- Editor's Note: "South Side Mailbag: Who should be the next White Sox manager?" originally appeared on Sox on 35th. Adam Kaplan of Sox On 35th will be a regular contributor to NBC Sports Chicago's White Sox coverage for the 2022 season. You can read more of their coverage at SoxOn35th.com, and follow them on Twitter at @SoxOn35th.
After weeks of speculating since Tony La Russa took a leave of absence towards the end of the 2022 season, the Hall of Fame manager has officially announced his retirement from the White Sox. As the organization moves towards hiring a new manager, the Sox On 35th team speculates on the process and offers their own suggestions.
Who Should Be The Next Manager for the White Sox?
Jordan Lazowski | Editor-in-Chief
My biggest hope for this search is that Rick Hahn gets his wish and is able to conduct a search that isn't insular in nature. Analytically driven managers from other organizations appeal to me, as this team and organization are in desperate need of new ideas, philosophies, and opinions. Speaking Spanish is a plus for me, but not a requirement, due to the makeup of this team's roster. A new voice with the energy necessary to hold 26 players accountable should, at the end of the day, be the most important requirement.
My list of names includes [Houston Astros bench coach] Joe Espada, [Tampa Bay Rays third base coach] Matt Quatraro, and [former player] Carlos Beltran. My dark horse candidate would be [Boston Red Sox bench coach] Will Venable, who appears pretty lined up to take over the job in Texas. With Espada and Quatraro, you get long-time bench coaches from winning organizations. With Beltran, you get a leader who, reportedly, is incredibly forward-thinking.
At the end of the day, so long as Rick Hahn and Kenny Williams are the ones making this choice, I have a hard time believing I'll be too upset with their decision.
Nik Gaur | Managing Editor
While A.J. Pierzynski feels like a possible hire, I would love for the White Sox to, for once, conduct a thorough interview process with external candidates from a variety of backgrounds. I have always liked Joe Espada, and his lack of a managerial role to date is somewhat puzzling. Matt Quatraro is another popular name, although I really just want somebody who is unlike the typical White Sox manager.
I would like the next manager to be more analytically inclined, willing to consider new/different information and ideas, and ideally have no prior ties to the organization. Another positive trait would be if the manager speaks Spanish, given that so many players on the White Sox roster speak Spanish as their primary language.
Noah Phalen | Contributor
I think the process by which the White Sox choose their next manager is almost more important than the end result of the search. The White Sox need to do a comprehensive search for their next manager - something that they haven’t done in a long time. There are several candidates that I believe could be good fits, including the previously mentioned Espada, Quatraro, and Beltran. Additionally, [Cleveland Guardians first base coach] Sandy Alomar Jr. would be a great candidate to finally get his chance after spending years in Cleveland. All of these candidates come from winning teams with good player development systems, and all speak Spanish.
Michael Suareo | Contributor
The White Sox have a talented roster in place, so while bringing in a proven manager makes sense, it isn’t completely necessary. What they do need is a manager who can incorporate a winning culture along with a modern analytical approach. This is why Matt Quatraro makes the most sense for this role, as he comes from the most analytically inclined MLB organization and has been part of several playoff seasons while acting as the bench coach for the Tampa Bay Rays. He is the anti-LaRussa, which is exactly what the White Sox need.
Thatcher Zalewski | Contributor
With Tony La Russa not returning as manager next year, it opens up a very interesting managerial position for potential candidates. The next manager of the White Sox should be Tampa Bay Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro. Quatraro would be coming from a very analytical-inclined organization, which the White Sox needs. He also has plenty of postseason experience from being with the Rays. He has also been working under Kevin Cash, one of the game's best managers.
Duke Coughlin | Contributor
With rumors swirling regarding Tony La Russa potentially retiring as soon as Monday, I think Rick Hahn and Co. need to look outside the building for their next manager. Miguel Cairo deserves a little bit of credit for stepping up late in the season, but his inexperience showed in his late-game decisions and shouldn't be a genuine consideration for the position in 2023.
As far as names to consider, I think there are quite a few intriguing options available. Former Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons will certainly get interest around the league this winter, as well as Cleveland Guardians first base coach Sandy Alomar Jr. The most intriguing of them all, however, has to be Former San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy, who has teased potentially returning to baseball. Bochy will be managing for France in the upcoming WBC tournament, something the White Sox will almost certainly keep an eye on.
The more this front office explores managerial options outside of the organization, the better.