Chicago White Sox general manger Kenny Williams is almost always lauded in baseball circles for doing whatever it takes to win now. He’s known as a “go-getter” who is always looking to make his team better right now. If all of that is true, just what in the hell is he doing right now?
Less than a month after pulling off a “deadline shocker” and “expertly working” a deal to get Jake Peavy from the San Diego Padres, then taking a huge chance by taking Alex Rios off the Toronto Blue Jays’ hands, Williams is apparently waiving the white flag. The White Sox have basically put their entire roster on the trading block, despite being just six games behind Detroit in the AL Central race. Buster Olney claims that on Monday Williams sent a memo to teams around the league claiming his veteran players were available for trade.
In one day, Williams has already jettisoned two players. Late Monday night Jim Thome was sent to the Dodgers for Justin Fuller, a 26-year-old minor leaguer hitting .254. Thome is currently hitting .252 with 23 homers and 74 RBIs in his fourth season with the White Sox. He’s also 12th on the all-time home run list with 564.
Also on Monday night, Jose Contreras was packed up and shipped off to Colorado in exchange for 24-year-old righty Brandon Hynick. Contreras was leading the American League in losses with 13, against just five wins, while sporting a 5.24 ERA. In contrast, Hynick has a sweet Web site all about himself.
On top of that, it appears the Sox are also trying to unload team home run leader Jermaine Dye, reliever Scott Linebrink and team RBI leader Paul Konerko.
I understand moving Contreras, but why dump Thome and the others if you’re a guy who’s all about winning now?
Kenny Williams went for it and got Jake Peavy for some of his better pitching prospects – one of whom has been lights out for the Padres – and added one of the worst contracts in baseball in Rios, only to throw in the towel less than a month later. Uh, Kenny? What’s up pal?
Williams’ deals are looking pretty freaking awful right now. He added Peavy’s four-year, $61 million contract and Rios’ five-year, $61 million deal and now he’s shutting the team down, while they’re only six games back in the division. Also, Peavy had to leave his last rehab start with elbow soreness and an MRI revealed he has a bruise and fluid retention in his elbow.
Anyone who’s watched Peavy throw is aware that his delivery could cause him arm trouble at some point. If Williams traded for him at the exact wrong moment and is on the hook for his deal, that would be both hilarious and ironic, considering the praise he received from everyone for swinging the deal in the first place.