If piece fills need, White Sox could make deal
GM Williams willing to do what it takes 'within reason'
CHICAGO -- The big board often talked about by White Sox general manager Ken Williams, featuring the club's outlook for the next three years, has not been viewed by anyone outside the organization.
But it's safe to assume right-handed pitcher Dan Hudson, catcher Tyler Flowers and outfielder Jordan Danks, all currently practicing their craft for Triple-A Charlotte, would be listed somewhere in that overview.
Judging by comments made by Williams at Wednesday's Double Duty Classic at U.S. Cellular Field, part of this same youthful core could be removed from said board in the next month if it enhances the White Sox 2010 chances for success.
"Well, if there's an opportunity to win a World Series, you got to do what you got to do sometimes -- within reason," Williams said. "But it's got to be, you have to have a real opportunity. I think we have an opportunity. So, if there's something out there that fits ...
"Not all the names out there that supposedly are coming to Chicago are true fits because if [White Sox manager] Ozzie [Guillen] and the coaching staff don't believe they are going to play Player X on a regular basis and Player X needs to play regularly to be effective, then that's not a good fit. It can jeopardize your chemistry and it can jeopardize how your staff wants to go about winning games."
Adam Dunn stands as one of those players talked about as currently holding the focus of Williams and the White Sox. The 30-year-old Washington first baseman has knocked out at least 38 home runs and driven in at least 92 in each of his last six seasons, and has a career on-base percentage of .382. Dunn also would add a powerful left-handed bat to a White Sox lineup featuring A.J. Pierzynski's 21 RBIs as the highest total from that side of the plate.
A Dunn addition would give Guillen the chance to use him at designated hitter, not to mention from time to time at first base to spell Paul Konerko and in the outfield. But during a Wednesday morning interview with the Waddle and Silvy Show on ESPN 1000, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo made it clear Dunn's value would not be undersold.
"For us to move him will be very painful, and it will probably be very, very painful for the team that wants to acquire him," Rizzo said. "I mean, we are always listening; we are certainly not in a position with our history and our record this year and our record in the past that we have to turn a blind eye to any type of constructive idea or offer.
"We are certainly not shocked at Adam Dunn. He is one of the top five or 10 best offensive players in the game, a constant 40 home run guy, 100 RBIs, .400 on-base type of guy and, you know, he's 29 or 30 years old and he has been a centerpiece of our clubhouse for the last two years. He's a great guy."
Rizzo pointed out how trade rumors frequently pop up around an "elite player" during "the last year of a long-term deal." Dunn is playing in the final season of a two-year, $20-million deal and will attract interest from more than just the White Sox. According to Rizzo, Dunn also could still be with the Nationals after the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.
Williams certainly is willing to make a move to push this team over the top, a White Sox squad sitting 1 1/2 games behind the Twins and one game behind the Tigers in the American League Central entering Wednesday night's contest in Kansas City. It's a different sort of move being thought about by Williams than the moves wearing on his mind when his crew was nine under .500 and 9 1/2 games out of the division's top spot on June 8.
"Yeah, I was frustrated a few weeks ago," Williams said. "Listen, this is not, when you don't have the talent and you are losing, that's one thing and something you have to accept and fight through that and be prepared to ultimately win a different way.
"When you see the talent on the field and it's not happening, it's absolutely the crown of frustration. I wasn't going to sit here and watch it and make our fans watch it all summer. It was going to turn around with the crew we had or we were going to get some different players and make it happen a different way."
Don't expect Williams to completely mortgage the future for one potential second-half addition. So, requests from other teams for Gordon Beckham, John Danks or Gavin Floyd most certainly will be met with a resounding, 'No thank you.'
As for Hudson, Flowers, Danks or even Dayan Viciedo, thought to be certain regular Major League contributors at some point in their careers, they might want to rent instead of buy until the end of July. Then again, the White Sox might have what it takes now to challenge baseball's best without making a big-ticket addition.
"I don't know. We will all find that out together," Williams said. "So many more conversations need to take place before we even get close to [deals].
"Ultimately, the decision might be to stay who we are and what we are. If that's the case, if we win, everyone will say we didn't need anything. If we lose, everyone will say, 'What were you thinking? You needed to go out and get someone.' I'm prepared for that. It's Chicago.
"I'm certainly in a better mood these days than I was a couple of weeks back," Williams said. "However, in that you also say to yourself, 'How good would we have been if we played anywhere close to our capabilities in April and May?' We are fighting for our lives right now, but fortunately, we are on the upswing."
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.