MINNEAPOLIS -- As the clock struck 3 p.m. CT on Tuesday, White Sox general manager Ken Williams watched Major League Baseball's non-waiver Trade Deadline pass and moved on to other pressing personal matters.
"It has come and gone," said Williams during a Tuesday conference call with White Sox beat writers. "At this point, I'm going home to get some sleep."
Williams listened to all range of proposals Tuesday, although the team's targets figured to be utility infielder, reserve outfielder and possibly another pitcher. But nothing really came close to materializing in the ongoing quest to make this surprising division leader a World Series-caliber club.
"There were some interesting discussions but nothing that I would describe close enough to start exchanging medicals," Williams said. "I feel like just as we ask the players to grind it out and give it everything they have, we have a responsibility to do the same. We want to show them we are in this fight with them and believe in them.
"Whether or not we have positioned ourselves to close this thing out or not, we've given all we have and exhausted all options in the quest to be as good as we can be. Hopefully that's enough and hopefully the players see that."
As has been the case numerous times during Williams' 12-year tenure, the non-waiver Trade Deadline was sort of a last-minute shopping post for improving the White Sox. Kevin Youkilis was added to anchor third base on June 24, Brett Myers was added via trade as a necessary veteran bullpen presence on July 21 and Tuesday's starter Francisco Liriano was acquired late Saturday night to lessen the starters' workload and help compensate for the loss of John Danks, who will have season-ending surgery on Monday. Eduardo Escobar was the only player given up who truly figured into the White Sox future plans.
That work put in by Williams, assistant general manager Rick Hahn and their staff was not lost on the players.
"For them to add Kevin Youkilis, Brett Myers and now Liriano, we got significantly better," Jake Peavy said. "Huge props, thanks, whatever you want to say, to Kenny and the front office for getting us better in areas they deemed needed to be a little better.
"We are excited about the position we are in. We believe the next two months that, if we go and be the players we know we can be as a unit, we'll get this thing done.
"I mean it's an unbelievable message from your front office," Peavy said. "They basically said, 'Hey, we believe in you guys and we are with you and in this thing with you.'"
Adding a player from the waiver wire still remains possible through Aug. 31, in order to have the individual eligible for the playoff roster.
"We're in a very good situation in that we have addressed a number of the [perceived] holes that we have," Williams said. "At the same time, we have got a young nucleus mixed in with veterans, an enthusiastic bunch that believes in themselves.
"We have a coaching staff that comes ready to teach and motivate every day. They are ready to put them in the best position to succeed. We feel good about the whole situation."
Plan laid out for next rotation turn
MINNEAPOLIS -- White Sox manager Robin Ventura set his upcoming starting rotation but with an asterisk attached. Make that a few asterisks.
"I'm just focused on today," said Ventura when trying to recount the setup.
Philip Humber is the long reliever on call for Tuesday and Wednesday. If he does not pitch in those games, then Humber gets the start at home Friday against the Angels. He will be followed by Gavin Floyd on Saturday, while Chris Sale will return to the rotation Tuesday night at home against the Royals. Sale will be pitching with 10 days between trips to the mound.
Jose Quintana is penciled in for Sunday, but the White Sox could bring back Francisco Liriano on regular rest and use Jake Peavy the same way on Monday while bumping Quintana to Wednesday. That move would give the rookie eight days between starts.
"A couple could move around if something happens today or tomorrow," Ventura said.
Third to first
Brian Bruney worked one scoreless inning Tuesday afternoon in his first injury rehab game for Triple-A Charlotte Knights. Bruney is out with a strained left hip flexor. Brent Morel is 4-for-20 with two RBIs in five rehab games for the Knights, although general manager Ken Williams didn't make it seem as if even a healthy Morel was in the club's August plans.
"There isn't any roster space for him right now," said Williams of Morel, who has played three games at third for Charlotte. "Let him play out and when we have to make a decision, we'll make a decision." On Tuesday night, Jesse Crain and Francisco Liriano pitched in the same game together for the first time since Oct. 6, 2010, against the Yankees at Target Field. That night marked Game 1 of the American League Division Series for the Twins and Crain took the loss on a two-run Mark Teixeira homer.