Winter Meetings: Upton in play?

Winter Meetings: Upton in play?
The White Sox are targeting free agent All-Star Justin Upton. (Getty Images)

The 2015 Winter Meetings began last night and after Rick Hahn's explosive 2014 Winter Meetings, he's someone that we should all keep an eye on.

Hahn has already had a busy offseason - he's let Jeff Samardzija, Geovany Soto and Gordon Beckham all walk to other teams. Hahn non-tendered Tyler Flowers and Jacob Turner, though Turner was resigned for $1.5M, signed Alex Avila and Dioner Navarro and traded Yency Almonte for Tommy Kahnle (read Future Sox's breakdown here).

As it stands the White Sox have a new catching duo, the 29th overall pick in return for Samardzija and a couple of arms for Don Cooper to fix.

So what will Hahn do at this year's winter meetings? Well, he might be prepping to sign Justin Upton.

Future Sox writer Brian Bilek got wind of this rumor, as did Bob Nightengale who picked the White Sox to sign Upton on MLB Network.

The White Sox were a popular pick for Upton to be traded to at last season's trade deadline, but it never came to be. They were also trying to snag him away from Atlanta last offseason before he was traded to San Diego.

With the White Sox are pursuing Upton, it has some strong implications for the current roster.

The current outfield has Adam Eaton, Melky Cabrera, Avisail Garcia and Trayce Thompson fighting for three spots. Eaton is a lock and Cabrera would be a strong candidate to move to designated hitter if the White Sox could find a trade partner willing to bite on Adam LaRoche after his abysmal year. That would leave Thompson and Garcia fighting for the last spot in Spring Training, with the loser returning to AAA.

But with Upton in the mix, that means that the White Sox would likely send both Thompson and Garica to AAA, barring LaRoche moving on.

If the White Sox sign Upton, the 28-year-old outfielder will provide some much needed power to the lineup and will be a defensive boost in either left or right. They would also forfeit the 29th pick in the 2016 MLB Draft if they signed Upton, or any other free agents that have qualifying offers attached to them. The remaining free agents with qualifying offers attached are listed below.

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  • There's a reason a guy with this much talent has been moved around as often as he has been. I'd stay away from him. And if Kenny Williams "loves" Upton, that's even more reason to stay FAR away.

    This is Hahn's show (supposedly) not Kenny's.

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