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White Sox pressure-free entering Meetings

Chicago front office focused on adding young talent, but timeline not rigid
MLB.com @scottmerkin

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Members of the White Sox front office have arrived in Florida with the addition of free-agent catcher Welington Castillo via a two-year, $15 million deal and an $8 million option for 2020 already in place.

They might leave the area Thursday, following the 2017 Winter Meetings, with that deal still standing as their primary offseason move. The team remains focused on procurement of young talent as part of its rebuild, while looking to be opportunistic in adding veterans who can help in the short and long term.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Members of the White Sox front office have arrived in Florida with the addition of free-agent catcher Welington Castillo via a two-year, $15 million deal and an $8 million option for 2020 already in place.

They might leave the area Thursday, following the 2017 Winter Meetings, with that deal still standing as their primary offseason move. The team remains focused on procurement of young talent as part of its rebuild, while looking to be opportunistic in adding veterans who can help in the short and long term.

But there's no pressure felt by the White Sox to get things done over the next few days.

"You have to go in with the attitude that nothing has to happen here and you want to be fully prepared for however you can best anticipate the market unfolding while you are down there," White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said. "In reality, there is a bit of a fever pitch when you are there and teams do seem to get themselves into deal mode, whether it's with free agents or via trade.

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"So if you have had something percolate for a few weeks, there's a decent chance it's going to come to a decision point while you are there. We try not to get too carried away with something [that] has to be done while we are there to show progress. It's another four or five days on the offseason calendar, and the goal is to get the thing right by Opening Day, not necessarily by Dec. 15."

Video: Hahn on chances Abreu gets traded, market

MLB.com and whitesox.com will be at the Winter Meetings for all the action. Follow me, @scottmerkin, on Twitter and check in frequently for Hahn's analysis, other events and important moments related to the White Sox.

Manager Rick Renteria holds his 30-minute interview session on Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. CT, possibly focusing on the next phase of the rebuild involving patience and development. It was one year ago when this rebuild began at the Winter Meetings, with the trades of Chris Sale and Adam Eaton, which changed the franchise in the process.

"I suspect last year will be one [Winter Meetings] that we look back on very fondly here in the not too distant future," White Sox executive vice president Ken Williams said. "It was the first opportunity we had to start from ground zero and reshape the team and the organization as we had kind of wanted to do at various junctures, but for various reasons, didn't have the opportunity.

"So when you talk about excitement and anticipation and the back and forth of conversation, and Rick and I going into a room to the side of our meeting room to talk by ourselves and then to talk with another club … . And then the anticipation of how this thing was going to come together and the way that it did, I suspect that one certainly is going to be a memorable one."

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

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