Perhaps even more surprising than last week's firing of longtime executive Ken Williams and general manager Rick Hahn was a footnote in White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf's statement in the aftermath.
Post-trade deadline front office hires are rare, but according to Reinsdorf, the White Sox will have a "single decision maker to lead the baseball operations department" in place by the end of the season.
Just eight minutes after the White Sox announced the front office overhaul, Bob Nightengale reported that if the organization decides to hire internally, there's already a frontrunner for the job opening.
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On Tuesday, MLB Network's Jon Morosi added fuel to that fire, reporting that the White Sox are, in fact, “likely to promote their next head of baseball operations from within" the organization.
Chris Getz, 39, is currently in charge of the White Sox' minor league operations and player development system, and also serves as the assistant general manager.
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One's resume is a crucial element in any job application process. To assess whether or not Getz is qualified for the tall task of turning an entire pro sports organization around, a deeper dive than what's on paper is needed.
Out of high school, Getz was selected in the sixth round of the 2002 MLB Draft by the White Sox but instead chose to play baseball at Wake Forest University. He transferred to the University of Michigan after one season.
The White Sox drafted him again in 2005, this time in the fourth round with the 125th-overall pick.
Getz made his MLB debut in 2008, recording his first major league hit and RBI in his very first at-bat. The next season, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillén appointed him the team's starting second baseman out of spring training.
In 117 games with the White Sox, Getz slashed .262/.323/.346 with 32 RBI and seven fielding errors.
The White Sox traded Getz to the Kansas City Royals in the 2009 offseason, and he went on to play a total of 459 games over seven MLB seasons, slashing .250/.309/.307 with three home runs, 111 RBI and 89 stolen bases. He announced his retirement in May 2014.
Getz served as assistant to player development in the Royals organization for two years, winning a World Series title and back-to-back pennants, before returning to the White Sox in 2016 to oversee the minor league system. From 2017 to 2020, he served as director of player development.
In 2021, Getz was promoted to Assistant General Manager/Player Development and has served under that title for the last three seasons.
The White Sox' farm system fell from No. 1 in 2017 to No. 30 by 2021 after graduating a swarm of talented prospects, including Luis Robert Jr., Yoán Moncada, Eloy Jiménez, Michael Kopech, Lucas Giolito and Dylan Cease. As of August 2023, MLB.com has Getz' system ranked at No. 20 – six spots better than it was to start the season thanks to a mournful deadline sell-off.
Typically, that's how this works. Stock the farm system with talented prospects, develop them and send them on their way to collect a paycheck. In a perfect system, an harmony of impeccable scouting and drafting would lead to a well-oiled operation that steadily churns out quality big leaguers while the major league affiliate simultaneously thrives. In a passable system, prospects are adequately groomed into major league talent, and the farm system is emptied in pursuit of a championship window.
And then there are the White Sox, who find themselves with a bottom-tier farm system and nothing to show for it.
Stock talent. Develop prospects. Thrive in the majors. Without assets to begrudgingly sell, it seems this organization has struggled to do all three.
Debating whether or not Getz is "qualified" to run a big league baseball operation is largely irrelevant. We're all capable of succeeding until we don't. The question is whether or not Getz is a byproduct of the flawed system he helped create.
Stock. Develop. Thrive.
Those are the stages of a baseball operation.
So far, Getz is 0-for-2.