DALLAS -- The rebuilding process has officially begun on the South Side of Chicago, and by the time it ends the White Sox could look nothing like the disappointing team that finished 79-83 last year.
General manager Ken Williams took the first step Tuesday, trading closer Sergio Santos to the Blue Jays for pitching prospect Nestor Molina. Bigger steps should follow, with the White Sox signaling to other teams that pitchers John Danks and Gavin Floyd, outfielder Carlos Quentin and second baseman Gordon Beckham are among those available.
In fact, sources familiar with the Sox plans said, it is entirely possible that Danks, Floyd, Quentin and Beckham and others could all be elsewhere by opening day.
"It is the start of a rebuilding," Williams told Chicago writers. "And you guys know I have not used that word in 12 years."
Williams has been threatening to break up this team since the middle of last season, and only a few wins in the final week of July kept the Sox from shopping many players at the July 31 deadline.
Williams then said at last month's general managers meetings that he had trades in mind, and promised to use the word "rebuilding" by January if he could get what he wanted.
It turned out he used it in the first week of December.
The Santos move helps the Blue Jays, who have spent the first part of the winter looking for a closer. The White Sox got back a 22-year-old right-hander with sparkling minor-league numbers (27-7, 2.21, 277 strikeouts in 292 2/3 innings), but a pitcher who the Blue Jays and some other teams project as a middle reliever in the big leagues because of his slight build.