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Hahn not in hurry as he prepares for meetings

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CHICAGO (AP) - Rick Hahn says there's no hurry to make trades as he approaches his first winter meetings as general manager of the Chicago White Sox.

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While Chicago could have opening at third base and catcher, Hahn maintains he has the luxury of time and flexible finances heading into next week's gather of baseball executives.

``There's nothing magical about being down there in Nashville that means something has to happen,'' Hahn said during a Thursday conference call. ``We're going to wait until it's right to pull the trigger and make a decision based on what the alternatives are and the respective costs. That may well take us two weeks, or it may well take past the first of the year as we get close to spring training.''

The 41-year-old, who spent the past 12 years as a White Sox executive, became GM in October when Ken Williams was promoted to executive vice president.

``Even though who's having the conversation is different, the priorities and the intent remain the same,'' Hahn said.

Chicago's moves began in late October when right-hander Jake Peavy agreed to a $29 million, two-year contract. Peavy's previous deal with the White Sox included a $22 million option for next season with a $4 million buyout. The buyout will be paid in equal installments from 2016-19.

``Had he left that would have left a pretty significant hole, and given this market, would have been a difficult one to fill,'' Hahn said.

But the White Sox could have vacancies third baseman Kevin Youkilis and catcher A.J. Pierzynski sign elsewhere. Youkilis, acquired in June from Boston, became a free agent after Chicago declined a $13 million option.

Pierzynski hit .278, hit a career-best 27 home runs and also went free. A 15-year veteran, he's spent the last eight seasons with the White Sox.

Hahn also declined to commit on whether the White Sox will offer 2013 contracts to first baseman Dan Johnson and pitcher Philip Humber, who pitched a perfect game against Seattle last April 21. The deadline for the team's decision is 11 p.m. CST Friday night.

``I prefer not to announce any final plans for tender decisions until we've had those conversations with individual players,'' Hahn said. ``We have talked to some agents this week - what we're thinking, and where these things are likely headed - so it's not going to come as a shock should we decide ultimately not to tender anybody.''

Baring a high-salaries acquisition, Hahn said the White Sox have financial flexibility to handle most potential transactions.

``There is a little bit of room as we sit here today to maneuver,'' he said. ``But to do anything described as major, we'd would like to make another move elsewhere to free up some cash. But there's room to operate right now.''

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

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The Associated Press
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