CHICAGO (AP) -White Sox general manager Ken Williams said Monday he has no immediate plans to break up the team with trades in the wake of Chicago's miserable slide. But he's willing to do what is needed if there is no improvement.
``It's very difficult for me to put my arms around the concept of being the so-called 'sellers' when my mind-set for seven years has been 'buy' and even buy in terms of the times we've had to sell,'' Williams said.
``We still bought in a way that would prepare us to compete for the now and tomorrow, so this is going to be a difficult one.''
After losing 17 of 21 games before playing Florida on Monday, the White Sox found themselves nine games under .500 and in a deep fourth-place hole in the talented AL Central.
Left-hander Mark Buehrle and outfielder Jermaine Dye are eligible for free agency after the season and could be attractive to teams in playoff contention.
Williams, who built the team that won the World Series in 2005, has no explanation for the White Sox's slide that has featured surprising struggles at the plate from the likes of Dye, Paul Konerko and Joe Crede, who underwent back surgery last week. And before Monday, Chicago's bullpen had a 9-12 record, 5.88 ERA and 11 blown saves.
Williams said he asks himself when it will end. ``Is today going to be the day, geez?' We can't possibly continue to play this poorly,'' he said.
But they have.
Williams met with manager Ozzie Guillen and Konerko on Monday to get a feel for the climate in the clubhouse. His sense is, he said, that the team believes once injured outfielders Scott Podsednik and Darin Erstad return from the disabled list, they'll be more competitive.
``We're not giving up,'' Williams said. ``I can't recall a stretch, at least within the last seven years, that we've played this poorly.
``And I'm comfortable that the players are continuing to fight. ... I think we can stand behind them as long as it makes sense to stand behind them. ... When it slaps you in the face too that OK you're still in that mode, you'd better reassess and possibly redirect things.''
Williams declined to be specific about the possibility or re-signing Buehrle. Buehrle passed on a new deal in the middle of last season, one that reportedly guaranteed more than $30 million over three years.
Buehrle, who threw a no-hitter earlier this season, is hearing trade rumors.
``People text me saying, 'I heard you are going there or I heard you are going here.' It's kind of funny because of all the rumors you hear,'' Buehrle said.
Asked if he could envision being traded, he said:
``Yes and no. I can see why I would be, the way we are playing and the baseball side of it. But then again I want to spend my whole career here.''

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