Kenny Williams Rumors

Odds & Ends: Rizzo, A’s, Draft, Williams

Some tidbits from around the league on Thursday evening…

  • ESPN's Peter Gammons outlines the methods Nationals GM Mike Rizzo used to land Stephen Strasburg. He also discusses the long road Rizzo has ahead of him. 
  •'s Mychael Urban writes that the Athletics are enjoying success despite trading Matt Holliday and Orlando Cabrera.
  • Dave Cameron at Fangraphs argues that the draft should be "abolished" and offers a creative suggestion for how to replace it.
  •'s Scott Merkin talks to White Sox GM Kenny Williams, who is happy with the team he has constructed. In fact, Williams says that he "would love to bring back this whole darn team." 

White Sox Not In Selling Mode

As Mark Gonzalez of the Chicago Tribune reports, White Sox GM Ken Williams "doesn't envision his team in a seller's mode with the July 31 non-waiver trading deadline approaching."

"Over the course of however many games are left, I would anticipate that we're going to give this thing a run for its money," Williams said, his team five games back in the AL Central.  "So I can't put myself in the mind frame of a seller, where people have us in that 'are they buyers or sellers?'   … I think we can win this."

Williams noted that other clubs have been calling him for pitching.  "So we must have a little bit," he deduced.

Peavy Explains Veto

8:40pm: Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune has the reaction from White Sox GM Kenny Williams. "Anyone who follows our club knows we still have championship aspirations for this season," he said.

7:19pm: The Associated Press has a full recap of the short press conference. Peavy said he will answer more questions after his start against Carlos Zambrano and the Cubs Friday night.

7:07pm: Jake Peavy read a statement to reporters, confirming that he will not accept a trade to the White Sox. "San Diego is the place for us," Peavy said of him and his family. "We've made that decision for the time being."

The White Sox are not likely to be the last team to make an offer for Peavy, and he seems to be leaving the door open for a future trade.

To recap, the White Sox and the Padres agreed to a deal that would send Peavy to Chicago in exchange for four Sox pitchers, including prospects Clayton Richard and Aaron Poreda. But Peavy, whose conract includes a full no-trade clause through this season, nixed the deal. For a blow-by-blow account of how this deal came together and then fell apart, see our thread from earlier today.

Heyman On Contracts, Loretta, Indians, Lackey’s Jon Heyman has a new column up…

  • Heyman writes in praise of White Sox GM Ken Williams, who says, "People don’t really understand our way, our method."
  • Heyman names his top 13 contracts, from an agent point of view.  Barry Meister appears twice, with Edgar Renteria and Kyle Farnsworth.  Scott Shapiro and Barry Praver get two mentions (Willy Taveras and Juan Cruz), and Scott Boras has three (Derek Lowe, Mark Teixeira, and Willie Bloomquist).
  • Heyman writes of "talk at Dodgers camp" about possible Yankee interest in Mark Loretta (you may recall their consideration of him as a first base candidate in 2007).  Loretta would have to consent to a trade, and keep in mind Brian Cashman’s comments yesterday.
  • The Indians may have sufficient depth in young position players to make a trade for pitching.
  • Heyman speaks of optimism for an extension for Angels ace John Lackey, since the team was able to hammer out his ’06 contract with agent Steve Hilliard.

Brown’s Latest: Teixeira, Crede, Friedman

Yahoo’s Tim Brown filed a column late last night; let’s take a look.

  • Scott Boras doesn’t know of any kind of contingency where the Dodgers would have to unload Andruw Jones‘ contract before signing Manny Ramirez.
  • The Angels have not yet made an offer to Mark Teixeira, but they’ll deal with that situation before moving on to other needs.  Boras is suggesting Teixeira pays for himself.
  • Boras compared Joe Crede to Magglio Ordonez.  I think he is implying that he may seek big money for Crede but allow a team to opt out after a year if he hits the DL for back problems.
  • Ken Williams spoke up manufacturing runs, while Billy Beane still prefers walks and homers.
  • Rays GM Andrew Friedman doesn’t have a contract, but he isn’t concerned.

White Sox Looking To Trade Vazquez?

