Hot Stove Heats Up For Sox

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Nov 6, 2007 6:45PM

2007_11_sports_johnny_damon.jpgFollowing their dismal 72-90 season, White Sox GM Kenny Williams has a lot of work to do to return the team to contention for 2008.

One rumor that's been heating up in recent days has the Sox sending third baseman Joe Crede to the Yankees for outfielder Johnny Damon.

This trade seems to make a lot of sense for both teams. While Crede hit 30 home runs for the Sox in 2006, he missed most of '07, so Josh Fields filled in and proved he's too good to keep down in the minors any longer. That make Crede expendable. And the Yankees need a third baseman now that Alex Rodriguez has opted out of his contract.

Meanwhile, the Sox are desperate for both a center fielder and a leadoff hitter -- both rolls that Damon can fill. The Yankees have Melkey Carbrera waiting in the wings.

Kenny Williams has implied that he could be ready to pull the trigger on something very soon, even as soon as the annual general managers' meeting that began on Monday. Typically, the discussions at these meetings just lay the groundwork, but with Williams ready to make a deal, who knows? Maybe he'll return to Chicago with an outfielder in tow.

William will also begin meeting with free agent he plans to target. Torii Hunter tops his wish list and the two are expected to meet this week. While MLB rules prohibit discussions of money or contract terms, Williams can still make a sales pitch about why Hunter would fit into the Sox organization. Aaron Rowand and Williams are also likely to meet sometime in the near future.

It looks like the Sox woes in center field could be filled shortly. Then Kenny can focus on the bullpen -- fixing that might take the rest of the winter!

Photo by REUTERS/Mike Segar