Bounce-backs, paybacks part of White Sox’ plan for 2023

SAN DIEGO — White Sox fans hoping to hear about player acquisitions Tuesday had to settle for talk of current players bouncing back and playing with chips on their shoulders and being more motivated next season on the second day of the winter meetings.

”We’re having conversations, a little bit more trade than free agent today,” general manager Rick Hahn said. ”We’ll see if something comes together in the next 24 hours before these meetings end [Wednesday].

”Our preference is for something to come together, but we’re not going to force it. If it requires some uncharacteristic patience from those of us upstairs, then so be it. We’ll wait until things properly line up for us.”

Corner-outfield help is the top priority, followed by second base for the Sox, who signed free-agent starter Mike Clevinger on Monday.

Clevinger has something to prove after a subpar season with the Padres, and every Sox player has something he can work on after the team finished 81-81 in 2022. Hahn said that will be a recurring theme.

”This is a team that certainly, as a unit, knows that we were disappointing last year,” he said. ”You’re going to hear from several individuals that they have something to prove this year, and we like that.”

Count catcher Yasmani Grandal among them. Asked whether he was satisfied with the catching position as is with Grandal and Seby Zavala, Hahn said Grandal, who struggled at the plate and was hurt last season, ”when healthy has the talent to remain one of the elite catchers in the league.”

”He’ll be the first to tell you that due to health and other reasons, he didn’t perform at the level that he’s accustomed to in ’22, and him bouncing back in ’23 is important.”

Trade chatter

Hahn referred to closer Liam Hendriks being discussed in trade talks as ”just us doing our job.”

”Our pitching is viewed as an area of strength,” Hahn said. ”Obviously in this game, that’s something that’s coveted. We’re going to hear from teams with interest. We’re not doing our job if we’re not listening to what ideas people present.

”At the end, we’re certainly not out there shopping any individual player. But we can’t be close-minded to any ideas that may show up.”

Sox in World Baseball Classic

Third baseman Yoan Moncada and center fielder Luis Robert will play for Cuba in the World Baseball Classic for the first time, and shortstop Tim Anderson will play for the United States.

Manager Pedro Grifol said he sees the benefit in that, even though they might miss weeks of spring training because ”they’ve got to be ready to go at the beginning of March.”

The pressure will be real and the experience beneficial because of it.

”That’s the big stage,” Grifol said.

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