On Thursday afternoon, Chicago White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf spoke with the media for about 30 minutes prior to the introductory press conference for the team’s new Senior Vice President and General Manager, Chris Getz. He outlined his plan for 2024, the process that led to choosing to promote Getz rather than interview external candidates, and more.
Reinsdorf argues that an external hire (he later implied that he did not interview external candidates) would be burdensome because he/she would need about a year to evaluate the organization and determine the changes that would need to be made. This answer is a perfect example of the disconnect between Reinsdorf and fans. As a fan, the prospect of an external candidate thoroughly reviewing every aspect of the organization to uncover exactly what needs to be improved sounds fantastic.
Of course, in an ideal world, this process would take far less than a year. But given that the 2024 White Sox have only one objectively good everyday player on the roster as of now, the chances of the team seriously contending in the short-term are extremely small regardless. Taking what is likely to be another poor season and using it to audit the organization would actually be a very productive use of time, especially given the alternatives.
The above is not exactly a ringing endorsement of Chris Getz. While Reinsdorf essentially cornered himself into hiring an internal candidate due to his disdain for a full, outside review of the organization, he did not need to immediately resort to Getz. A structured interview process, even if only internal candidates were being considered, would have at least given the organization more information before making such a massive decision.
Overall, the primary issue with Reinsdorf’s demand for the team to compete in 2024 is that it is borderline impossible. With the amount of question marks on the roster, even considering the prospects currently at AA Birmingham that could feasibly contribute in 2024, competing next year would require free agent expenditures that exceed anything the White Sox have ever carried out.
The upcoming free agent class is not very impressive outside of a few top-tier players. If the White Sox were to sign Shohei Ohtani, the team would still not even be a true contender (Ohtani and Robert Jr. would basically be the new Ohtani and Trout, with the same lack of postseason appearances). But there is no need to worry about that — Reinsdorf went out of his way to inform fans that Ohtani or other pitchers seeking long-term deals will not be considered.
As a result, Reinsdorf’s plan to compete in 2024 is even less achievable. Even in the American League Central, a ~100-loss team does not magically become a playoff contender in one year without several major additions, positive regression from existing players, injury luck, etc. — all things that the 2024 White Sox probably will not have. Even if the team rushes players like Colson Montgomery, Edgar Quero, and Cristian Mena to the MLB roster, Reinsdorf’s self-imposed restrictions will prevent the team from adding the ~30 wins it will need to make the playoffs.
Earlier in the season, Rick Hahn spoke about 2024 as a contending year even if the 2023 team failed. Whether it was blind optimism or a concrete plan, it never felt like something that would actually happen given how the season was trending. Now, the proclamations from Reinsdorf and Getz are even more ridiculous. Teams as abysmal as the 2023 White Sox do not become contenders overnight, and if nearly a dozen significant (and as a result, expensive) players are not brought in this winter, the 2024 team will suffer the same fate.
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