White Sox have flexibility to pursue multiple upgrades

Bullpen help, right-handed starter and lefty bat top list of needs

White Sox have flexibility to pursue multiple upgrades

• Hot Stove Tracker

 CHICAGO -- The White Sox have a strong nucleus in place with Jose Abreu, Chris Sale, Adam Eaton, Avisail Garcia and Jose Quintana to name a few. The White Sox also intend to be a playoff contender, at the very least, in 2015.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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White Sox opt to decline Paulino's '15 option

White Sox opt to decline Paulino's '15 option

CHICAGO -- The White Sox declined right-hander Felipe Paulino's $4 million option for 2015, which came with a $250,000 buyout, as confirmed to MLB.com by a baseball source.

This move was expected after Paulino made just four starts in '14 and finished with a 0-2 record and 11.29 ERA. Paulino allowed 23 earned runs and 35 hits over 18 1/3 innings, striking out 14 and walking 12. Paulino's last appearance for the White Sox came April 18 in Texas, when he yielded 10 runs on 13 hits over 3 2/3 innings.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Abreu leads White Sox GIBBY hopefuls with five noms

First baseman up for MVP, Hitter, Rookie, Hitting Performance and Walk-Off

Abreu leads White Sox GIBBY hopefuls with five noms

CHICAGO -- Jose Abreu stood out as the best player on the 2014 White Sox roster. In fact, Abreu quickly emerged as one of the top performers in all of Major League Baseball.

So it's of little surprise that Abreu's name and on-field exploits are attached to five of the 10 White Sox nominees as part of MLB.com's 2014 Greatness in Baseball Yearly (GIBBY) Awards.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Minoso, Allen, Pierce, Kaat on Hall's Golden Era ballot

Boyer, Hodges, Howsam, Kaat, Minoso, Oliva, Pierce, Tiant also to be considered for election

Minoso, Allen, Pierce, Kaat on Hall's Golden Era ballot

Nine former players and one executive make up the 10-person National Baseball Hall of Fame Golden Era ballot, which will be voted on Dec. 8 at the Winter Meetings in San Diego.

The ballot's 10 candidates are Dick Allen, Ken Boyer, Gil Hodges, Bob Howsam, Jim Kaat, Minnie Minoso, Tony Oliva, Billy Pierce, Luis Tiant and Maury Wills. Howsam is being considered for Hall of Fame induction for his contributions as an executive, while the other nine are being considered for their on-field contributions as players.

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Joey Nowak is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Guillen, White Sox look back on '05 championship

Chicago celebrated nine-year anniversary of title on Oct. 26

Guillen, White Sox look back on '05 championship

CHICAGO -- Nine years and three days ago, the 2005 White Sox forever changed the Chicago baseball landscape.

Ozzie Guillen's crew didn't need a Game 7 to claim the franchise's first World Series title in almost nine decades, an exciting winner-take-all contest that will be played out Wednesday night between the Royals and Giants in Kansas City. No, they swept the Astros in four tightly played contests, completing an 11-1 roll through the postseason.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Development of young core in '15 can define Chicago's future

Development of young core in '15 can define Chicago's future

CHICAGO -- For the next step in the ongoing White Sox reshaping, retooling or rebuilding process, whatever the name that has been chosen or appropriately fits, the team will … ?

Look for big-ticket players in the free-agent market? Do the same via trades? Continue developing the youthful core that has been established over the past few years?

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Sox prospects Bassitt, Montas named to AFL Fall Stars roster

Rosters for annual AFL event include 14 prospects from Top 100 rankings

Sox prospects Bassitt, Montas named to AFL Fall Stars roster

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Make way for the next generation.

Several of the best prospects in baseball will collide on Saturday in the ninth annual Fall Stars Game, the yearly All-Star Game for the Arizona Fall League. This year's rosters feature 14 players on MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list.

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Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Thomas proud with Big Hurt Brewhouse set to open

Thomas proud with Big Hurt Brewhouse set to open

CHICAGO -- Baseball served as Frank Thomas' profession for the past two decades. Actually, the game became more of a passion for the recently inducted first-ballot Hall-of-Famer.

