Rick Hahn’s blueprint has been on the wall all season and he’s made it quite clear the job of rebuilding the club isn’t complete.
While the White Sox players appreciate their general manager’s candid nature and have a pretty good idea what lies ahead, it doesn’t make the scenario any easier to deal with.
With the July 31 nonwaiver trade deadline now 10 days away, several White Sox players face uncertain futures as they may or may not fit into the team’s long-term agenda. Both veteran Paul Konerko and manager Robin Ventura spoke Monday about how difficult it is to deal with the ambiguity the trade deadline brings considering how much of an impact a move has on players.
“It's just the abruptness,” said Ventura, who was traded twice. “You're on one team one day and all the sudden you're traded and the next day you're in a different uniform playing for a different team. The game's still the same, but now you're having to learn your new teammates and personalities and things like that. It is different. There are family issues that are there, but you're not going to be dealing with that part of it. You're dealing more with the baseball stuff. That was the first time I was traded during the season, I was traded twice, but during the season it's such an abrupt thing, one day you're here and the next day you're in a different uniform. That part of it becomes a little strange.”
Konerko has also been traded twice in his career, all in a span of six months. He said the experience quickly hardened him to the business of baseball. Konerko understands why teammate Gordon Beckham, who has often been mentioned in rumors, might struggle the way he has. But he also knows there’s a silver lining for players who are traded before the deadline in that they are usually headed for contending teams.
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“It’s a tough business, a tough game, and all you can kind of do is be tough back,” Konerko said. “And if that happens to anybody here this year or next year, you have to realize that a team traded for you. You have to see that as a positive. I think the average is 3 1/ 2 teams that a big league player spends time with during his career, if his career is six or seven years. It’s pretty common. That’s what it feels like when you get traded is that you’ve been singled out, but in actuality it’s very common.”
Konerko thinks Beckham — the team’s first-round draft pick in 2009 — will come around to see any trade talk is compliment. Once he’s able to do that, Konerko figures Beckham will be OK.
“That’s why you see those rumors because there are a lot of teams that look at him and say ‘we don’t care what White Sox fans or the White Sox thought he could be, this guy can help us win games,’ ” Konerko said. “He has to deal with that. He’s a big boy. He’ll be all right.”