CHICAGO -- The phrase "under the radar" frequently describes Ken Williams' mode of operation in trying to acquire personnel upgrades for the White Sox.
Where free-agent Cuban hurler Geraldo Concepcion and fellow free-agent Cuban outfielders Yoenis Cespedes and Jorge Soler are concerned, the White Sox general manager has changed his game to poker. And on Friday night during SoxFest at the Palmer House Hilton in downtown Chicago, Williams unsuccessfully tried to bluff in order to keep his stronghold in the game.
Williams was asked about all three players when he met with a group of Chicago reporters in the early evening, with Concepcion and Cespedes already in the free-agent stage. After first saying he didn't know the players being talked about, Williams joked about not knowing where the players were from and then asked if the reporters thought it was wise for him to check them out.
"Those are all just rumors," Williams said with a wry smile. "I don't know what you guys are talking about."
Cespedes, the five-tool, 26-year-old, might price himself out of the White Sox market with the Marlins and Cubs known as prime fellow pursuers. Williams stated on Friday that the White Sox had no money to spend, but also didn't need to shed payroll.
As for Concepcion, the 18-year-old left-handed hurler is represented by Jaime Torres, who also represented Alexei Ramirez and Dayan Viciedo when they joined the White Sox. Williams has reportedly watched Concepcion throw in person, but once again, the South Siders are not the only team interested in the hurler's services.
Even during the Town Hall Meeting Friday, Williams basically took the fifth when the young Cuban players were mentioned by a fan.