His Big Hurt Brewhouse venture, which had a private soft opening Monday night in preparation for this weekend's official debut, seems to be more of a labor of love for one of the game's most feared hitters. But he has put in the same intense work ethic toward making this new business the same sort of lofty success.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Konerko caps stellar career with Clemente Award

Former White Sox slugger looking forward to next chapter in retirement

Konerko caps stellar career with Clemente Award

CHICAGO -- Retirement has not yet taken full hold of Paul Konerko, even close to one month after he played the final inning of his highly accomplished 16-year-run with the Chicago White Sox and an 18-year Major League career.

Maybe that fact holds true because Konerko was in San Francisco on Friday for Game 3 of the World Series, recognized beforehand with the Phillies' Jimmy Rollins as co-winners of the prestigious 2014 Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet. Maybe it's because driving carpool for his three kids and spending time with his family represents the norm during down time after a grueling 162-game schedule.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Eaton, Ramirez named AL Gold Glove finalists

Eaton, Ramirez named AL Gold Glove finalists

CHICAGO -- The White Sox have two chances to capture a 2014 Rawlings American League Gold Glove Award with Adam Eaton announced Thursday as a center-field finalist and Alexei Ramirez announced as a shortstop finalist.

"It's a great honor as you could imagine, it really is," said Eaton by phone. "One of my goals going into this year was to be a finalist, so it was great that I was able to meet that goal.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

White Sox AFL class features talented Anderson

Chicago's No. 2 prospect off to a fast start in the Fall League

White Sox AFL class features talented Anderson

Tim Anderson has moved faster than expected since the White Sox drafted him in the first round of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft. He also missed two months after an errant pitch fractured his right wrist in June, so he's in the Arizona Fall League to compensate for missed at-bats.

Though Anderson is one of the younger players in the AFL at age 21 and hasn't faced much advanced pitching, Chicago's No. 2 prospect according to MLB.com is looking forward to the opportunity.

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Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com and writes a blog, Callis' Corner. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Longtime scout Provas passes away after battle with cancer

CHICAGO -- Paul Provas, who was a valuable part of the White Sox organization since the 1993 season, passed away Thursday morning at the age of 63 after a battle with brain cancer.

Provas joined the White Sox as an amateur scout in November 1992, covering Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Colorado and Wyoming. He was a midwest crosschecker with the White Sox from 2002-04 and became a full-time professional scout with the White Sox during their World Series championship effort in 2005.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Abreu wins Sporting News' AL Rookie of the Year honors

Abreu wins Sporting News' AL Rookie of the Year honors

CHICAGO -- Jose Abreu might be best served to set up a trophy room or at least a trophy shelf at his home in Florida.

On Monday, the 27-year-old slugger picked up Sporting News' 2014 American League Rookie of the Year. He was joined by Mets hurler Jacob deGrom, who got the nod on the National League side.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Former White Sox star Rowand excited for 'little' cousin Shields

Former White Sox star Rowand excited for 'little' cousin Shields

CHICAGO -- When Aaron Rowand was a kid and playing baseball with his three cousins, the youngest of that group, Jamie, often was deemed too small to join in the action.

Jamie, as in James Shields, who figures to start Game 1 of the 2014 World Series this Tuesday against the Giants for his Royals in Kansas City.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

Following same path as '59 White Sox, KC eyes title

Royals hope to pick up World Series win that eluded 'Go-Go Sox'

Following same path as '59 White Sox, KC eyes title

KANSAS CITY -- Fifty-five years have passed since Jim McAnany stepped into the batter's box at Comiskey Park to face Johnny Podres, with the World Series spotlight shining on him. He hasn't forgotten how dry his mouth was as he dug his spikes into the dirt.

"My first time up, my legs were shaking," McAnany said. "But once you get past that, the next time you pretty well settle in and play the game. The only thing I prayed for was not to make a mistake that hurt our team."

