B/R Exclusive: White Sox GM Kenny Williams Discusses the Liriano Trade
On Sunday Chicago White Sox General Manager Kenny Williams addressed the media via conference call regarding the Francisco Liriano trade.
He covered a range of topics varying from how the trade went down to if he is going to make any more deals.
The move was rather shocking. Liriano was rumored to be headed to multiple locations and both Twins GM Terry Ryan and Williams acknowledged that the Sox had been in the hunt for the pitcher for quite some time.
Liriano addresses a need for the Sox, veteran starting pitching, and the Twins got two prospects, infielder Eduardo Escobar and pitcher Pedro Hernandez.
The following are key points from his call.
All quotes were obtained first-hand.
Tom Schreier writes a weekly column for TheFanManifesto.com
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On How the Deal Went Down
Williams was vague on detail, claiming that it was just business as usual.
"We go through this every year, whether it’s adding players to your club or being in a different type of mode and going the prospect route at the deadline, the preparation is still the same," he said.
"You send your scouts out and they’ve got to do their due diligence and we’ve got to match that up with what the team’s intentions are, where they are in the standings and what their intentions are moving forward and then plot the course and methodically go down that course when trying to make acquisitions."
On Why He Liked Francisco Liriano
The mercurial Liriano is 3-10 with a 5.31 ERA this season.
He was shunned to the bullpen early in the year, but has bounced back this season and threw 25 strikes in two games before being shelled the last time he faced the White Sox.
"We’ve had the displeasure of facing him when he’s been on his game and he’s got some of the best stuff in the league and has had [that] for quite some time," said Williams.
"His last time out and a few times out this year he hasn’t had that and a lot of that was at the beginning of the season."
Williams Feels That Pitching Coach Don Cooper Can Help Liriano
"(Pitching coach) Don Cooper’s got wisdom that he thinks he can impart to him and we’ve talked about it amongst ourselves, we have been talking about it for years, being that he’s been a guy in our division."
It's two former Twins that will be consorting help a longtime rival make a playoff run.
Cooper played in Minnesota in the early '80s.
On Why the Move Had to Be Made Right Now
At 28, Liriano is not a young pup anymore and the Sox could use a little veteran presence in their rotation.
"[Everyone] that has watched us knows that our guys have just been going at it full-tilt since the beginning of the season. We’ve done that with a largely young contingent of pitchers," said Williams.
"With that we felt that, just as in the Brett Myers’ acquisition, we needed some guys that had a veteran presence that have pitched through the months of August and September and can weather some of these storms mentally and physically."
Are More Moves Possible?
In short: Yes.
But Williams doesn't see himself adding any more pitchers.
"[On] the pitching side of things, I don’t know where a guy would fit," he said.
"Obviously there are guys still on the market, but I don’t know in our situation that they are fits both from the mindset of where we would slot them in and the talent that it would obviously cost us to give up to get some of these guys."