Report: White Sox hire Royals coach Pedro Grifol as manager

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
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CHICAGO — The Chicago White Sox hired Kansas City Royals bench coach Pedro Grifol to replace Hall of Famer Tony La Russa as their manager, a person familiar with the situation said.

The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the team has not announced the hiring.

The 52-year-old Grifol will try to lift a team coming off a disappointing season. The White Sox finished second in the AL Central at 81-81 and missed the playoffs after running away with the division in 2021. La Russa missed the final 34 games because of health problems and announced he would not return, ending a disappointing two-year run with the franchise that gave him his first job as a big league skipper.

Grifol spent the past 10 seasons in a variety of coaching roles with Kansas City under former managers Ned Yost and Mike Matheny. He was part of teams that captured back-to-back pennants and won the World Series in 2015.

Grifol spent the past three seasons as the Royals bench coach. He interviewed for the managing job after Matheny was fired as part of a widespread shakeup within the organization after a 65-97 finish – Kansas City’s sixth straight losing season. The Royals hired Tampa Bay Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro as manager on Sunday night.

Grifol previously spent 13 seasons coaching, scouting and managing in the Seattle Mariners’ system. He was also a minor league catcher who played nine seasons in the Minnesota Twins and New York Mets organizations.

The previous four managers hired by the White Sox were either working for them or had ties to the franchise, including former players Ozzie Guillen and Robin Ventura. Rick Renteria, La Russa’s predecessor, spent the 2016 season as Ventura’s bench coach before getting promoted.

The White Sox began the season with championship aspirations after making the playoffs the previous two years. But they were plagued by injuries and inconsistent play.

All-Star shortstop Tim Anderson and sluggers Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert missed significant time because of injuries. Catcher Yasmani Grandal and third baseman Yoan Moncada also had health issues, and they underperformed when they were on the field.

There were embarrassing breakdowns, too, such as when the White Sox ran themselves into the first 8-5 triple play in major league history during a loss to Minnesota on July 4.

The team showed some spark after La Russa stepped away from the team on Aug. 30. The White Sox won 10 of their first 14 games under bench coach Miguel Cairo, but they lost eight straight in September, dashing their playoff hopes.

The White Sox finished the season with more errors (101) than all but two teams. Their lineup was heavy on right-handed hitters, and they had maybe a few too many players more suited for first base and designated hitter roles.

Brian Cashman signs 4-year contract to remain Yankees GM

Lucas Peltier-USA TODAY Sports
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SAN DIEGO — Brian Cashman has signed a four-year contract to remain the New York Yankees Senior Vice President and General Manager. The announcement was made during the first day of baseball’s Winter Meetings.

Cashman, New York’s GM since 1998, had been working on a handshake agreement since early November, when his five-year contract expired.

The Yankees were swept by four games in the AL Championship Series and haven’t reached the World Series since winning in 2009. It is the franchise’s longest title drought since an 18-year gap between 1978-96.

Cashman’s main goal during the offseason is trying to re-sign AL MVP Aaron Judge.

Judge hit an American League-record 62 homers this season with a .311 batting average and 131 RBIs. He turned down the Yankees’ offer on the eve of opening day of a seven-year contract that would have paid $213.5 million from 2023-29.

While Judge remains on the market, Cashman was able to re-sign Anthony Rizzo on Nov. 15 to a two-year contract worth $40 million after turning down a $16 million player option.

Cashman has been the Yankees general manager since 1998. He has been with the organization since 1986, when he was a 19-year old intern in the scouting department. In his 25 seasons as GM, the Yankees have reached the postseason 21 times, including four World Series championships and six American League titles.