The Chicago White Sox fired executive vice president Ken Williams and general manager Rick Hahn, the club announced Tuesday.
Williams, who was a member of the club since 1992, and Hahn, who joined the team in 2002, lost their jobs amid a brutal season. The White Sox enter Tuesday’s action with a 49-76 record, which has them 16 games behind the division-leading Minnesota Twins and 21 contests out of the AL’s final wild-card spot.
“This is an incredibly difficult decision for me to make because they are both talented individuals with long-term relationships with the White Sox,” White Sox owner and chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said in a statement. “Ken is like a son to me, and I will always consider him a member of my family.
“I want to personally thanks Ken and Rick for all they have done for the Chicago White Sox, winning the 2005 World Series and reaching the postseason multiple times during their tenures. … While we have enjoyed successes as an organization and were optimistic heading into the competitive window of this rebuild, this year has proven to be very disappointing for us all on many levels.
“This has led me to the conclusion that the best decision for the organization moving forward is to make a change in our baseball department leadership.”
The White Sox are planning to have a single decision maker in place to lead baseball operations by the end of the 2023 campaign.
Williams and Hahn are responsible for long-term extensions given to Yoan Moncada, Eloy Jimenez, and Luis Robert. They also recently handed out big free-agent contracts to Andrew Benintendi, Liam Hendriks, and Yasmani Grandal.
Chicago’s 2023 roster included many key pieces from the team that won the AL Central in 2021. However, underperformance and off-field issues have plagued the club. Reliever Keynan Middleton ripped the White Sox culture after he was traded to the New York Yankees, Tim Anderson was suspended for fighting Cleveland Guardians star Jose Ramirez, and Robert acknowledged that he doesn’t see himself as a leader.
Meanwhile, White Sox manager Pedro Grifol said he was caught off guard by the firings.
“It was shocking,” Grifol added, according to Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times. “Like I said to the club, when you start the season with expectations, unfortunately (there are consequences). We get paid to perform.”
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