The Chicago White Sox and manager Rick Renteria have agreed to part ways, the team announced Monday.
Renteria spent the past four seasons as the White Sox’s manager, finishing with a 236-309 record. He guided Chicago to a 35-25 record this season and the franchise’s first postseason appearance since 2008. The White Sox lost 2-1 to the Oakland Athletics in the wild-card round.
“This is not an easy decision for any of the parties involved to come to,” White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said in a Zoom call with reporters Monday morning. “You will not hear me, nor do I suspect anyone within the organization, share with you anything negative about Ricky Renteria, in terms of factors in this decision.”
Hahn said that Renteria and the front office have spoken “for years” about how the “final stages” of the White Sox’s rebuild will go.
He also said the move wasn’t precipitated by anything Renteria did in 2020, including a controversial pitching move in the playoffs or the team faltering down the stretch after having a slight lead in the division.
“This isn’t about any of the decision-making in Game 3 of the wild-card series,” Hahn said. “This isn’t about anything that happened over the last couple of weeks after we clinched our position into the playoffs. This is based upon where we are as an organization and what we need to do to take that next step.”
In Renteria’s first three seasons, the White Sox were 67-95, 62-100 and 72-89. But they signed several big-name free agents this past offseason and signaled that they were ready to compete. Among their additions were Yasmani Grandal, Dallas Keuchel, Edwin Encarnacion and Gio Gonzalez.
After a slow start, they led the AL Central for much of the abbreviated season but went 3-9 in their last 12 games and lost home-field advantage for the playoffs.
Hahn said there is no timetable for picking the next manager but indicated that the person is likely to come from outside the organization.
“Ultimately, I think the best candidate or the ideal candidate is going to be someone who has experience with a championship organization in recent years; recent October experience with a championship organization,” he said.
Hahn wouldn’t comment on any potential candidates except to say that former White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen would not be considered. Guillen has been a studio analyst for White Sox games and has expressed a desire to manage again.
Hahn was asked whether Alex Cora and AJ Hinch would be considered despite their connection to a sign-stealing scandal with the Houston Astros that resulted in both being suspended for the 2020 season. Both are eligible to return to baseball after the World Series.
“I’m not going to talk about who’s on the list, who’s not on the list, with one exception [Guillen],” Hahn said. “If word leaks out in two weeks that we sat down with person X, you don’t need to text me to try and get confirmation. I don’t think it’s appropriate to share whether someone is a candidate for a job or not.”
The Sox also let go pitching coach Don Cooper, who had been with the team since 2002. They’ll wait until they hire a new manager before replacing Cooper.
The White Sox hired Renteria as a bench coach in 2016 after he was fired as the Chicago Cubs‘ manager under similar circumstances.
Renteria oversaw the Cubs’ rebuild before giving way to Joe Maddon, who won a World Series in 2016. Renteria took over as White Sox manager in 2017, replacing Robin Ventura. He had a similar task, to take the White Sox from point A to point B.
Renteria, 58, had one year remaining on his contract.