Chris Getz was drafted and began his major league career with the Chicago White Sox.
He is now responsible for leading the team in the right direction after being named senior vice president and general manager of the franchise.
“It’s an opportunity that I don’t take lightly, and there’s a lot of work to be done,” Getz said during his introductory press conference Thursday at Garanti Rate Field. “I’m not naive in thinking that things have to change. To that, I’ll say the fans deserve different, I’m different, we’ll be different.
It’s a promotion for Getz, who was in his seventh season overseeing minor league operations and the team’s player development system and his third as assistant general manager.
“One of the things I owe to the fans is to improve myself as fast as possible,” President Jerry Reinsdorf said in an interview with a group of reporters. “Speed is essential. I don’t want this to be a long-term proposition.
“It became clear to me that he would be one of the major candidates, along with these outside candidates. And then when I started to think about how much speed I owe the fans, I realized that if we bring in someone from outside, it’s going to take them a year. He’s going to have to assess everyone in the organization. I could bring in Branch Rickey, if he was available, and he’d have to assess everyone.
“So you lose a year. And here I had someone inside who was very, very competitive. So I came to the conclusion that if I have someone inside who can do the job, why not? Why not do it indoors and save a year? And that’s basically how I got to Chris.
Getz, 40, takes over after the Sox fired executive vice president Ken Williams and general manager Rick Hahn on Aug. 22.
“I wanted to give Chris as much time (as possible) to get started,” Reinsdorf said of the timing of the moves. “The end of the season is approaching. Free agency is going to become a problem. We have the directors general meetings, we have the winter meetings. I wanted to give as much time as possible.
“And the second reason was that I wanted to give Rick Hahn as much time as possible to be on somebody else’s radar rather than wait until the end of the year.”
Getz has worked his way through the organization since the Sox hired him in October 2016. He served as director of player development from 2017 to 2020 before being promoted to assistant general manager in 2021.
Getz spent 2015-16 as a baseball operations assistant in player development with the Kansas City Royals, who won the 2015 World Series.
“Like any leader of an organization you are shaped by your experiences and I’m a recent player, I’ve been an executive in another organization and obviously I have my experiences here,” Getz said. “You learn from these experiences and it will shape me into the style of leadership that I will have.
“I realize that there is skepticism, it’s true. I’m an inside employee and I have to bear that burden and it’s my job to go out there and prove me wrong.
The Sox selected Getz in the fourth round of the 2005 entry draft. He played seven major league seasons as a second baseman for the Sox (2008-09), Royals (2010-13) and Blue Jays Toronto (2014), hitting .250 with 176 points and 89 stolen bases in 459 games.
He becomes the general manager of a franchise that — after back-to-back playoff appearances in 2020 and 2021 — fell short of its goals in a once-promising rebuild.
“The 2023 season was my 43rd season in baseball,” Reinsdorf said. “It was absolutely the worst season I have ever had. It was a nightmare. It’s always a nightmare. It’s embarassing. It’s disgusting. All the bad words you can think of are how I feel about the 2023 season. It was absolutely awful.
The Sox are 53-81 as the team enters the final month of the season with the first of three Friday against the Detroit Tigers at Garanti Rate Field.
Reinsdorf does not plan to rebuild in 2024.
“Everyone says that when you build a building, the foundation comes first,” he said. “We have a foundation here. We’re not going to take the guys we currently have to clean up and start over. We are definitely not going to do that.
Getz said manager Pedro Grifol will be back next season.
“It’s important to provide stability for our players,” Getz said. “There’s been a lot of change over the last few years and certainly here recently, and I believe we need to get back to playing baseball again, focusing on baseball so that when these players show up every day, they can focus on the game. game and not on the leaders in the organization.”
Getz knows there are gaps to fill if the Sox are to show improvement. And he’s ready to get to work, including scheduling meetings with Grifol and the players to get feedback.
“Through my understanding of the ins and outs of this organization, I intend to empower the talent that already exists, quickly fill the gaps by recruiting externally, and bring innovation, creativity and energy into our pursuit of excellence,” said Getz. “Regarding our squad of 40 players, the approach is that no one is untouchable. If we have the opportunity to multiply or improve our major league team from our roster or our system, we will exhaust it. We’ll be looking to create more depth and balance in our short and long term roster.
“I am excited about the change that has already started and will continue. I look forward to further evaluating our departments and our foundation and am ready to officially begin this next chapter.