The Fully Contextualized Jim Bowden Q&A, trade deadline ed.
Q: What do you think of Gonzalez? Why do you like him?
Alberto Gonzalez: Major League defensive shortstop. Mike Rizzo, (and scouts) Kris Kline, Bill Singer, Ed Durkin know him really well. They scouted him since they signed him. Major League shortstop. .250 or .260 hitter, but can really play shortstop with a gun. Hard to get middle infielders that can do that. So we feel now that with Gonzalez and (Emilio) Bonifacio and with Cristian Guzman signed, with (Ian) Desmond and Smiley (Gonzalez) coming, we feel like we've really stabilized our middle infield for the short-term as well as the long term. It was tough to trade Jhonny Nunez; he's one of my personal favorites. We acquired him in the Marlon Anderson trade (in 2006); I think Nunez will be a seventh-inning set-up guy down the road. I really like him. It was hard to do, but at the end of the day, I was convinced -- because all of our baseball people unanimously felt that Gonzalez was an everyday shortstop. Not just an extra player.
Q: Is he coming here because you're going to play Guzman on the DL?
I don't think that Cristian needs to go on the DL. We do think, according to Lee Kuntz, that he's 3-5 days away. So Gonzalez is gonna come up here and will report later tonight and he'll be here tomorrow.
Q: Were you looking for a first baseman throughout the day?
It's interesting, because what we accomplished the most at the trade deadline is beginning trade discussions for the offseason. There are some clubs in the pennant race that we had good discussions with but at the end they couldn't make moves because to trade those major league players would affect their season this year, and they have interest in continuing those discussions in October. We came a long way on those discussions. We feel pleased that we have some things going for October that we plan on discussing.
Q: Was there any legitimacy to talk about trading John Lannan to the White Sox?
I never had a discussion with the White Sox regarding John Lannan or Joel Hanrahan. When it was reported by ESPN... Kenny Williams sent me an e-mail, and his e-mail said, "I heard I'm getting Lannan. Can you just fill me in on what I gave up for him." So I said, "Just Quentin, Dye and a couple pitchers." There's no truth to any of that. We know what we're doing here. We're building for the long term. We've been consistent with that. So we weren't talking about trading our young players. Unless we're looking for other young players.
Q: How will this affect playing time of other young players?
We'll clarify that tomorrow or the next day, not right now.
Q: What about the offensive potential of Gonzalez, Bonifacio?
We think Gonzalez has a chance to be a solid .250, .260 hitter that can really play shortstop. Plus-plus defense, plus arm. Bonifacio we think will develop into a lead-off hitter in the major leagues that steals 40 bases. Bonifacio right now is a very exciting defensive second baseman, great speed, tremendous range, can turn a double play. You know, immediately help us. ...
Q: Can you honestly go into the 2009 season with just Dmitri Young and Nick Johnson as your first basemen?
Well, obviously you're concerned when they're injured. The doctors will certainly assure us that both will be healthy and 100 percent next year. But we've heard that before. You never get enough talent. All of those (here) are watching with great interest Chris Marrero's ankle as he comes back, because he was really starting to get hot. The whole world is asking us about Bill Rhinehart, who continues to hit .300 with 15 home runs, and everywhere you put him he just keeps hitting .300. ... Certainly we have some guys coming in our system; certainly we are always looking for impact bats in trades. There wasn't a discussion we had with a team where we weren't looking for one of their best young hitters, preferably a left-handed hitter. At what position wasn't as important as, How can we get middle-of-the-order bats? Every trade we've been working on is trying to accomplish that.
Q: How is this going to affect Felipe?
Q: Jim, 2006 you made some serious trades after the deadline. Do you think you can do it this year considering your veterans are not having good years?
I think it's possible. I wouldn't say we have a large number of players that are going to have a market value. But certainly there are one or two players on this team that are a potential August 30 deal, yes. You know, but we talked about a couple of our players with other teams all the way up til 3:50 this afternoon. We just came to the decision, We don't want to give anybody away. That didn't make sense. We need to get a piece back that was helpful, that had a chance to help us in the big leagues someday. Those kind of deals made sense to us. But to give somebody away to a contending team and not get talent back? That didn't make sense.
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