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Phil Rogers is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Sox coaches get to know young players in Glendale

Chicago looks to create sense of continuity in organization with visits

Sox coaches get to know young players in Glendale

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper came from Nashville, joined by bullpen coach Bobby Thigpen last week at the team's Camelback Ranch complex in Arizona. Hitting coach Todd Steverson made the drive from Ahwatukee, Ariz., which, despite being 23.4 miles from Glendale, can seem as long as that flight from Tennessee depending on Phoenix Valley traffic.

Instructional league action, and the start of the Arizona Fall League, for that matter, doesn't usually feature the White Sox Major League coaches in attendance. But this rebuilding stretch is a different feel for the organization as it moves toward what it hopes is a '15 playoff berth, with important contributions figuring to come from younger players.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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White Sox prospect Anderson flashes skills

Shortstop goes 3-for-4 with double, stolen base in Glendale win

White Sox prospect Anderson flashes skills

Entering Tuesday, Glendale hadn't won in a week. Since its victory on Opening Day in the Arizona Fall League last Tuesday against Mesa, it had endured a rainout, a three-game losing streak and a tie after 11 innings against Peoria on Monday.

Glendale snapped out of its doldrums Tuesday night, combining solid pitching with an explosive offense to rout Peoria, 9-0.

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Teddy Cahill is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Alexei a proven vet, but Sox have shortstop options

Chicago boasts infield depth in system, including Anderson, Rondon

Alexei a proven vet, but Sox have shortstop options

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- For the upcoming offseason, you now are White Sox general manager Rick Hahn. And one major question to be dealt with centers on what should be done with shortstop Alexei Ramirez.

The answer appears to be simple. Ramirez is one of the White Sox most seasoned veterans and most accomplished players in the mix for the 2015 roster. His '14 performance put him in contention for the American League Silver Slugger and Gold Glove Awards.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Konerko embraces silence of retirement

Former White Sox captain happy to no longer be in spotlight

Konerko embraces silence of retirement

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- If there was a song needed to go with the retirement of Paul Konerko, it easily could be "The Sounds of Silence" by Paul Simon.

That particular theme becomes hard to pull off when you live in a house with three children under the age of 10. But as far as baseball is concerned, it fits perfectly for the former White Sox captain.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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White Sox hitting coach marvels at Abreu's rookie year

White Sox hitting coach marvels at Abreu's rookie year

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Jose Abreu's incredible 2014 Major League debut soon should be recognized with the American League Rookie of the Year honor.

It also took just this one campaign for the 27-year-old Abreu to establish himself as a White Sox franchise cornerstone.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Alvarez's Olympic success helping him rise as shortstop

Sox prospect, a silver medalist in speed skating, is used to heavy training, tight schedules

Alvarez's Olympic success helping him rise as shortstop

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Ask Eddy Alvarez what sort of professional baseball player he envisions becoming, and the 5-foot-9, 175-pound switch-hitter smiles and defers his response to a later date.

"I have no idea who I am yet. I really don't," said Alvarez with a laugh, speaking before a White Sox Instructional League contest Tuesday in Goodyear against a Reds affiliate. "Some days I'll get a couple of singles, and the next day I'll hit two home runs. Anything to produce runs and help my team win, that's what I want to be."

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Improved White Sox take important step in 2014

Highlighted by talented new faces, Chicago made strides in solid year

Improved White Sox take important step in 2014

CHICAGO -- The 2014 White Sox presented a noticeably improved overall version from what was on the field in '13.

It actually would be difficult not to move upward and forward from that previous 99-loss debacle, but there was real progress made under the ongoing reshaping process spearheaded by general manager Rick Hahn. Yet, better certainly doesn't qualify as nearly good enough for Hahn and the organization.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Stars of tomorrow ready to shine as '14 AFL season begins

Stars of tomorrow ready to shine as '14 AFL season begins

Over its 23-year history, the Arizona Fall League has developed a reputation as a finishing school for baseball's top prospects. This year, once again, many of the game's best young players will gather in the desert, hoping to prove themselves in the same league that helped catapult Derek Jeter, Dustin Pedroia and Mike Trout to stardom.

