Potential Chicago White Sox Manager: In With the New or The Old?

Now that the season is over for the majority of MLB teams, it’s time for the Chicago White Sox to find their new manager. Last week, Sox GM Kenny Williams said it would not be a lengthy process and he hoped to have a selection by the World Series–now 14 days away.

Let’s take a look at the rumored candidates.

The Experienced: Terry Francona and Tony Larussa

Terry Francona

As soon as the ex-Red Sox manager parted ways with Red Sox Nation, his name immediately went on the White Sox’s list. While he’s had success in Boston and has ties to the Sox organization, Francona comes with a high salary: $4 million.

Recently Sox pitching coach Don Cooper gave Francona a ringing endorsement.

Former colleagues in the Sox minors, Cooper said that Francona would be a great choice (duh):

“No question,’’ Cooper said Tuesday. “Come on. He’s the best Red Sox manager ever as far as I’m concerned. And I would think Red Sox Nation would have to echo that. His track record is awesome. He’s a two-time world champion.’’

Verdict: Francona is too expensive and it’s been said that he’d like to join a team that can hit the ground running. The Sox need to make some changes before they’re contenders.

The darkhorse: Tony Larussa

Current St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa is now part of the rumor. He’s previously managed the White Sox and is close to Reinsdorf.

Verdict: Larussa’s been there, done it. I don’t see him returning to Chicago and if he does, I imagine he comes with a high price tag.

The newbies: Dave Martinez and Sandy Alomar, Jr. 

Rumors are also swirling that the Sox will pick someone without experience. History suggests this is the way the Sox roll with GM Kenny Williams and CEO Jerry Reinsdorf (see Jerry Manuel and Guillen).

Now here’s two candidates without on-field general experience, but player experience. They have a history of competing against each other for manager positions. Just last year, they were both on the short list for the Toronto Blue Jays opening.

Dave Martinez

Martinez has spent the last four seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays as its bench coach and right-hand man/assistant manager to respected Rays manager Joe Maddon. In his tenure, the team has made the postseason three times.

Along with his team responsibilities, Martinez spent 16 years as ballplayer including time with the Rays and on both sides of Chicago: White Sox from 1995-1997 and the Cubs, 1986-1988 and 2000.

Verdict: He’s a well-rounded and respected candidate. Martinez has great winning experience under Maddon.

Sandy Alomar, Jr. 

The former Sox catcher has a home in Chicago. He has been the Cleveland Indians’ first-base coach for two seasons and just last week, got promoted to bench coach, effective in 2012. Alomar knows baseball well and is also well respected by his peers and his manager, Manny Acta.

Verdict: Alomar comes to the team as it rebuilds and he is gaining great experience. This season was better than last year’s but no postseason appearance. Again. This would make Alomar a stronger candidate.

Winner: Martinez. Things happen in threes.