So I'm reading Jon Heyman's latest piece on likely trade targets for contending teams, when I realize that the media is missing Kenny Williams' main objective yet again. Here's what he had to say.
White Sox: Their attempted trade for Jake Peavy made it clear that they're looking for an ace to swing the balance of power in a wide-open AL Central, which they've won two of the past four seasons. They recently scouted Roy Oswalt, but GM Ken Williams said publicly that they aren't in discussions regarding the Astros' ace. And one person familiar with their thinking explained that the White Sox weren't blown away by what they've seen from Oswalt recently. (That point may be moot since several reports suggest that Oswalt, who has a no-trade clause, wouldn't go to the South Side, anyway. While Oswalt's agent is in Chicago, the right-hander seems to prefer his hunting.) The guess is that the Indians wouldn't trade the White Sox Cliff Lee, either, narrowing the field further.
But here's the thing: The White Sox are not shopping for a half-season rental. Their rotation could be improved, no doubt. But Williams desire is not to mortgage the farm* for a run at a second straight AL Central crown. Williams is looking to make the '10, '11, & '12 clubs that will feature a host of young offensive talent better by acquiring another front-of-the-rotation under-contract arm which the Sox don't figure to produce from their farm in that time frame.
So yeah, the Sox have been looking for pitching, and will continue to do so as long as Williams is at the helm, but if the Sox are serious about getting better in the short term, looking at the rotation probably isn't the most efficient way to go.
*Larry relays Rick Hahn's assertion that mortgaging the farm might not be necessary as it once was to acquire certain players with extended contracts.