Chicago White Sox: 5 Things Kenny Williams Must Do To Save His Job
Williams has made questionable moves in free agency, and found some gems that have since lost their shine. He also allowed himself to get caught up in a quarrel with ex-manager Ozzie Guillen that closely resembled the behavior of high school girls.
He did build a World Series champion in 2005, however, along with three playoff teams during his tenure.
He needs to put the rubber to the road in 2012, and he must do the following five things to keep his job.
Re-Sign Mark Buehrle
Mark Buehrle is the White Sox pitching staff and has been since he made his debut in 2000.
Since his first full season, he has never pitched less than 201 innings, twice leading the majors. Pitchers like Buehrle are not easy to come by.
He makes the bullpen better by almost guaranteeing a quality start and not forcing the manager to reach into the pen early in games.
Buehrle also has won three Gold Glove Awards over his career. A feat that hasn't been done for the White Sox since current manager Robin Ventura accomplished it.
Buehrle is a true leader in the clubhouse and helps keep the players loose.
Losing a player of that caliber will only hurt this team.
The White Sox need to trade Alex Rios. It will be hard to move his $12.5 million salary but if Kenny makes this move, and the Sox eat half the contract, it could work out.
Rios stole a check last year batting .227, with 13 HRs and 44 RBIs.
The money saved from trading Rios could give the Sox some leverage in the Buehrle contract negotiations.
It will also free up an outfield slot, allowing the Sox to utilize Alejandro De Aza and Dayan Viciedo. De Aza and Viciedo looked great last year when they got their chance.
Trade Danks for Prospects
The White Sox need to build up their minor league system. First baseman Paul Konerko is not getting any younger.
The best Sox prospect at first base is Seth Loman, who hit .274 in Double-A Birmingham.
Left-handed starter John Danks had an off year last year. He went 8-12 with a 4.33 ERA. The three seasons before he had an ERA under four, and 2012 could be proof that last year was a fluke.
With Chris Sale possibly moving into the starting rotation, and Phil Humber showing flashes of being a quality starter, this makes Danks expendable.
Sale is a lefty and Danks wouldn't be terribly missed.
Carlos Quentin has been a good player with the White Sox. His injury troubles over the last few years have been troubling. He hasn't been the dependable player which the Sox need.
Williams should be traded to obtain a lead-off man to replace free agent Juan Pierre.
Quentin could benefit from a change of scenery, as he did when he migrated to Chicago from Arizona. This will also open up another outfield spot for either De Aza or Viciedo.
Winning cures everything and has been known to cool down hot seats.
The Chicago White Sox have been treading in the mediocrity pool since 2005, and the fans are hungry for another "White Sox Winner."
Kenny Williams has felt the joys of winning, something general managers of Chicago baseball haven't felt in a combined 187 years prior to the White Sox of 2005. He has also felt pains of being the best team on paper and having that potential falter once the season rolled around.
Kenny Williams needs a ring and nothing less. His job depends on it.