In a matter of just two days, Kenny Williams made three moves that have made the White Sox significantly better for 2011 than what we would have expected at the conclusion of 2010. First was the signing of Adam Dunn, next was the trade of Scott Linebrink, and finally was the re-signing of A.J. Pierzysnki.
Let’s start with the Dunn move. On Thursday the White Sox and Adam Dunn agreed in principle to a 4 year $56 million deal. Dunn is the legitimate left handed power hitter the Sox have missed since letting go of Jim Thome. And though Thome was good for the Sox, we can reasonably expect Dunn to be significantly better. Adam Dunn is a perenially 45+ HR hitter and in a park like U.S. Cellular, it’s not a stretch to think he can hit 50+.
My favorite part of the deal actually has nothing to do with Adam Dunn. My favorite part is that Edwin Jackson will still be wearing Sox pinstripes next season. At the deadline, we all moaned that the Sox were stuck with Jackson after a proposed deal with the Nationals fell through for Dunn. After the deadline, Jackson pitched incredibly well for the Sox and he should slot in as the 4 or 5 starter as we enter 2011.
So instead of offering up too much and losing Jackson and possibly others, Kenny pulled out the rarely used slow-play, and ends up with a full house on the river.
With the Dunn deal done, Kenny did not head to sleep, he instead hopped back on the phone and negotiated a trade with the Braves. The trade: Scott Linebrink for 23-year old pitcher Kyle Cofield. Normally we break down trades by looking at what we got. Not this time. The Sox no longer have the Linebrink plague in the bullpen, and therefore are a better team moving forward.
Finally Williams made a last second move and pulled the trigger on A.J. Pierzynski. Pierzynski claims that he was within minutes of choosing another team when Kenny called with a last minute offer, and the deal was done. I’ve never been too high on A.J. offensively, though he has hit as high as .300 with the Sox. I’ve always been a huge fan of the way this guy calls pitches. With a pitching staff of Buehrle, Danks, Floyd, Edwin, and eventually Peavy, you have to have a star calling pitches, you know it, I know, and Kenny Williams used his magical touch to show he knew it as well.
It seems as if every single off season Kenny Williams comes up with 2 or 3 great moves to make his team a heck of a lot better moving forward. This time they all happened within 48 hours of each other.
And odds are Konerko’s return is right on the heels of all of this.