Reinsdorf: Gordon wanted Bulls' offer
Jerry Reinsdorf said the Chicago White Sox have moved on from their courtship of Jake Peavy. He also said that Ben Gordon wanted to take the Chicago Bulls' contract offer after initially turning it down last year, but the offer had been taken off the table.
ESPN 1000, Chicago
The chairman of the Bulls and White Sox, Jerry Reinsdorf, joined Chuck Swirsky. He discussed the Jake Peavy talks, and he said Ben Gordon wanted to accept the Bulls' offer last year, but it was too late.
"I think we've moved on [from Peavy trade talks with the San Diego Padres]," Reinsdorf said. "I think we were ready to do it last week, but we have to move on. We can't just keep everybody in limbo.
"There's a reason why a player has a no-trade contract, because he doesn't like to be traded. I thought it was a long shot. I know a lot of National League pitchers don't like to pitch in the American League. It's much tougher in the American League. I always thought [the trade possibility] was a 50-50 proposition."
With a general manager as aggressive as Ken Williams, Reinsdorf didn't discount the possibility that other moves could be made.
"Quality pitchers are very hard to find, but you never want to underestimate Kenny," Reinsdorf said. "He's always thinking.
"But maybe it was a good wake-up call for Clayton Richard [who reportedly was part of the trade talks]. He came out and pitched a heck of a game the other night. Maybe we don't need Jake Peavy."
Reinsdorf said it was too early to assess the Sox, but he has spotted weaknesses.
"Obviously, we haven't hit," he said. "Starting pitching has been less than what we hoped for. The bullpen has been excellent. The biggest thing holding us back is we haven't hit. I'm sure we will. You're looking at a bunch of guys who hit in the past, and there's no reason to think they won't hit again.
"I certainly didn't think we'd be five games under .500. We're not doing as well as I thought, but it's still a wide-open division."
Changing hats, Reinsdorf said it was too early to speculate about the future of Gordon, who is an impending free agent. He said Gordon had wanted to sign a new contract last year with the Bulls, but the offer had been rescinded.
"He was prepared to sign last year at the end, but after he turned down our offer, we thought about it and thought about it and decided it was in our best interest just to go one year with Ben," Reinsdorf said. "We informed him of that, at which time his agent came back and said, 'We'll take your prior offer.' We said it was too late. It's off the table.
"We'll have decisions to make at the draft. It depends on who we take, whether we trade our picks or we trade other players. Where we're going with Ben can't be decided until after July 1."
Reinsdorf also talked about steroids in baseball, and he said a key debate will be about testing for human growth hormone.
"I would say 95-98 percent of players want to be tested and don't want there to be steroids," he said. "I think the fan base understands that they're weeding people out, and it doesn't matter how big they are. When we catch them, they get suspended.
"After all, there's nobody bigger than Manny Ramirez. He got nailed and got 50 games. If he gets nailed again it will be 100 games. And then it will be lifetime. I think the fans understand the commissioner is dead-set against steroids and will do everything in his power to rid the game of them.
"The real test will come later," he continued, "because there is still no viable test for human growth hormone. Eventually, there will be a test. It will involve taking players' blood, and the head of the union has already indicated he'll be opposed to that, for no reason other than he thinks it's a violation of civil liberties, even though the vast majority of players want to be tested because they want to prove they're clean."
Reinsdorf also was asked about his reported interest in being part of a group that will buy the NHL's Phoenix Coyotes, but he said pending litigation precluded him from commenting.