White flag 2009?

MINNEAPOLIS – General manager Ken Williams had no comment concerning an ESPN report that said the club was waiving the white flag on the season by distributing a memo around the league to inform teams that certain members of the team were available for trade before the 11 p.m. CT deadline for postseason eligible players ran out on Monday night.

The story included the names of designated hitter Jim Thome, outfielder Jermaine Dye and reliever Scott Linebrink.

Thome and Dye could become free agents after this season, but Thome has a full no-trade clause, while Dye has a limited one that includes both New York teams, Boston, Toronto, Philadelphia and Washington. As far as Linebrink, the Sox still owe the right-hander $5 million in 2010 and $5.5 million in 2011, so good luck trying to move that contract.

Williams, who is no longer with the team on this current 11-game road trip, simply chose to distance himself from answering the report, but just last week talked about how having his team now under the national microscope since the 2005 World Series win has made it more and more difficult to conduct Sox business.

“The interesting thing is, yes, there is a certain amount of pride that we have maintained a certain amount of competitiveness,” Williams said then. “I still look at a couple of years prior to ’05 where I felt we should have at least won the division and that still grates on me a little bit, but now as much as I like the fact that people do look at the White Sox and think they are going to be a tough, formidable opponent, I don’t like what comes with that – the rumor-mill things and that part of it, because it makes it more difficult for me to do my job.

“But when you do as much as we do and you maneuver as much as we maneuver, that’s just a residual effect I guess.”

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