CHICAGO -- Chris Getz has been named the new White Sox general manager.
And as the singular voice now atop the White Sox baseball department -- replacing executive vice president Ken Williams and general manager Rick Hahn, who were relieved of their responsibilities on Aug. 22 -- Getz talked about doing a deep dive into the organization to get things right as one of his first tasks.
“Our commitment is to our fans and we realize they're not happy,” said Getz during Thursday’s press conference at Guaranteed Rate Field, after being introduced by White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf. “I'm going to rely on the group we have here and bring in different ideas and thinking to boost the intellectual firepower that we have.
“We're fortunate to play in the American League Central and we've got to find ways to build depth and balance to this roster to make us better for next year and beyond. We need to look at our roster, and if that means we need to talk to other clubs or fill gaps in other ways, we're going to do that.”
This change comes in the wake of two extremely rough seasons for the White Sox, who finished at 81-81 in 2022 and are on the brink of official playoff elimination during manager Pedro Grifol’s first year at the helm. Grifol, who has two years left on his contract, was at Thursday’s press conference, where Getz announced his return for a second year as manager.
The disappointing campaigns were supposed to be a continuation of their competitive window after a rebuild, following their first back-to-back playoff appearances in franchise history as a Wild Card in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season and then winning the division in ’21. The White Sox hired Getz away from the Royals in October 2016 as director of player development in a move earning high praise around baseball.
He was promoted to assistant general manager in January 2021 and was part of the hiring process for Grifol, whom he played for and worked with in Kansas City. Reinsdorf liked the way baseball was being taught under Getz while he ran the White Sox Minor Leagues, and he wouldn’t have made the change from Hahn and Williams unless he knew he could do something to improve.
“I pretty much know all the potential candidates out there,” Reinsdorf said. “And there are some good guys out there, good guys who can be general managers, who have been general managers and are going to be general managers. Maybe even this next year. My first feeling was I will interview internal candidates and then ask permission to talk to these other guys.”
That thought process moved Reinsdorf to think, "What do I owe the fans?" And one of the things was for the White Sox to get better as fast as possible.
“Speed is of the essence. In the meantime, I don’t know how many conversations I had with Chris,” Reinsdorf said. “It became clear to me that he would be one of the major candidates, along with these outside candidates. I realized that if you bring in somebody from the outside, it’s going to take him a year. He’s going to have to evaluate everybody in the organization.
“I could bring Branch Rickey in, if he was available, and he’d have to evaluate everybody. So you lose a year, and here I had somebody inside who was very, very competitive, and it might even be the guy I would select if I had to talk to all these other guys. So I came to the conclusion that if I’ve got a guy inside who can do the job, why not? Why not do it inside and save a year? And that’s basically how I got to Chris.”
Selected in the fourth round of the 2005 Draft out of the University of Michigan, Getz was the White Sox starting second baseman in 2009 and swiped 25 bases to go with a .261 average. He retired after the '14 season with the Blue Jays.
Getz, who is married with three children, turned 40 on Wednesday. He has a great deal of work ahead of him and tough decisions to make. The White Sox farm system was ranked 26th by MLB Pipeline entering the season but rose to 20th in the midseason reranking with the emergence of shortstop Colson Montgomery and left-handed starter Noah Schultz, along with the acquisition of another top left-handed starter in Jake Eder and catcher Edgar Quero at the Trade Deadline.