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Wednesday, March 7
White Sox say they can now go forward

TUCSON, Ariz. – Even though the White Sox had been confident commissioner Bud Selig wouldn't rescind the trade that brought David Wells to Chicago, they were relieved the ordeal was over.


"We want to get back to business as usual," general manager Kenny Williams said Wednesday after Selig upheld the six-player deal that sent Wells from Toronto for injured pitcher Mike Sirotka.

"We need to get focus back. I'll be the first to admit this has taken some focus away from us," Williams added. "I've had a few players come up to me and express concern that they may not be here. That is disturbing. With this behind us, my hope is to get to business at hand."

Most of the White Sox players said they weren't concerned about the talk of the trade being rescinded or another player being shipped to Toronto.

But there were still countless questions, which did prove tiresome.

"The attention and the extra focus obviously didn't help us out at all, but we didn't let it become a distraction," manager Jerry Manuel said.

It was, however, a long ordeal. Selig's ruling came 7{ weeks after the teams completed the trade on Jan. 14.

Sirotka, 29, passed one Toronto physical, but a second test showed a possible torn labrum and Dr. James Andrews said Sirotka has a partial tear of the rotator cuff and a torn labrum in his left shoulder.

Sirotka is scheduled to have his shoulder examined again Thursday, but it remains unclear when he will pitch again.

Williams said he was unhappy the trade has not benefited both teams as of yet, but maintained there was nothing more he could have done.

"We did provide them with full disclosure and there was nothing left to provide them in our opinion," Williams said.

"When dealing with MRIs, you're not dealing with absolute fact. There is a gray area that is kind of subject to interpretation. As we can see, the interpretation from one is not always the interpretation of another."

Wells also has not pitched this spring, although the White Sox are not concerned. The left-hander has been slowed by a bad back and is set to make his debut for the White Sox on Saturday against San Francisco.

"Overall he is all right," Williams said. "Today we backed off a bit because of back spasms. But he is fine."

Wells is one of the league's most durable pitchers. He has double-digit victories in seven of the past eight seasons, and his 460 1/3 innings pitched the past two seasons led the AL.

He won a career-high 20 games last year, tying Oakland's Tim Hudson for the AL lead. His nine complete games were a league best and the White Sox are counting on him to be the ace that was missing for last year's Central division champions.

"We're happy that it's over with," Chicago's Jose Valentin said. "We're also happy we're going to have David Wells on our team. He's going to be helpful for the team. He's a heck of a competitor. He's going to help the team win."

Sirotka, 15-10 with a 3.79 ERA last season, was traded with pitchers Kevin Beirne and Mike Williams and outfielder Brian Simmons from the White Sox for Wells and pitcher Matt DeWitt.

Williams, a minor league pitcher, is sidelined with a bone bruise in his right shoulder, but Selig ruled the White Sox were unaware of any injury at the time of the deal.

"I thought we gave up a whole lot to start with," Manuel said. "We gave up some pretty good players. I feel very comfortable that we did the right thing."

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Selig rules no compensation for Blue Jays in Sirotka deal