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Third base done, trade next for Sox?

Published: Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012 9:58 a.m. CDT

(MCT) — NASHVILLE, Tenn. — After taking care of their third base position, the Chicago White Sox can attend to other matters with two months before pitchers and catchers report to Glendale, Ariz., for spring training.

The Sox could attempt to trim payroll and get younger. To achieve that, they likely would trade pitcher Gavin Floyd and his $9.5 million salary. The Sox would be looking to acquire a back-end starter at a lower cost than Floyd while adding a left-handed hitter.

The acquisition of Jeff Keppinger gives the Sox a solid contact hitter who can play third as well as other infield positions. But they could still use a left-handed hitter with the increasingly likelihood that free agent A.J. Pierzynski will depart and that they will opt for Tyler Flowers as the starting catcher with Hector Gimenez as his backup.

Floyd could become very attractive to teams who lose out on the Zack Greinke-Anibal Sanchez free-agent sweepstakes and see him as a much lower-cost commitment than free agents Kyle Lohse, Ryan Dempster and Edwin Jackson.

Sox general manager Rick Hahn has spoke frequently of avoiding a situation where he's "robbing Peter to pay Paul,'' and he has other internal considerations.

One is his list of arbitration eligible players -- Gordon Beckham and Alejandro De Aza -- that could make a combined $5 million. That's half of what left fielder Dayan Viciedo earned in 2012, and Viciedo could receive a $1 million raise.

Left-handed reliever Matt Thornton ($5.5 million) and Jesse Crain ($4.5 million) also could be trade candidates.

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