The recent announcement of Kenny Williams promotion to executive vice president of the White Sox ends an often polarizing 12 year tenure as the White Sox General Manager. Under his guidance the White Sox saw themselves as contenders every season and his moves reflected that.
Williams was often criticized as being too aggressive. His detractors claim he too often gave up highly rated prospects to acquire players that might only help the White Sox in the short term. He was also criticized often for chasing after players that might be past their prime or bring baggage to the south side. It wasn’t unusual for the White Sox to trade for a big name player late in their career.
Williams tenure has to be considered a success. The White sox were 81 games over .500 in his 12 seasons.
His bold moves often made waves. He would change over the White Sox frequently during his tenure. Williams was appointed General Manager in October 2000. The White Sox were coming off a Central Division Title and the most wins in the American League.
With a young team their future seemed bright. Williams many moves shaped the White Sox. They frequently changed the makeup and type of team they had. Under Williams, the White Sox had two playoff appearances and won their first pennant in 46 years and their first world series in 88.
Here is a look at Williams Trades During his 12 year tenure
January 14, 2001: The Toronto Blue Jays traded Matt DeWitt and David Wells to the Chicago White Sox for Mike Williams (minors), Kevin Beirne, Brian Simmons and Mike Sirotka.
While many considering Wells a bust for the White Sox, Sirotka never pitched for Toronto. In his one season in Chicago, Wells went 5-7 with a 4.47 ERA.
The Blue Jays were so upset about the trade, that they attempted to have the trade rescinded or at least to receive compensation because of Sirotka’s shoulder injury. It could go down as one of the worst major trades in baseball history. Neither team benefited from the move.
December 3, 2002: The Chicago White Sox traded Keith Foulke, Mark Johnson, Joe Valentine and cash to the Oakland Athletics for players to be named later and Billy Koch. The Oakland Athletics sent Neal Cotts (December 16, 2002) and Daylon Holt (minors) (December 16, 2002) to the Chicago White Sox to complete the trade.
Williams didn’t shy away from making a blockbuster trade a season removed from Wells’ miserable failure in Chicago. Trading away Foulke proved to be a mistake and he helped the A’s to a division title in 2003 and the Red Sox to a World Series title in 2004.
Koch failed miserably in Chicago recording just 11 saves and a 5.77 ERA in his one season with the White Sox. He was replaced as the closer by Shingo Takatsu during the season.
Cotts proved to be important out of the bullpen during the White Sox 2005 World Series run.
January 15, 2003: The Chicago White Sox traded Rocky Biddle, Orlando Hernandez, Jeff Liefer and cash to the Montreal Expos for Jorge Nunez (minors) and Bartolo Colon. This was part of a three team trade with the Yankees that send Hernandez and Antonio Osuna to New York.
Another trade showing Williams attempt to go for it all. Colon lasted just one season with the White Sox before signing as a free agent in Anaheim. He finished 15-13 with a 3.87 ERA during his one season on the south side. The White Sox finished four games behind Minnesota in the Central Division.
December 2, 2003: The Colorado Rockies traded Juan Uribe to the Chicago White Sox for Aaron Miles.
Although not the blockbuster trade that Williams was known for, this relatively minor trade proved huge in 2005. Uribe hit 20 homeruns, drove in 68 and finished fourth in the AL in fielding percentage in 2005. In five seasons in Chicago he hit 87 home runs, drove in 324 and finished in the top four in fielding percentage for shortstops three times.
June 4, 2004 Traded by the Seattle Mariners with Freddie Garcia Ben Davis to the Chicago White Sox for Mike Morse, Miguel Olivo and Jeremy Reed.
This was the trade that set in motion the drive for the 2005 World Series Championship during the Williams Era. Morse and Olivo have gone onto successful careers, but Garcia was one of the Sox most clutch pitchers in 2005. He was the winning pitcher in three of the White Sox four clinching games in 2005.
In two stints with the White Sox, Garcia was 55-31.
July 18, 2004: The Montreal Expos traded Carl Everett to the Chicago White Sox for Gary Majewski and Jon Rauch.
