Ken Williams (regarding Kevin Youkilis trade)
Can you talk about the completed deal?
Very simply – I must commend the spirit, and the job that Orlando Hudson has done up to this point for us because we needed to fill the position. He came in admirably and really went after it. And he’s made some great plays over there. In terms of wanting and needing a little more stability at the position as well as providing a little bit of offense in the form that Kevin [Youkilis] can provide. Another on-base percentage guy, another guy that’s not afraid to get a big hit. We just felt at this time it was necessary, and necessary to do it sooner rather than later.
What does your scouting report say about Youkilis at this point in his career? He was a big power-guy earlier in his career before injuries…
That is something that obviously you check into right away. We were given a good bill of health from him; it’s been described that he hasn’t felt this good physically in a long time. I just got off the phone with him and he’s very excited to join our club, he’s got a little edge to him, which I like. I think he’s going to fit in just fine with our ballclub.
What does “got a little edge” mean?
I can’t tell you exactly what he said, but he wants to come in and he wants to prove some people wrong.
Did this come together pretty quickly or was it a long process?
Well, quickly in the sense that in the last 24 hours we were able to consummate a deal when we had been going back-and-forth for a number of days. I wasn’t really sure whether or not this was going to materialize.
How much of the deal had to do with getting the money right?
Well, a lot of it. I don’t want to get into dollars and cents because you guys bury me when I do that, so I think we’ll just say that the deal made sense from a player standpoint – a talent standpoint – and a financial standpoint for us.
Do you see yourself making further moves this season?
I think at this point in time, we owe it to our fans and the men in that clubhouse in uniform to try to exhaust ourselves to try to be the best possible team we can be. Often times it’s determined that it means bringing veterans into the equation, and I don’t necessarily believe in that. Sometimes it’s pulling the youth that you have together, both in terms of talent and the spirit that they bring, and the energy that they bring. So I think it’s something that you have to be very careful to – that’s why you have a lot of conversations, because you don’t want to disrupt that mix, you don’t want to disrupt that chemistry. That’s why I lean on the coaching staff and Robin quite a bit in terms of what we’re dealing with in terms of the makeup of the club. And we’ll cross those bridges when we get there and determine whether it’s a veteran or a young guy. But I think our young guys have risen to the occasion on darn near every level, and I think they deserve to be given at least the benefit of the doubt. It wasn’t too long ago that we took a guy from Double-A in Bobby Jenks and put him right in the mix of things, and that helped us win a world championship. So we’re not afraid to go with the young guys.
What does this mean for Brent Morel this season?
All Brent can do right now is focus on his health. And we’re focused on getting him the best possible medical care that we can give him and get him back on the field. So right now he’s not really a factor in terms of the major league team. We’ve got to get him healthy so he can get back on the field, number one.
With Quintana pitching so well recently, does it take pressure of needing another starter right now?
Well there’s no doubt that he’s shown himself to be a major-league pitcher. And I think he’s shown the type of quality that he brings to the table. But we have to assess our entire situation; we have to be patient in some areas. The great thing is we’re getting a lot of quality pitching right now and we’re not completely healthy. So once we get healthy, I think there’s room both offensively and on our pitching staff for this team to grow. And it’s exciting to watch.