SoxFest: Buehrle not done yet, Williams worried

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SoxFest: Buehrle not done yet, Williams worried

Friday, Jan. 21, 2011
Posted 4:49 p.m. Updated 5:04 p.m.

By Brett Ballantini
CSNChicago.com

In remarks made during the media session of SoxFest, Chicago White Sox starter Mark Buehrle indicated he would be willing to sign an extension with the team that would keep him in Chicago for at least two additional seasons.

It was weird this offseason, going from a rebuilding plan to me maybe being on the trading block, to getting Paul Konerko and A.J. Pierzynski back, adding Adam Dunn and retooling the bullpen, Buehrle said. I dont have any idea of whether my people have talked to the White Sox, or theyre talking with us, but Im always willing to listen.

Buehrle went 13-13 in 2010, with a 4.28 ERA. During the season he earned his 10-and-5 rights, which gives him the ability to veto any trade the White Sox wish to make that involves him. In 11 major league seaons all spent with the White Sox Buehrle is 148-110 with a 3.85 ERA and an ERA of 120.

He will complete his four-year, 56 million contract at the end of the 2011 season.
Williams: Stirred, but shaken

Chicago White Sox GM Ken Williams had earlier told Comcast SportsNet that his tombstone might read, One More Deal to Make, but the longtime team executive also admitted on Friday that hes typically nervous about his ballclub.

I should have a better feeling about how he's stacked the White Sox, the GM admitted before the official start of SoxFest on Friday. But I'm cautious, and nervous. I know about the mental and physical grind ahead.

Williams also remains bitter over the division titles he feels his team had the potential to win. While wryly unwilling to name names, this includes the 2010 clubs second-half fold to the one unmentionable team (to Williams), the Minnesota Twins.

A couple of parks are flying flags that should be ours, that belong to us, Williams said.

Nonetheless, Williams hopes his retooling of the club exemplified by the now-famous (and marketable) phrase all-in when referencing his attitude toward 2011 has excited his fan base much more than his poker face is willing to acknowledge.

I hope the fans are very excited, Williams said with honesty, and a wink toward the season, because we still have to find a way to pay for all of this.

Williams also tipped his hand early regarding some roster decisions, including a tacit endorsement of Brent Morel at third base. The GM read manager Ozzie Guillens comments yesterday about wishing to keep competition open and did not openly endorse a third baseman, but did say his mind was made up about who should play there and judging by his excitement over Morel last September, all signs point to the rookie getting his vote.

READ: Ozzie's early lineup thoughts

As for two other young players, Dayan Viciedo and Jordan Danks, Williams was far from muted. He claimed that Dankss future was far too bright to make the White Sox roster as a fourth or fifth outfielder in 2011.

Williams also confirmed that Viciedo would be moving to the outfield, remarking again that the young player has the potential to be very special and that we need to find a place for him to play. The GM wouldnt rule out Viciedo as a future infielder, but definitely endorsed his current move to the outfield, making it imaginable that the young slugger could fill a hybrid role of corner outfielderDHcorner infielder that could see him playing a couple of games a week in 2011.

Brett Ballantini is CSNChicago.coms White Sox Insider. Follow him @CSNChi_Beatnik on Twitter for up-to-the-minute White Sox information.

How to watch, stream White Sox vs. Yankees

How to watch, stream White Sox vs. Yankees

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Today’s starting pitching matchup: Jose Quintana (4-8, 4.69 ERA) vs. Luis Severino (5-3, 3.30 ERA)

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Last-place White Sox ready to trade, but only if the right offer arises

Last-place White Sox ready to trade, but only if the right offer arises

That the White Sox lost their fourth consecutive game doesn’t change the big picture plans of the franchise, which probably — but not definitely — will involve making at least one trade before the end of July.

Before the White Sox lost, 6-5, to the New York Yankees Monday at Guaranteed Rate Field, general manager Rick Hahn met with the media and delivered the same message he’s had since trading away Chris Sale and Adam Eaton in December. The White Sox are open for business, and would like to make a number of moves to further bolster their farm system, but won’t make a trade if they don’t receive what they view to be a fair return.

“Would I be surprised (if we didn’t make a trade)? No, because I try not to be surprised by the dynamics of this market,” Hahn said. “Would I be mildly disappointed? Sure. We are here to try to improve this club.

“We feel we have certain first and desirable players that would help other clubs and may fit better on their competitive windows then they do on ours right now. And we intend to be active each day in trying to further accomplish what we set out to do a year ago at this time.

“But do we have to do it? No. That would be using an artificial spot on the calendar to force decision-making. That would be the last thing we need to do. We need to take a long term view of what we are trying to accomplish.”

Hahn didn’t name names, but Todd Frazier, Melky Cabrera, David Robertson could be short-term fixes for contending clubs. Jose Quintana, who will start Tuesday against the Yankees, remains the team’s most valuable trade chip despite a 4.69 ERA that sits over run higher than his career average.

Frazier homered Monday and entered the game hitting .262/.351/.524 since Memorial Day. Cabrera similarly has found success after a slow start, slashing a healthy .324/.375/.482 in his previous 34 games before picking up two hits in four at-bats Monday. And Robertson, who’s been linked to the relief-starved Washington Nationals for months, has 41 strikeouts in 27 1/3 innings with 11 saves.

“We want to be able to do as much as we can in our power to get this team to where it needs to be,” Hahn said. “Yes, there’s an element of competitiveness involved in that. There’s an element of patience involved in that. But at the end of the day, we have to — we get paid to be prudent in our decision making. We have to make the right decision.”

In the meantime, the White Sox looked the part of a rebuilding team with the worst record in the American League on Monday. Starter David Holmberg struggled, allowing six runs on five hits and four walks in 5 1/3 innings — but only two of those runs were earned thanks to errors by Holmberg, Frazier and Matt Davidson.

As the Yankees took advantage of those miscues with three runs in both the fourth and sixth innings, Jordan Montgomery retired nine consecutive White Sox batters and went on to cruise with eight strikeouts over seven innings. The White Sox – as they’ve done quite a bit this year – still showed fight late, battling back in the ninth inning.

Tim Anderson ripped a three-run home run in the ninth inning off Yankees left-hander Chasen Shreve to bring the White Sox within two. Joe Girardi quickly turned to Aroldis Chapman, who allowed a run when Jose Abreu doubled home Melky Cabrera. But the tying run was stranded on second when Avisail Garcia grounded out and Frazier flew out to end the game.