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

Will the Prince join the 'King'? Start the trade rumor engine again

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prince_fielder_donuts.jpgSEATTLE - The White Sox already have their "King'' in Paul Konerko, and now there's talk about adding a Prince.
'Tis the season.
With the July 31 trade deadline 10 days away, the South Siders are in the all too familiar position of being the subject of rumors on an almost daily basis.
The Sun-Times was the first to report the team's pursuit of Washington slugger Adam Dunn last month, and while the Nationals have all but been given the Sox' minor-league system to choose from in return, they appear to be stuck on an asking price that Williams won't pay. A ransom that included either Gordon Beckham or Carlos Quentin.
Naturally, that led to rumors this week that Milwaukee slugger Prince Fielder was now on the Sox' radar.
So how did general manager Ken Williams answer the latest buzz around his team? Like he's supposed to - as vaguely as possible.
That meant a lot of "We're working every day" and "Typical for this time of year.''
"When you're in first place, it's nicer,'' Williams eventually explained. "When you're on the opposite end of the spectrum, it's not so nice. But we're always in the same mode. It's just kind of waiting for other teams to get in the same mode of wanting to do things and be kind of more aggressive along those lines of moving personnel around.''
Either way, there's no question that what concerned Williams in the offseason is still target No. 1 for him, and that's a run producer from the left side of the plate.
Dunn and Fielder would fit that description, with Dunn a free agent at the end of this season and Fielder still under a team's control through 2011. The problem with Fielder is his agent is Scott Boras, and the talk is he will want Ryan Howard money when his payday comes. That means five years, $125 million.
Williams was adamant a few years ago that he would do everything he could to stay away from players that were represented by Boras, but that relationship has thawed a bit. Only a small bit at that.
Not enough to sit down and negotiate a deal like that if the Sox were thinking long-term with Fielder.
The other problem in acquiring the Brewers first baseman is again the asking price. If Williams thought it was high for Dunn, he hasn't seen anything yet. Start with either a John Danks or Gavin Floyd and add in a Gordon Beckham.
Asked if trade talk has increased, Williams did say, "Some cases yes, some cases no.''
What has helped Williams sleep easier at night is the fact that neither Minnesota nor Detroit has pulled the trigger on anything to make them better, either.
"We don't want them to get better, but you can't react to that,'' Williams said. "I've never felt any pressure along those lines to do something out of fear of something they've done. You can only be the best you can be and make the smartest decision you can make for your club.''
Williams has been speaking to manager Ozzie Guillen throughout this road trip about the trade talk, but Guillen is still sticking to his guns that he likes the current 25 players on the roster.
"Well, it's like I say in Chicago, it's hard for me to say what I want and what I need when the team is playing like this,'' Guillen said. "It's not fair for the players. In the meanwhile, when you are the GM, and any team right now, are you selling or buying? You are making deals. You are calling people.
"Well, 2005, 2008, 2006 and 2007, every year, it's like that. That's why I don't pay attention to it. I think what we have is working. If we need help, those guys we need to hit will start hitting and the guys need to pitch better. It's hard for me to say what we want or what we need. Kenny sees our team in a different way than I do. He sees what's missing. But from down here, I'm happy what we have. I say that in January and I still continue to say those words.''

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This page contains a single entry by Joe Cowley published on July 21, 2010 8:33 PM.

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