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.''