White Sox general manager Rick Hahn acknowledged the competition to re-sign free agent third baseman Kevin Youkilis has become tougher.

"It's not a shock that he has heard from a bunch of teams," Hahn said Thursday of Youkilis, who reportedly has attracted interest from the Phillies, Dodgers, Marlins and Mariners. "It's not a shock he's popular. And it's not a shock it's going to be a challenge to bring him back. But we'll continue to have dialogue with him and other options. It's still early, so we'll see where it goes."

Hahn anticipates more transactions will occur, especially after the Blue Jays made a blockbuster trade with the Marlins that virtually eliminates Sox pitcher Gavin Floyd as one of the Blue Jays' targets.

"Teams are starting to zero in on converting some of their options right now," Hahn said after the Sox honored 12 student-athletes from their Amateur City Elite (ACE) program who signed letters of intent to play at Division I colleges.

"It may very well be not until clubs get to Nashville that you start to see the bulk of activity, as you usually do at the winter meetings (Dec. 3-6), but things are starting to happen.

"Conversations are getting a little more substantive. And offers are flying back and forth, so something could happen at any time."

Hahn said it is unlikely left fielder Dayan Viciedo would move to third.