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Kenny Williams Rumors
9:07am: The White Sox announced the promotions, naming Williams executive VP and naming Hahn senior VP and general manager. Williams will "maintain oversight and final approval on major baseball decisions,” White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said.
8:14am: The White Sox will announce today that they've promoted their top two baseball executives, according to Mark Gonzales of Chicago Tribune. Kenny Williams will now oversee the baseball operations department and Rick Hahn will take over Williams' duties as general manager. The long-anticipated transition will be announced at a news conference today.
Williams, 48, has been Chicago's GM since the end of the 2000 season. He is the sixth longest tenured general manager in baseball, behind only Terry Ryan (Twins) Brian Sabean (Giants), Billy Beane (Athletics), Brian Cashman (Yankees) and Dan O'Dowd (Rockies).The White Sox have reached the playoffs twice under Williams; they won the 2005 World Series and won the AL Central in 2008. Chicago finished the 2012 season in second place with an 85-77 record.
Hahn featured prominently on MLBTR's list of GM candidates last summer. He was considered for general manager jobs last offseason, including one with the Cubs. The 41-year-old has also been linked to general manager jobs with the Pirates, Cardinals, Mariners, Mets and Angels, according to Gonzales.
The White Sox will soon promote their top two baseball executives, Kenny Williams and Rick Hahn, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com confirmed today. Williams will become the team’s president and Hahn will be the general manager and the team’s primary baseball decision maker, as expected. Here’s the latest on three of the organization’s free agents…
- Catcher A.J. Pierzynski loves playing for the White Sox and is close with owner Jerry Reinsdorf. A two-year, $16MM contract could work for both sides, Heyman suggests.
- The White Sox will decline Jake Peavy’s $22MM option, but they hope to agree to terms on a new deal to keep the right-hander in Chicago, Heyman reports. Though there will be lots of competition for Peavy, Heyman guesses the White Sox will be able to re-sign him as long as they make a competitive offer.
- The White Sox plan to decline Kevin Youkilis’ $13MM option for 2013, Heyman reports. However, they loved having the third baseman on the roster this year, so Heyman suggests they’ll try to work out a two-year contract, perhaps in the $15MM range.
5:43pm: Williams didn't comment on Nightengale's report, telling reporters (including CSNChicago.com's Dan Hayes) that the club is focused on the playoff race and won't discuss contract issues until the offseason.
3:03pm: The White Sox will promote their top two baseball executives following a surprising season that has the team leading its division. The team is expected to promote longtime general manager Kenny Williams to the role of vice president of baseball operations and shift assistant GM Rick Hahn into the GM role, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports.
Williams has been Chicago's GM since the end of the 2000 season. He is the fifth longest tenured general manager in baseball, behind only Brian Sabean (Giants), Billy Beane (Athletics), Brian Cashman (Yankees) and Dan O'Dowd (Rockies).The White Sox have reached the playoffs twice under Williams; they won the 2005 World Series and won the AL Central in 2008. Chicago entered Thursday's games with a 81-67 record and a two game lead over the Tigers in the AL Central.
The Twins pounded out 20 hits en route to a 10-9 victory over the Angels today at Target Field. Josh Willingham hit his third homer in as many games for Minnesota, and Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau also went yard — the first time the duo have homered in the same game since July 6, 2010.
Here are some notes from around the majors…
- Torii Hunter hasn't had any discussion with the Angels about a contract extension but understands why, he tells Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register. "I don't want to bother those guys," Hunter said. "They've had so much going on. I definitely feel no rush. It'd be nice (to get an extension offer) but if not, I understand….They have other guys like (Erick) Aybar they need to lock up. Plus they've got (Mike) Trout lying in the weeds." Hunter is a free agent after this season and will be 37 on Opening Day 2013. He said he wants to return the Angels, but if not, he wants to play for another contending team.
- Nez Balelo, Matt Garza's agent, is scheduled to be in Chicago during the Cubs' homestand, reports Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said that a potential long-term deal with Garza is the sort of "big-picture issue" that can't be measured by how Garza performs early this season or even throughout 2012.
- Separate ownership groups led by agents Dennis Gilbert and Arn Tellem could be interested in buying the Padres, reports Dan Hayes of the North County Times. A source tells Hayes that any potential buyer could bring a Padres legend like Tony Gwynn, Dave Winfield or Steve Garvey to serve as the public face of the ownership group. Garvey is known to already be fronting a group that is interested in the Padres after falling short in a bid to buy the Dodgers.
- White Sox GM Kenny Williams discusses new manager Robin Ventura, several players and his expectations for the team as a whole for 2012 in a Q&A with the team's TV crew (transcribed on MLB.com).