When the AFL opens play Tuesday, the concentration of talent will again be readily apparent. Two of the three Opening Day games feature premium pitching matchups, and the third game is highlighted by two of the best shortstops in the Minor Leagues.

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Teddy Cahill is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Third-base coach McEwing to interview for D-backs job

Third-base coach McEwing to interview for D-backs job

CHICAGO -- Add Joe McEwing to the growing list of the D-backs' managerial candidates, a job that opened up when Kirk Gibson was removed from the position.

The D-backs announced via Twitter on Wednesday that they received permission to interview the current White Sox third-base coach.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Pipeline Perspectives: White Sox duo among top AFL prospects to watch

White Sox shortstop, Cubs hurler have lots to prove as teams move forward

Pipeline Perspectives: White Sox duo among top AFL prospects to watch

There's a good amount of subjectivity regarding baseball prospects. With the evaluation of talent being in the eye of the beholder, finding consensus is often difficult. Even Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo of MLBPipeline.com don't always see eye to eye. They discuss their viewpoints regularly in a feature called Pipeline Perspectives. Submit a topic for them to debate.

It is just one week before the start of another exciting Arizona Fall League season. I can't wait to get out there to see some of the best prospects in the game compete in the AFL, known as Major League Baseball's finishing school.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com and writes a blog, B3. Follow @JonathanMayoB3 on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Voting underway to decide Hank Aaron Awards

Help decide this season's top offensive performer in each league

Voting underway to decide Hank Aaron Awards

Voting is underway through Sunday exclusively at MLB.com to help decide the 16th annual winners of the Hank Aaron Award, given by "The Hammer" himself during the upcoming 110th World Series to the outstanding offensive performer in each league.

American League nominees include Nelson Cruz of Baltimore, David Ortiz of Boston, Jose Abreu of the Chicago White Sox, Michael Brantley of Cleveland, Victor Martinez of Detroit, Jose Altuve of Houston, Alex Gordon of Kansas City, Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels, Trevor Plouffe of Minnesota, Brett Gardner of the New York Yankees, Josh Donaldson of Oakland, Robinson Cano of Seattle, Evan Longoria of Tampa Bay, Adrian Beltre of Texas and Jose Bautista of Toronto.

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Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Classy to the end, Konerko waves farewell to stellar career

White Sox captain exits to rousing ovation, thankful for support of family, fans

Classy to the end, Konerko waves farewell to stellar career

CHICAGO -- Paul Konerko officially became a former Major Leaguer in the sixth inning of the Royals' 6-4 victory over the White Sox on Sunday afternoon at U.S. Cellular Field.

After grounding out to third leading off the fifth against Kansas City reliever Casey Coleman, Konerko ran out to the field to start infield work as starter Chris Bassitt warmed up. Andy Wilkins waited in the dugout, and when Bassitt was finished, Wilkins jogged out to replace the White Sox captain.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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After Konerko's finale, Hahn reflects on Sox season

Club ends '14 in fourth place, but GM sees bigger, better things ahead

After Konerko's finale, Hahn reflects on Sox season

CHICAGO -- When placing a final grade on the White Sox 2014 season, which closed out Sunday via a 6-4 loss to the Royals before 32,266 at U.S. Cellular Field, general manager Rick Hahn chose to work on a pass/fail grading curve.

Pass/fail, with a caveat.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Top prospect Rodon could start, relieve next season

Club's No. 1 Draft pick in '14 'important part' of Sox future, says GM Hahn

Top prospect Rodon could start, relieve next season

CHICAGO -- The White Sox view Carlos Rodon as competition for the 2015 rotation coming out of Spring Training. There's also a chance Rodon could break camp as part of the bullpen next April.

"It's conceivable he could be a member of the bullpen in 2015 at some point," said White Sox general manager Rick Hahn, who spoke of the team's top pick in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft and third selection overall as part of Sunday's season-ending interview. "I do believe, much like when we had Chris Sale in a similar situation, that his long-term future is at the front end of a rotation, but we are not necessarily committed that it has to be on Day 1 as part of a rotation in order to get to that spot."

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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