Deadline deal unlikely for White Sox
General manager says 'prices are still too high'
CHICAGO -- As the White Sox prepare to start a seven-game homestand against the Mariners and A's, it appears as if the team will stand pat through Saturday's 3 p.m. CT non-waiver Trade Deadline.
Then again, the White Sox had a similar look in 2009 and ended up acquiring outfielder/first baseman Mark Kotsay from Boston on July 28 and pitcher Jake Peavy from the Padres minutes before the Deadline passed. A great deal can happen in five days.
"Prices are still too high as far as I'm concerned," said general manager Ken Williams, speaking to the media for close to 20 minutes prior to Monday's series opener with the Mariners. "You know, we have a plan and that plan resulted in this team being constructed the way it is.
"This plan also has contingencies based on somebody going down for injury and being able to bring up Minor Leaguers to fill those needs. And next year, we've got guys that come up and fill much bigger roles. So you have to be cognizant of making a move that is a little too shortsighted and jeopardizes your future.
"However, with that said, you know me. I can't [lie to] you guys; you've seen it before," Williams said. "If there's an opportunity to do something in a major way that doesn't disrupt what we have and adds to it, we'll take that shot."
The White Sox situation -- trade rumors have a way of following them -- is easily explainable: during Williams' decade at the helm, he has made 63 deals involve 161 players.
Monday's latest entry came from ESPN.com, with a brief mention of rumblings involving a three-way deal involving the Nationals, White Sox and D-backs, with Edwin Jackson going to the Nationals, pitching prospects going to the D-backs and the White Sox getting their coveted left-handed run producer in Adam Dunn.
One problem in this particular equation is that the White Sox don't have any true pitching prospects to deal aside from Daniel Hudson. If the White Sox decide to trade Hudson, the move also leaves them thin in the starting rotation without a corresponding move.
And this team's ultimate success is predicated on its front five and overall pitching depth. Williams seemed to indicate, without mentioning names specifically, how starting second baseman Gordon Beckham and/or starting right fielder Carlos Quentin won't be going anywhere.
Of course, time exists for Williams to change his mind.
"There's been a lot that's been talked about, about some guys that may be moved and I have no intention of moving them," Williams said. "Most of what comes out is coming out from other teams. When names are mentioned, it's because teams desire your players and that's always a good thing.
"I don't think anyone should be walking around here thinking that they're going to be traded. They should be worried about the task at hand and let debates come and go and let me do what I do and they do what they do. But if anyone has any questions, they know where to find me."
White Sox scouts have assembled in Chicago to meet with Williams, assistant general manager Rick Hahn and their staff on Tuesday to discuss the available options. It's a slower market in general compared to last year, according to Williams.
A dearth of available impact players was predicted by Williams as far back as late in the 2009 campaign, making it important to acquire a player like Peavy or add center fielder Alex Rios through a waiver claim.
Williams has talked extensively with manager Ozzie Guillen about team needs, and on Monday, Guillen reiterated how he's happy with the first-place squad he has in place. With a wry smile, Williams quickly added how Guillen is open to improvements, but how he's cognizant of not disrupting a good thing.
"If you're talking about chemistry, you've got a chance to win and you've got an opportunity," Williams said. "When you are in the position where things are kind of stable and you can look forward to dreaming about winning a division first of all before you dream about a championship, you've got to be cognizant of how the pieces fit together and how the personalities fit together.
"That's why I ask a lot of questions of the players, I ask a lot of questions to Ozzie and the coaching staff, because I want to make sure the right fit comes in. Sometimes you need a guy that's got a little edge, you need a Carl Everett-type personality to stir things up, or you need somebody that's got some energy.
"It's a variety of things depending on the makeup of our club," Williams said. "There's a strong sentiment that these guys that have fought so hard should be given the opportunity to continue to fight. We'll see."
Before the end of the media session, Williams pretty much laid out what will take place over the next few days. The results of this process are still to be determined.
"At the end of the day, this is what's going to happen," Williams said. "I'm going to get all the information and all the possibilities. I'm going to sit down with my staff, my scouts and that's going to start tomorrow. Sit down with everyone and get everyone's ideas.
"I'm going to tell them what the real possibilities are -- not the rumor central possibilities. Then I'll try to ask the questions of the coaching staff about fit.
"How does a guy fit into our equation?" Williams said. "And if I get the right answers from them and the price is right and it's not too disruptive to this team right here or our future, then you go down the road and try to solidify an idea."
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.