White Sox fans may not always agree with the moves GM Kenny Williams makes, but they know he is a man of his word. Ask his index finger, it once proudly displayed the 2005 World Championship ring to Cubs fans, and often becomes itchy around the trading deadline. Now it seems to be hovering over the 2010 season self-destruct button. We can’t say he didn’t warn us.
Realistically, Williams indicated that the White Sox had until June to “right the ship” and after losing the past weekend series to the Kansas City Royals, it appears this team is pushing the self destruct button for him.
Sox fans want to believe. Even through complete garbage weather (and on-field performance too) for most of April and May, we have sat in the stands and had faith, but the sand is quickly running out of the 2010 hourglass. At 15-22, changes may very well be on the horizon:
The Texas Rangers have inquired on A.J. Pierzynski to address their problems at catcher. While he has been one of the faces of the franchise since 2005, and part of the “attitude” that defines the White Sox, he will achieve ten and five rights in just four weeks, giving him the right to veto a trade to any team. He will be a free agent at season’s end and will likely be the best player available at his position.
While trading him now, would alleviate the “ask AJ” administrative burden associated with a trade, it would also ensure that we might not get full value for him. AJ is batting only .200 on the season, so he’s already de-valued enough. Trading him would pretty much begin he Tyler Flowers era on the southside. Flowers currently has 8 HRs and 26 RBI in 30 games at Charlotte.
Andruw Jones could be another trade candidate as well. He signed a very reasonable one year, $500K contract with the Sox and is hitting, .255 with 9 HR and a .931 OPS. He could fit in well with the Mets, who desperately need an offensive spark, or the Yankees, who have lost Nick Johnson for 4-6 weeks with a wrist injury, and have both Curtis Granderson and Nick Swisher nursing various ailments.
While he has full no-trade rights, Paul Konerko could be another name raised in trade rumors. He will be a free agent at the end of the season and is currently leading major league baseball with 13 HRs.
The Cardinals might be interested in Mark Buehrle, especially if the Cincinnati Reds keep up their current pace. I’m sure Buehrle would consider waiving his no trade clause in order to play for his hometown team, and a Central division contender.
Despite his rough start, teams in need of bullpen help could at least inquire on closer Bobby Jenks and his bloated salary. Sure it would be easy to talk about trading other, less famous faces of the franchise, but teams are not usually interested in players that are not performing.
The Kenny Williams Doomsday clock is at 14 days and counting, but the upcoming series against the Tigers, as well as the Sox performance in the short home stand following it, could lock things up sooner rather than later.
“You don’t produce, it’s easy to fire one guy or two or three guys than 25. But I never talked to him about it. I don’t blame him the way he feels. I don’t blame the way he feels about my coaching staff. And the way he should feel about me. I don’t blame him the way he feels about his players. We stunk. And when you put a team we don’t know can compete or don’t do it, then it gives you the reason and power to think whatever you want to think.”
—-White sox Manager Ozzie Guillen
To the White Sox players, you still control your own destiny. Win or Die…(or get traded) trying.