CHICAGO -- With the non-waiver Trade deadline coming just two hours after the first pitch in the White Sox series finale against Boston on Sunday, manager Ozzie Guillen had a simple message for his players.
"If that moment comes hey, I just told the players, 'Don't worry about being traded. If you're traded, you're traded. If you don't, you don't,'" Guillen said he told his club. "If you start worrying about these things, you're not going to perform."
Though general manager Ken Williams said before Saturday's game that the chances were "very, very slim" that the White Sox would make another move before the 3 p.m. CT Deadline, a lot happened since he made that statement, including a 10-2 drubbing at the hands of the Red Sox.
Also on Saturday, the division-leading Tigers and second-place Indians each made moves to improve their pitching staffs and rumors were still swirling around both teams about potential moves on Sunday. The Tigers addressed their pitching needs by adding starter Doug Fister and reliever David Pauley, while the Indians pulled off a blockbuster deal later in the day, landing former Rockies ace Ubaldo Jimenez.
"They asked me about the Detroit trade [on Saturday] and I didn't even know who the guy was, who they traded for, and after the game they told me," Guillen said. "They had to explain to me who were the pitchers. Obviously, I know the players from Detroit, I face them every day, but I don't pay attention to [the trades]."
Reliever Matt Thornton, who has allowed just one earned run over his last 17 1/3 innings and had been mentioned in numerous rumors, knows anything is still possible.
"It's never over. If we fall apart and teams still want to add guys before September and we're out of it by then, I could see [Williams] finding a way just to move contracts and stuff like that," Thornton said. "It's never over here, there's ways around it. It just makes it easier if you do it by 3 o'clock today."Now that the non-waiver Trade Deadline has passed, deals involving players on the 40-man roster cannot be made unless the players already have cleared waivers. In other words, the player must be offered to the other teams in reverse order of the standings, and if he is claimed by one of the teams, he cannot be traded. The club that placed the player on waivers can either withdraw the request and keep the player, or let the player go to the claiming team, which would then have the rights to the player.
Despite letdown, Rios back in center
CHICAGO -- White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen didn't hesitate at all when asked if Alex Rios would be in Sunday's lineup after Saturday night's loss to the Red Sox.
"Yeah, Alex is playing center field," Guillen said. "I know it's not easy when you're not playing well and people are on you every at-bat, every play. This is Chicago. You've got to be tough and you've got to go out there and perform."
Rios returned to the lineup on Saturday after spending the club's previous two games on the bench while the recently recalled Alejandro De Aza started in center field. In his return to the lineup, Rios went 0-for-3 and was booed loudly after allowing Josh Reddick to score from first on an eighth-inning single.
"I'm not going to throw the towel in, I'm not going to protect him like everybody thinks I am," Guillen said after the game. "I think that guy should be at third base, no doubt."
Rios started in center field and batted sixth, going 1-for-5 with an RBI, in Sunday's 5-3 loss, while Brent Lillibridge made just his fourth start in the month of July in left field to give Juan Pierre a day off.
AL Central race ready to heat up
CHICAGO -- With Detroit and Cleveland reshaping their rosters at the Trade Deadline and the White Sox remaining relatively quiet, Paul Konerko explained his approach to the rest of the season.
"We are far enough away where you just have to remain calm and not panic and just keep trying to get through and pick up a game when you can," Konerko said. "Then, if you can get into September and be right around first place, that's what you are looking for."
With two straight losses against the Red Sox, the White Sox ended the weekend four games back of the Tigers and 1 1/2 behind the Indians.
"There are still enough games left where I don't think anybody is going to run the table," Konerko said. "It's how you handle those losses and bounce back. There will be other games like last night for the team."
Paul Casella is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.