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Friday, December 11, 2009
Leak cost Sox in Putz deal

By Bruce Levine

J.J. Putz is a White Sox after signing a one-year contract for $3 million with incentives that can net the veteran another $3.25 million if he becomes the closer.

Earlier in the week during the winter meetings, general manager Kenny Williams was upset that the White Sox's interest in Putz got out. According to one White Sox source, the base of Putz's contract would have been $500,000 less had other teams not been alerted.

"Let's just say it didn't make it any eaiser," Wiliams said in a conference call with local media. "You have your jobs to do, and we have ours. Certainly understand what we're up against when things become public. That's why we try to operate, at least since I've been here, at a more discreet level. And it has served us well. The times things have gotten out, publicly there have been some residual effects as a result of it, and in this case there was."

Putz will go into the mix as the primary setup man along with left-hander Matt Thornton, right-hander D.J. Carrasco and right-hander Scott Linebrink.

Williams said he's done adding to the White Sox's bullpen and bench.

Williams was asked if adding a lead-off hitter and left-handed hitter would complete the White Sox's offseason moves.

"We'd be in pretty good shape going into spring training," he said. "But there is always something else to do."

It doesn't appear now that the White Sox will trade closer Bobby Jenks. However, teams such as the Seattle Mariners and Philadelphia Phillies are looking for a new closer.

Williams is never done kicking the tires, looking for ways to improve his team.