This year’s MLB winter meetings are unlike any other Chris Getz has attended in the past.
“It’s different in the sense I’m running the meetings and having the direct conversations with other clubs and agents,” Getz said Monday at the Opryland Resort.
This is Getz’s first winter meetings since becoming the general manager for the Chicago White Sox. He was the team’s assistant general manager/player development before taking over as the GM on Aug. 31.
“More than anything, you’re just trying to find ways to get better with your club, regardless of what role you’re in,” he said.
The Sox are one of the teams to monitor at the winter meetings as they come off a 101-loss season. There are holes to fill and some players currently on the roster have been mentioned in trade speculation.
The one name that keeps popping up in that chatter is pitcher Dylan Cease.
“There’s certainly no urgency to move Dylan Cease,” Getz said. “And just like I’ve said from the beginning, if there’s an opportunity to help our club both near term and long term, we’ll look at it. But we’re talking about one of the best pitchers in baseball. There’s a responsibility for your organization, for the Chicago White Sox, to do what’s best for them.
“Dylan’s a star in our game. There’s no real reason to come here and expect us to move a Dylan Cease, but if a team brings something that meets a threshold that we feel we’ve just gotten a lot better, then we’re going to do that.”
Getz said there’s typically “a pace to these things.”
“I’ll continue to take the calls and certainly compare different opportunities for, perhaps, getting better,” he said. “The starting pitching market is always an area in which teams are looking to dive into to improve their club, and Dylan’s right at the top.”
With or without Cease, pitching is an area for the Sox to focus on.
“There’s different ways to go about it,” Getz said of addressing the pitching needs. “It could be a veteran. It could be a young player ready to break into the big leagues. We were fortunate to acquire some arms at the (trade) deadline. We’ve done a pretty good job recently with drafting and developing some of these arms that are pushing toward the top of the minor leagues.
“We are having a lot of conversations with both teams and agents that either have starting pitching and looking to move in deals, but also certainly talking to agents as well for guys who can cover innings for us.”
The Sox added pitchers Michael Soroka and Jared Shuster last month as part of the six-player trade that sent reliever Aaron Bummer to the Atlanta Braves.
They also acquired infielder Nicky Lopez in that deal and later added more defensive help by signing shortstop Paul DeJong to a one-year deal.
The Sox will continue what Getz said could appropriately be phrased as a “retool.”
“I say that because we do have talent on this roster,” Getz said. “Obviously, it hasn’t worked, so you’ve got to be creative and find ways to improve it. Whether it be, we talk about the makeup and the chemistry of the team or certainly add depth or acquire players who are flat-out better. We are on a pursuit to improve this team and there are different ways to go about it.”
Generally speaking, there isn’t an urgency for specific accomplishments this week, “other than the fact that we want to continue to use the momentum that we’ve already gained here in the offseason from the Aaron Bummer trade and look for opportunities and if we feel like there’s something to really act on, we’ll go ahead and do that,” Getz said.
There’s plenty of time — and work to be done — before pitchers and catchers report in February.
“Every day you wake up, you’re looking to better your club and quite honestly I’m obsessed with that,” Getz said. “Talk about winter meetings and accomplishing something while we’re here, it’s possible. We’ve got months before we get to spring training and we’re going to look for every opportunity to improve the club. There are different ways to go about that.
“We need to fill out a rotation, and to feel good about it. We need to have depth underneath it. The bullpen, you’ve got to have depth, both at Double A, Triple A that are, what you’re hoping for is knocking at the door to become an option at some point. The defense, improving the catching position and maximizing that area along with other areas around the diamond. We have time and I look forward to continuing to get back to work and finding ways to improve this.”