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

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.

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This page contains a single entry by Joe Cowley published on December 9, 2009 3:33 PM.

Sox closing in on reliever J.J. Putz was the previous entry in this blog.

Start spreading the news, Sox eye New York's Gardner is the next entry in this blog.

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