In the second part of exposing Jerry Reinsdorf, we looked at the feud between Kenny Williams and Ozzie Guillen and were Reinsdorf aligned himself. Now we take a look at the most recent example of how Reinsdorf is ruining the White Sox organization.
The Missed Opportunity of signing Manny Machado
For me, this seems like the last straw. I always knew signing a guy like Manny Machado was a long shot for the White Sox, but when talks intensified to the extent they did, I just cannot see where it is the front office went wrong. Actually, I can.
Before we can discuss the situation, we must talk about who actually holds the power in the front office. It will be easiest to compare the positions with the popular TV show “The Office”. It makes sense to those who have not seen it, but the comparisons make it easier to understand.
Jerry Reinsdorf is David Wallace, the CEO of Dunder Mifflin. Yes in the show David has the board to answer to, but for the sake of the metaphor, roll with it. Reinsdorf has a Vice President of Baseball Operations, Kenny Williams. David Wallace has regional managers like Michael Scott.
Williams is the White Sox regional manager who only answers to the CEO, the owner. Next would be the General Manager, Rick Hahn. His counterpart is Dwight Schrute: assistant to the regional manager, someone who holds little to any power at all.
The title GM in baseball is sort of arbitrary. Most think it is the GM calling the shots when it comes to signing or trading players only answering to the owner, but this is not true. Teams have a position in the executive office entitled Vice President of Baseball Operations.
Now we understand the amount of power a member in the front office holds, let’s discuss the Machado situation.
For the longest time, Reinsdorf did not want a rebuild. He wanted to win. Buying a team does not give you championships. Hahn pleaded with Reinsdorf and Williams to start over, but they never budged. That is until 2016 when Hahn was finally given the green light. But the rebuild was not entirely up to him. All of his trade proposals and potential contract deals needed Williams’ thumbs up.
We see the repercussions of this here. There is no doubt the White Sox have the money. Yes $300 million is a lot over 10 years, but the pay off would be getting a potential Hall-of-Famer in his prime for the next 10 years. If that seemed too scary, throw in an opt-out at the fifth year and see if he wants to test the market again. The $300 million over 10 years was Machado’s minimum asking price.
This is exactly what the Padres gave him. What did the White Sox offer? Only eight years for $250 million with no opt-out option.
These reports that the White Sox front office was “shocked” by the Machado signing makes no sense. The offer the Sox proposed was the doing of Williams and the stingy Reinsdorf. I do not know what was said in the front office, but the way I see it, Hahn pleaded with Williams to let him offer Machado his base asking price. But Williams wanted to play negotiator and undersell their first offer and Reinsdorf did not want to put his hand into his pocket to make it happen.
I am angered the front office say they are shocked when very clearly they do not want to break the bank. Just reading this quote taken from ESPN angers me more.
"“I’m wearing my shades, so you can’t see the shock in my eyes,” White Sox executive vice president Kenny Williams said Tuesday after news of Machado’s decision was reported. “Very surprised. There are a few other words you could put on that, but still in a little bit of disbelief. … I honestly believe we had the best offer on the table.”"
Hahn can take care of this team. The only time he was given the slightest amount of power was when the rebuild began and that resulted in some of the best deals made potentially in this decade.
Chris Sale is a Cy Young contender each year, but Yoan Moncada was the number one prospect in all of baseball. Michael Kopech was the sixth best prospect and was, and still is, being compared to Noah Syndergaard.
Then when you take a look at the Adam Eaton trade, it really becomes clear who the real winner was. Eaton was a potential All-Star but the return was two potential aces in Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez and a potential solid number two pitcher in Dane Dunning.
Even during the beginnings of the rebuild, Williams was still hesitant and looking over Hahn’s shoulder. It has been proven that when Hahn is given control, he can turn things around and make real progress.
He makes moves for what is good for the team aspect of the organization, not the business aspect. Unfortunately, Williams cares more about pleasing the owner and Reinsdorf cares more about his wallet than they care about the fans.