Chris Getz

Chris Getz empathizes with fans discouraged by his hiring as general manager: report

Getz understands he has to work to earn the fanbase's support

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After the White Sox opted to part ways with now former general manager Rick Hahn and Vice President Kenny Williams, chairman Jerry Reinsdorf swiftly ushered in Chris Getz --- previously the team's farm director and assistant general manager --- into the GM seat.

Considering Hahn and Williams have been running the White Sox for over two decades, in which they won one World Series title and five total playoff berths since 2000, fans were not excited they elected a GM cut from the same cloth as the previous regime.

But Getz empathizes with fans about the White Sox' front office situation.

"I’m a fan of sports. And I’ve got sports teams I’ve grown up and feel strongly connected to and if there are struggles, the last thing you want to hear is that there’s going to be an internal hire." Getz told MLB's Scott Merkin in an exclusive interview. "... You get thrust into like you are a part of the problem. 'How could you possibly bring us to a position to be successful?'"

Getz, 40, was once the Director of Player Development for the White Sox, holding that position since 2016 and the assistant general manager title since 2021. There, he worked with the main players from the Sox' championship window, such as Luis Robert Jr., Yoán Moncada, Eloy Jiménez, Michael Kopech, Lucas Giolito, and Dylan Cease.

But once the White Sox parted ways with Hahn and Williams, Reinsdorf took a long look at everything. He became convinced change was needed, but sided with time, as opposed to training an outside mind.

"I started talking to everybody in the baseball department," Reinsdorf said in August 2023. "Then, I started getting convinced I had to make a change. And the change killed me. It wouldn't have been any harder for me to fire my son Michael [Reinsdorf] than it was to fire Kenny [Williams]. Because Kenny was my son, he's still my son.

"I started thinking 'Who's out there?' You don't make a change unless you know that you're going to be able to do something that you're going to improve.

"So I pretty much know who all the potential candidates who are out there, and there's some good guys out there, no question. There are some good guys who can be general managers and have been general managers that are gonna be general managers, maybe this next year.

"That moved me to the thought -- what is it I owe to the fans? I think one of the things I owe the fans is to get better as fast as we can possibly get better. Speed is of the essence. I don't want a long-term proposition.

"It became clear to me that he [Getz] would be one of the major candidates, alongside these other candidates. And then when I started thinking about the speed I owe the fans, I realized that if you bring in somebody from the outside, it's gonna take him a year, he's gonna have to evaluate everybody in the organization. So you'll lose a year."

Here's part of the reason the White Sox are continuing to charge forward with a winning mindset. Baseball rebuilds take time, and Reinsdorf, 87, doesn't want to have to wait for the next rebuild for his South Side team.

Getz offers the White Sox a chance to put themselves back into the playoffs quicker than an outside mind. But still, even that will take time. The roster is stripped of most of its previous assets and the payroll has ducked down from $181 million in 2023 to $124 million this season.

But Reinsdorf saw something in Getz that motivated him to act decisively when choosing his next GM.

"I wanted baseball taught in the minor leagues a certain way where people understood what they were doing," Reinsdorf said. "They understood what's the right thing to do in a certain situation. And nobody ever did it right, until Chris [Getz] came along. And this I observed, you know, a couple of years ago. I was thrilled.

"If I got a guy on the inside who can do the job, why not? Why not do it and save a year?"

Already in the driver's seat, Getz quickly made moves with the White Sox roster. He opted to decline the club options of Liam Hendriks and Tim Anderson. He traded Aaron Bummer to the Braves for a haul in return.

He has gradually built a roster with young, promising players (Dominic Fletcher, Prelander Berroa, Zach DeLoach, Jared Schuster) while surrounding them with veterans on either short or minor-league deals (Michael Soroka, Martin Maldonado, Paul DeJong, John Brebbia, Kevin Pillar, Mike Moustakas, Jesse Chavez).

It's nothing to drool over. But Getz knows he has work in front of him before he earns the fanbase's trust.

"That’s why you go out there and you’ve got to prove your worth," Getz told Merkin. "That will take time and I understand that. That is fair. And hopefully, our fan base can sense us moving in the right direction."

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