Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Daryl Van Schouwen and Chris De Luca

December 2008 Archives

All quiet on the Vegas front

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LAS VEGAS - With the Winter Meetings winding down and the South Siders seemingly done talking with teams for the week, here are your 2009 White Sox. Take a big gulp ... now run out and buy those season tickets.

CF - Jerry Owens
SS - Alexei Ramirez - Although manager Ozzie Guillen didn't seem sure if Ramirez was ready to hit this high.
LF - Carlos Quentin
DH - Jim Thome
1B - Paul Konerko
RF - Jermaine Dye
C - A.J. Pierzynski
3B - Josh Fields
2B - Chris Getz

Bench

C - Corky Miller - Until Tyler Flowers takes his job in June. Plus, I just like saying Corky Miller.
INF - Brent Lillibridge
INF - Wilson Betemit
OF - Brian Anderson

Starting Rotation

LHP - Mark Buehrle
RHP - Gavin Floyd
LHP - John Danks
RHP - Jeff Marquez
LHP - Clayton Richard

Bullpen

Closer - RHP Bobby Jenks
RHP Scott Linebrink
RHP Octavio Dotel
LHP Matt Thornton
RHP D.J. Carrasco
LHP Aaron Poreda
RHP Jhonny Nunez

Other news from Day 3

--The Sox-Reds Jermaine Dye rumors were again rumbling around this morning, but have no merit for now.

--According to one scout, the Sox had no meetings planned for today, and were suddenly a very quiet team. Manager Ozzie Guillen has already left Las Vegas, while some Sox personnel are also leaving town on Wednesday. Is it the quiet before the storm? Highly unlikely.

Winter Meetings Day 2

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LAS VEGAS - Day 2 of the Winter Meetings left general manager Ken Williams feeling very calm and very left out.
He met with the media, along with Ozzie Guillen and the Mount Rushmore of the Dodgers' front office on Tuesday, to discuss the move to Glendale for the spring training facility the two organizations will share, and then huddled with the Chicago media alone to let them know that there was nothing to see here.
"Other than general pleasantries, I haven't had any conversations with anyone,'' Williams said. "It's early in the day and I'm sure I'll run into some guys. I don't expect that anything will materialize.''
There were still Jermaine Dye rumors floating around throughout the afternoon, with Atlanta now the strongest suitor for the outfielder's services, but Williams was one again thumping his chest about the in-house youth that will be handed legitimate shots at starting jobs.

On Jerry Owens:

"Listen, the fact of the matter is this: I have confidence in the players we're bringing back. Obviously, a couple of them had setbacks. But in my opinion, Josh Fields, Jerry Owens - we're talking about those two players in particular. It's very simple - they were battling injuries. I'm not going to hold that against them. I know the type of talent that they have, possess. And I think they're going to be assets to us. It's just that simple.''

On Brian Anderson:

"We can go round and round about this stuff every day. I'm going to keep saying the same thing I've always said - I believe in Brian Anderson. The talent and the ballplayer is there. Now he's got an attitude as such that he gets it now. He's working hard. He had a great attitude last year, and I think performed. I think if he had a full season of at-bats underneath him last year, he'd had hit you 25 home runs and driven in 80-plus runs. On the average side, you guys know I'm less concerned with average than on-base percentage. I'd like to see him cut down on strikeouts and pound the ball to right center a little more. Other than that, we're talking about some talented players that I'm not going to give up on. I believe in that.''

On payroll constraints:

"I think it has a great affect on it. It is what it is. I've used the line before you can't give someone a dollar when you don't have 50 cents. And we're in a position where I don't want to minimize any of the support we get because we've come a long way from where we were in fan support, and the last number of years we've been a top tier payroll team. So it's not a matter of our willingness to spend money. It has to come within a consistency with a plan of winning, that it will help us take the next step. And in this particular point in time, we're in a state where we have to give some of these young players an opportunity, assess where we are, and if there's opportunity, we're in position where we have enough support, we'll take advantage of it when the time is right. Don't worry about that. The aggressiveness has gone anywhere to how we're going to operate.''

The bottom line so far:

"Not too many people talking to us, so there's not really a need for me to do too much listening.''

Ken Williams' state of the union address

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LAS VEGAS - Ken Williams talks, you all listen:

KW on if he does have a budget to work with this year:

"Absolutely. We have a budget just like you have at home.''

What is that budget?

"I wouldn't share that with you, but suffice to say we are bumping up against it.''

Dangerous to go with a "youth movement'' based on projection and no track record?

