Ozzie, Williams appreciate Reinsdorf
Chairman instrumental in landing Peavy, taking on contract
BOSTON -- When Jake Peavy eventually takes the mound for the White Sox, some time at the end of the next week, there's one man ultimately responsible for the right-hander coming to the South Side of Chicago.
General manager Ken Williams deserves major credit for pursuing Peavy, even after the righty invoked his no-trade clause to block a five-player deal to come to the White Sox from San Diego back in May. Peavy also has worked tirelessly with Chicago athletic trainer Herm Schneider and pitching coach Don Cooper to get back on the mound after being sidelined since June 8 with a partially torn tendon in his right ankle.
But if not for White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf giving the deal the go-ahead, picking up the remaining $52 million on Peavy's contract over the next three years, the righty still would be part of the Padres or would have ended up somewhere else.
"Jerry showed the fans how much he wants to win," said White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen of his boss. "He showed the players how much he wants to win. I think Kenny and myself are lucky enough to work with this guy. We're very lucky."
"I don't recall going to Jerry at any time in the last nine years and wanting to do something, really wanting to do something, and him saying no," said White Sox general manager Ken Williams to MLB.com during a recent interview. "There often have been times where he says, 'I don't know how we can pay for it, so let's try to figure it out.' But that encompasses a lot of discussion as to how we can make it work."
The Peavy deal, brought to fruition just moments before the non-waiver Trade Deadline on July 31, was one of those moments Williams spoke about. Reinsdorf had approved the Peavy trade in May, but when he was approached again at the end of July, he said, "No thanks."
Williams and assistant general manager Rick Hahn presented a convincing argument for adding a true ace to the top of Chicago's rotation, and the White Sox did their due diligence to make sure they could take on Peavy's salary. The same due diligence was done when the Sox added outfielder Alex Rios and the remainder of his seven-year, $69.835 million deal that started in 2008 from Toronto in a waiver claim. The bottom line is winning for Reinsdorf and the White Sox.
"If Jerry said yes to these players, it's for a reason," Guillen said. "He is a tremendous business man. He knows what he wants. He knows what to do. Jerry is a baseball fan who loves his team, loves his organization. Everyone has a job. Jerry never gets involved with Kenny or myself, how to manage or do our jobs. He trusts people in the organization."
"Fortunately, I work for a guy who has a lot of faith in what we do in the front office," Williams said. "He's allowed us to do some things to help us make this transition a little easier."
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.