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December 2009 Archives

Putz says ...

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amd_putz.jpgAt some point in his career, J.J. Putz would like to once again have that rush that getting the final three outs of a ballgame brings to a reliever.
Right now, however, the right-hander is willing to put the title of closer on hold if it means champagne showers in October.
And the way he was talking on Wednesday, Putz thinks he's on the team to do just that.
"I definitely put it in one of the elite teams in the American League,'' Putz replied, when asked about his decision to sign a one-year, $3 million free-agent deal with the White Sox last week. "They seem to have pretty much everything you're looking for - great starting pitcher, power in the backend of the bullpen. They definitely have some power in the lineup, and I think adding Juan Pierre definitely creates some havoc at the top of the order. On paper, it looks like a team that's going to be a force this year.''
The Sox are banking on the 32-year-old former closer to be another reason why.
In inking Putz, the Sox feel that games can be shortened to just six innings, with Putz, Matt Thornton and Bobby Jenks awaiting opposing lineups sometime before the seventh-inning stretch and all the way until the last out of the game.
"Obviously, we have a great closer in Bobby Jenks and a great left-handed set-up guy in Matt Thornton, so I'm thinking going into it I'll be a seventh, eighth-inning guy with the right-handers and Matt with the left-handers, trying to hand the ball to Bobby as often as we can,'' Putz assessed.
Even better news from the pitcher, however, came when his health was brought up. Putz' 2009 season was shortened because of bone spurs that had to be removed, but when asked where he was in that recovery, declared he was "probably a little bit more advanced this year than any other year.''
"In October I started doing my offseason workouts cause I knew I needed to throw for some teams,'' he continued. " I definitely feel stronger than I have in the past.''
As far as getting the chance to close like he did in Seattle a few years ago, well, first things first.
"Anybody that's closed before really cherishes the time they do get to close, and in my opinion it's the best job in baseball,'' he added. "I would like to be a closer again, but given what's happened this past season I know that's not going to happen. I'm definitely, totally fine with setting up. I'm pretty excited. Excited to be on a winning team and do pretty much what they need me to do.''

Pierre now leading man on the South Side

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randywatson.jpgThis is Ken Williams' Randy Watson moment.
The part of the offseason program where the general manager stomps his feet several times on the stage, yells out "Sexual Chocolate ... Sexual Chocolate ...'' drops the microphone and exits stage right.
Love it or hate it, meet your 2010 White Sox.
Sure, this is a team that only a crazy manager could love, but the Sox have that department covered.
Since Ozzie Guillen took the gig in 2004, his three requests have been pitching, defense and speed. It was that last request that his general manager had a hard time meeting, loading up Guillen's plate with snail rather than rabbit.
Until now that is.
In obtaining Alex Rios off the waiver wire last August - whether it was done purposely or not - trading the likes of Jim Thome, letting Jermaine Dye stroll into free agency, and now adding Juan Pierre on Tuesday, it's the "Slow-Slow Sox'' no more.
And unless some team comes a knocking with a left-handed hitting designated hitter and an offer the Sox can't refuse, well, there's the end of your 2009-10 hot-stove talk. Pitchers and catchers report Feb. 21.
"Ozzie and I have been speaking on that, and we spoke on it again [Tuesday],'' Williams said of the DH spot. "Right now, what he would like to do is sit where we are right now because he likes flexibility with the DH position, whether it be a guy getting a break or keeping your bench players fresh. Guys like [Andruw] Jones, [Mark] Kotsay, [Omar] Vizquel, getting [Paul] Konerko off of his feet and getting into the DH spot ... he likes the flexibility that comes with it.
"I've given him some names - this is a very critical last thing on our list. I certainly don't want to do anything from my seat that conflicts with what my manager wants, so regardless if I think there may be a need for a bigger left-handed bat in the middle of the lineup, he's the one in there and I fully support how he and his coaching staff see the situation fitting. That's something we'll continue to think about.''
Yeah, like June or July, come trade deadline time.
But will quicker be better?
In adding Jones, Vizquel, reliever J.J. Putz and now Pierre, the Sox would be penciled in for a postseason spot if this was say 2003 - or at least the junior varsity that is the National League. The bar, however, is set high, New York Yankee high, where the World Champs have speed, power, pitching, defense and now a sad, empty seat in the stands that has "Alex loves Kate'' carved into it.
Are the Sox better than they were in 2009? Yes. Are they Yankee better? No.
There's no question that they have taken strides in being Central Division favorites. If that's the end game then Williams sleeps well tonight.
The wildcard in all of this come April, however, is now Guillen. We will find out just how good of a manager he is because this is a team tailored to fit.
"I don't want people in Chicago now to say, we need a power-hitter,'' Guillen said. "The last four years they have been on Kenny and myself, 'we're too slow.' We're excited with what we have. We have a more athletic ballclub and can do a lot of things. Kenny has done a miracle, I don't know how he did it. It's going to be fun. You're going to see a different ballclub.
"And I was looking for a challenge, looking for the challenge to see how good I can be, moving the pieces the way I like to move them.''
He better like challenges because 2005 is starting to seem a long, long time ago.