- The well-traveled Wilson Betemit is playing for his seventh team in 10 years but is only focused on helping the Orioles, writes Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun.
- Andre Ethier is very focused on playing well in 2012 and putting himself in line for a big contract either with the Dodgers or with another club when he hits free agency this winter, sources tell ESPN Los Angeles' Tony Jackson.
- Danks has a full no-trade clause for the first year of his contract, reports MLB.com's Scott Merkin. Danks will have partial no-trade protection for the remaining four years, able to block deals to six teams.
- The extension "really did come out of nowhere," Danks told media (including CSN Chicago's Chuck Garfien) during a conference call today. "Obviously, there was a lot of trade talk, and you can’t help but wonder and think…But I think I kind of took the attitude that until something happens I was going to prepare to be with the White Sox. Fortunately, this came along and I couldn’t be happier.”
- As Garfien notes, this is the first time the White Sox have ever given a pitcher a five-year deal. Owner Jerry Reinsdorf prefers to keep pitchers on contracts of three years or less due to concerns about health and consistency.
- From the same conference call, GM Kenny Williams said his comments earlier this month about the White Sox beginning a "rebuilding" phase were misconstrued. "We are still in win mode,” Williams said. “But at the same time that you’re in win mode, you can be in a little bit of a rebuilding phase, and I tried to articulate that, although I guess that message got lost after I said we were rebuilding. I tried to articulate that it wouldn’t be dominoes falling in terms of a true rebuilding because we have too many good veterans, and veterans looking to bounce back.”
Dylan Axelrod, the son of agent Barry Axelrod, provided the White Sox with six solid innings in his first MLB start this afternoon. Here's the latest on the White Sox, who have 14 games remaining after today…
- White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf has told GM Kenny Williams that he’ll be back in 2012, according to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times.
- Manager Ozzie Guillen told Cowley that he could work for anyone, including Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria.
- In a chat with fans, Doug Padilla of ESPNChicago.com says there's a very high chance that the White Sox trade Carlos Quentin this offseason.
- Juan Pierre is expected to sign elsewhere when he hits free agency after the season, according to Padilla. Pierre "has the most respect of anybody in the White Sox clubhouse," so there's a chance he'll be back.
- Brent Morel will definitely be playing third next season and the White Sox will expect a little more on offense from Morel in 2012. I mentioned the White Sox as a possible destination for Aramis Ramirez earlier today, noting that the club probably can't afford him.
- The White Sox will definitely reduce payroll from $127MM next season, Padilla writes.
Brendan Bianowicz has more GM Trade History series updates for us. Click below to download Excel spreadsheets with info on the AL Central GMs (trades, free agent signings, and top draft picks).
The latest from SI's Jon Heyman…
- The Phillies had a "brief talk" with the Red Sox about Mike Lowell, but Heyman finds a free agent signing more likely.
- A competing agent believes Fern Cuza might be able to get a three-year deal for Miguel Tejada, which seems unlikely to me. Heyman says Tejada is drawing interest from the Cardinals, Astros, Giants, Phillies, and Rangers. The Rangers keep getting linked to starting infielders, but they're really only looking for a backup.
- Heyman notes that the White Sox signing Andruw Jones represents a rare Kenny Williams-Scott Boras matchup. He says Boras tried to sell the Sox on bringing back Joe Crede, prior to their Mark Teahen acquisition.
- Kendry Morales apparently advised Aroldis Chapman to switch from API to the Hendricks brothers.
Wednesday evening link session…
- ESPN.com's Buster Olney thinks Brandon Webb is right in not accepting a compromise deal from the Diamondbacks. He lists multiple teams that would be willing to offer the former Cy Young Award winner a lucrative one-year contract, including the Dodgers, Angels, Cubs, White Sox, Yankees and Red Sox.
- Scott Merkin of MLB.com gathered this quote from White Sox GM Kenny Williams, regarding his outlook heading into the offseason: "No. 1, I don’t like what I see on the free agent market, and what I do like, it’s going to cost you a No. 1 pick. "
- According to Jorge Arangure of ESPN.com, Aroldis Chapman's agent will be present at Yankee Stadium this weekend to take in a game against the Red Sox. Chapman, though, will remain in Andorra.
- Arangure also "tweets" that Cuban first baseman Jose Julio Ruiz has finally become a free agent. The 25-year-old hit .305/.408/.467 over 52 games in the Serie Nacional last season before suddenly defecting to the Dominican Republic.
- According to SI.com's Jon Heyman, Brewers manager Ken Macha is likely to return for a second season. GM Doug Melvin knows exactly where the blame should lie for his club's disappointing 2009 campaign, and it's not on the skipper: "It came down to starting pitching," Melvin said Tuesday. "Overall, we lacked depth. When we had to reach down … (it wasn't there)."