Talks stall for White Sox at Deadline
Club unwilling to part with Viciedo, Beckham
CHICAGO -- There were no nerve-wracking races down to the final seconds for general manager Ken Williams and the White Sox to get a deal approved prior to the 2010 non-waiver Trade Deadline at 3 p.m. CT on Saturday.
By Williams' estimation, it actually was an extremely quiet day, concluding two basically sleepless weeks.
"After 2:30, I wasn't even in the [war] room. That's how active it was," said Williams with a smile, as he addressed the media prior to Saturday's game with Oakland. "I came down to talk to the coaching staff and hang out with them.
"The players we were interested in, we had zero dialogue on today. Our offers had been out there for quite some time. We just never really engaged, not for lack of effort on our part."
All of the phone conversations, texts and e-mails involving Williams, assistant general manager Rick Hahn and the White Sox staff ended up in the acquisition of right-handed starter Edwin Jackson from the D-backs in exchange for right-hander Daniel Hudson and Minor League hurler David Holmberg.
Jackson arrived at U.S. Cellular Field on Saturday afternoon, and having pitched last on July 28, he will make his White Sox debut either in the second game of Tuesday's doubleheader at Comerica Park or Wednesday evening in Detroit. The overriding issue concerning Jackson's trade dealt with whether he would fill out the White Sox rotation at No. 5 or be moved to the Nationals as part of a trade for the left-handed power bat of Adam Dunn.
In order to avoid any extra consternation, Jackson chose to avoid any sort of news on the topic over the past 24 hours.
"It's been pretty hectic," Jackson said. "I try to stay away from it as much as possible and just wait for phone calls and try to stay away from the computers and Internet and the, 'He said, she said.' I just kind of keep it as calm as I can and it seems to work."
The inability to add Dunn or Milwaukee's Prince Fielder seemed to be a result of who the White Sox weren't offering, as opposed to the players being included in the deal. Gordon Beckham was not going anywhere, a sentiment shared by Williams earlier in the week, nor was rookie Dayan Viciedo.
"I never had one conversation with regards to Viciedo. People know exactly how we feel about it," said Williams of Viciedo, who should have a shot at starting for the White Sox in 2011. "He's 21 years old and is a talent that's going to be a major force in this league and I dare you to find one or two guys at his level that can do the things he can do and the ball comes off the bat as explosive as his does.
"So, I think people understood when we signed him, that's how we felt and didn't want to go down that road. I was not trading Gordon Beckham in any of these deals. The conversation pretty much started and stopped with that and never got any further."
Of course, the non-waiver Trade Deadline's arrival certainly doesn't mean Williams is done trying to improve his American League Central-leading ballclub. Deals involving players on the 40-man roster over the next month cannot be made unless the players already have cleared waivers.
A player on waivers can be claimed by any team, and if multiple teams put in a claim, the team with the worst record would have the player offered. The original team then has 48 hours to work out a trade with the claiming team or remove the player from waivers. A player can be pulled back just once, but if he clears waivers either the first or second time through, a team can attempt to trade him to any team
This process played out for the White Sox on Aug. 10 of last season, when Alex Rios was claimed from the Blue Jays. The center fielder has emerged as one of the team's most complete driving forces during this 2010 campaign.
Williams admitted to having a Friday deal in place for Houston first baseman Lance Berkman, only to have Berkman invoke his no-trade clause to nix the trade. Rumors also emerged on Saturday morning as to a White Sox attempt in obtaining Manny Ramirez from the Dodgers.
Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti spoke in generalities of how the White Sox contacted him on Friday about the mercurial outfielder.
"We got a call from one club, and they offered us a very low dollar figure with no player attached to it," Colletti said. "We didn't start it and we didn't float his name. One team came forward, and I'm not sure what they were trying to accomplish."
That explanation was provided by Williams on Saturday.
Impact players were the target for the White Sox, players who could move them up a notch in competing for a World Series title. Ramirez didn't work out, nor did the other pursuits, but Williams will move forward from a position of strength.
"All I can say is, if we felt there were any impact players on the market, we were going to go after them," Williams said. "We are strong enough as we are and everything fits together in such a way that the only thing we were going to add would be something of an impact guy.
"I'll be honest. I was really optimistic on a couple of fronts that we would be able to add to this team without subtracting anything and unfortunately everything that presented itself over the last number of weeks, with the exception of the Edwin Jackson thing, just didn't. It was destructive to what we were trying to do as a ballclub and it would have taken too much from what's already on the field."
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.