With due respect to the other newsmakers of this baseball offseason, Ruben Amaro of the Philadelphia Phillies and Ken Williams of the Chicago White Sox continue to show why they're the craftiest and most surprising general managers in the majors.
Theo Epstein adding Carl Crawford(notes) and Adrian Gonzalez(notes) at the winter meetings was stunning, but only to a point. The Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees are supposed to get the best players; they're certainly in better position than the rest of the league to do so.
Amaro (pictured left) and Williams, while playing in big markets, have less margin for error than Brian Cashman and Epstein. Going for any player who earns top dollar is a bigger risk for Philly and Chicago.
And like he did with Jake Peavy(notes) in late 2009, Williams pounced on Adam Dunn(notes) earlier this offseason when nobody considered Chicago to be a player. And he managed to keep Paul Konerko(notes) in the fold, too.
Said Williams (via MLB.com):
"It's uncomfortable sometimes, but you either are all in or you are not. And if you are not, then present that message to your fans. Be straight and say, 'I don't think we are going to do very much and here's the plan going forward.' If you are in it, stand up and show you are."
White Sox fans and Phillies don't have to worry about that, because of who's in charge of their teams.
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- Ken Williams
- Theo Epstein