White Sox not convinced flurry of deals are coming

White Sox not convinced flurry of deals are coming
July 28, 2013, 4:30 pm
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JJ Stankevitz

Jake Peavy acknowledged Sunday may have been his last day at U.S. Cellular Field with the White Sox, but count manager Robin Ventura and first baseman Paul Konerko among those who aren't necessarily sure the right-hander -- and a few other players -- will be traded away before Wednesday's 3 p.m. deadline.

And as to whether the White Sox have struggled recently because of worry over potential deals, Konerko said: "I mean, we were (expletive) before the rumors. That’s a fact. We were.

"You can go back to a long time ago but everybody’s handled it well," he continued. "Every now and then you catch a guy that doesn’t get the business of it but not in this clubhouse this year. Everybody knows that’s just part of the drill. Rumors of trades and all that is as part of the game as rain delays and whatever else. Guys know that, the guys we have in here know that.

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"I haven’t seen a guy not get ready for the game, not be prepared on the bench, anything like that. It’s really not as big of an issue as most people think it is."

Still, Ventura admitted before the White Sox lost 4-2 to Kansas City on Sunday that an anxiety existed in the clubhouse over who may be dealt before July 31. Perhaps it's making a bad team worse or, as Konerko put it, there's not much else to make a last-place squad struggle more than they already have.

The will-he-or-won't-he-go talk is unavoidable, especially with the team falling to 22 games under .500 after Sunday's extra-inning loss. Peavy is bringing his belongings with him -- in five suitcases -- to Cleveland in case he's dealt. Alex Rios, Alexei Ramirez and Jesse Crain have taken up plenty of words of trade speculation, too.

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But while the White Sox feel prepared for the possibility of losing some of their veterans, it's not being treated as a slam dunk in the clubhouse.

"A lot of times there are a lot of rumors and everything else, and nothing ends up happening," Ventura said. "I’ve been on teams when there are a lot of rumors and nothing happens, and when there’s nothing, something happens. Again, with all the commotion going on coming into Wednesday nothing might happen. You don’t know."

Konerko has been around the game for nearly two decades, and observed a shifting outlook on deadline deals over the last few years. The guy who, as an up-and-coming prospect, was a key part of a trade to send an elite closer to a contending team in 1998 doesn't see those kind of deals happening as much anymore.

"It seems like there’s not a lot of moves happening all over," Konerko said. "I think there’s a lot of things now that are changing the landscape of all this, when it comes to the draft, and it comes to locking young players up. There are just a million things that factor into these things.

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"… But it’s not like normal compared to like what it was few years ago or 10 years ago. I have a feeling that this is the way it’s going to be. If you know the business side of it a little bit and if you just know some things on the inside and pay attention to it, people are just really holding on to their young prospects. They don’t want to make deals where they give those guys up. So it kind of makes sense."

Yahoo's Jeff Passan reported the White Sox are looking for "tip-top prospects" in return for Peavy precisely the kind of players Konerko doesn't see getting traded around the deadline. Peavy and Rios are under contract through 2014 and Ramirez through 2015, meaning the Sox don't have to trade them to avoid losing them for nothing to free agency this winter.

Peavy is scheduled to start Tuesday in Cleveland. He's not preparing for the unknown, knowing he could be in Oakland, Boston, Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago or somewhere else following the trade deadline.

All he, and the White Sox, feel they can do is shrug it off and get through Wednesday -- even if that's easier said than done.

"It's something that I really don't worry too much about. You just kinda left life happen and you react when something is set in stone," Peavy said. "Of course you take it all in, the reality of the situation is (today) could be my last time in the clubhouse with the guys here at U.S. Cellular. But if it is, it is, if it wasn't, it wasn't. We'll just show up tomorrow ready to work in Cleveland."