"We've always done it. I don't know what you mean by that because if you go by some of our more unpopular decisions, to continue to play Joe Crede at third base, to continue to pitch Jon Garland when people wanted him out of here, to acquire Esteban Loaiza, Jose Contreras, Matt Thornton. All of these guys were perceived as questions. And I'm not even talking about the most recent acquisitions in [John] Danks and [Gavin] Floyd and these types of guys, [Alexei] Ramirez. But this is what we do. And I'd like to think we do it well and we'll continue to operate in this fashion. And it's not a departure, I think it's more noticed. Because in the past, it's more open to the veteran players maybe. But that's where we were then. But where we are now we have to build something that, yes win in 2009 and sustain a new young core as we move into the future.''

On the possibility of trading Jermaine Dye - who he also considers a friend

"It's difficult for me to sit back and know that he's listening to his name in the rumor mill after all he's done for us. It wasn't so long ago I could throw Jermaine's name into that mix. When we brought him in, how people doubted whether he would be productive, and he's been one of the most productive right fielders in baseball in the last four years. So yes, from White Sox's standpoint, absolutely. From a personal standpoint, I make no bones about it. He's a good man. And I consider him a friend.
"But there's going to come a day, soon here, whether it's the next year or the year after that, there's going to come a day, and there comes a day when all of your players, no matter how close you are with them, all of your players are going to have to be transitioned into a different aspect of life.''

Have you spoken to Dye?

"I spoke to him a couple times in the last couple days, out of respect and letting him know, 'No, you're not a Cincinnati Red.' There's obvious interest on their part, I'm not going to deny that. That would be a lie, but as we sit here, he will be a part of the Chicago White sox until further notice.''

Climate in the Winter Meetings so far:

"I'd be surprised if I'm surprised. Which means I don't think that much is going to happen here. Strictly because the agents and free agents, these are their meetings.''

Winter Meetings Day 1 News

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LAS VEGAS - All seems to have simmered down with the White Sox and the story that wasn't a story on Sunday night, in which the Dayton Daily News reported Jermaine Dye to Cincinnati for pitcher Homer Bailey was a done deal.
In talking to scouts and major-league sources this morning, as Sox general manager Ken Williams had been saying the last five hours, the two teams hadn't spoken since just before Thanksgiving, and it wasn't necessarily just talks about Dye.
Williams and Reds GM Walt Jocketty are no strangers to speaking often, as well as dealing, so the fact that they had discussions throughout November isn't a real shock.
What everyone is waiting to see, however, is are the Sox in a youth movement, as they are claiming, or are they in fact also using the youth movement as a cover to hide behind the fact that they are also in salary dump mode? Trading Nick Swisher and Javier Vazquez doesn't answer that, considering neither could be counted on for October baseball.
Sending Dye out would shed more light on the direction of the franchise, though, especially if it was for an underachieving player like a Bailey.

OTHER WINTER MEETINGS WHISPERS

-- Jaime Torres, the agent for Dayan Viciedo, as well as Alexei Ramirez and Jose Contreras, found out on Monday that the paperwork for Viciedo's visa is finished and he should have the 19-year-old Cuban defector in Chicago by the end of this week to sign his contract.
Torres again insisted that if Viciedo does not make the club out of spring training, expect a call-up before the All-Star Game because "this kid is something special.''

-- Torres wasn't alone in anticipating a quick jump by a client, as agent Tom O'Connell - who represents newly acquired catching prospect Tyler Flowers - reiterated what Williams was stating last week on the high ceiling Flowers has.
Like Torres, O'Connell said he would not be surprised to see Flowers on the South Side this season because of his raw power, as well as his ability to not only catch, but also play first base.

-- Manager Ozzie Guillen has arrived into town Monday afternoon, but his meeting with the media has been bumped back to Tuesday. Williams, however, will have his daily session with the media today at 5 p.m. PST.

Arbitration offer?

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The White Sox have until midnight tonight to offer arbitration to their free agents, and of the four, expect only one to get that offer.
Toby Hall, Juan Uribe and Ken Griffey Jr. will each walk away from the South Side, while shortstop Orlando Cabrera will likely be offered arbitration because his status as a Type A free agent. The song and dance of it is the Sox will offer Cabrera arbitration, which he would then turn down knowing a multi-year deal is awaiting him on the open market. With him turning the club down the Sox would then get two draft picks as compensation for losing him.
In other words, his selfishness would finally benefit the Sox.

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This page is an archive of entries from December 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

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