More from Ken Williams
Even with three stories soon to be up on whitesox.com, focused on Kenny Williams’ Winter Meetings thoughts, there are still a few more nuggets of information from the White Sox general manager to be shared. So, here they are.
Bobby Jenks is not being actively shopped, according to Williams, who has not had one present offseason trade talk concerning the burly right-hander to date. This assessment doesn’t mean Williams won’t listen to offers for Jenks at the Winter Meetings. In fact, Williams expects Jenks to be a topic of conversation at Indianapolis.
“He’s one of the game’s better closers and people need closers,” Williams said. “But so do we.”
A more in-depth look at the Jenks’ dynamic and the White Sox bullpen will be on the site today.
RUMOR MILL CHURNING
Williams claimed to not have even heard the recent rumor concerning a three-way trade involving the White Sox, Padres and Angels, a rumor termed as preliminary discussions for sending Adrian Gonzalez to the White Sox, Paul Konerko to the Angels and a plethora of prospects to the Padres. The Angels were never involved in such a deal, but check out the following by-play with Williams as representative of possible Gonzalez interest. Well, it just might show interest, as of course, nothing was said directly.
I asked Williams if he had talked to Jake Peavy during this offseason, trying to get a gauge on Peavy’s fire and preparedness for his first full season in Chicago. Williams told me that the two had spoken, with Williams needing to ask Peavy about a player from another team to whom he had interest.
“He’s already pumped up,” said Williams of Peavy.
When I asked Williams if that player he asked Peavy about was Gonzalez, he responded with a quick “No comment.”
Now, Williams could have just been throwing out a standard response when a media member asks him about a specific player. He might have been asking Peavy about catcher Henry Blanco, who played in San Diego last year and has drawn the White Sox interest. Williams has been known to seek out his veterans to get a feel for how a particular trade target would fit on the roster and the clubhouse, much more so than his talent.
Most White Sox fans surveyed would list Gonzalez as a perfect fit, and remember Williams never shies away from inquiring about top talent. He even asked about Johan Santana before the Twins traded him to the Mets.
“If you’re good, I’ve asked about you,” said Williams with a laugh.
WAIT AND SEE
Don’t expect talks to begin any time soon in extending catcher A.J. Pierzynski or first baseman Paul Konerko, whose multi-year deals expire after 2010.
“Way too early,” Williams said. “I’ve got to look at so much focus on 2010. That’s something I can’t focus on.”
ALL ABOUT ANDRUW
The expediency with which Andruw Jones signed with the White Sox, not to mention the $500,000 as the agreed upon salary, with incentives that could add on another $1 million, proves Jones truly wants to play for the White Sox.
“He’s been a great player for a long time and has gotten derailed doing some things that really isn’t his game,” said Williams of Jones. “But he and Ozzie have a great rapport.
“Andruw knows he’s coming here in a backup role. It’s always a key, when talking about a player who has amassed the numbers and accomplishments he has amassed, to be accepting of his role.
“But he really, really wanted to be here,” Williams said. “He wanted to be a part of what we are trying to do. That combination, the player and the dollars, it makes sense for us.”
Williams also knows that he has a player who could be something special if he returns to past form. As for not pursuing Jones prior to the 2008 season, after fellow center field aces Torii Hunter, Aaron Rowand and even Kosuke Fukudome wound up with different teams, Williams explained how the two-year, $36 million deal Jones eventually signed with the Dodgers didn’t even factor into the White Sox lack of interest.
“I didn’t make one phone call to Scott Boras,” said Williams of talking with Jones’ representative in the 2007 offseason. “And that’s not because we didn’t like the player. It simply was because we had our sights set on a different target.”
Guillen already has talked to his friend about coming to Glendale in the best possible physical condition.
“Ozzie has advised Andruw that it’s in his best interest to show up in shape,” Williams said. “But the good thing about Andruw is he knows who Ozzie is and what he is about and didn’t shy away from the challenge.”
Remember the names Daniel Hudson, Lucas Harrell, Jhonny Nunez, Jon Link, Sergio Santos and Randy Williams. If the White Sox don’t add a veteran reliever, these young hurlers will fill out the final two spots in the White Sox bullpen.