The Chicago White Sox are one of baseball’s up-and-coming teams, and now the team is poised to become the premier destination for free agent managers, as they look to replace Rick Renteria at the helm this offseason.
Renteria, let go by the team Monday, guided the team to its first postseason berth in more than a decade this season, but will now have to watch another skipper take over the reins and lead the White Sox toward their potential destiny.
The team, loaded with young talent, will undoubtedly have its pick of candidates for the now-vacant managerial position, and there are several names that have already popped up in rumors as potentially fitting what the Sox will be looking for in their new leader.
Here are a few names for White Sox fans to keep an eye on this fall:
Sandy Alomar Jr.
Alomar has served on the Indians’ staff in a variety of roles for a decade, and stepped in to manage the team this season after Terry Francona left the club to deal with health issues. The Indians went 28-18 under his leadership, but were swept out of the playoffs.
Alomar played for the White Sox on three separate occasions, so he already has plenty of familiarity with the team. It wouldn’t be a stretch at all to see him get a chance at interviewing for the position, and he could finally land the managerial gig that he has been so close to earning throughout his career with the Tribe.
In news that is sure to cause some serious debate among baseball fans, multiple names that have come up in connection to the White Sox job were among those most involved in the Houston Astros’ cheating scandal, and Cora was right there among them.
Cora, the bench coach for the Astros while they were stealing signs during multiple playoff runs, parted ways with the Boston Red Sox earlier this year. Cora led the Red Sox to the 2018 World Series title, and would seem to fit the desire expressed by White Sox GM Rick Hahn that the team should target coaches with recent experience in championship situations.
Another person with Astros connections who could potentially get a look from the White Sox is Espada, who is currently the bench coach in Houston under Dusty Baker.
Espada has been frequently floated as a potential candidate for Major League openings, and with his extensive coaching experience, he could be an intriguing candidate for the White Sox to consider.
Gonzalez has had multiple stints as a manager, serving in that role with the Miami Marlins and Atlanta Braves, and is currently the bench coach for the Baltimore Orioles.
He has an above .500 winning percentage as a manager, and led the Braves to multiple postseason appearances. He hasn’t been involved with a championship-winning team before, but after several years out of a managerial role, could he be a person that could earn the respect of the White Sox young clubhouse and guide them to a title?
Speaking of World Series-winning managers, Hinch was at the helm when the Astros won the title in 2017, and although he was dumped from that position and suspended by Major League Baseball for his role in the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal, he has remained an intriguing candidate for multiple teams looking for a new voice at the top.
Hinch joined the Astros prior to the 2015 season, and led the team to four playoff appearances in his five seasons. The Astros won two pennants during Hinch’s tenure, and captured their first World Series title in franchise history under his leadership in 2017.
Yes, the cheating scandal is going to turn a lot of fans off to Hinch and to Cora, but if the White Sox want a manager with a track record of success with young and ambitious teams, then Hinch could be a very interesting fit.
Tony La Russa
We’re surprised to be typing this name too, but according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, the White Sox plan to reach out to La Russa to potentially gauge his interest in the club’s managerial position:
La Russa has managed in nearly 5,100 career MLB games, capturing three World Series titles with the Oakland A’s and St. Louis Cardinals. He brings a wealth of experience in a wide variety of roles, and does have a connection to the White Sox, as he started out his managerial career with the team and led them to the ALCS in 1983.
Realistically however, there is plenty to be skeptical about with La Russa. He hasn’t managed since that World Series title with the Cards in 2011, and he’s already 76 years old, meaning that he likely wouldn’t stick around for all that long even if he’s offered the job.
That being said, it’s hard to tell exactly what direction the White Sox want to go, and we’ll have to take a bit of a wait and see approach on the team’s moves.
Paul has been making the rounds a bit recently, serving as a minor league coordinator for the Yankees before taking a job as a bench coach with the Angels in 2017. Most recently he has been working with the Detroit Tigers, and was their quality control coach for most of last season.
Paul also has some local connections, graduating from Buffalo Grove High School and playing for both the Cubs and the White Sox during his big league career.
That being said, Paul doesn’t have a ton of experience, making him a bit of a wild card when compared to some of the other potential candidates the White Sox could potentially look to talk to.