New White Sox manager Robin Ventura talked to the media on a conference call Thursday in advance of the winter meetings in Dallas next week.
Saying the direction of the team will likely be charted at the meetings, where general manager Ken Williams will be looking to see what he can get in return for his movable players -- Gavin Floyd, John Danks, Matt Thornton, Carlos Quentin top the list because of their contract status -- Ventura said there's no guarantee there will be a big turnover. But he understands the nature of the baseball business and is prepared for any scenario.
Here's what Ventura had to say:
"I think [the direction of the team in 2012] it will be decided there [in Dallas]. I've kept in contact with Kenny when different things come up. Obviously I would love to hand the ball to John Danks 30-plus times and Gavin Floyd the same thing. That's kind of a wish list, but that's not always going to be able to happen. I don't think [Williams] know. That's the interesting thing about giong there.
"It doesn't make any sense to go over personnel when we don't know what it's going to be.''
On high-priced outfielder Alex Rios and designated Adam Dunn, whose poor seasons were largely to blame for last season's disappointing 79-83 record [Ventura hasn't spoken to them yet]:
"It would be nice to have them come back and playing in the way they expect to play. I'm not tying everything to them but they want to do well, too.''
"I haven't talked to [Dunn] yet but he's been working out -- I heard that from Kenny and [conditioning coordinator Allen Thomas]. I don't feel the need to call him up and give him a pep talk. He's ready to go. He's motivated. That's all. When we get closer I'll call him but right now I don't want him to worry about baseball. I rather he just work out. Most guys start in January anyway. I'd rather he get in shape than worry about baseball stuff.''
On the planned approach to spring training:
"We're going to spring training how we'd like to, not necessarily with what was there in the past and how they did things. How we'd like to to see things get done. [Pitching coach Don Cooper] is doing the pitching stuff. I'm not looking at what they did last year or any reasoning for why they started slow. We'll be doing things we're comfortable with in what it takes to get the team ready.''
On whether he's resigned to losing free agent pitcher Mark Buehrle:
"Not yet. Obviously, he's a great pitcher, teammate, everything. Buehrle is a guy who has been the most consistent player for them for a long time and he might not be back. That's something I'm not necessarily happy about but I understand the game and how it works. Do I want him back on the team? Yeah. But by doing well he deserves to be in the position of having everybody wanting him to be on their team.''
On being prospect of the team losing veterans in trades and "going young.''
"I haven't really got into that. You sit there and think it could be this or could be that. But I don't sit and mentally prepare for it. There will be plenty of time. You kind of go into it with a 'wait and see' over these next two weeks of what goes down.
"There is a business side of the game that isn't always fun when a season like last year happens. That's part of the game. Guys being wanted by other teams, that will come up. You look at it two ways. For me in my situation it's nice that people are calling asking about players. That means you have good players.
"I realize who we have and hope we have a lot of them back. But if there is a time in Dallas when we talk about certain players and it's worth making that move, I will definitely voice an opinion."
On progress of outfielder Alejandro De Aza, whom Williams touted as a leadoff hitter at the GM meetings.
"De Aza was doing big-league things the way he prepared and played the game. His plan and all of those kinds of things. He seems to be big-league ready.''
On the possibility of Alex Rios moving to left field to make room for De Aza in center:
"No [decision], a lot depends on what goes on the next few weeks. Until there's a move made and how guys fit in, it's tough to move guys around.''
On the possibility of a lot of trades:
"It's possible (big turnover) but again it's not guaranteed. Just because names are out there doesn't mean it's guaranteed. It's one thing say we're going to trade them, it's another to actually do it because we all realize their value. We know how good they are.''