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Jerry Reinsdorf meets with Nashville Mayor Freddie O’Connell

by Jordan Lazowski

Jerry Reinsdorf apparently has more than one reason for being in Nashville this week.

According to Shia Kapos of Politico, during this week’s Winter Meetings, the White Sox chairman met with Nashville Mayor Freddie O’Connell on Tuesday.

The White Sox were willing to confirm the report that Reinsdorf met with O’Connell, but would not reveal what the meeting was about.

The biggest reason this is considered relevant is because of recent reporting this offseason regarding Jerry Reinsdorf’s supposed willingness to explore relocating the White Sox.

Back in August, Greg Hinz of Crain’s Chicago released an article detailing Jerry Reinsdorf’s latest quiet series of moves that have included exploring options for the White Sox beyond Guaranteed Rate Field – both inside and outside of Chicago. Based on that report, everything appears to be on the table – though no decision is considered imminent. The club could find themselves deciding between staying on the South Side, moving to a new location in the city or suburbs, or even relocating – with a move to Nashville referenced in the report.

Adding fuel to this fire are Reinsdorf’s recent comments, stating the following to MLB.com beat writer Scott Merkin regarding the team’s lease: “If we have six years left, we’ve got to decide what’s the future going to be?”

However, there are plenty of reasons to doubt that the White Sox would ever be moving out of Chicago, much less to Nashville. While a popular city in expansion discussions, the White Sox would not represent an expansion effort in Nashville. In addition, any relocation efforts wouldn’t happen until after the 2028 season, meaning the White Sox would likely be working with a completely different mayor on the topic of relocation – making any conversations today seem premature. Finally, given that Chicago is one of baseball’s largest markets, it’s fair to be skeptical of the idea that Major League Baseball would ever entertain the idea of moving a team out of a large market.

According to Bob Nightengale at USA Today, as of late August, Jerry Reinsdorf and the White Sox are also currently exploring three sites for a potential move out of Guaranteed Rate Field after their lease ends in 2028:

  • The United Center area
  • Arlington Heights
  • Soldier Field

This aligns more with recent rumors that the White Sox have been exploring options closer to the Loop in Chicago. None of this is incredibly foreign to the concept of negotiations – for those old enough to remember, Reinsdorf previously threatened to move the White Sox to Tampa Bay before settling on a deal to build then-New Comiskey Park in the 1990s.

So, it’s worth knowing this information – but, not necessarily worth reading into that much. Should more information become available, we will continue to provide updates.

Follow us @SoxOn35th for more throughout the offseason!

Featured Image: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

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