Monday, Feb. 22, 2010
By Chuck Garfien
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.