11/28/07 10:00 AM ET
Owens' eyes on Winter Meetings
White Sox moves could impact center fielder in 2008
By Scott Merkin / MLB.com
It was an all-out plan to make sure last year's 72-90 showing never came close to transpiring again."We are looking for guys who can add that edge," Williams said. "That's one of the things I felt was missing last year. Each one of my targets has that edge to them, that go-getter attitude. We need it. We will embrace it. "As far as the way fans feel right now, it's one of the things most difficult for me, because people want to examine each and every deal as they come along. They don't see the big picture being painted. All I can hope for is that come next month, or even the next week or so, those same people will look and say, 'OK, now we get it.'" Hunter appeared on the verge of joining the White Sox when Williams spoke these words, but Hunter's ultimate choice hasn't altered Williams' big picture. Both favorite son Aaron Rowand and Andruw Jones remain viable center-field options via free agency, with Rowand standing out as the more likely candidate, not to mention outfield possibilities through trades. Improving the White Sox beleaguered bullpen took one major step forward with this week's signing of free agent Scott Linebrink to serve as the right-handed setup man, but Williams still could be looking for an additional veteran arm to balance out the relief crew. In the process of fulfilling these offseason goals, Williams also has to resolve the abundance-of-talent problem he has at third base with Joe Crede and Josh Fields both capable of taking on the starting job. "Either way, we win with Crede and Fields," Williams said. Williams rarely waits for the Winter Meetings to begin his heavy lifting, and in reality, the White Sox general manager already has made some much-needed changes. This program actually was put into place last year, when Williams brought back his own potential free agents in staff ace Mark Buehrle and right fielder Jermaine Dye. Don't count on this process being quiet yet complete. Williams, assistant general manager Rick Hahn and the rest of the White Sox staff will try to add another impact player or two in Nashville, looking for talent as well as a good team fit, through a little creative maneuvering. And Owens will be watching every move from out West. "I'm a fan of baseball, so I would be paying attention even if I wasn't a player," Owens said. "I like to hear who is being traded or who will be the free-agent signings. "I've already been traded once in this business, and it was the last thing I ever thought would happen. So, right now, it's tough say, 'What are they thinking?' or 'What are the White Sox exact plans?'"
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.