Hahn can only move as quickly as his other 29 counterparts will allow him to.

"Adding organizational depth is going to continue to be a priority." Hahn said Tuesday.

"We are prepared to make a big move today if it presents itself. Our timing may not line up with the other 29 clubs just yet. It is a little early in the process. A lot of clubs don't make those moves until June or July. We are having conversations right now hoping it comes together more quickly than that."

Hahn acknowledged that he thought it would take three or four more weeks for teams to catch up to his current interests in dealing players.

The White Sox will push to get a deal done before the Aug. 1 deadline for non-wavier trades. Chicago did have interest in former San Francisco pitcher Tim Lincecum, who signed a one-year deal with the Angels. Lincecum's desire was to stay on the West Coast on a short-term deal, sources said.

Hahn didn't feel like getting into recent history of moves that went by the boards.

"I don't want to talk about players who one, technically haven't signed anywhere." Hahn said with a smile. "Number two, if he had signed elsewhere are in other organizations."

Needless to say, Hahn was transparent about wanting get more help in the trade market now.

"We are looking at every possible avenue, whether it's free agent or trade," he said. "We will be looking for added options as we go through this summer."

The White Sox traded a lot of their minor league talent last winter to obtain third baseman Todd Frazier and second baseman Brett Lawrie.

With top prospect Tim Anderson close to major-league ready, will the organization make a bold move and use him or any of their top-ranked talent to try to win in 2016?

"We want to put ourselves in the best position to get to October and then win in October," Hahn emphasized without pulling any punches. "Frankly, the only championship they are giving out is the 2016 world championship. That is where are focus is going to be in terms of maximizing this unit's chances.

"We will not significantly compromise ourselves going forward. When the chance to win comes along, you do need to do everything in your power to maximize that opportunity. We (the front office) want to do everything we can do to continue that momentum, to reinforce what the team and staff have already done "

Padres right-hander James Shields is a player the White Sox figure to have in mind. Yankee bullpen stars Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller are both probable targets for Hahn and company as well as the season moves along.

Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score and CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.

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