SURPRISE, AZ -- In an unprecedented move, the Chicago White Sox acquired one-third of the Arizona Fall League Saturday.
The Arizona Fall League has been called a finishing school for top prospects. Every year since taking over as White Sox GM, Kenny Williams has made it a point to personally scout the league for his latest trade targets. But this year, while watching a nail-biting 23-18 affair between the Saguaros and Desert Dogs, Williams was struck by a lightning bolt of inspiration.
What if he acquired the entire Arizona Fall League?
"I'm always amazed by the level of play here in Arizona," said Williams, "and am always looking for a way to infuse that type of high-energy talent into our system."
Could it be done? Would it be legal?
The answer was yes, almost. With their acquisition of two of the six AFL teams, the Peoria Javelinas and Surprise Rafters, the White Sox are the proud owners of 70 new prospects who will never amount to anything.
In exchange for their sizable prospect haul the Sox have agreed to send their entire starting lineup to Arizona each fall, as well as a yearly "rights fee" paid to each of the major league clubs.
"It's a good deal for us," said Williams as he scrolled through messages on his Blackberry. "We get younger, and have established a pipeline of young talent for years to come.
"In the long run, it will save on travel and administrative costs as well. We think it's a win-win."