When Kenny Williams and the White Sox locked up Adam Dunn for four years and $56 million as well as AJ Pierzynski for two years and $8 million, they admitted two things without actually having to say it.
1. Last years rotational DH was a mistake.
2. The youth movement isn't happening this year.
The fact that Kenny opted not to commit to youngsters such as Tyler Flowers and Dayan Viciedo shouldn't come as much of a surprise. The outspoken GM has more often than not favored "older" answers to questions on his ball club.
When asked what the Adam Dunn signing meant for the rest of this offseason Williams said, "I talked to [board chairman] Jerry [Reinsdorf] at the end of the year and usually there are four plans I give him. This year there were two. One was a young team and the other was we were going to add to the mix. We just didn't want to be in the middle. If you're going to be all in you go all in.''
Does "going all in" mean that Paul Konerko might be on his way back to US Cellular? It sure sounds that way.
Williams had said he was waiting to sign AJ until he knew it wouldn't preclude the team from being able to afford Konerko. Well, AJ just signed. Which means either:
1. Konerko isn't far behind in the line for the money train
2. Negotiations with Konerko are over and they know they can't bring him back.
Kenny's history says its option number one.
So What does this mean for the Sox going forward? Well it certainly address the biggest hole on last year's team. A left handed bat who has hit more home runs since 2004 than anyone not named Albert Pujols is certainly an answer to a DH spot that saw more Mark Kotsay than I'll ever be able to understand.
It also means that maybe a guy like Tyler Flowers might not be in the White Sox plans any longer. Kenny was outspoken about his desire to acquire Flowers years ago, but the young backstop had a poor year at the plate in AAA (.220 with 121 Ks), and with serious concerns about his ability to be a major league catcher the Sox may look elsewhere for a long term solution at catcher.
Kenny says the White Sox are going all in and as a White Sox fan I'm all for it. With the winter meetings on the horizon and a black hole at the end of the Sox bullpen, it will be interesting to see what Kenny has in store next.