USATODAY’s Bob Nightengale reported Thursday that the White Sox intend to promote Ken Williams to team president and Rick Hahn to general manager once the season concludes.
SI’s Jon Heyman confirmed the news.
The switch is not only a reward for Williams, but it’s also carrot to keep Hahn, the longtime assistant, around. The Harvard Law product has long been mentioned as a GM candidate elsewhere, and he’d probably have landed that position somewhere already if he weren’t so picky.
Williams is in his 12th year at the helm of the White Sox, making him the game’s fifth longest-tenured GM behind Brian Sabean (Giants), Billy Beane (A’s), Brian Cashman (Yankees) and Dan O’Dowd (Rockies). His White Sox will finish over .500 this year for the ninth time in his 12 seasons. They won the World Series in 2005.
The Cardinals have selected right-hander Miles Mikolas as their Opening Day starter, the club revealed Saturday. It’ll mark the first career Opening Day start for Mikolas, who is scheduled to go up against the Brewers when the team hits the road on March 28.
The 29-year-old righty was a strong contender for the 2018 NL Cy Young Award, earning All-Star distinctions and pitching to a career-best 18-4 record with a 2.83 ERA, 1.3 BB/9, 6.5 SO/9, and 4.3 fWAR over 200 2/3 innings. He’s positioned to lead the Cardinals rotation in 2019 as well, with former Opening Day starters Carlos Martínez and Adam Wainwright and some combination of right-handers Jack Flaherty, Michael Wacha, Alex Reyes, and John Gant behind him.
Manager Mike Shildt told reporters that Flaherty, Wacha, Wainwright, and Martínez had all been considered for the honor, but admitted that Opening Day honors were ultimately handed to Mikolas “in recognition of [his performance] last year.” The Cardinals are scheduled to play a four-game set against the Brewers to start the season and will stop over in Pittsburgh for another two games before returning to St. Louis for their opening homestand against the Padres on April 4. Additional pitching assignments have yet to be announced.