'Bromance' time ... Putz signs!!

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jj-putz-usa.jpgLet the "bromance'' continue.
Thanks to the recruiting influence of White Sox lefty Matt Thornton, as well as the small matter of $3 million, the club announced on Friday that right-handed reliever J.J. Putz was headed to the South Side for the 2010 season.
In inking the 32-year-old to the one-year deal, the Sox are hoping that the elbow surgery to remove bone spurs from Putz's elbow last season are no longer a problem, as they look to make the backend of the bullpen even more formidable.
The Sun-Times reported on Tuesday that general manager Ken Williams had Thornton working on Putz - a close friend of Thornton's for more than 10 years - trying to convince the veteran free agent to make the jump, similar to the way Scott Linebrink was used to recruit Jake Peavy last season.
Thornton told the newspaper, "We've known each other for over a decade, it's a bromance.''
Williams seemed angry the next day that word leaked out of the possible Putz deal, but the Sun-Times then reported on Wednesday that a deal was close. It happened less than 48 hours later.
With Putz, the Sox get a pitcher with a career 23-19 record and 3.24 ERA to go along with 103 saves and 356 strikeouts in 337 relief appearances over seven major-league seasons with Seattle and the New York Mets.
His one year with the Mets last season was very forgettable, as he went 1-4 with a 5.22 ERA, 10 holds and two saves in 29 relief appearances, before the injury required surgery and shut him down for the year.
As for the plans with Putz, he gives Williams a much-needed replacement for Octavio Dotel, as well as insurance in both the eighth and ninth innings, especially if they opt to trade Bobby Jenks.
The only question now left was what was Thornton's cut?
"I need to talk to them about some extra money for being pitch guy,'' Thornton joked.

