Chris Getz and Josh Fields are now Royals, Mark Teahen is now the White Sox starting third baseman, Jermaine Dye is all but gone, talks with free agent-to-be Scott Podsednik have disintegrated, and Gordon Beckham is now the new starting second baseman.
Just another day of the Ken Williams experience.
Less than 36 hours after the New York Yankees were crowned World Series Champions, the South Side was a flurry of activity with Williams wasting very little time in showing his hand on how the general manager wants the 2010 team to look.
The first order of business on Friday morning was announcing that they bought out the 2010 mutual option on Dye, paying him $950,000 rather than picking up the $12 million for the upcoming season and making the outfielder a free agent.
Within an hour of that announcement, the Sox finalized the deal with the Royals, sending Getz and Fields to Kansas City and getting back Teahen and cash.
“We’ve kept our eye on [Teahen] the last few years, asked about him last year and nothing materialized,” Williams said of the trade. “He’s a tough-nosed ballplayer. He was hurt last year and dragged his ass out there. He’s a winner.”
It didn’t hurt that current minor league director Buddy Bell had Teahen under him when Bell was the Royals manager.
“It’s about projection sometimes guys,” Williams said in response to those that might criticize the move. “The defensive fit, Buddy Bell’s experience with Mark in the clubhouse and having him on the field made him a pretty attractive player for us.”
The versatile Teahen will also have a permanent home with the Sox, as the everyday third baseman. Williams already spoke to Beckham about the change and the rookie was all for it. Manager Ozzie Guillen was also all for it, as the Sox have instantly become a better defensive team in the infield.
“The past three years I haven’t known where I’m going to play,” Teahen said. “The last 24 hours I didn’t know what city I would play in. Knowing both now, playing third base is my comfort position.
“I’ve always produced better when I’ve been left alone, playing just third base. I’m excited about that.”
As far as what the Sox gave up, it ended a 24-hour chaos for Getz and Fields who had heard they had been traded, but couldn’t get confirmation from the club because the money in the deal was the holdup.
“We didn’t really go in depth on why,” Getz said of his talk with Williams Friday morning. “His reason was they were just looking for some reasons to shuffle things up and I was involved. No further than that. This is the nature of this business. I don’t look at it as a negative. I can speculate why they would want to get rid of me, but that could be endless thinking. It’s a new opportunity.”
Teahen, 28, hit .271 with a career-high 34 doubles, 12 home runs and 50 RBI in 144 games with the Royals in 2009, playing third, second and right field.
Getz, 26, hit .261 with 18 doubles, four triples, two home runs, 31 RBI and 25 stolen bases in 107 games, while Fields, 27, appeared in 79 games with the Sox last season, hitting .222 with seven home runs and 30 RBI.
“It’s tough leaving Kansas City, but as far as the baseball side of it I’m excited to get to a team that competes and contends every year,” Teahen added. “It’s exciting to play in meaningful games.”
The other news to come out of Friday was that talks with Podsednik on staying atop the lineup for 2010 have broken down, meaning that Jordan Danks could be tabbed as the third outfielder/leadoff hitter. Williams said there was very little money for a free agent, making Chone Figgins a pipedream once again.
“Money is tight,” Williams said. “Money is tight all over the world, certainly on the South Side. We’ll spend whatever we have available, but there’s not much.”
“As far as Podsednik is concerned, we already had talks and a little bit of dialogue back and forth with him. It’s not likely based on what he wants so we’ll have to look elsewhere.”