Williams traded for Everett for the second straight July. Although he did not have as big of an impact as he did in 2004, Everett would pay dividends in 2005. Playing the outfield and DH, Everett hit 23 home runs and drove in 87 runs in the White Sox World Championship season. His 87 rbis were second on the time.
July 31, 2004: The New York Yankees traded Jose Contreras and cash to the Chicago White Sox for Esteban Loaiza.
The second blockbuster trade the Williams completed in two months that would have a major impact on the 2005 White Sox. Loaiza had a major impact with the White Sox in 2003-04. His three year stint with the White Sox (he later pitched three games in 2008) Loaiza was 30-14 with a 3.65 ERA. His tenure with the White Sox was the most successful of his 14 year career. He finished second in the 2003 AL Young race and led the American League in strikeouts, yet Williams rolled the dice and sent him to the Yankees for Contreras.
The gamble paid off. Contreras would become the ace of the White Sox. He won the clincher over Anaheim for the AL Pennant and would win 17 straight decisions between 2005 and 2006.
Although Contreras had a less than stellar 55-56 record with a 4.66 ERA in six seasons in Chicago, it was he 2005 stats that mattered. He finished 15-7 with a 3.61 ERA. He went 3-1 with a 3.02 ERA in the 2005 postseason.
December 13, 2004: The Milwaukee Brewers traded a player to be named later, Scott Podsednik and Luis Vizcaino to the Chicago White Sox for Carlos Lee. The Milwaukee Brewers sent Travis Hinton (minors) (January 10, 2005) to the Chicago White Sox to complete the trade.
This is the trade that change the White Sox culture. Ozzie Guillen made no secret of his desire to change the White Sox from a power hitting, station to station team to one that put more emphasis on speed, pitching and defense.
Podsednik was the reigning National League Stolen Base king and he finished 2005 second in the American League with 59. Vizcaino gave the White Sox another important arm in the bullpen.
Lee has gone on to a prodigious career hitting over 200 homeruns since leaving the White Sox.
November 25, 2005: The Philadelphia Phillies traded Jim Thome and cash to the Chicago White Sox for a player to be named later, Daniel Haigwood (minors) and Aaron Rowand. The Chicago White Sox sent Gio Gonzalez (December 8, 2005) to the Philadelphia Phillies to complete the trade.
Rowand was one of the most popular players on the 2005 White Sox. His trade to Philadelphia was met with some disappointment. Getting Thome upgraded the White Sox Designated Hitter and gave them major power from the left side. He helped the White Sox win 90 games in his first season. In three plus seasons in Chicago, Thome hit .265 with 134 Homeruns and 369 Rbi’s.
Rowand helped the Phillies to the playoffs in 2007. He hit 27 homeruns, drove in 89 and hit .309. He also made his only all-star appearance and won the Gold Glove. He signed with the Giants following the 2007 season and helped them win the World Series in 2010.
December 20, 2005 The Chicago White Sox traded Orlando Hernandez, Luis Vizcaino and Chris Young to theArizona Diamondbacks for Javier Vazquez.
“El Duque” was one of the White Sox the White Sox fifth starter in 2005, Vizcaino a key member of their bullpen and Young a top minor league prospect. Kenny Williams made another splash by trading for what they thought was another top starting pitcher.
Vazquez finished 38-36 with a 4.40 ERA in three seasons with the White Sox. In his one postseason start in 2008 he gave up six runs in 4.1 innings.
Young became an everyday player for the Diamondbacks for six seasons before recently being traded to Oakland.
December 6, 2006: Freddie Garcia Traded by the Chicago White Sox to the Philadelphia Phillies for Gavin Floyd and Gio Gonzalez.
After trading Gonzalez to Philadelphia as part of the Thome trade, the White Sox reacquired he and Floyd, the former first round pick of the Phillies. Floyd was the fourth overall player taken in the 2001 draft.
Gonzalez was later traded again, this time to Oakland in the Nick Swisher trade.