Start spreading the news, Sox eye New York's Gardner

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brett_gardner--300x300.jpgINDIANAPOLIS - It's not a phrase that was coming out of the mouth of Ken Williams for the very first time.
Not by a long shot.
"We don't have any money," the White Sox general manager said during his Wednesday meeting with the media. "We're close to our budget right now, and that really inhibits what we can do in terms of the free agent market. So we have to get creative, and we've done that before.''
Meet the latest face of Williams getting creative.
According to a scout familiar with the situation, the Sox were one of two teams in the American League Central Division letting the New York Yankees know during this week's Winter Meetings that they covet the services of outfielder Brett Gardner. The problem is Kansas City was also sniffing around what it would take to get the promising 26-year-old leadoff hitter.
What might work in Williams' favor, however, is that he is not only friendly with Brian Cashman, but is no stranger to doing deals with the Yankees GM. Not only did Williams get Jose Contreras from New York back in 2004, but the two paired up again last winter, with the Sox finding a new residence for disgruntled outfielder Nick Swisher.
They know each other's farm system up and down, and Williams is all too familiar with the idea that New York's outfield, especially center field, suddenly got crowded with New York acquiring Curtis Granderson in a three-way trade with Detroit and Arizona this week.
What was not known, however, was who had the better package to acquire Gardner?
What they would be getting back is a left-handed hitter that many feel could be on the brink of being a special prototypical leadoff hitter.
Gardner was drafted out of the College of Charleston back in 2005, but according to the scout, really caught Williams' eye, playing in the Arizona Fall League in 2007. Gardner led the league in runs and stolen bases, getting picked off just once. He hit .343 with a .433 on-base percentage and was third in the league in walks with 17.
Williams is no stranger to falling for standout players in the Fall League and then going after them - see Gavin Floyd and Tyler Flowers.
As far as what he did in his major-league looks, Gardner has played in 150 games the past two seasons, including 108 games in 2009, going 67-for-248 (.270 average) with six doubles, six triples and three homers, as well as adding 26 stolen bases.
The Yankees are reportedly still entertaining talks with free agent Johnny Damon, as well as having Hideki Matsui in the rearview mirror, so it would seem that there is a serious logjam awaiting Gardner at this point.
On the other hand, the Sox would have nothing but open arms.
Alex Rios is versatile enough to play center or either corner spot, so Gardner would fill a hole at the top of the order, as well as make the defense even more solid.
Williams made it very clear at the meetings that with veteran outfielders Andruw Jones and Mark Kotsay on the bench, he would have no concerns going with a younger player in that third starting outfield spot.
Coincidentally, the Royals - as well as the Tigers - were talking with Scott Podsednik's representation at the meetings, but again did not want to commit to the two years that Podsednik is asking. The Sox have walked away from the table twice since the end of the year because Podsednik has been anchored on getting two years in free agency.

Matsui talk and Day 3

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sp(61).jpgINDIANAPOLIS - It doesn't take long for the flip to happen.
The smile is gone and the usually articulate replies are reduced to one-word grunts.
"Busy day?'' Ken Williams was asked during his daily state of the White Sox address with the media.
"Yes,'' was the quick response.
"Busier than yesterday or are things going in a certain direction with anybody?'' was question two.
"Yes and yes ... '' was the response.
Welcome to Day 3 of the Winter Meetings where Williams is all business, and business isn't going as planned.
With the Sun-Times reporting Tuesday how serious the interest was in reliever J.J. Putz - enough so that they had current Sox reliever Matt Thornton recruiting the pitcher he has a self-proclaimed "bromance'' with - the market instantly grew on the hard-throwing right-hander by Wednesday morning, enough so that Williams wasn't even sure it would happen.
"We thought we had something going on but you know, like I've told you guys a million times before, when things become public, to a large degree the entire game changes and more times than not you're not going to get a deal,'' Williams explained, without saying Putz's name. "So something we thought we might be a little closer on becomes public and now it's not so close.''
Sources have indicated that's not the case, however.
Yes, the Sox might have to up the ante a bit, but Putz wants to pitch on the South Side and there is still a deal close to happening.
It didn't help Williams' mood that there was almost 20 members of the Japanese media awaiting him, as the rumors of Hideki Matsui joining the Sox heated up. According to several members of the Japanese media, Matsui's left knee has been cleared to not only be ready to play come spring training, but also play the outfield. That was the hurdle that the Sox wanted to see cleared.
Matsui, who is rehabbing in California, also made it known that he was awaiting final word from the Yankees on their plans for him - if any - but if they only wanted him to DH he would walk away. The Sox were atop the free agent's list, and he said that it was about opportunity, not money or years on the contract.
Williams' response to that?
"Well, good,'' he said very matter-of-factly.
Williams did eventually discuss the matter in more detail, insisting that he hadn't spoken to Matsui's agent Arn Tellem since the GM meetings, and he hadn't asked for medical reports on the outfielder. Then again, he did say he didn't need medical reports because he knew everything there was to know about Matsui, including, "what he had for breakfast.''
Asked if he would fly to California for Matsui's open workout, Williams said he could use a California vacation, "where is it? Los Angeles?''
The Japanese reporter then brought a smile to Williams' face by replying, "I think you know where.''
So while questions remain about what the final 2010 Sox roster will look like come spring, at least one wild rumor had its eyes closed and was put to rest - no Milton Bradley on the South Side.
"The funny thing is I've had the pleasure of talking to Milton in the past and it saddens me to a great extent actually some of the things, some or the situations that he's been put in or put himself in,'' Williams said, when asked about the Bradley rumors. "I would like to see this guy just be able to go out there without all the distractions and everything and do what he could do.
"This guy can play, he can play. I don't know if I see a fit for us, and I probably shouldn't even be talking about him because he's not our player, but Milton Bradley can play. It's just too bad because he's really a more thoughtful person, he's a better person than what's been portrayed or he's shown, or however the hell it's manifested itself.''
Williams was then asked if he's talked to Bradley recently?
"No,'' he shot back.
It could only be Day 3.

