Whether they reload or rebuild, the White Sox think they have their man in Rick Renteria.
Renteria, named the 40th manager in club history on Monday morning, said he didn’t have any specific requirements about the team’s direction when he spoke to White Sox general manager Rick Hahn about the position.
Nearly 2 1/2 months after he said the White Sox were “mired in mediocrity” and needed to think about changing the way they operate, Hahn didn’t give any indications about which direction the White Sox are headed this offseason other than to say “we know what we want to do.” No matter which way they go, whether they attempt to add on to a strong core of players or sell off assets, Renteria said he’ll be prepared.
“The one thing I tried to stress to myself, to coaches, is, our job is to handle the players that we have,” Renteria said. “So whether it’s a veteran club or a young club, my job is to get the most out of whomever it is that we’re going to be presented with. When you take a managing job, I can tell you that you try to do both, win and develop with younger players. It might be a little tougher proposition because there are quite a few bumps in the road. But in either case you’re trying to end up at the same place.”
[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]
Which direction the team heads this offseason has been a curiosity since Hahn’s comments made ahead of the July 31st nonwaiver trade deadline.
Frustrated by the second-longest postseason drought in the majors, a segment of the fan base hoped for a sell off and was disappointed when the club remained mostly intact on July 31 other than to trade reliever Zach Duke.
Hahn said Monday it does the White Sox no good to lay out their plan now even though the team is fairly certain which way it’s headed. But he also said it wouldn’t take much guesswork when the White Sox finally get going. Either way, the White Sox think they can win with Renteria whether its in the short term or the long run.
“Certainly with our first major transaction and the ones that follow behind, that will make it clear about which direction we intend to go,” Hahn said. “We all feel very strongly that Ricky is the right guy regardless of which direction we go. Even if we go with the say full rebuild, take it to the extreme, Ricky’s background in player development and as a teacher is going to serve us extremely well as we go through that process. However, the end result of that process is a team that is able to win a championship. So we feel he’s the right man whether that championship caliber team is on the field in 2017 or something that were built over a number of years leading up to that year when eventually we’re ready to win again.”