I recently got word from my White Sox source, so I have some info to pass along.
He confirmed that while the Sox would indeed love to bring Abreu aboard (as would plenty of teams), there’s really nothing in the works. Kenny Williams wants pitching in return for his extra starter, but is in no hurry to trade Jose Contreras. The Sox are still in contact with Houston about him, but it’s likely that Contreras stays put at least until after the World Baseball Classic. It makes sense to play it safe given that the Sox hold all the cards. Look for Houston’s interest to escalate if Clemens ends up elsewhere or retires.
It is a fact that the payroll can and will increase as necessary. The Sox are actively pushing for a repeat and will spend more money to do it. The Sox should have at least $10MM in the coffers for any major need that may arise.