White Sox GM Kenny Williams got the rockstar treatment at Sox Fest after bringing in Adam Dunn last year. A 79-83 season later, the reaction was far different Friday, as he was booed during introductions.
“I was booed in 2004 and 2007 and we went to the playoffs the next year, so bring it on. Hopefully we’ll be three for three,” Williams said in an interview with Comcast SportsNet. “The guys on stage were trying to determine a percentage, and the consensus was 10 percent. I thought it was more like 20.”
Williams had to be prepared for the reaction after he allowed Mark Buehrle to walk and traded Carlos Quentin and Sergio Santos this winter. His team has been completely silent in free agency, and none of the players picked up in trades figure to help immediately. More than a couple of high-priced veterans will need to have bounce-back seasons for the team to challenge in the AL Central this year.
“The Tigers are clearly the team to beat in our division,” Williams said. “We’ve been clearly the team to beat in our division a number of times, too. It didn’t exactly work out well for us. Let’s hope it doesn’t work out well for them.”
For the full interview, head on over to CSNChicago.com.
The Yankees appear to have moved on from free agent Manny Machado this winter, but could they be turning their attention to Rockies superstar Nolan Arenado? That’s the idea floated by Andy Martino of SNY, who hears that GM Brian Cashman has been involved in recent discussions concerning the third baseman. No official comments have been made to the press yet, though, and it’s not clear whether the Yankees would prefer to pursue Arenado prior to the 2019 season or partway through it.
The 27-year-old infielder earned his fourth consecutive All-Star nomination, Silver Slugger, and Gold Glove award in 2018 after slashing .297/.374/.561 with 38 home runs, a .935 OPS, and 5.7 fWAR across 673 plate appearances. There’s no question he’s provided immense value to Colorado’s lineup over the last half-decade, and his consistency and incredible power at the plate helped form the basis of the record $30 million arbitration figure he presented to the team last week. The Rockies countered at $24 million, however, and in doing so may have jeopardized their chances of convincing the infielder to forego free agency in 2020 and take a long-term deal instead.
Assuming he declines to negotiate an extension with the Rockies, Arenado’s decorated résumé and career-best 2018 numbers should attract plenty of interest around the league — a reality that could put considerable pressure on the Yankees (or any other interested party) to finesse a deal sooner rather than later. For now, the club is prepared to enter the 2019 season with hot-hitting third baseman Miguel Andújar, whom Martino speculates would be the “centerpiece” of any trade with Colorado.