Schuster: Williams Balances Winning Now, Rebuilding
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By David Schuster-
GLENDALE, Ariz. (CBS) - I did a hit with Hub Arkush over the weekend, and Hub threw at me that White Sox general manager Kenny Williams was looking to have his cake and eat it, too.
Hub was referring to the fact that Williams was pretty much going with veterans again this season but trying to accumulate prospects for the future. I agreed with Hub and then thought further about this before realizing that all GMs follow, or should follow, this practice.
Yes, Williams did keep some veterans on his roster who he possibly could have dealt in the offseason, and very possible those players could be gone by mid-season. That list would include Gavin Floyd, A.J. Pierzynski and maybe even Alex Rios.
But Williams couldn’t find any trading partners and he certainly wasn’t getting a good return price, so he’ll start the season with a mostly veteran-laden team and see what they can do. It’s not likely that the White Sox will win the division, but stranger things have happened. It’s not always the team that is picked to win the division that actually does. Just look at last season when the White Sox were the prohibitive favorite only to fall flat on their faces.
This season, it’s the Tigers who are the overwhelming favorite in the A.L. Central. If the White Sox are out of it by the trading deadline, Willliams is almost guaranteed to dump further payroll for prospects. A host of teams always need left-handed hitting, so Pierzynski would be a lock to be peddled.
The same holds true on the North Side where Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are attempting to stockpile young talent while still attempting to put a good product on the field. Epstein and Hoyer have a plan in mind that doesn’t call for the Cubs to win it this season, but they still are obligated to put a representative team on the field.
Come the trading deadline, you could easily see Marlon Byrd dealt and Matt Garza, too. Epstein has already had numerous discussions regarding Garza and is just holding out for his price, which is another franchise’s top prospects.
All baseball executives are trying – or hoping – to win for now, but they also have to look at the future. The Cubs and White Sox are no different.