<
>

Kenny Williams looking ahead

And on the South Side, still they wait ...

    General manager Ken Williams said [Jake] Peavy won't start on Sept. 3 in a make-up game with the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field because Williams doesn't want Peavy risking injury by batting and possibly running the bases. Therefore, the most likely scenario -- if Peavy continues his rehab without incident -- is Peavy pitching against the Boston Red Sox during the series at U.S. Cellular Field between Sept. 4-7.

OK. Let's assume that all goes according to plan and Peavy pitches on the 4th against the Red Sox (and by the way, thanks for the easy American League baptism). If that goes well and Peavy doesn't suffer any setbacks, he would eventually start five games for the White Sox this season. Five games started by a pitcher who cost the White Sox a quartet of young players, at least two of whom are considered real prospects.
Doesn't seem like enough, does it?

But that's just this year. Jake Peavy quite likely will not make a difference this season. Oh, it's possible. But you don't trade four young players to boost your chances of winning the division by two or three percent. He might, on the other hand, make a difference next season. Or the season after that. Or the season after that. Because Peavy's locked up through 2012.

Same goes for Alex Rios. So far, the (really) early returns aren't good, as he's hit even worse for the White Sox than he did for the Blue Jays. Again, though, we won't be able to judge this deal for a while yet. Granted, the Sox didn't actually give up anyone to get Rios. They merely had to assume more than $60 million in contract obligations, and Rios is now theirs through 2014 or '15, if they want him.

Frankly, I'm not wild about either move. But it's fascinating to watch Kenny Williams playing the long game when most general managers of contending clubs are playing, in the middle of the summer, a short game.