The White Sox got the ball rolling at the Winter Meetings today in Dallas. While yesterday was more of a “hey how are you?” day, today real business was done. And the Sox made a move.
Kenny Williams sent closer Sergio Santos to Toronto in exchange for right-handed pitcher Nestor Molina. The Sox gave up the 28-year-old closer after signing him to a three-year, $8.25 million deal at the end of the season. That deal included three club options, so now the Blue Jays have potential control of him for the next six years.
Now Sox fans may remember that Santos started out as an infielder before switching to pitcher. Molina, the prospect the Sox got in return, did not start as a pitcher. He played outfield and third base. Marco Paddy helped transform him into a pitcher and is now Kenny’s special assistant in charge of international operations.
According to MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo, Molina is now our Number Two prospect. Last season, he split time between Single-A Dunedin and Double-A New Haven, posting a 12-3 record with a 2.21 ERA. It was his first full season as a starter, and he walked only 18 while striking out 148 in 130.1 innings. That’s 10.2 strikeouts per nine innings and an 8.2 K/BB ratio. Williams told Scott Merkin that Molina needs a little time in the minors before he’s ready to make the transition to the majors.
This trade “is the start of a rebuilding,” Williams told MLB.com. This was the first time Williams has ever said the Sox are rebuilding in his 12-year tenure as the White Sox general manager. However, manager Robin Ventura sees this as more of a retooling than a rebuilding.
Williams also told reporters that he has not liked what is being offered for valuable veterans, so for now they are sitting tight and focusing on things to help in 2013-2014. He also said, “As I sit here, I don’t see any deals for any of the other pitchers.”
That’s all for Tuesday at the Winter Meetings. Let’s see what Wednesday has in store for us!