What choice did the Chicago White Sox have? Kenny Williams has done a more than serviceable job during his tenure as GM of the team, but Rick Hahn has been called one of the most impressive young front office talents in the MLB. Hahn would certainly have been poached by another organization if the White Sox didn’t show they were serious about him. The White Sox did what they had to do, they gave Kenny Williams a new title, Executive Vice President, and they have decided to let Rick Hahn take over the day to day duties of the team as the Senior Vice President and General Manager.
This move has reportedly been in the making since 2008, which is exactly why it had to be done sooner rather than later. Hahn had to be getting impatient waiting for his promised promotion and he was fielding more than his fair share of calls during each off-season about vacant GM jobs. Every year that went by where he was still the Assistant GM to Kenny Williams must have felt like he was missing out on all of those opportunities. Hahn’s devotion to the White Sox franchise has been rewarded. He was surely afraid that his new title may have been just that, only a new title. But Jerry Reinsdorf, the owner of the Chicago White Sox, has assured Rick Hahn that this is not simply an olive branch, Hahn is being handed the keys to the rusty looking Corvette that has a shiny new engine under the hood. This Chicago team achieved MUCH more than was expected of them this year, and some great moves during the season helped keep them in contention until they ultimately collapsed during the final weeks.
Kenny Williams is the one that should be concerned about his place in the franchise going forward. He has been quoted as saying that this is now Hahn’s job, Kenny will only have some “oversight” even though most think that it won’t be a final say type of situation. Hahn will do as he pleases as GM unless he steers this Corvette right off a cliff.
How long will Kenny Williams be in Chicago after this changing of the guard? This was partially Kenny’s idea so there is little chance that he feels slighted and he may not have any desire to leave. But when the next GM opening happens, I have to believe that Kenny Williams will be on any teams list of possible replacements. Good luck to Rick Hahn and we’ll see what happens with Kenny Williams.