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Teams showing considerable interest in White Sox pitchers


Gavin Floyd

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Updated: December 18, 2011 5:26PM

MILWAUKEE — White Sox general manager Ken Williams is pleasantly surprised at the interest expressed by other teams in his players, particularly his pitchers.

After sitting through meetings and engaging in conversations with fellow general managers at the GM meetings on Wednesday, Williams can feel certain he’ll receive a substantial return if and when he begins to wheel and deal.

“You’d think we had a team out there that actually got in the playoffs from the interest people are showing in our players, particularly our pitchers,’’ Williams said. “Again, you don’t know what you’re ultimately going to get back until you draw some lines in the sand, and there’s no need for that now.’’

That will come at the winter meetings Dec. 4-8 in Dallas, although these GM meetings seem less laid-back than usual. GMs are talking with more urgency.

“I will say that the tone of these meetings is more serious,’’ Williams said from the lobby of the Pfister Hotel. “People are getting to the point a little sooner than usual. I don’t know if it’s the byproduct of it being a different group with a lot of new [executives] or the seriousness of their situations.’’

Even though it’s quite possible the Sox will lose left-hander Mark Buehrle in free agency, Williams did not rule out a scenario of trading both lefty John Danks and right-hander Gavin Floyd, which would mean more than half the starting rotation would be new next season.

“Is that feasible? Remains to be seen,’’ Williams said. “It depends on what you can ultimately get back if you do decide to move them. That hasn’t been decided. I haven’t ruled anything out.’’

Williams’ plan of action, which will come into focus at the winter meetings, will likely be a “retooling” plan that leaves the Sox somewhat younger with a somewhat-lower payroll and the flexibility to go one of two directions when the trade deadline rolls around in July. They could cut more payroll if the team is out of contention or, if veteran high-priced and in all likelihood untradable players such as Adam Dunn and Alex Rios bounce back from poor seasons and put a young team in contention, the Sox would have the payroll flexibility to add.

“We think about it all,’’ Williams said. “But it’s way too early to start putting the pieces together. We’ll have a representative bullpen and rotation that can compete. We may be a little young, but we’ll see how that works out.

“You never know. You keep working, having conversations and see where they lead you. We have a definite target list for both the veteran players maybe and young players, and we’ll see how it develops in the next 24 hours.’’

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