White Sox

Sox Drawer: Williams on 'the most disappointing year'

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Sox Drawer: Williams on 'the most disappointing year'

When you're the general manager responsible for investing 127 million on a baseball team that wins only 79 games and finishes 16 games out of first place, you're not exactly going to be a happy camper. These are the facts Kenny Williams has to live with this off-season, how a team that had so much potential never came close to meeting expectations.

With the White Sox season now two weeks in the rear-view mirror, Williams is still digesting what happened, and it doesnt taste good.

"It's the most disappointing year that I've had in baseball," Williams said in an interview with Comcast SportsNet. "I thought we had another opportunity to position ourselves for another championship."

So what kind of position are the White Sox in now?

"We do have some payroll limitations. It didn't work out last year. That was the gamble by going out on a limb payroll-wise and it backfired. We lost money, bottom line," Williams said. "Are we going to now take the same gamble? The answer to the question is no. Weve got to take a step back, but that doesn't mean we're not going to try to win just the same."

Changes to the White Sox roster are coming. That's a given. As for who and how many?

"I can't even look at that until we sit down as a group. I don't want to do that right now because the wounds are still fresh. We are a very frustrated group, because we had expectations. Let's not be reactionary based on all of that disappointment too quickly, because these are players with track records. So let's take a deep breath, clear our heads, come back, and make some good solid decisions."

The biggest decision might be what do about free agent Mark Buehrle. He's prepared to test the open market, and with the Sox cutting payroll they might not be able to afford him.

"He's made no mistake about it, he wants to be back here," Williams said. "We would like him to be back here. Does it all fit together? I don't know yet."

With Theo Epstein headed to the Cubs, you can forget about assistant general manager Rick Hahn crossing over to the other side of town to fill the GM role. But the Angels and Orioles have openings. Others will pop up if not this year, then next year. Is Williams concerned he's going to lose his right-hand man?

"Sure, but if it happens I'm happy for him. He's one of the brightest minds in the game. He's been an asset around here for sure. I'd like to see him get an opportunity. If that comes now, great. It's coming. I know that."

SportsTalk Live Podcast: What should be the plan to call up the White Sox prospects?

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: What should be the plan to call up the White Sox prospects?

SportsTalk Live is on location for White Sox Authentic Fan Night. Phil Rogers (MLB Network), Mark Carman (WGN Radio), David DeJesus and Ozzie Guillen join Kap to talk about Manny Machado Mania, Anthony Rizzo’s struggles and the White Sox plans for calling up their best prospects. 

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below:

White Sox add Alex Presley at Triple-A, another veteran outfielder who could factor into 2018 plans for banged-up outfield

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USA TODAY

White Sox add Alex Presley at Triple-A, another veteran outfielder who could factor into 2018 plans for banged-up outfield

Not long after the White Sox brought Michael Saunders into the organization, another outfielder with major league experience is joining Triple-A Charlotte.

Alex Presley — a 32-year-old who played 71 games last season for the Detroit Tigers and has also spent time with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Minnesota Twins, Houston Astros and Milwaukee Brewers — is the latest addition to the Knights’ outfield. He’s a guy who could potentially be used to help the White Sox outfield, which has seen two Opening Day players go on the disabled list for extended periods of time.

Avisail Garcia is in his fifth week on the DL while dealing with a Grade 2 hamstring strain. Nicky Delmonico is expected to miss the next four to six weeks while recovering from a broken bone in his hand. The White Sox might feel that the collection of Adam Engel, Trayce Thompson, Leury Garcia and Daniel Palka might be enough to get them through those injuries. But the results have not been great from that group. Engel and Thompson are both hitting under .200, while Leury Garcia and Palka have on-base percentages just above .300.

Presley, like Saunders, could be an option for a midseason promotion should he hit well in the minors. He hit .314 with a .354 on-base percentage in those 71 games with the Tigers last season. This year, he was playing in the Baltimore Orioles’ organization, where he hit .275 with a .347 on-base percentage in 26 games.

It’s possible we won’t see either veteran outfielder on the South Side this season (though having Presley here for Elvis Night would be pretty excellent), but it gives the White Sox options should the lack of production from their current crop of outfielders and the injuries to Avisail Garcia and Delmonico keep them out longer.

It’s also quite possible that none of the names mentioned to this point will have a role to play in this team’s long-term future, not an outlandish thought considering Eloy Jimenez, Luis Robert, Micker Adolfo, Blake Rutherford and Luis Alexander Basabe are all still developing in the minor leagues.