… The Sox general manager concluded his briefing stating that the free agent market and the secondary market (non-tenders) would create a cache of players available in January, February and March in what he thinks may be a late-developing market. Although the White Sox payroll is set at around $100 million, Williams didn’t discount going after free agents in the later in the winter.
Kenny also said the Jenks brouhaha is based on 2-month old quotes and there isn’t anymore back-and-forth.
Viciedo stayed at 3rd base because Buddy Bell likes his improvement there but may ultimately move to 1st base. Here’s Kenny:
“Do I think ultimately he might go to the other side of the field because of the athleticism we want out there and the way we are shaped? Yeah, it’s a possibility,” said Williams of the 5-foot-11, 240-pound Viciedo. “But it’s too soon, because you never know when your next deal or opportunity may come. You leave them at their main position first, because you don’t want to stunt their growth at that position. After that, you can go over to first base pretty easily. … He’s very much in the plans. How can he not be?” Williams said. “The kid is going to light up the scoreboard when he gets here. He worked his tail off, which I’m very proud of. He’s going to force his way here. Where that shakes out, we will figure it out at the time. I like it when guys force their ways here.”
More on Sox prospects (Daniel Hudson, Tyler Flowers, Jordan Danks, Jared Mitchell) at the link.
Kenny sees more players signings after the Winter Meetings next week and that could mean better bargains, like for a leadoff hitter:
“As much as 90 percent of the other teams in the league that don’t have the ideal leadoff guy. Just like we had Orlando Cabrera a couple years ago. It wasn’t the ideal situation, but we won a division title with it. You look at some of the teams that are around that have been successful, and they don’t have the ideal guy.”
Kenny, also, isn’t worrying about a backup catcher:
“We’ve asked around a litlte bit, we’ve had some talks, but we don’t see it as a sitatuion where we have to do something that doesn’t fit in what we’re trying to do overall, because we do have options there at the positton.”
And Andruw Jones wants to compete for a starting outfield spot but he’s seen more as a backup.
BTW, Buster Olney hears the Sox don’t have much payroll flexibility.
UPDATE: Rest assured, the Sox won’t be forfeiting the #1 spot in the hitting order says Kenny.
The Sox are expected to tender contracts to their marquee arbitration-eligible players — closer Bobby Jenks, John Danks and Carlos Quentin. A source said preliminary talks involving Jenks have started, although Jenks’ representatives were unavailable for comment.
Friends of Jenks say he has embarked on an offseason conditioning program and looks fit.
Bobby is down to 4 slim-jims from 5.
UPDATE: Cowley has more.
The Royals, lacking payroll flexibility, do not expect to be active in free agency. Outfielder Scott Podsednik, however, is one player in whom the Royals are showing interest.
Podsednik, who batted .303-.353-.412 and stole 30 bases for the White Sox last season, could fit with the Royals regardless of whether they trade DeJesus. The White Sox remain in the mix for Podsednik as well.
Will Dayton Moore will give him a multi-year deal?
BTW, the Mets signed Blanco to a 1-year $1.5 million deal, and the Braves signed Saito to a 1-year $3.2 million deal.
UPDATE: Rooyals officials confirm it.