Williams forecasted the news that J.J. Putz apparently signed with Arizona to become the Diamondbacks’ closer, saying, “We wanted him back, but [Putz is] headed elsewhere.”
As for the recently non-tendered Bobby Jenks, Williams remained open to a return by his five-year closer, with logical hesitation: “He’s new to the market, and he’s got to flesh some things out before he gets back to us.”
With holes in the pen (just Matt Thornton, Sergio Santos, and possibly Chris Sale and Tony Pena project as holdovers in 2011), Williams knows he needs at least one recognizable addition in the trenches.
“[A trade is] quite possibly the way we might have to go because we’ve taken ourselves to—or beyond—our payroll limits,” he said. “I might have to get a little creative with trades…[but] I don’t think a reliever is going to come at these meetings for us. That will be after.”
December 6, 2010
Based on other free-agent signings, Konerko’s open-market value is projected to be around $13 million a season, a number that would leave the White Sox with their highest payroll ever. Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf told FoxSports.com on Monday that he is willing to take payroll to $110 million in 2011.
Whether or not that includes a salary for Konerko remains to be seen. Williams said he feels like he is patient when it comes to negotiations, but his patience has a limit.
“There’s a fine line,” Williams said when asked if he had a deadline for Konerko’s camp to accept a White Sox offer. “And that fine line [comes] when you risk losing your Plan B and C in favor of trying to be as patient as you can with your Plan A. We will wait as long as we can because we pretty much said on the record that he’s the guy we want.” …
UPDATE: Here are Reinsdorf’s comments:
Reinsdorf said the team’s payroll will be “somewhere around” $110 million.“It will be our highest ever,” he added.
Yet, if the White Sox re-sign Konerko, they may not have enough money left to make significant bullpen upgrades. Even if Konerko defers money on a new contract, as Dunn and Pierzynski did, it’s hard to imagine him earning much less than $10 million in 2011.
Is there a rule that says half of the White Sox prospects must be shipped to San Diego?
UPDATE: Heyman @ SI tweets:
chisox dangled beckham for a-gon. Was talk deal could expand to include gavin floyd. But chisox didn’t favor big quick extension for adrian
The Diamondbacks agreed to sign J.J. Putz to a two-year, $10MM deal with an option for 2013. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter links), MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert and Jon Heyman of SI.com all reported on the deal, which is pending a physical. Putz earns $4MM in 2011, $4.5MM in 2012 and either $6.5MM or a $1.5MM buyout in 2013, according to Rosenthal. LSW Baseball represents Putz, who posted a 2.83 ERA with 10.8 K/9 in 54 innings last year.
Since Putz declined arbitration the Sox will get a supplemental first round draft pick. I’d have liked to keep J.J. though…
The Pirates surprisingly cut Lastings Milledge loose, choosing not to tender their 2010 opening-day outfielder an offer through arbitration in advance of Major League Baseball’s midnight Thursday deadline.
… Milledge, 25, was acquired in the summer of 2009, along with Hanrahan, from Washington in the trade that sent outfielder Nyjer Morgan and reliever Sean Burnett to the Nationals. Milledge batted .277 with four home runs and 34 RBIs this past season, losing his everyday duty over the final two months. He displayed none of the negative off-field traits that were documented in New York and Washington, but his lack of power and erratic defense convinced management he was not a corner-outfield option.
I’m wondering would he go for a minor-league deal with a Spring Training invitation?
[Arizona GM Kevin] Towers had extended talks with the agent for Paul Konerko, hoping to convince the free-agent first baseman to sign with the Diamondbacks instead of returning to the Chicago White Sox.
Dyck @ CT says, besides Arizona, other Konerko suitors are Texas and Baltimore.
Morosi @ FS tweets that Jerry Reinsdorf didn’t like that:
Reinsdorf on Konerko: “He belongs in Chicago.”
Padilla @ ESPN says Reinsdorf will do everything he can to keep Konerko:
A source has indicated that Reinsdorf is ready and willing to do whatever he can to keep Paul Konerko on the White Sox roster, and by the end of the first day of the winter meetings Monday, in the shadow of Disney World, he just might feel like he is in the happiest place on Earth.
And don’t miss the Godfather reference in Padilla’s article!
UPDATE: Garfein @ CSN tweets Arizona is “reportedly making big push.
Heard this: The D-backs have had virtually no dialogue with Konerko.