'No untouchables' for White Sox as Getz targets team identity

November 8th, 2023

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Chris Getz summed up the thoughts of countless White Sox fans over the past two years with a single sentence during his one-hour media session on Tuesday at the GM Meetings at the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia.

“We have a talented group, there is no question,” Getz said. “I don’t like our team. And we have to make some adjustments to improve in 2024.”

Actually, those pointed words from the White Sox general manager sum up Chicago's situation as a whole. There’s never been an issue finding high-level talent to fill this roster. It’s the reason so many people picked the White Sox as their championship favorites as the competitive window opened in 2021 following a rebuild.

For whatever reason, the White Sox have had trouble building teams. Cohesive units, groups that work together to win, with everyone pulling from the same end of the rope. It may sound trite or cliche, but ask the 2005 World Series champions if that sort of bond matters.

“When I say I don’t like our team, we’ve got pieces that are talented and attractive, and they can be part of a winning club. But obviously, we haven’t gone out there and performed,” Getz continued. “It’s not a well-rounded club right now. We have to find players to come in here and help get us in the right direction.

“It’s going to take time this offseason to fill out this roster. But that’s why we’re here. The GM Meetings here, and having good conversations with other clubs and certainly our own group as we step forward for our futures.”

That first step forward should involve significant roster change. The White Sox already declined 2024 options on shortstop Tim Anderson and closer Liam Hendriks, two integral pieces of the team and former faces of the franchise.

Trades figure to follow, with Getz stressing again on Tuesday, “There are no untouchables.”

“So much of this is going to start from the top. It’s going to start with me,” Getz said. “Players, staff, anyone in this organization needs to know what we’re about and where we’re moving forward. We really need to establish the identity of what the White Sox are about.

“I feel like we’ve lacked that. So I’ve set out to do that right now. Eventually, these players will go out there and meet expectations, but the ultimate goal is to go beyond the expectations. That’s when you know you have a strong culture.”

Getz likes the front-office group in place, feeling fairly settled in his hiring process with the Major League coaching staff for 2024, which was announced on Tuesday. It’s good to have that stability, since Getz has some heavy lifting ahead of him.

There are decisions to be made at second base and shortstop, as well as a catcher to work alongside Korey Lee. Getz mentioned that Oscar Colás would benefit from more regular playing time at Triple-A Charlotte, so add right field to the list. Let’s not forget at least three starting pitchers and a couple of bullpen arms.

Some of that help could come from within, such as shortstop Colson Montgomery (No. 1 White Sox prospect, No. 17 overall per MLB Pipeline), right-handed starter Nick Nastrini (No. 6) and right-handed reliever Jordan Leasure (No. 18). Some might come from player returns via trades involving individuals currently on the roster.

Plenty of moves need to be made to retool this team in Getz’s vision, let alone form a contender in the 2024 American League Central.

“We need pitchers who can attack the zone, get swing-and-miss,” Getz said. “We need hitters who can work counts, get on base. Hit for power. Move the ball. We need players when they are on the basepaths, they know how to take advantage of situations.

“Defenders that understand and position themselves well to make outs for our pitchers. So there’s a lot of different elements that go into a successful ballclub. From a micro standpoint, it starts with acquisition and how we prepare our guys moving forward.”

Basically, the plan is to get better everywhere while building an identity and culture.

“Absolutely,” Getz said. “You certainly don’t want to get lost or overwhelmed with the amount of work that’s in front of you. You wake up each day and find ways to improve your ballclub. That’s how we’re approaching things, and it’s one move at a time.”