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White Sox value 'long-term' roster additions

Hahn continues search for upgrades to infield, catcher and rotation

CHICAGO -- Rick Hahn continues to look for "long-term fits" and not "short-term patches" where improving the White Sox is concerned.

But those long-term fits don't necessarily translate exclusively into burgeoning young talents.

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"When we signed [closer David] Robertson for four years, we didn't view that as a short-term fit necessarily. That's a longer-term piece at that point," the White Sox general manager said Tuesday at the General Managers Meetings in Boca Raton, Fla. "A one- or two-year veteran thing, we'll see if those play out.

"That could happen via trade as well. But I think the ideal, for all 30 of the teams down here, your ideal is to add long-term pieces that you can grow with and win with as a group. Now, you're not always able to do that. Two seasons ago when we were acquiring guys like [Jose] Abreu and [Adam] Eaton, we were able to maintain that through the offseason in terms of targets like that. It's not always the case, but that is the ideal goal, especially early in the offseason."

Hahn unofficially "won" the offseason going into the 2015 campaign, adding major pieces such as Adam LaRoche, Melky Cabrera and Jeff Samardzija along with Robertson to apparently push the team at least to the fringe of American League Central contention. Hahn warned that having the best offseason gives you no extra wins, and ultimately a good-looking plan in March turned into a subpar 76-win performance.

Despite the team's disappointing finish, Hahn doesn't see his position very different from these same meetings in Arizona back in '14.

"We are exploring multiple avenues to try to make ourselves better for the long term," Hahn said. "Last year, the way we approached things was more heavily through the free-agent market, given what was available and what our resources were.

"So I don't know if the results will play out the same way. But the results in terms of what we are looking for, as a general theme, is consistent with where we were a year ago.

"From what the market has to bear, it may be in the end that some of the solutions we are looking for come via trade, as opposed to via free agency like was the case last year," Hahn said. "So the results may be different, but it's too early to say that, and at this point, the approach is the same as it was a year ago."

Third base, middle infield and catcher are just a few positions of interest for the White Sox. Starting pitching always becomes a focus, even as the team's strong suit.

"I don't think you're ever going to hear me say we're good from a rotation standpoint and not that we can always use another to have some depth and insurance," Hahn said. "So it remains on the list."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and listen to his podcast.
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