Grifol offers high praise for GM candidate Getz

August 23rd, 2023

CHICAGO -- Pedro Grifol has an extensive history with Chris Getz, dating back to when Grifol was a hitting coach with the Royals in 2013 and Getz was their second baseman. And speaking hours before Tim Anderson came home on a throwing error to earn the White Sox a 5-4 walk-off win in 10 innings over the Mariners at Guaranteed Rate Field on Wednesday, Grifol had nothing but good things to say.

The White Sox manager certainly can speak with authority on the knowledge and expertise of the club’s assistant general manager, who could be a leading candidate to become the White Sox next general manager. USA Today’s Bob Nightengale went so far as to say he is expected to be named the club's next GM, but chairman Jerry Reinsdorf has not spoken about the open position since relieving executive vice president Ken Williams and general manager Rick Hahn of their duties one hour before Tuesday’s loss.

“He’s extremely articulate, he’s smart, he’s been around,” said Grifol of Getz. “He’s got experience. Player development really prepares people to do this type of stuff. He’s got experience in the clubhouse as a player, and as an executive. He’s well-equipped to do what he’s being asked to do.

“Even as a player, you can tell he had characteristics of becoming an executive at some point if he chose to go that route. And then when he got into the front office, I know he was highly regarded as a young executive. He’s certainly equipped to do what he’s being asked to do by Jerry right now.”

Getz and Jeremy Haber, another White Sox assistant general manager, are currently overseeing the club’s day-to-day operations, although in answering a question about fundamental things needing to change within the organization, Grifol referred to Getz as “leading us right now.”

The last paragraph of the press release announcing the dismissal of Williams and Hahn mentioned the search for a single decision maker to lead the baseball operations department. It also stated that the organization anticipated having an individual in place by the end of the season.

This sort of wording would seem to indicate a preferred candidate in mind, perhaps someone in-house, such as Getz. But Reinsdorf has not spoken on the parameters of the search or the characteristics he’s looking for in a potential hire.

Nightengale also mentioned Dayton Moore in his article, indicating that the Rangers’ senior advisor of baseball operations could move into a key White Sox front office role. Getz and Moore worked together with the Royals, winning the 2015 World Series and back-to-back pennants in '14 and '15.

“I'm sure that there's going to be 150 names come up that want to be a part of this organization,” said Grifol when asked about Moore. “This is a really good organization with a great owner. ... All he wants to do is win. So there's a lot of good baseball people out there.

“Yes, you hear Dayton's name out there, but I'm sure you're going to hear a ton of names that want to be a part of this. Why wouldn't you want to be a part of this?”

White Sox players, along with Grifol, were left to dissect what went wrong leading to the moves involving Williams and Hahn. After winning the American League Central in 2021, the club seemed on the precipice of contending for a championship.

Instead it fell off that precipice, following up last year’s frustrating, mediocre campaign with this season’s debacle.

“We just haven’t gotten the job done, that’s plain and simple,” White Sox catcher Yasmani Grandal said. “I’ve always said I didn’t care where I was, I could take a team to the playoffs no matter what. But obviously it’s not about one guy. It’s about a whole team. For me, if I would’ve stayed on the field, maybe things would have been different. That’s the way I look at it.”

"At the end of the day, we understand the business, and we have to keep pushing and try to get in that positive lane," Anderson added.

Could a trip into that positive lane be steered by Getz? It looks as if the hiring is just getting moving, but could also be resolved quickly.

“He’s 24/7, extremely smart, knows the organization,” said Grifol of Getz. “Understands moves, understands personalities and the mind that it takes to move to the next level, the timing it takes to move to the next level. He’s really smart and he’s well-equipped for this.”

“I have a good relationship with Chris,” said White Sox starting pitcher Michael Kopech, who worked four scoreless innings, striking out five and walking four, before leaving with leg cramps against Seattle. “He used to be a player himself and so he’s got a respect for the guys who go out there and work hard on the field. If he’s the one doing the job, I think he’ll do a great job.”