Levine @ ESPN chat:
Q: Bruce, the Sox need a left handed bat to help balance out the line-up. With [Adam] Dunn being the biggest bat out there, do you see them signing him or looking elsewhere for a bat? If so, who do you see being a fit for the Sox?
A: The White Sox want Dunn and have been trying to make that happen. However Dunn is telling people close to him that he’d like to play left field. The White Sox would rather have him be a DH/1B and maybe a part-time outfielder. But Dunn is below average at almost every position on the field. The Sox have some interest in Hideki Matsui, who at 35 still has some pop. That would also be a short-term deal.
Q: Gavin Floyd, John Danks, Edwin Jackson…which is more likely to be traded?
A: Most likely Jackson with one year and $8 million left. I just don’t see them trading starting pitching unless they get it back. That’s the strength of their team.
Q: Will Rick Hahn ever take over for Kenny or is he going to end up elsewhere?
A: Dear Mrs. Hahn, Rick will be a GM somewhere in the next couple of years and possibly with the White Sox if Reinsdorf decides to make Kenny the president of the team.
UPDATE: Dunn is looking for a 4 year, $60 million contract.
Levine @ ESPN chat:
Q: Hey Bruce is it true that the White offered Victor Martinez a 3 year $48 million dollar contract, and he chose the 4 year $50 million dollar deal from Detroit instead?
A: Don’t know if the money is exactly what you say, but they were negotiating. At the same time, the Sox have talked to many agents, including Adam Dunn‘s, who is still their primary target.
Washington offered arbitration to Dunn, so if the Sox sign him you can wave goodbye to the 23rd draft pick.
Q: Assuming the Sox don’t get Adam Dunn, would [Hideki] Matsui be the left handed bat we go after next? And is [Miguel] Olivo the Sox starting catcher in 2011?
A: I can’t see how Olivo fits with the White Sox. The reason they got rid of him initially is he called a terrible game. Unless he’s gotten a lot smarter over the last five years, I don’t see it. Matsui is someone they are interested in. The agent and the Sox have had a solid history of communication.
Also, J.P. Morosi @ FS says:
After whiffing on [Victor] Martinez, the pressure is on the Chicago White Sox to come away with Dunn or their own free-agent slugger, Paul Konerko.
At this point, the White Sox will have a lot of splainin’ to do if they don’t re-sign their captain. Konerko hit .312 this year with 39 home runs and 111 RBI.
Dunn, meanwhile, could be a fit on the North Side.
Heyman @ SI tweets:
white sox talking to matsui. they want 2 lefty bats. that would be one.
UPDATE: Gonzo adds another name:
According to sources, the Sox are exploring contract offers to [Hideki] Matsui and possibly Johnny Damon but are not at the point of making offers to anyone. They are likely to hold off until next month on any such moves, as the Dec. 2 non-tender date will send more free agents onto the market.
Gonzales says he may be close to signing with the Angels:
According to ESPN.com, Matsui could sign for $6.5 million for a year. At one time, the White Sox had lukewarm interest if he could still play left field on bad knees, but decided to go in other directions during last week’s winter meetings in Indianapolis.
We have $4 million for Teahen, but not $6 for Godzilla…
Williams’ urgency wasn’t quite reciprocated during the four days spent in Indianapolis, as agreeing to a three-year, $14 million extension with Mark Teahen was the only move made by the team. But the White Sox have laid the groundwork for other potential additions — some could happen fast, while others might take a while to play out.
J.J. Putz, the one-time Seattle closer who is recovering from surgery to remove bone spurs from his pitching elbow, stood as a prime target for a White Sox bullpen upgrade. Although Putz has numerous teams interested, the White Sox could have a decision by the beginning of next week or move on to another pitcher.
Hideki Matsui remains a designated hitter of interest, as a left-handed power bat who would support the middle of the White Sox lineup. But Matsui’s side continues to have talks with the Yankees, and with the White Sox basically at budget, it might take until January before they can decide on how to fill this void. Finding a leadoff hitter as the third outfielder might stand as more of a priority, with Scott Podsednik and Coco Crisp still possible fits. …
Ken Davidoff has a different take on Matsui:
Increasing expectation around MLB is that the Yankees will eventually re-sign Hideki Matsui. Could take until January.
Bruce Levine says the Sox made a contract offer to J.J. Putz:
The Cubs and White Sox appear to be the lead teams on signing former closer J.J. Putz to a contract. Putz worked out for the cubs on Wednesday and will do so again on Friday. Upwards of six or seven other teams have also watched Putz work out. The former Seattle and Mets relief pitcher will most likely get an incentive-laden contract that could start at around $2.5 million and can realize another $6 or $7 million with incentives. The White Sox have been the most aggressive team on Putz and have already made an offer to his agent Craig Landis.
“We haven’t had enough substantial conversation with his representatives or himself to even think there’s a real possibility right now,” Williams said. “More has been written about him right now than is probably comfortable with the way we like to do business. We like to do business quietly and efficiently.” …
“We don’t have any money,” Williams said. “We’re close to our budget right now, and that really inhibits right now what we can do in terms of the free agent market. So we have to get creative, and we’ve done that before.”
Kenny doesn’t like all the scrutiny around his moves to add bullpen pieces, probably J.J. Putz:
“We thought we had something going on,” Williams said. “But as I’ve told you guys many times before. When things become public, to a large degree, the entire game changes and more times than not, you’re not going to get a deal.
“Something we thought we were going to be closer on becomes public, and now it’s not so close.”
Kenny also said he hasn’t asked for Hideki Matsui’s medical records and was also asked about Milton Bradley.
UPDATE: Levine says the Sox will check Matsui’s records if they offer him a “a solid one-time bid.”
That particular level of Tuesday activity most likely included talks concerning Hideki Matsui, the World Series Most Valuable Player and a prime free agent on the White Sox radar as a left-handed power bat. Being on the radar, though, doesn’t necessarily mean a Matsui signing is imminent. … When asked specifically about Matsui, who features a career .292 batting average and a .370 on-base percentage to go with his .482 slugging percentage, Williams paused, smiled and said, “He’s a good player, but I don’t know that we are there just yet.” …
Bruce Levine reports the Sox have checked Matsui’s medical records. Matsui wants a 1-2 year deal.
UPDATE: Kenny says the Sox haven’t asked for Matsui’s medical records.
… says Phil Rogers in his where-do-free-agents-end-up column too:
Hideki Matsui, White Sox: The World Series MVP will get a two-year deal somewhere to DH. The Yankees are keeping that role open as a once- or twice-a-week slot for Jorge Posada, Alex Rodriguez and Damon.
Why “again”? Here.
… says Bob Klapisch in his where-do-free-agents-end-up column:
GM Ken Williams said he wouldn’t be able to afford Matsui after his World Series MVP performance, but the White Sox are nevertheless interested. They need a left-handed power hitter to replace Jim Thome — and Matsui will need a home after he discovers how lean the market is. The Yankees wish him well, but have no plans to bring him back. Matsui earned $13 million in 2009 but at age 35 with two bad knees that prevent him from playing the field, he’ll have to accept far less to continue his career in the majors. A deal with the White Sox makes sense on both sides.