The Chicago White Sox have decided that the solution to a failed rebuild is to promote from within.
The team named assistant general manager Chris Getz as its senior vice president and general manager on Thursday, nine days after firing executive vice president Ken Williams and general manager Rick Hahn.
OFFICIAL: Chris Getz has been named senior vice president/general manager of the Chicago White Sox. pic.twitter.com/MPjlDuI7p6
— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) August 31, 2023
Getz, who spent two seasons with the White Sox during his playing career, rejoined the organization as director of player development before being promoted to assistant general manager in 2021. He was widely speculated as the likely pick to become GM if team owner Jerry Reinsdorf made an internal hire.
The transition comes despite an exceedingly rough stretch the past several years for the White Sox, with a full rebuild likely coming on the South Side. The White Sox embraced a rebuild after going 78-84 in the 2016 season, trading Chris Sale, Adam Eaton and, later, José Quintana for top prospects such as Yoán Moncada, Lucas Giolito and Eloy Jiménez.
That core made the future seem bright for Chicago, culminating in the team's first division title in 13 years when it went 93-69 in 2021 to win the AL Central. Since then, however, the club has slowly spiraled into a disaster.
The White Sox failed to defend their division title, going 81-81 in 2022, then fully crashed this season. The team's record currently sits at 53-81, fourth-worst in the majors. Getz will now be tasked with picking up the pieces, and the situation might only get worse with Giolito already traded away and the likes of Moncada, Jiménez, Tim Anderson and Yasmani Grandal all hitting free agency in the next couple of offseasons.
Jerry Reinsdorf addresses White Sox future, commits CBA violation
Hours after the Getz hire was announced, Reinsdorf and Getz spoke with reporters about the future of the team, with Getz confirming that first-year manager Pedro Grifol will remain with the team next season.
Reinsdorf did his best to commiserate with a fan base that has been frustrated with him in the best of times, then insisted that the recent shooting at a White Sox game did not occur inside Guaranteed Rate Field:
"This has been my 43rd year in baseball. It's the worst year I've ever suffered through. It's been a horrible experience. I feel awful. I know how our fans feel. We're gonna put this behind us, and we're gonna go forward and get better, but this has really been a nightmare.
"One other thing I want to talk about is I spoke to Superintendent [Fred] Waller of the police department last night. He authorized me to tell everybody that regardless of what has been said in the past by anybody, the police have not ruled out the possibility or the probability that the gunshots the other night came from outside the ballpark.
"I don't want to comment on the specific details because the police are still investigating. They haven't come to a final conclusion, but we have done a lot of investigation. We have gathered a lot of facts, and, without getting into the detail because I don't want to influence the police's decision, but the fact is based upon the information available to us, I see virtually no possibility that the gunshots came from within the ballpark. It's totally safe to be in this ballpark. I don't think a gun has ever gotten past our security. I think ultimately that will come out. I'm hopeful the police department will finish their investigation as soon as possible."
Reinsdorf addressed a number of issues with reporters — he hadn't spoken since firing Williams and Hahn — but his most curious comment came when discussing the team's lack of spending. He described the team's $181 million payroll this season (13th in MLB) as competitive, but said the team wouldn't be bidding for a certain Japanese two-way phenom:
"We're not going to be in any [Shohei] Ohtani race, I'll tell you that."
Unfortunately for Reinsdorf, an MLB owner publicly stating he will not pursue a free agent is explicitly a violation of the league's collective bargaining agreement, so he can expect a fine and/or castigation from the MLB Players Association in the near future.
Reinsdorf also he said he was "sick and tired" of hearing that his previous hire of Tony La Russa as manager was a mistake, noting that the White Sox won the AL Central under La Russa in 2021 and La Russa dealt with serious health issues in 2022. La Russa was 77 years old that season.