Floyd has been a mainstay of the White Sox rotation since 2007. He was the ace of the 2008 Central Division Champions. In his six seasons with the White Sox, he is 63-61 with a 4.20 ERA.
Garcia lasted just one injury plagued season in Philadelphia. He was 1-5 with a 5.90 ERA in 11 starts.
December 23, 2006 Traded by the Texas Rangers with John Danks, Jacob Rasner (minors) and Nick Masset to the Chicago White Sox for David Paisano (minors) and Brandon McCarthy.
This was a trade that surprised many White Sox fans. Williams kept up the heavy activity in the year plus after the World Series title. Many thought McCarthy would become a mainstay of the rotation just 17 days after Freddie Garcia was moved to Philadelphia.
After a tough first season in 2007, Danks became the ace of the White Sox staff in the next three seasons. He is 57-60 with a 4.12 ERA in six seasons with the White Sox.
He pitched the penultimate game in 2008. The White Sox were forced into a one game playoff against Minnesota to determine the AL Central Division champion. Danks pitched eight innings of two hit, shutout baseball in their 1-0 victory.
McCarthy pitched three injury plagued seasons in Texas. Masset was a solid reliever during his tenure with the White Sox.
November 19, 2007 The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim traded Orlando Cabrera to the Chicago White Sox for Jon Garland.
Garland was another key World Series player moved by Kenny Williams. Garland had double digits in victories during his last six seasons in Chicago. In eight seasons on the south side, he went 92-81 with a 4.41 ERA. He enjoyed his two best seasons in 2005-06. Garland finished 36-17.
Orlando Cabrera lasted only one season with the White Sox. He was a key component in the White Sox Central Division title. He gave them steady play at shortstop and was the leadoff hitter for the majority of the season. Cabrera hit .281 with eight home runs, 57 rbis and 19 stolen bases. He finished fourth in fielding percentage and first in putouts and assists.
November 13, 2008 : Acquired OF Nick Swisher from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for LHP Gio Gonzalez, RHP Fautino De Los Santos and OF Ryan Sweeney.
Swisher was acquired to bring the White Sox stability at the top of the lineup. They expected him to be the leadoff hitter because of his .361 on base percentage in his four seasons in Oakland. In his one year with the White Sox, Swish hit just .219 with a .332 OBP, 24 home runs and 69 rbis. When things did not go his way, Swisher was benched at the end of the season. He would be traded to the Yankees following the season.
Gonzalez became an all-star in his fourth season in Oakland and after winning 21 games with Washington this year is a leading candidate for the National League Cy Young Award.
July 31, 2009: Chicago White Sox traded LHP Aaron Poreda, Adam Russell and LHP Clayton Richard to San Diego Padres; San Diego Padres traded RHP Jake Peavy to Chicago White Sox.
This was one of Williams’ most controversial trades. Peavy was injured when the White Sox traded for him. Richard had become a part of the White Sox starting rotation. He was showing the potential to become a mainstay of the rotation for years to come.
Peavy did not pitch for the White Sox until September 2009. He struggled through most of the next two seasons. After tearing the latissimus dorsi muscle in his back, Peavy did not begin the season with the White Sox in 2011. With a lot of talk that Peavy was possibly on his way out of Chicago, new General Manager Rick Hahn announced the White Sox resigned Peavy to a two year $29 Million contract.
He had his best season since 2008 this year. Peavy finished 11-12 with a 3.37 ERA, made the all-star team and earned his first gold glove.
Richard has become the ace of the Padres since the trade. He is 44-42 with a 4.13 ERA in three and a half seasons in San Diego. He has twice won 14 games in a season. The other players did not make a big impact in SD.
Filed under: white sox
Tags: aaron rowand, brandon mccarthy, carl everett, clayton richard, david wells, freddy garcia, gavin floyd, gio gonzalez, jake peavy, jim thome, john danks, jon garland, jose contreras, juan uribe, keith foulke, migule olivo, nick swisher, ozzie guillen, scott podsednik, shingo takatsu