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DALLAS – Exactly one year ago, as the winter meetings headed toward a close, the White Sox basked in the glow of re-signing Paul Konerko.
Flash forward one year and the White Sox are set to limp out of this year's meetings having lost one of the most memorable pitchers in franchise history in Mark Buehrle.
What a difference a year makes, indeed.
Along with Buehrle, the White Sox also lost Sergio Santos this week as the club’s young closer was dealt to the Toronto Blue Jays for a minor-league pitcher.
Seemingly out of steam Wednesday evening, Kenny Williams said he didn’t expect any more movement in the near future which, at the very least, would stop the bleeding.
“I’ve met with a lot of people but I don’t expect anything to happen,” in response to a rumor that he discussed John Danks and Gavin Floyd with the Boston Red Sox.
Williams thought he was coming to Dallas with some quality goods with which to barter. Instead he loses two high profile pitchers and gets back a young pitcher that not many people know much about, including Williams himself.
On Tuesday after Nestor Molina was acquired from the Blue Jays, Williams said the right-hander was pitching well in winter ball. Later it was discovered that Molina hadn’t thrown an inning this winter as the Blue Jays shut him down to prevent him from accumulating innings.
To say these winter meetings didn’t go the way the White Sox expected is an understatement. Williams was asked if there was less activity than expected.
“Yeah, but not just from us,” he said. “I had gone into these meetings thinking these would be more trade meetings than free-agent meetings. I think it’s turned out to be quite the opposite.”
The Florida Marlins have stolen the show, including one of the White Sox’s most popular players.
“I’m always disappointed that we don’t get more done,” Williams said. “Even when we do get something done it always seems like it’s not enough. It’s just the nature of the business.”
As he sees it now, Williams says he doesn’t expect to trade any more of his pitching. But that could change if somebody wows him with an offer for Danks or Floyd.
“The price is high,” Williams said. “They’re pretty good pitchers, pretty good players and I’m not so sure people want me to set the price low. I don’t know that that would be too smart.”
With just one day to go in these meetings a report surfaced that the most popular White Sox player being asked for by rival general managers was Brent Lillibridge. That couldn’t have been what the White Sox expected.
“I think I stood in front of you guys when the offseason began and said we would explore all opportunities but not attempt to do anything unless it could bring a potential impact player back – or players,” Williams said. “That hasn’t come about and we are where we are.
“It’s not the worst thing in the world to go into the season with pitching that you like and position players that you like and you just hope a few of them will rebound. If we can do a little bit of both, rebuilding of the minor-league system and compete at the major-league level, that’s not the worst thing in the world. We’ll try to evolve from there.”