12 potential candidates for White Sox manager

October 4th, 2022

This story was excerpted from Scott Merkin’s White Sox Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

CHICAGO -- Who’s next?

That question now falls front and center for White Sox general manager Rick Hahn after Tony La Russa announced his managerial retirement at a Monday afternoon press conference at Guaranteed Rate Field’s Conference and Learning Center. It’s a question he was prepared to answer after the 2020 season, when Rick Renteria was dismissed, but the answer was somewhat provided for him.

“Yeah, I think this will be a different process than the last time around,” Hahn said during an hour-long press conference prior to Monday’s 3-2 win over the Twins.

So, what will Hahn want? It’s certainly an individual with an inclination toward analytics combined with the old school baseball mentality connected to a successful franchise, as well as some sort of managerial or coaching experience. Let’s not forget the ability to work collaboratively as a cohesive unit.

And having ties to the White Sox organization will not be a prerequisite.

“We are going to use this opportunity to get different perspectives,” Hahn said. “New way of looking at things, a little different from those who have been a little more insular to the organization. As we sit here today, we are eager to use this opportunity to get some outside perspectives on this club and ways we can get better.”

Here are a few names that come to mind, in absolutely no particular order.

Bruce Bochy
Bochy retired after the 2019 season with three World Series championships on his resume. He’s a good communicator and clearly knows how to get the best out of his team. But Bochy is 67 years old -- will the White Sox go a younger route?

A.J. Pierzynski
Pierzynski knows baseball’s nuances, and he understands what it takes to win and win consistently. But he doesn’t have any previous dugout experience.

Willie Harris
Harris, who scored the deciding run in Game 4 of the 2005 World Series, interviewed for the White Sox managerial opening before La Russa was named manager in 2020 and has coached in their Minor League system. The Cubs' third-base coach comes highly regarded and knows the White Sox organization.

Joe Espada
He’s the bench coach for the Astros, who have been the AL’s best team over the last two seasons and is also bilingual. He’s interviewed for managerial positions previously, and the White Sox could be his chance.

Matt Quatraro
Quatraro is the bench coach for one of the most innovative franchises in baseball, the Rays. He’s also interviewed for previous managerial openings.

Jim Thome
Along with being one of the classiest people involved with the game, Thome will forget more about baseball than most of us know. He’s in a good position now, though, being able to simultaneously work for MLB Network and the White Sox front office while serving as the president of the MLBPAA.

Carlos Beltrán
The accomplished outfielder was hired by the Mets as their manager in 2019, but mutually agreed to depart before managing a game after being implicated in the Astros' sign-stealing scandal. Would that scandal be too much for chairman Jerry Reinsdorf to overlook? Beltrán also was mentioned in the original USA Today article discussing La Russa’s retirement.

Chris Getz
His baseball acumen is highly respected across the game, including by Hahn. But Getz seems to be more on a general manager’s path than in the dugout.

Joe Maddon/Joe Girardi
Both tremendously successful managers, with Maddon having won one of the two World Series titles in Chicago in the last 100 years.

Miguel Cairo
Cairo moved from bench coach to acting manager on Aug. 30 and guided the team back into AL Central contention with a 13-6 run. The ensuing results ultimately saw the White Sox fall well back into second place, but Cairo is a candidate whom the players and front office know and whose energy seemed to resonate with the team.

Walt Weiss
Weiss is another former manager currently serving as bench coach for the Atlanta Braves, who are looking to defend their World Series title.

There’s no set timetable on the hire, especially with some of the potential candidates being active during the postseason.