Sox closing in on reliever J.J. Putz

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jj-putz1.jpgINDIANAPOLIS - Matt Thornton doesn't start his offseason throwing program until December ends.
Until then, nothing like passing the time by playing recruiter.
According to the White Sox left-hander, the Sox are interested in adding free agent reliever J.J. Putz to the bullpen and it's Thornton's job to try and make the feeling mutual.
"There's no doubt that Kenny has interest in him,'' Thornton said on Tuesday. "[Putz] has been asking me what I think about it, what I think about the Sox. I told him we expect to win. I tell that to anyone that asks me, we expect to win. We prepare to win and if we don't win, well, we're pissed. I told [Putz] that if you're a free agent you want to go to a winner.''
Thornton and Putz have been good buddies since early on in their Seattle days.
"We've known each other for over a decade,'' Thornton said laughing. "It's a bromance.''
And the Sox, specifically general manager Ken Williams, have a history of having their current players try and persuade the opposition to join the club when it's time to get serious. The latest example was Scott Linebrink playing pitchman to Jake Peavy this past season.
It eventually worked, with Peavy waiving his no-trade clause to come to the South Side after initially turning it down earlier in the year.
The one problem is that the market on Putz is clouded. Enough so that Thornton said that Putz is still trying to figure out the value of a hard-throwing right-hander coming off a shortened season that resulted in surgery to remove bone spurs from his elbow.
"You just don't know what the market will be,'' Thornton added.
Putz was front and center during last year's Winter Meetings, joining the Mets in a three-way trade. The elbow problems, however, limited him to just 29 1/3 innings. Back in 2006-07, Putz was as dominant a reliever as there was, fanning 186 and walking just 26 while posting a 1.86 ERA.
"If this gets done I need to talk to [the Sox] about some extra money for being the pitch guy,'' Thornton said.
Adding Putz makes a ton of sense for the club on a couple of fronts. It gives them a weapon in the set-up spot just in case Linebrink doesn't bounce back from a dismal second half, and it would also allow them to move a Bobby Jenks if they so choose because of Putz's versatility to close games as well.
Thornton and Putz would give manager Ozzie Guillen interchangeable parts for the eighth and ninth in Jenks' absence, depending on matchups or which reliever is hotter at the moment.
If it was up to Thornton, however, he would like the club to add Putz as well as keep Jenks.
"I think what happened is Bobby set his bar very high for what he did in 2005,'' Thornton said of all the Jenks trade talk this offseason. "To be the closer in the World Series in this city, and then what he did in 2006 and '07 ... this year he slipped up a bit but on his own standards. You look at the numbers in 2009 and they're good for most closers.''
Thornton has spoken to Jenks several times this offseason and said that the right-hander is facing a lot of uncertainty with all the trade talk. At the same time, Thornton said if Jenks is moved and he is pushed into the closer role, he'll embrace it.
"I'm comfortable in that role,'' Thornton added. "I enjoyed that feeling I had knowing that I was going into the ninth, I enjoyed that preparation. I like that routine. I enjoyed that sequence of, 'Hey, we have a lead, that's my inning.' In the same boat, if Bobby comes back right now I have no problem being the guy that gets Bobby the ball. Right now I'm preparing to be the seventh, eighth inning guy, and we'll see what happens.''

