Sox Drawer: Williams Made Play for Halladay

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Sox Drawer: Williams Made Play for Halladay

Monday, Feb. 22, 2010
5:09 PM

By Chuck Garfien
CSNChicago.com

The White Sox already have a starting rotation considered by many to be one of the best in the majors.

Mark Buehrle, Jake Peavy, Gavin Floyd, John Danks, and Freddy Garcia. Not too shabby.

But in an interview with Kenny Williams on Monday here in Glendale, the Sox general manager revealed to CSN that he came close to making the staff even better. Much, much better.

Who is this mystery person?

Although he wouldnt come out and actually say it, you can bet that his first name is Roy, his last name is Halladay, and the Sox would have had a starting rotation for the ages.

Williams admitted that the Sox were close to acquiring a big-time player this off-season (a player other than Johnny Damon). Pressed about who it was, Kenny first said, I dont think I should go down that road.

Was it a pitcher?

Williams paused. Paused again. And then made the most profound statement of 2010:

It may have given us a chance to have the best rotation maybe in the history of the game.

The history of the game?

Kenny back-tracked a bit saying, The best 5-man rotation, but he was clearly doing his best to go down the road I was trying to take him without having to say the name Roy Halladay.

Its a guy. Just a guy, Williams answered with a grin that traveled from Glendale to Tucson.

When the Blue Jays put their ace on the trading block this winter, the Sox tried to put a package together to lure Halladay to Chicago. But after shelling out roughly 100 million for Jake Peavy and Alex Rios the previous summer, finding enough money to pay for Halladay was likely the biggest stumbling block.

That wasnt a problem for the Philadelphia Phillies, who acquired Halladay from Toronto in a 3-team trade and proceeded to sign the All-Star pitcher to a 3-year, 60-million extension in December.

Other highlights from our interview:

When I brought up the expiring contracts for A.J. Pierzynski and Paul Konerko, two White Sox icons as I called them, Kenny interrupted, saying, Youre calling A.J. an icon? Im going to give Konerko the icon line. With A.J. I cant.

He was joking.

So why dont you give him a contract extension?

Number one, thats none of your business when and how we sign guys, Williams said.

He wasnt joking.

What makes you think we havent talked about it?

Okay, Ill ask. Have you talked?

Thats none of your business, Williams said with a smile. When we have something to announce well announce it. Im going to ask him, ask what his expectations are, and match them up with what I see our future roster looking like, budget issues looking like, minor league guys coming up, a guy right behind him in Tyler Flowers coming up, and how that would work in the overall grand scheme of things, because were always trying to win.

Williams continued, The good thing about all of this is that weve positioned ourselves to where there are younger players that are knocking on the door, just like (Konerko and Pierzynski) were younger players knocking on the door. With that weve got options now.

But the Sox general manager is prepared to have those good-bye conversations to both Pierzynski and Konerko. Its just a matter of when.

Theres going to come a time whether its this year, or the next year where Ive got to tell an A.J. or a Konerko (goodbye) if Im here, so its going to be hard either way.

Chuck Garfien hosts White Sox Pregame and Postgame Live on Comcast SportsNet with former Sox slugger Bill Melton. Follow Chuck @ChuckGarfien on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Sox news and views.

White Sox: Jose Quintana pleased with final warmup before Opening Day start

White Sox: Jose Quintana pleased with final warmup before Opening Day start

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Jose Quintana was pleased with his final warmup before Opening Day.

The White Sox Opening Day starter threw 48 pitches (30 strikes) against a Milwaukee Brewers minor league team at Camelback Ranch on Tuesday. Quintana allowed two hits, two runs (one earned), walked one and struck out three in three-plus innings. He next pitches at home on Monday against the Detroit Tigers.

"I finished my preparation on a high note," Quintana said. "I'm heading to the season with good energy and satisfied with all the worked and effort that I put in my preparation.

"I'm absolutely ready for the season to start."

A tweet from USA Today's Bob Nightengale on Tuesday suggested Quintana will start the season as a member of the White Sox despite myriad rumors. Nightengale noted that the Houston Astros refuse budge on what they're willing to pay for the 2016 All-Star. The White Sox have also held firm on their asking price and haven't been motivated by any of the offers they've received to move Quintana.

The team reduced the number of players still in camp to 34 on Tuesday with the trade of Peter Bourjos and by cutting nonroster invitees Cory Luebke and Matt Purke. Luebke, who has been sidelined for six days after he tweaked his hamstring, finished the spring with a 0.96 ERA in 9 1/3 innings. He can opt out of his minor-league deal in May. Purke struck out eight in eight innings and finished with a 2.25 ERA. 

Both had been in the mix for one of two open bullpen spots.

Fellow reliever Jake Petricka looked much calmer on Tuesday than he did after taking a comebacker off his hand Monday. X-rays were negative and Petricka played catch. He hopes to pitch as scheduled this weekend in Milwaukee. 

"This is just one of those you do everything you can do to stay healthy, and its part of the game you can't control," Petricka said. "You never want that to happen, especially this late in camp. "But we dodged a bullet and we're good to go."

The White Sox also had a close call with second baseman Tyler Saladino, who was hit by a pitch in the left wrist in minor league action on Monday. Saladino received treatment and could return to action on Wednesday.

"He's doing good, we're just holding him back today for my well being," Renteria said.

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Renteria said reliever Juan Minaya is improving but still likely to start the season on the DL. Minaya suffered an abdominal tear in mid-March. 

"He has been improving solidly and responding to the treatments," Renteria said.

Yolmer Sanchez went 2-for-2 with an RBI and scored a run in a 7-4 loss to the Kansas City Royals at Surprise, Ariz. 

Michael Ynoa allowed an unearned run and a hit in 2 1/3 scoreless innings. 

Zack Burdi struck out three in a scoreless inning.

White Sox Talk Podcast: Nate Jones reflects on winning gold at the World Baseball Classic

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Nate Jones reflects on winning gold at the World Baseball Classic

Nate Jones was looking for something to do today (we kid), so he came on the White Sox Talk Podcast to speak with Chuck Garfien and gave what he said is the longest interview of his career (not kidding). 

Fresh off winning a gold medal at the World Baseball Classic, Jones spoke about the experience, what he did with his gold medal and why he chose to play in the tournament while other top Americans like Bryce Harper and Clayton Kershaw decided to skip it. Jones also gave a scouting report on some of the White Sox young pitchers and explains how Jose Quintana stays focused despite all the trade rumors.

Later, Chuck is joined by White Sox CSN producers Rob Wiatrowski and Slavko Bekovic to talk about the Peter Bourjos trade that opens the door for Jacob May to win the starting job in centerfield.

Plus, is Deadspin trolling the White Sox? AJ Pierzynski joins Fox Sports and CSNChicago.com Insider Dan Hayes calls in from Arizona to give his predictions for the White Sox Opening Day roster.

Check out the latest White Sox Talk Podcast right here: