Closing out the uneventful general managers’ meetings in Chicago, Kenny Williams bared his soul:
“So, there is nothing to report. Even if there was something to report, I wouldn’t tell you.”
Whoops. I mean, this is the quote to focus on:
“But at the end of the day, when January comes around, you can be looking around and there is going to be some opportunities. The end of December or January, so you got to wait to play your hand.”
This notion strikes me as odd, because the Sox generally don’t play the waiting game. Williams acts more often than he reacts. He tries to jump the market, with results good (the Freddy Garcia trade) and bad (the Scott Linebrink signing).
Coincidentally — or perhaps not — it’s worth noting that the Michael Weiner, the incoming head of the Major League Baseball Players’ Association, is keeping tabs on what he perceives to be executives’ efforts to depress free agent prices through the media:
“I don’t think it’s an accident that in recent weeks, management officials, without attribution, have been making predictions about what’s going to happen in this year’s free-agent market,” Weiner said. “There have been predictions about the [money] players will get, what players will be offered [salary] arbitration and what players will be non-tendered [contracts].
“If we could prove there was a plan by management to use the press to try to depress free-agent salaries, in our view that would be a violation of our contract,” he said.
The aforementioned statement from Williams wouldn’t qualify, but it seems like many are preparing for the league to go non-tender-crazy at the expense of the free-agent pool. It’s never smart to take the Sox at their word and assume there will be minimal activity through the next six to eight weeks, but this offseason might give the Sox enough reason to stay back.
This is a very, very, premature assessment, but I’m getting a kind of pre-2005 feel going on. Williams entered the season needing to replace Magglio Ordonez, and did so pretty casually. He signed Jermaine Dye to below market value, picked up A.J. Pierzynski after he was non-tendered, and took a flier on Tadahito Iguchi after nobody else wanted him.
Of course, those moves were made possible with a stall-rattling salary dump: the Carlos Lee deal. So maybe that’s why many are anticipating a Bobby Jenks trade. Problem is, as I said in the wake of Williams’ first offseason assessment, I don’t see a way to trade Jenks without accepting a similar salary in return.
At least Williams isn’t dropping the “50 cents” line yet:
Although the budget Williams has to work with for 2010 has been placed at a set figure without much wiggle room, Williams admitted to playing with that number a bit during the Meetings.
“[White Sox chairman] Jerry [Reinsdorf] gives you a pretty hard number, but we’re working on him,” Williams said. “Yeah, but I always work on changing it. I think I’m becoming annoying to him, actually.”
Christian Marrero Reading Room:
*The Sox released their spring training schedule. Only full-season package prices are available right now, but with the cheapest seats (berm doesn’t count) going for $20 per game even after a probable bulk discount, color me pessimistic.
*Andrew says Mark Buehrle’s Gold Glove confirms what we knew: He’s a pretty good pitcher.
*J.J. tries to find reasons to be optimistic about Mark Teahen’s defense.
*Belated happy birthday wishes to White Sox Cards, which turned two a couple days ago.
*The Royals continue to collect Chicago cast-offs, as they’re expected to sign … *drumroll* … Wilson Betemit. You could effectively call Kansas City “The Isand of Misfit White Sox,” at least as long as you’re prepared to hear about Chicago being “The Island of Misfit Royals.” I’m not sure which one is more insulting.
Arizona Fall League:
- Peoria Javelinas 8, Peoria Saguaros 1
- C.J. Retherford went 1-for-2 with three walks and one strikeout.