Sox sign Teahen to a three-year deal

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MARK%20TEAHEN.jpgINDIANAPOLIS - Finally, some business conducted by the White Sox.
And so what if it was only solidifying the new infield foundation, it was still actual business in a sea of rumors and speculation in Day 2 of the Winter Meetings.
The club announced on Tuesday that they agreed on a three-year, $14-million contract with third baseman Mark Teahen, avoiding arbitration.
Under the terms of the deal, Teahen will receive $3.75 million in 2010, $4.75 million in 2011 and $5.5 million in 2012. He was eligible for free agency following the 2011 season.
The 28-year-old, acquired from Kansas City earlier in the offseason, hit .271 with a career-high 34 doubles, 12 home runs and 50 RBI in 144 games with the Royals last year. He made 99 starts at third base, 31 in right field and three at second, but was quickly told when the Sox acquired him that third base would be his permanent home.

juan-pierre.jpgINDIANAPOLIS - In a perfect world, the Air Force would call Ken Williams and let the White Sox general manager know that they were unveiling a new fighter jet called the "Williams'' because of its ability to fly so low under the radar it borders on invisibility. If one did happen to somehow get a glimpse of it in flight, it would simply glare at them in a menacing fashion, as if the jet was saying, "Nothing to see here, now stay out of my business.''
In the real world of the Winter Meetings Day 1, however, just a lot of rumors and false hustle.

Here's a summary:

--Williams said the Sox are still talking to free agent Scott Podsednik, but warned, "We don't allow any player to hold us hostage and wait around for them to get on their timetable. We operate on our own timetable. Obviously, we still have roster spots to fill and he's still out there. If he is sincere about fit and about dollars then it's time to get serious.''

--The Sox and Juan Pierre ... again? Don't laugh. The holdup on those talks, however, is the well-publicized divorce involving Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, especially because the Sox would want Los Angeles to pick up a good amount of Pierre's $18.5 million he's owed the next two seasons.

--Manager Ozzie Guillen was told by Andruw Jones that he wants to be an everyday starter. Guillen told him if he hits he will be.

--Williams on being in the Roy Halladay sweepstakes: "No comment.''

--Williams on the Jake Peavy Factor: "I talked to him a couple of weeks ago and he was fired up already. He got my juices going a little bit, and I told him, 'This is way too early for that, so take it easy.' Listen, there's a reason we went out and were as aggressive as we were, and gave up some good ballplayers to get him, and that's because we believe in him. Even though I would have preferred he didn't pitch at the end of the season, he wanted to. And I think it was good for all of our fans to see and for his teammates to see, because there's a different kind of energy behind him and in that dugout when he's pitching. As well as showing what he can do on the field, he's also going to be a positive role model for what we think our guys - like Gavin Floyd and John Danks - that can be No. 1 guys. Mark Buehrle is Mark Buehrle, and he's a No. 1 on any given day. But he goes about his business in a different way and you can't emulate what Mark Buehrle does. For these type of guys that are more high-intensity-type guys, to see that and push the limits of that intensity, but yet have a controlled aggression is something they can learn from Jake Peavy.''

