|ESPN.com: Baseball||[Print without images]|
CHICAGO -- One of the last times the Chicago White Sox emerged from Major League Baseball's trading period with what could barely be considered a modest haul was in 2005.
They ended up winning the World Series.
|Lance Berkman texted White Sox GM Kenny Williams to tell him his blocking of a trade to Chicago was nothing personal.|
That's the template the White Sox are attempting to use again as the deadline came and went at 3 p.m. CST with general manager Ken Williams pulling a practical joke on Gordon Beckham instead of waiting out the last half hour by the phone.
Williams confirmed Saturday he had a trade in place earlier in the week with the Houston Astros for Lance Berkman, and admitted that he "kicked the tires" on an impact guy when asked about the possibility of adding Manny Ramirez from the Los Angeles Dodgers. Berkman utilized his veto rights and went to the Yankees. The Ramirez overtures went nowhere.
As for Adam Dunn, Williams' trade offer for the left-handed power threat had been in place for days and the Washington Nationals never bothered to call back to make as much as a counter offer.
So while utility man Geoff Blum was the only piece the White Sox added at the 2005 trade deadline, Edwin Jackson was this year's lone addition.
"I feel fortunate that we are in a position we are," Williams said. "We had a nice run, and now we are starting to play some consistent baseball. I feel good about where we are and where we are headed."
Moments before Jackson arrived in the clubhouse for the first time, Williams took Beckham into manager Ozzie Guillen's office pretending he was about to inform the infielder that he had been traded. Even Guillen was fooled on a practical joke Williams said was meant to add a little levity.
Jackson arrived not long after the dust had settled on the clubhouse high jinks. He replaces an under-whelming Daniel Hudson in the rotation, but brings a 5.15 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP.
"The deal we made the other day, I've heard it described as we are marginally better," Williams said. "But I think no matter what your business industry occupation is, if you become marginally better, that can result in success to a greater degree. We got marginally better in '08, and in '05 it helped us win a championship."
Berkman, a switch hitter, would have filled the White Sox's desire for a left-handed power bat. But Williams isn't bothered by the snub from the veteran, who not only was able to block a trade with his 10-and-5 rights (10 years in the league, five with the same team), but his contract has a full no-trade clause.
"Yeah, because he sent me a message saying it wasn't personal," Williams said. "He had already had conversations with [Yankees pitcher] Andy Pettitte. They are best friends, and that's what was in his mind and his family's mind [about going to the Yankees]. He had no qualms about our situation here. If circumstances were different, he would have accepted it."
Guillen had been saying for the past two weeks that he was anxious to get past the deadline so all the rumors and trade possibilities would go away. But things were different on Saturday.
"Sometimes you can't wait for [the deadline] coming up, and sometimes [you wish] we have another hour," Guillen said. "I'm glad Jackson is here. I think he's excited. I talked to him for a few seconds. He's excited just to be around. I already explained to him what we need from him. He's not the savior; he doesn't have to come here and be the guy."
Williams said he was optimistic on a bigger move, even while getting frustrated with the process at times. In the end, the eyebrow-raising move never happened.
"I'll be honest, I was really optimistic on a couple of fronts that we would be able to add to this team without subtracting anything and unfortunately everything that presented itself over the last number of weeks, with the exception of the Edwin Jackson thing, just didn't," Williams said. "It was destructive to what we were trying to do as a ballclub, and it would have taken too much from what's already on the field."
Now Williams will move on to the August waiver period, which is where he was able to grab Alex Rios, a key run producer this season.
"I hope there's a thing or two that materializes," he said. "You never know about these things. Last waiver period, after the deadline, some of [the media] said I was a moron."
Doug Padilla covers the White Sox for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.