When White Sox GM Ken Williams said Monday that he might “turn over the entire roster” in an interview with ESPN Chicago, many in baseball figured it was just Kenny being Kenny, engaging in his usual hyperbole.
The White Sox do not figure to become outright sellers, not when they’re only 3 1/2 games out of first place in the AL Central. But owner Jerry Reinsdorf wants to trim payroll, according to a major-league source.
So, while the White Sox aren’t about to dust off their dreaded “white flag,” Williams could seek to make deals that lower the payroll while keeping the team competitive for a post-season run.
The Sox went “all-in” this season, increasing their Opening Day payroll to a club-record $127.7 million, the fifth-highest in the majors. However, the team ranks only 19th in home attendance, and their average is down more than 2,000 from a year ago, dropping from 27,091 to 24,647.
Those numbers hint at financial pressure, and the White Sox possibly could move two players — right-hander Edwin Jackson ($8.35 million) and right fielder Carlos Quentin ($5.05 million) without greatly compromising their chances.
Now that lefty John Danks and righty Jake Peavy are healthy, the White Sox have six capable starters, making Jackson expendable. Replacing Quentin, one of the team’s best hitters, would be more problematic. His likely replacement, Triple A outfielder Dayan Viciedo, has not played since Saturday due to a sore thumb.
The White Sox, of course, could get another outfielder back in one of their trades – someone like the Cardinals’ Colby Rasmus, a player in whom they reportedly have interest.
No, Williams isn't going to turn his entire roster over. But his comments perhaps signaled a desire to get younger and cheaper – and maybe even better, too.
— Ken Rosenthal