White Sox GM Kenny Williams sent a strong message that his team will be ready to compete for a Central Division title in 2011 with a lot of activity Friday.

So far, Williams has played to form this winter.  He has not been afraid to make a splash and is retooling with veterans, as opposed to going young.

Let’s take a closer look…


Addition Through Subtraction

For minor league pitcher Kyle Cofield, Williams traded away much maligned reliever Scott Linebrink.

Cofield may or may not pan out to be a major league arm, but the White Sox general manager succeeded in unloading five million dollars from the payroll, which will be instrumental in continuing to address needs this winter.

Sure, the White Sox will have to find another guy to mop up in blowouts, but they should be able to do that at a more reasonable price than Linebrink’s five million dollars. 

Considering that Chicago is non-tendering Bobby Jenks, there is money to pursue J.J. Putz or other outside help in filling the White Sox bullpen.


Set Behind the Dish

Chicago signed A.J. Pierzynski to a two-year, eight million dollar contract, which I’m thrilled about. We signed one of the better free agent options behind the plate for two million a year less than he made a season ago.

Again, Williams went with experience, giving Tyler Flowers more time to develop, and saved some dough at the same time.  We win on both counts.


Adam Dunn Knows Why He’s Here, Right?

Most of the savings generated by the above activity, coupled with the non-tendering of Jenks, will go into bringing in Adam Dunn, who will sign a four-year, 56 million dollar contract.

Williams hinted that the organization could still bring back Paul Konerko, which would be great as long as everybody knows their role.

If the White Sox are serious about bringing Konerko back, they’ve made it clear to Dunn that he will be the regular DH, right?


Because if this isn’t the case, we could be in for some adventures in the clubhouse next year when Dunn starts griping for playing time at first base that he will not get if we have Konerko in place in 2011.  I hope both sides are clear on the situation and what Dunn’s role is on the club—provide a left-handed power stroke.

I trust that Williams felt confident that Dunn will accept the majority of his at-bats to come in the DH spot before he set his sights on retaining Konerko.  Of course, he could just be blowing smoke at this stage of the game. 

Konerko has other options and, with the winter meetings starting next week, so does Williams.


Not Done By a Long Shot

There are still holes to fill and I suspect that Williams is far from finished wheeling and dealing. We may hear of another deal yet today. Don’t think he won’t pull the trigger on any deal.

What’s next?  Dealing a starting pitcher?  Resigning Konerko?  Surprising us with Adrian Beltre? Trading Joey Cora for an espresso machine?

Hang on, Sox fans. I get the feeling that Kenny’s just getting warmed up.

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