--Guillen declared that if the season started today, Rios would be in center field, Quentin in right and Jones in left, along with Kotsay. As far as who his leadoff hitter would be: "The one, and he's not a typical leadoff hitter, is Gordon [Beckham],'' Guillen said. "Gordon takes a lot of pitches there, he knows what he's doing, he's not going to panic. He can run a little bit, but I don't think he can steal bases the way we want him to, but I always say, the leadoff hitter, I don't care how many bases you can steal, you've got to be on base. I'd rather have a guy get on base than a guy that steals 100 bases, but is never there.''

--Guillen on the Hideki Matsui to the Sox rumor that won't go away. "I like what I see in the World Series, yeah,'' Guillen said. "He's got to play the outfield for a little while. I never tell Kenny who to sign and who to release - well a couple guys to release. I told Kenny, 'Hey, I don't want this guy at the ballpark.' And there's one guy where I said to Kenny, 'Hey, can we keep this guy?' And that was Kotsay.'' According to the Japanese media, however, Matsui is looking for a multi-year deal that will pay him $10 million a year. Next.

Ozzie on everything Sox

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ozzie-guillen_p1.jpgINDIANAPOLIS - Ozzie Guillen at the Winter Meetings:

On being busy here:

"I talked to Jerry [Reinsdorf], I haven't even talked to Kenny [Williams] yet. We don't have to. Kenny, myself, our staff, we don't have to have meetings to know what we want or what Kenny wants. To me, this isn't the Winter Meetings for us. I don't think Kenny needs the Winter Meetings to make deals. Do we have a few spaces to cover, yes.''

On the leadoff:

"The one, and he's not a typical leadoff hitter, is Gordon [Beckham]. Gordon takes a lot of pitches there, he knows what he's doing, he's not going to panic. He can run a little bit, but I don't think he can steal bases the way we want him to, but I always say, the leadoff hitter, I don't care how many bases you can steal, you've got to be on base. I'd rather have a guy get on base than a guy that steals 100 bases, but is never there.''

"Last year, I think our leadoff hitter on Opening Day was Wise.''

Are the Sox the best team in division:

"On paper, I have the best five starters. The best team, I don't know. I think we can take a little bit advantage of Detroit because right now the player we most feared when we faced them was [Placido] Polanco. A lot of people talk about Cabrera, Magglio, Inge, but to me Polanco has hurt our ballclub a lot. Right now, we look pretty good.''

On Bobby Jenks trade rumors:

"Up to right now, Bobby Jenks is on our ballclub. Matt Thornton, yes he can [be the closer]. A lot of people don't believe that he can be a closer. I want to make it clear about Bobby - I said it a few weeks ago. When you have a body like Bobby, and you don't pitch well for one week, everyone thinks it's because you're big ... I don't want to say the name fat. But when you're good, no one looks at that. Not just Bobby, that's everyone.''

"Everyone knows we love this kid. We went though a lot of things with Bobby behind the scenes and he knows how much we love him, how much we support him. Does he have to take care of himself? Well, he should know that because he can make another $30 or $40 million in his career.''

Have you spoken to him?

"When the game is over, I don't talk to anyone. I talked to J.D. [Jermaine Dye] a couple times, but when you have a long summer, I don't want to talk to any of them.''

On Matsui rumors:

"I like what I see in the World Series, yeah. He's got to play the outfield for a little while. I never tell Kenny who to sign and who to release - well a couple guys to release. I told Kenny, 'Hey, I don't want this guy at the ballpark.' And there's one guy where I said to Kenny, 'Hey, can we keep this guy?' And that was Kotsay.''

On Jake Peavy:

"Every time Peavy pitched last year, our ballclub was hungry. I don't know why that is, maybe the way he goes about his business. He's heavy duty.''

What went wrong with Rios:

"Everything. He was in a tough situation because I had to rotate the outfield. Playing in Chicago when you're in a pennant race, it was tough on him. He tried to do too much. Having him here from the beginning, see how we do spring training, he'll relax a little more.''

