Kenny Williams has been the White Sox' general manager for a decade, which must feel like a lifetime given the demands of the position.
Looking weary on Friday afternoon at U.S. Cellular Field, Williams discussed his trade for starting pitcher Edwin Jackson earlier in the day, which sent rookie starter Daniel Hudson and minor-leaguer David Holmberg to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
"It was expressed by (manager) Ozzie (Guillen) that we needed protection in the rotation," Williams said. "When you're contending you want more certainty as to how you're going to be able to shape up in your rotation, which ultimately has an effect on your bullpen.
"The bullpen has been one of our strengths all year, and the last thing we want to do is tax that bullpen at a time when we're going to need them the most."
So while Hudson has a promising future, the Sox apparently preferred Jackson because he has more experience and is a proven innings eater despite a 6-10 record and 5.16 ERA this season.
But when the trade was announced, the overwhelming feeling was that Jackson was headed straight to the Washington Nationals in exchange for the player the White Sox really covet - power-hitting first baseman Adam Dunn.
With Lance Berkman out of the equation - he was reportedly traded to the Yankees on Friday - it looks like it's Dunn or nothing for the White Sox. Tampa Bay is reportedly interested in Dunn, who recently changed his stance and said he'd be willing to DH for the last two months of the season.
"I will not say that we haven't explored other pieces to add with this, and we're just going to continue on," Williams said. "You know how we like to do things; we prefer to keep it under wraps and we'll just continue to do business that way. We're always looking for that next impact deal."
According to several reports, the White Sox are not going to land Dunn because the Nationals no longer have an interest in Jackson, who threw a no-hitter at Tampa Bay on June 25 while issuing 8 walks and throwing 149 pitches.
Since then, Jackson is 1-4 while allowing 22 runs on 38 hits and 15 walks in 321/3 innings.
While declining to mention any names - specifically Washington general manager Mike Rizzo - Williams sure made it sound like he's gotten a raw deal during the trade process.
"Everyone has their own strategies, and the way we do business is not the way someone else does business," Williams said. "I'm not the guy to play games with and do a lot of back and forth with. What I'm going to give you today is not generally going to change at the deadline. As a matter of fact it probably lessens, truth be told. I talked to a number of guys today that share my assessment of the new landscape and frustration.
"We've always done business the same way, and it's straight between the eyes. If we say we're going to call you, we're going to call you. If we can't talk to you about whatever the given subject is at that particular time, I'm going to call you to tell you why I can't. I'm not going to ruin the lines of communication. They're always going to be open and we're going to be above board on everything. That's just the way we do business.
"The cloak and dagger thing is a little different for me. This is baseball; this isn't spy, espionage somewhere. We're not talking about military secrets in baseball. Give me a break."
Maybe Rizzo's demands will change as the deadline approaches, a possibility that came up when Williams spoke to Jackson Friday.
"As I told him, I can't give anybody any promises that are concrete promises, that are written in pen," Williams said. "Even when I tell someone 'Here's the likelihood of what's going on,' I still have to reserve that 1 percent chance, 5 percent chance, that something will materialize that will make the team as a whole better. And you always have to be in search of that."