Don’t call it a rebuild.
That definitive message came from White Sox manager Pedro Grifol prior to an 8-5 loss to the A’s, featuring two teams that entered Thursday's series opener a combined 81 games below .500. Grifol’s comments were focused on the ‘24 White Sox season and not the final 34 contests of this campaign in his first season in charge.
“Oh, it’s not a rebuild. It’s definitely not a rebuild,” Grifol said. “When you’ve got [Luis] Robert [Jr.] in center field and Eloy [Jiménez] and [Andrew] Vaughn and Timmy [Anderson], I don’t consider it a rebuild.”
Grifol had a meeting with Reinsdorf on Wednesday night. USA Today’s Bob Nightengale previously mentioned that meeting included Tony La Russa, who was the White Sox manager during the 2021-22 seasons, a three-time World Series champion and a close friend of Reinsdorf. Most importantly, La Russa is healthy again after an issue leading to him leaving the dugout in ’22.
If there were any guarantees on the future for Grifol, who has two years left on his deal, he wasn’t sharing on Thursday.
“I’m not going to get into that,” Grifol said. “I’ll let time play that out.”
Chris Getz, who along with fellow assistant general manager Jeremy Haber, is running the day-to-day operations and has been rumored as a favorite for the general manager role. The timing of the Williams/Hahn announcements and the press release mentioning the anticipation a single person will be in place at the top of White Sox baseball operations by the end of the season seemingly indicated a preferred candidate was in mind when the decisions were made.
That’s just speculation at this point. One thing that’s not speculation is Reinsdorf’s desire to win, which was reinforced by Grifol after their meeting.
“A big-time competitor. Winning is at the top of his list. So is doing it right,” Grifol said. “And setting it up to win multiple years and try to sustain it.
“Just like everybody else here, we all want to win. Nobody likes what’s going on. So, it’s our responsibility and our job to get it right.”