The latest on the White Sox…

  • GM Ken Williams wants a younger, more athletic club, but still expects to compete in 2009.  Players such as Chris Getz, Josh Fields, Jayson Nix, Jerry Owens, Brian Anderson, and Clayton Richard could play prominent roles on next year’s team.  Sox Machine offers their take on Williams’ comments.
  • Chris De Luca of the Chicago Sun-Times lists Brian Roberts, Coco Crisp, Chone Figgins, and Orlando Hudson as potential Sox targets.  Williams didn’t talk much about his wish list yesterday, suggesting that last year’s openness hindered his progress.  If the Sox sign Hudson, they’ll give their #24 pick in next year’s draft to the D’Backs.
  • Joe Cowley of the Sun-Times says trading starter Javier Vazquez is Williams’ top offseason priority.  Cowley believes Williams could look for an infielder in return.  Vazquez will earn $23MM over the next two seasons, and has a limited no-trade clause to block trades to NL and AL West teams.
  • Also in Cowley’s article – free agent catcher Toby Hall seems likely to re-sign.

White Sox Discussing Extension With Kenny Williams

According to’s Jon Heyman, White Sox GM Kenny Williams is discussing a multiyear extension with owner Jerry Reinsdorf.  It seems his current deal runs through 2009.

Williams has become one of the game’s best GMs.  Not too many folks were picking the Sox for first or second place in the AL Central before the season.  Recent highlights include the acquisitions of Carlos Quentin, John Danks, Gavin Floyd, and Alexei Ramirez.  And to be fair, I liked the Nick Swisher deal at the time.

Kenny Williams – GM Trade History

Next up, MLBTR contributor Brendan Bianowicz has compiled a trade history and other details for White Sox GM Kenny Williams.  Click here to download the spreadsheet.

Update on Garland: Phillies Scouting

We said a few weeks back that the White Sox May Shop Jon Garland and that Garland knows it.  The White Sox are seeking 2 relievers.  As Tim noted, the Red Sox, Rockies, Braves, Yankees, Mariners, Dodgers, Mets, and Phillies have all shown interest.  Well, it starts here:  Paul Hagen recently caught wind of the Phillies scouting the tall right hander during his complete game shutout of the Royals last Wednesday.

Garland is due $12MM in the final year of his contract.  The Phillies will be waving goodbye to Jon Lieber and flop Freddy Garcia, opening up $17MM and the (incredible) need for a quality starter in a rotation comprised of Cole Hamels, Kyle Kendrick, Adam Eaton, and the indefatigable Jamie Moyer.

As Tim noted, the ChiSox tried to shop him last offseason to the Astros, but the deal unraveled just before the scheduled press conference.  The bad news for GM Kenny Williams:  Garland went on to make ’07 his worst season in recent memory going 9-13 with a 4.23 ERA.  Good news for Kenny Williams:  The man finished strong, flat out dominating in September by posting a 1.38 ERA over 39.1 IP, and going over 200 Innings for the 4th straight year.

Still, judging from your comments, MLBTR readers aren’t too high on Mr. Garland.  Are the Phillies?

Posted by: Nat Boyle

Kenny Williams Trade Profile

Given all the speculation of Kenny Williams’s next move to fix his stumbling White Sox, I thought it would be useful to pull together a history of all the trades he’s made since 2001.  Download chicago_white_sox_williams.xls to take a look at that in an Excel file.

As far as Kenny’s July tendencies, he’s made such acquisitions as Roberto Alomar, Carl Everett, Scott Schoeneweis, Carl Everett again, and Jose Contreras in the past.  But Williams’s signature trades have come in the winter: David Wells, Todd Ritchie, Billy Koch, Bartolo Colon, Juan Uribe, Scott Podsednik, Jim Thome, and Javier Vazquez.

The exception, and Williams’s biggest summertime trade, was his acquisition of Freddy Garcia in late June of 2004.  The Sox smartly made this trade with three full months left in the season.  Williams surrendered highly touted outfield prospect Jeremy Reed in the deal, and he certainly got the best of Bill Bavasi so far.  Ditto for his other swap with Bavasi – Joe Borchard for Matt Thornton.

Williams doesn’t really have any favorite GM buddies to lean on for trades; his 38 deals since ’01 are spread out among many.  Jim Bowden is in the lead with three trades, but all were minor (Anthony Sanders, Scott Dunn/D’Angelo Jimenez, Jerry Owens/Alex Escobar).  Among current GMs, Williams has a history with Bowden, Bavasi, Brian Sabean, Dave Littlefield, Bill Stoneman, Kevin Towers, Billy Beane, Josh Byrnes, Brian Cashman, Omar Minaya, Dan O’Dowd, Ned Coletti, Theo Epstein, Pat Gillick, Doug Melvin, and Dayton Moore.  He’s definitely shown a tendency to trade with newly anointed general managers like Moore and Gillick, among others.