Saturday, January 31, 2009
ChiSox GM: players must have one goal
CHICAGO -- Don't expect the Chicago White Sox to sign any free agents still on the market.
White Sox general manager Ken Williams said Saturday he doesn't see the need for more high-priced talent, especially with a roster full of young talent and a lousy economy.
"We have learned some tough lessons ... throwing as much talent against the wall is not necessarily the answer," Williams said. "Things have to fit in place. Players have to complement one another and they have to be in that clubhouse pulling for the same goal."
The new-look infield drew the most questions from fans for manager Ozzie Guillen and Williams during a question-and-answer session at the team's winter convention.
The biggest competition will be at second base, where relative unknowns Chris Getz, Brent Lillibridge and Jayson Nix are the favorites.
Josh Fields will try to hold off newly signed Dayan Viciedo, a 19-year-old Cuban, at third base. Alexei Ramirez will move from second base to his natural position of shortstop.
"People I talk to from the Atlanta Braves tell me Lillibridge will have a great chance to make the ballclub," Guillen said. "But the competition will be there. I think every day in spring training will be important for us this year. Because we have to pick the best guy at centerfield, third base and second base."
Guillen intimated that DeWayne Wise has a head start in the centerfield battle over Jerry Owens and Brian Anderson. Wise, a journeyman player, started down the stretch and in the team's first-round playoff loss to Tampa Bay.
Williams was questioned about why the team didn't spend more in the offseason after dumping the contracts of Javier Vazquez and Nick Swisher.
He said the White Sox have one of the highest payrolls in the game, about $121 million last year, and noted most teams are cutting back this year because of the economy.