Buddy Bell centralizes a decentralized White Sox leadership


In response to Rick Hahn and Kenny Williams’ corresponding promotions, Cee Angi at SBNation summed up the resulting triumvirate of those two gentlemen and Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf as The Wallet, the Mouth, and the Brain.

Each might squirm in his seat a bit at labels that seek to reduce their skillset to a specific area, but the point stands up. Kenny Williams is revered for his trade deadline work, and comes from a scouting background. Rick Hahn is most valuable for his contract work, and has a strong grasp of analytics. Those are their strengths and focuses, and the White Sox have a better and more complete front office with each man available at his specialty. Promoting Hahn crystallizes that arrangement.

To hear Hahn tell it, temptation to leave for a outside GM job was few and far between.  Buddy Bell would have gladly doubled down on such a statement concerning his standing as Vice President of Player Development, and yet he was still promoted to be the Assistant GM on Friday.

Other than rewarding a good soldier, there’s no pressing purpose for the promotion. But there’s a larger accomplishment of adding another skill set and focus to a front office that’s already embracing diversity. Having Bell on hand gives a voice to someone directly monitoring the minor league system at the highest level.

It’s not as if Hahn and Williams were previously ignorant of the farm system, or unable to communicate with Bell, but it represents the “all hands on deck” approach being taken to the the front office.  All of the top members of the White Sox braintrust are being consolidated.

I’ve made a lot of stupid “I can relate to that” jokes to be made about Buddy Bell getting promoted to a front office role while maintaining all of his old responsibilities, but in all likelihood, more work means Bell will need to defer to Kirk Champion and Nick Capra a lot more, and is being moved a bit farther from player development.

But that shouldn’t detract too much from the fun of the arrangement. Bell is too clear-spoken and sharp of a voice to view his addition to the inner circle as anything but a positive.

Follow James Fegan on Twitter @JRFegan