CARLSBAD, Calif. -- Despite the team not making it known publicly, 2019 is not the final year of Rick Renteria’s existing contract.
During a half-hour question-and-answer session with reporters Tuesday at the GM Meetings, White Sox general manager Rick Hahn revealed that the club quietly extended Renteria at some point in the past and that his contract now runs beyond the 2019 campaign.
That came as a surprise to everyone outside the organization, as it was the common belief that Renteria inked a three-year deal when he took over as the South Side skipper ahead of the 2017 season. Hahn made sure to point out that even those initial contract terms were never announced by the team.
“It wasn’t announced,” Hahn said of the extension. “We don’t tend to advertise these things. We never even announced the mention of a three-year deal at the start. We never announced it as a three-year deal.
“He’s extended into the future,” Hahn added. “We extended him a while back. Personally, I know it’s been a story in the local market recently, but from my standpoint, the length of contracts for pro sports executives or managers or anything, is it really that relevant?
“Eventually you are retained because we feel you’re the right guy or ownership feels the front office are the right people to win, or they make a change. It’s been my experience that the length of a remaining contract has never played a role in the decision to make a change or not.”
Renteria has always had the full public support of Hahn and all parts of the White Sox organization, but the opinion of the manager among certain fans on social media hasn’t always been the same. With the White Sox record 129-195 under his leadership, some Twitter-using fans have grown a bit restless and set their sights on bigger names with more winning experience. And the looming end of Renteria’s current contract set up plenty of speculation about different possibilities for the manager’s chair.
But this news makes those discussions, which never represented the publicly stated opinion of the organization, even more speculative and less likely to come to fruition.
Hahn has had nothing but positive things to say about the job Renteria has done with a roster in rebuilding mode, praising the player-development and culture-establishing aspects of Renteria’s work. Renteria hasn’t won much since taking over for Robin Ventura following the latter’s five seasons, but that’s not very surprising considering the direction of a franchise in rebuilding mode.
The extension, as low key as it might have been, reaffirms the team’s faith in what Renteria is doing.