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Roster squeeze for Sox's backup OFs

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012 10:11 a.m. CDT

(MCT) — NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Jordan Danks may find himself as a victim of a roster squeeze in 2013 despite showing flashes of promise in 2012.

With the re-signing of Dewayne Wise at $700,000, the Sox could opt for Wise as their only backup outfielder unless Danks makes a strong showing.

"If we go with 12 pitchers again, two infielders and four outfielders, there is one spot for Dewayne and Jordan to fight over," Hahn said Tuesday. "If we carry five outfielders, it’s conceivable there’s not a competition."

Wise, 35, who rejoined the Sox last August and batted .258, has the inside track.

"Dewayne gives you opportunity to steal a base for you, which Jordan is still learning," Hahn said. "At the end of camp we’ll take the best guys to help us win. If that doesn’t include Dewayne Wise - which would be a stretch – but if that’s the case we’ll go with the best guy. We want to have Dewayne in that mix, but no decisions have been made."

Danks, who batted .224 in 50 games, has minor league options. Outfielder Blake Tekotte, acquired last month from the San Diego organization, likely will start 2013 in the minors to work on an adjustment in his swing, Hahn said.

And Jared Mitchell, the Sox's first round pick in the 2009 draft who was added to the 40-man roster last month, will start in the minors to polish his skills.

"Each of the last three years we’ve seen this is a big year for Jared Mitchell," Hahn said. "First,  to show that he can get away from the football approach and get 500 plate appearances at the minor league level, then to get through the year healthy and now it’s time to take that next step.

"When you’re viewed as one of the organization’s top prospects, they’re all big years and there is always progress to make until you get to the big leagues. Hopefully a year from now we’ll be sitting here and saying after the fantastic year in Triple-A, this is the year he shows he belongs in Chicago as an everyday outfielder. He has goals to accomplish, and we have a lot of confidence in him."

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