The White Sox and Rick Renteria agreed to “part ways”. How does this affect the manager search for the Detroit Tigers?
After four seasons in Chicago, manager Rick Renteria and the Chicago White Sox agreed to part ways. So how does that play into the Detroit Tigers’ manager search? There are three factors that will impact who Al Avila goes with. We have discussed the various candidates the Detroit Tigers have considered already and we will address the names that may end up going to the south side.
They are ready to win now
For any manager who in the market like AJ Hinch or Alex Cora, the two high profile names that are available, this a team that is loaded with talent that are just fresh off their first postseason run in over a decade. Not to mention, their core of players like Tim Anderson, Eloy Jimenez, Yoan Moncada, and Luis Robert all are signed at least through 2024 and they are are all under team options. Their payroll sits at $140 million heading into 2021.
If you are Hinch, who won with a young core in Houston or Cora, what is a better way to clean up your reputation by winning? It may never clear your perception in the general public’s eyes but owner Jerry Reinsdorf would be happy with a World Series title.
This team isn’t going anywhere anytime soon with a core of offense talent like that. Detroit needs to still plug a lot of holes in their infield and their starting rotation. If Detroit is not going to spend as Avila vaguely indicated in his end of the year presser, then a veteran manager like Hinch or Cora may hesitate to come to Detroit.
The Detroit Tigers farm system is making strides and may have an upper hand in the pitching department in terms of prospects but Chicago has Andrew Vaughn waiting in the wings and Nick Madrigal, who batted .340 in 29 games this season. Until we see Spencer Torkelson playing against other minor league competition, Chicago has, for now, a slight advantage.
Call to the Pen did an MLB rating of front offices in 2020 and Rick Hahn, the senior vice president, and the general manager did well with the moves he has made that impacted the roster. The extension of Jose Abreu paid off in spades for Chicago. Per the article, the combined wins above average Hahn got in his signings of Luis Robert, Dallas Keuchel, and Jose Abreu for the 2020 season? +4.8
Al Avila may be cuffed by Chris Ilitch to spend, just like the Tigers were in the late ’90s prior to moving to Comerica Park. But to his credit, Candelario and Paredes, both players arriving a trade, have provided a solid return. Whatever you think of Victor Reyes as a player, at least he showed he belonged in the league this season. And taking a flyer on Jose Cisnero paid off as he was solid out of the Tigers bullpen this season.
What it boils down to is simply what the manager wants. I have talked about this with Chris on the podcast before. For Hinch, he is a proven winner (the cheating stuff aside, look at how well Houston is doing in 2020) and he can be the missing piece Chicago needs to get over the hump. As Ken Rosenthal indicated here, some of the White Sox veterans felt Renteria needed to hold players more accountable. Hinch and Cora have the pedigree to be that manager.
Two great baseball traditions
However, on the flip side of the coin, the Detroit Tigers have some young talent that may need some molding. Hinch may want that challenge and show that he could win anywhere. It may be a few years here in Detroit and Hinch or Cora may show patience.
The other angle that is important to remember and Detroit Tigers fans have said this a few times is “Why would we want cheaters here?” So you may be on the line of thinking that neither of them is worth a hill of beans here and rather go with George Lombard or Don Kelly.
Both organizations are great baseball towns with rich traditions. It isn’t about what city is better, rather, what situation works out best for those two. Both Hahn and Avila want proven winners and those two fit the category.
Trying to pretend Chicago letting go of Renteria will not affect the manager’s search for the Detroit Tigers is silly to ignore. Let’s see how it plays out for the fans who like Hinch and Cora as their candidates to take over.