Before last night's poor performance against the Red Sox, Kenny Williams assured fans that the White Sox would not be "rebuilding" next season.
"In our minds, it's still with the mindset of trying to win. Once you start using the R word, you create a different kind of mindset. I think a part of what we've done here is making sure our players understand that whatever the composition of the team is, it's designed to win."
This is simultaneously one of the things I love about Williams and one of the things I loathe.
As a fan I love it because who doesn't want their team to at least be competitive?
At the same time I loathe it because the majority of teams (everyone except the Yankees and Boston) have to rebuild at some point to be in a position to win a championship down the line. Put another way, if you refuse to cut ties with fan favorite veterans your team might not drop below third place but it'll always be looking up at whoever is in first.
Going into next season the Sox are in a position to cut ties with guys like Paul Konerko and AJ Pierzynski. The fact of the matter is that they absolutely should. Both players currently project as Type A free agents. That means the Sox will get first round picks in return when those two sign elsewhere.
Getting younger doesn't necessarily mean rebuilding, it means staying competitive for more than just the short term.
The tougher question for Kenny this winter will be whether or not to non-tender guys like Bobby Jenks and Tony Pena. Bother players have been useful, particularly Pena in his long relief role. However they might make more in arbitration than the White Sox want to pay them.
Before he left Kenny made sure to add "Jerry wants us to win. Figure it out and win. If somebody doesn't want to be here and doesn't want to go down the journey that we are on, then we have to make changes. But if everyone is on the same page and wants to win and get after it, let's figure it out."
Translation: Manny Ramirez won't be in a White Sox uniform next season. I guess it's ok to get rid of an old player as long as hes not Paul Konerko.
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