The Chicago White Sox have been busy since the World Series wrapped up.
Thursday, they introduced Paul Janish as the organization’s director of player development.
The next day, the Sox declined the club option on closer Liam Hendriks for 2024 while starter Mike Clevinger declined a mutual option. The changes continued Saturday when the Sox declined shortstop Tim Anderson’s club option for 2024.
All that activity came ahead of the MLB general managers’ meetings, which formally begin Tuesday at a resort in Paradise Valley, Ariz.
It will be Chris Getz’s first since being promoted to Sox GM on Aug. 31.
“I’ve had a lot of conversations with other general managers around the league, just understanding their needs and conveying what we’re set out to do as well and see if we match up,” Getz said during a video conference Thursday. “Clearly, we’ve got some work to do based on the production we’ve had on the field the last two years.”
The Sox followed up an 81-81 season in 2022 with 101 losses in 2023.
The offseason work includes determining the best fits at shortstop, second base, right field and catcher, along with openings in the starting rotation and bullpen.
“I certainly have a vision for our club for next year and years after,” Getz said. “Some of it is going to be at the mercy of perhaps some other clubs and what their willingness is to do.
“We’ve got some holes to fill. We may have to get fairly creative on how we tackle some of those holes, but I look forward to really diving in deeper and getting in front of some of these other general managers and seeing what we can accomplish.”
The Sox know the defense must improve. They were tied for 10th in the American League with 95 errors and tied for 11th in the league with a .983 fielding percentage.
“Generally speaking, we certainly on the defensive side need to improve at many spots,” Getz said. “Fundamentally there were some breakdowns that led to some really ugly games.
“We have some talent on the roster but it’s not a team that has come together and produced on a consistent basis and that’s why we’re in the position that we’re in. So they’re certainly a short-term, midterm and long-term goal. It’s going to take a little bit of time to certainly present itself, but there is a plan in place. I look forward to executing it.”
The Sox will have a new look at shortstop after penciling Anderson in as the Opening Day starter in six of the last seven seasons (he missed the first two games of 2022 serving a suspension). Second base and right field continue to be spots where the Sox look for a consistent answer.
Korey Lee did a bulk of the catching down the stretch after arriving via a trade from the Houston Astros. He displayed a strong arm, but hit .077 (5-for-65) in 24 games.
Three of the team’s five starters from the beginning of 2023 (Lucas Giolito, Lance Lynn and Clevinger) are no longer around. Ditto with three of the top five relievers (Kendall Graveman, Reynaldo López and Keynan Middleton) based on appearances for the Sox.
“There is talent on this club,” Getz said. “Perhaps, you use some of that talent to plug into other holes. But deeper than that, there were players postgame in Texas (after Game 5 of the World Series) who pointed to (Rangers GM) Chris Young’s sentiment last offseason with some of the foundational values that he really prioritized. I felt when those players highlighted it, it was very powerful and when I was named to this position, establishing the values for the White Sox in who we are going to be is very important to me.
“That’s something that I’ve set out to do. We are in meetings right now with department heads and really establishing how we are going to operate. That will bleed into our players and continue to operate that way through the offseason as we execute in a way to improve our roster.”