The Windy City Wheeler-Dealer

Stunning, shocking, and questionable. Those are terms that just don’t apply to moves made by MLB’s current set of General Managers anymore. But not every GM in the league has the gumption of the Chicago White Sox’ Kenny Williams.

Kenny Williams working the phones

Kenny Williams working the phones

Of course, not every GM in the league has eaten a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch every work day for the past 9 years either or picks up jaywalking tickets in front of Seattle’s Safeco Field, but those are stories forĀ another time.

Today’s news that the White Sox have picked up Alex Rios from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for, well, nothing goes down in my book as one of the most intriguing acquisitions in recent years. The fact that it comes on the heels of Williams’ acquisition of Jake Peavy from the San Diego Padres just adds fuel to the fire.

The Rios waiver claim transaction will be discussed for years due to the length (through 2014) and size (upwards of $60 million guaranteed) of the contract that Rios signed early in the 2008 season.

Outfielder Jermaine Dye, who is certain to be affected by the the addition of another big-money outfielder, is nonetheless “excited with the player he (Rios) is” and expects Rios to help the team down the stretch.

Manager Ozzie Guillen calls it “great news, pretty good headache” to figure out how to juggle the lineup to find playing time for everyone and seems ecstatic with the upgrade of Rios, irrespective of the contract situation.

And Ted Keith of SI.com is rightfully focused on the risk involved with taking on another high-priced, long-term contract so soon after bringing in Peavy, but acknowledges that the move confirms that Williams and the White Sox are going for a World Series title this season.

Personally, I love it. Williams knows how to maximize the chips that he has and is bold enough to continue to allocate owner Jerry Reinsdorf’s money with the unwavering intent to bring another title to Chicago’s South Side.

The Sox are just three games out of the A.L. Central lead (behind Detroit) and Rios will help to close that gap while giving the franchise another asset to build around for the future. It’s not my money, but there are definitely worse guys than Williams around the majors responsible for spending it on behalf of their owners.

Williams delivered with a title in 2005, breaking an 88-year spell of futility. With Williams at the helm, there is no way that the Sox wait another 88 years for the next one. Whether or not the Rios and Peavy deals pan out.

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~ by acm213 on August 10, 2009.

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