GLENDALE, ARIZ -- Ken Williams acknowledges that this is the first time as an executive that he's ever been a part of a rebuild. After realizing their go-for-it attitude for more than a decade had run out of steam, the White Sox front office decided it needed to look in the mirror, take a step back, and start anew. It began this offseason with the trades of Chris Sale and Adam Eaton, and will continue into this season and likely next season.
No longer involved in the day-to-day running of the White Sox, Williams believes he has found the right balance as the team's executive and vice president, utilizing his strengths in scouting and player development while overseeing things as Hahn reshapes the organization from top to bottom.
How does this dynamic work between Williams and Hahn? Williams goes in-depth on this subject and many others in our White Sox Talk Podcast conversation.
Among the highlights:
Working relationship with Rick Hahn: "The relationship has been the same and consistent since the very beginning. We're constantly talking. I'm not going to BS you and say that we don't have these conversations. I just think that a certain point in time, you just have to say here is your responsibility and mine is over here. I have to respect the fact that this is what you want to do. I'm only going to express my interest to a point so that you can come to your own decision without my influence and then we're getting to brass tax. Most times than not, he'll express, 'Hey, I need to know what you think. But until that time you've got to give people the space to do a job as they see fit, and to plot a course as they see fit."
Trading Chris Sale: "Contrary to popular belief, we have enjoyed a great relationship over the years. There was obviously a little blip in that part of it and I've always understood him because I was a little bit like that when I was younger too. It was very often a couple days later we'd visit and laugh about a couple things but also in a serious manner. he's one of the best in the game. How do you trade one of the best pitchers in the game and not feel some remorse about it? On the other end of the spectrum we got what we think are special pieces that will be with us for quite a while assuming good health. And you can envision them being part of a championship team. We got to the point where we couldn't envision that particular group that we had be a part of a championship team and that's what it's about."
Possibly trading Jose Quintana: "I have not been presented with anything that has been recommended by Rick that he wants to do. So in terms of closeness, we've bantered some things around, but Jose Quintana is a very, very special pitcher. I'm sure if something comes up where it's consistent with what we've done thus far then I'm sure Rick will put it in front of both Jerry and I. But until that time, I can't say that anything has been close or relatively close."
His hopes for the White Sox: "My only goal at this point in my career is to help bring another championship to Chicago and to Chicago fans, watch Rick Hahn walk across the stage to receive an Executive of the Year award and watch Rick Renteria accept the Manager of the Year Award. Then I will consider this a job well done. If any of those things don't happen, then it won't be. I sincerely feel that in my heart."