Teams interested in Pierzynski
White Sox general manger Kenny Williams is ready to discuss trades.
According to one major league source, the White Sox were waiting to see how the team played on this homestand before deciding their course of action. Going into Wednesday night, the team had lost five of seven during this stretch, putting management in a listening-and-communicating mode with the other teams.
"Like I said a couple of starts ago, if we keep playing like we have and don't turn it around, management is going to do something," said veteran pitcher Mark Buehrle. "They'll try to dump money and get the team better for next season. Obviously [trading players] sucks, but we haven't played up to our capability."
Williams agreed with Buehrle.
"Some changes need to take place," Williams said. "I don't know what, and I don't know when, but things haven't happened the way that we envisioned. When they don't, you have to make changes."
White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski's 10-and-5 rights kick in this coming Monday. Several teams, including the Texas Rangers, have expressed interest in the veteran catcher. (A player has the right to veto a trade when he registers 10 years in the majors and five with the same team.)
Williams was asked about timelines for trades.
"I guess I'm not so much on my own timeline, as I am on the other clubs' timeline," Williams said. "It's still the early part of June, and a lot of clubs are still trying to figure out if they're in it or not in it. They're also trying to find out what kind of money they can spend. So even if I'm interested, it's not always in my control."
The Rangers are going through a bankruptcy procedure and are being sold at the same time. Texas has borrowed $25 million from Major League Baseball to continue to operate. That situation alone convolutes any deal for Pierzynski or any player that's making a hefty salary. As previously reported by ESPNChicago.com, Texas thinks that Pierzynski's leadership quality on the field and his winning experiences make him an important player to acquire.
Buehrle, a St. Charles, Mo., native has long been rumored to eventually end up in St. Louis. Those rumors could start to be more prevalent as his 10-and-5 rights, which will kick in on July 9, approach.
"It's definitely tough," Buehrle said. "It's part of baseball, but any time you have to pick up your family and move to another city, and start with a new organization, it's tough. It's especially tough for me because I've been with the White Sox my whole career. There's a lot that a player has to deal with then just being traded to a new organization."
Many teams have asked White Sox officials if bullpen pieces like closer Bobby Jenks and setup man J.J. Putz are available. Both pitchers have been scouted extensively by the Phillies over the last 30 days.
First baseman Paul Konerko's name also has been mentioned in media rumors -- especially after the Angels' Kendry Morales broke his leg. However, no one has substantiated that any talks have taken place between the White Sox and Angels.
Bruce Levine covers baseball for ESPNChicago.com.