Sep 02, 2023

Spare Parts: Before it Getz worse

Danny Parkins of 670 The Score reported during Wednesday afternoon’s White Sox winner that the team is set to announce Chris Getz as the “new lead baseball decision” maker today.

Anticipating that the White Sox will make some news within hours that could clarify or overrule anything I could write now, I’ll just point you to three things:

No. 1: This surprisingly effective summary from Tori Rubinstein about why the Getz hiring generates zero enthusiasm. It’s only surprising because it’s from NBC Sports Chicago, although the White Sox’s broadcast home has really dropped the gloves on the team, and not in the Tim Anderson sense.

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, 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.

No. 2: I appeared on WBBM Newsradio’s Looped In: Chicago podcast with Rob Hart (not together; host Jim Hanke interviewed us separately) to talk about all the White Sox dysfunction. Jim and I recorded our segment before the shooting in the bleachers, and we still had way too much to discuss.

No. 3: The Sox Machine YouTube page, because comedian and podcast pioneer Jimmy Pardo will join me and Josh at 7 p.m. CT for Sox Machine Live, and subscribing to our page will remind you when we’re on the air.

The woman in question is the 42-year-old who suffered two gunshot wounds in her right leg. Her lawyer says the evidence they’ve reviewed was not self-inflicted. The mystery continues, and the ATF is getting involved.

Travis Sawchik rides along with an NBC Sports Chicago broadcast, giving a fascinating account of what Jason Benetti and Steve Stone are saying during a July White Sox-Cardinals game around their interactions with Chris Withers in the truck.

The Angels’ postseason push toppled in the other direction. Kinda like…


… so now they’ve put all of their additions on the waiver wire in hopes of falling below the $233 million competitive balance tax payroll threshold.

The latter question applies to Mike Clevinger, whom the White Sox placed on waivers with hopes of some other team having to deal with the $4 million buyout afterward.

This seems like an obvious move for teams that are out of it, but I’m curious if Major League Baseball will implement limitations. The combination of no August trades and CBT thresholds is a relatively recent development, and it may not have been fully exploited yet.

The Royals are the one team the White Sox pull from, probably because the Royals most remind the White Sox of themselves. This sounds awfully familiar, doesn’t it?

If it was frustrating to watch the Moore baseball ops administration fail to change with the times, it was equally frustrating to watch, in a golden opportunity, the Royals decline to bring on new talent into key positions in the front office. Instead, the Royals have elected to promote from within and maintain the same group of individuals who presided over the awful situation the club occupies. The result is this list of names of the vice presidents and/or assistant general managers on the baseball operations side of the department and, importantly, when they first joined the front office:

All this losing, and yet you can see that the core leaders in the front office are entirely unchanged from the Moore administration. Indeed, four of them—Picollo, Sharp, Watson, and Francisco—were some of Moore’s very first hires. Goldberg was an old college buddy of Moore and Picollo.

No. 1:No. 2: No. 3:Police have still not determined how 2 fans were struck by gunfire — Chicago Sun-TimesWoman shot at White Sox game says she didn’t sneak gun into ballpark — Block Club ChicagoBehind the scenes of ‘the show’: Deconstructing a baseball telecast — The ScoreFree Lucas Giolito. And Reynaldo López. And Matt Moore. And… — FanGraphsQ&A: What the heck did the Angels (and some other teams) just do? — FanGraphsAfter a season this bad, the front office still needs shaking up — Royals Review