On Tuesday, the White Sox traded closer Sergio Santos for pitching prospect Nestor Molina. After the trade was complete, Kenny Williams said something he has never said in his tenure as General Manager. He said "this is the start of rebuilding". In the past he has used terms such as re-tooling and re-loading, but never rebuilding.
To me, this signaled the start of a flurry of moves. John Danks, Carlos Quentin, Gavin Floyd and Matt Thornton were soon to be on the move. Maybe even the last two remaining members of the 2005 team, Paul Konerko and A.J. Pierzynski were going to be out the door.
So I frequently was checking my twitter feed, tuning into MLB Network and refreshing MLBTraderumors.
Then I saw Robin Ventura doing an interview with Chuck Garfien where Ventura refused to call it rebuilding. Just hours after Williams said he was going to rebuild, Ventura said it wasn't.
Then reports surfaced that Kenny Williams wasn't going to be making many more moves and we could compete if certain guys have a better season in 2012. Now Jerry Reinsdorf seemed to echo Williams' feelings in an interview he did for ESPN Chicago.
"I don't think we're rebuilding because rebuilding is when you get bad in order to get good," he said. "We fell short last season but we didn't fall a lot short. I think we could very well contend for the division if [Adam] Dunn and [Alex Rios] bounce back. And a guy I think will really bounce back is [Jake] Peavy because that's the history of guys the second year following injuries.
"I don't expect us to be bad."
Well what is it White Sox brass? Are we keeping things the same or are we rebuilding?
The payroll currently sits somewhere around $110 million (including arbitration raises for Quentin and Danks), which is around $17 million less than it was last season. After the year, there will be $40 million more coming off the books (Peavy, Danks, Quentin, Frasor, Pierzynski and Ohman).
So, I suppose if Kenny doesn't get the kind of deal he wants for his players, they might as well give it another go. Maybe Kenny's idea of rebuilding is just letting contracts come off the books a la Mark Buehrle or making trades at the deadline if we get off to another slow start.
The team still has some talent on it and they aren't playing in the toughest division in baseball. If they could get off to a hot start, who knows? Stranger things have happened.