Williams not sweating over Jenks

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Tigers-White-Sox-Baseball.jpgKen Williams is calling the Bobby Jenks offseason saga a dead story.
Obviously, his barrel-chested closer didn't get the memo.
Jenks expressed to the Sun-Times in late November that he felt that he was put on an island by the club, specifically because of what Jenks felt was unfair treatment of him on the conditioning front in the wake of a few comments manager Ozzie Guillen made. It was the second time since the end of the season that Jenks publicly aired his dirty laundry.
"From the Ozzie thing, did I feel I was being picked on? No,'' Jenks told the paper. "But I felt I was the easy scapegoat because I had struggled in the end with some nagging injuries. This organization, just like most in this game, tell you, 'Come in, our door is open and tell us what's on your mind,' and when you do they turn it around on you and make you feel bad. They're playing on your own words. They want you to come in, be honest and then they turn it around.''
While Williams hadn't spoken to Jenks, he didn't feel like this was enough of an issue where he had to.
"He said what he had to say, we said what we had to say in regards to that,'' Williams said in a Friday teleconference. "He understands how we feel, it's in his best interest how we feel and what we feel, and once we get to spring training, we're all on the same page. Be out there in [camp] the best shape you can be to help yourself and that helps the club.
"Nothing said publicly has not been said behind closed doors. We deal with the players right between the eyes. That some of that got out in the public, we keep our head down and keep moving forward.''
But with or without Jenks?
Trade rumors about Jenks started during the last Winter Meetings, and with the right-hander arbitration eligible and standing to make between $7-$8 million in 2010, well, guess who remains the poster boy for Sox hot stove rumors?
"I haven't had any conversation in regards to trading Bobby Jenks, and that's not to say I wouldn't," Williams said of the speculation. "But we value him here. Now again, this is the same stance I've taken since Day One sitting in this chair. If the right opportunity presents itself, we'll travel down this road.''
Considering the fragility of the Sox bullpen, however, that might want to stay a road unexplored by the club. Matt Thornton has the makeup to move into the closer role if they lose Jenks, but the rest of the backend of the bullpen is an enigma.
"We've got bullpen pieces that have already proven themselves and done so at the major-league level,'' Williams added of that unit. "Would we like to add to that, yes, but that's not inconsistent to when we won titles.''

BDD_JD_chisox_7_29_07_ap.jpgJermaine Dye gave up on the idea of somehow returning to the Sox beyond the 2009 season in late September.
So it was no shock whatsoever that the paperwork for the breakup between the White Sox and the outfielder continued on Tuesday when the club announced that they will not offer salary arbitration to Dye, outfielder Scott Podsednik, reliever Octavio Dotel or backup catcher Ramon Castro by the midnight deadline.
What it means is the Sox won't receive any drafts picks as compensation should Dye or Dotel - both Type A free agents - sign with another team. Podsednik and Castro didn't fall into that category.
As for Dye, he told the Sun-Times last month that he had already been receiving calls from at least eight major-league teams and wasn't ruling anyone out.
There was a report that the New York Yankees denied that they had interest in Dye, but that was seemingly the Bronx Bombers trying to work under the radar, especially because someone familiar with the talks said that New York had even requested the medical reports on Dye.
Texas was an early favorite, but would want the veteran to take a majority of his at-bats in the designated-hitter role. A scenario that Dye has all but said no way to.
Boston, St. Louis and San Francisco have each kicked the tires as well.

NOTE: The Sox also announced the early lineup for SoxFest 2010, with players like Freddy Garcia, Jake Peavy, Jayson Nix, A.J. Pierzynski, Alexei Ramirez and Matt Thornton locked in to attend.
Coincidentally, Bobby Jenks' name was not listed, despite the fact that the closer actually is the one player that lives in Chicago in the offseason.
Jenks and the Sox have not seen eye-to-eye with his conditioning, with both sides expressing that in the Sun-Times two weeks ago.

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