White Sox would stand to benefit if MLB capped front office spending

While Major League Baseball won’t be getting a salary cap for payrolls anytime soon, they’ve managed to implement ceilings in other key areas, with slot values for the amateur draft, and hard, punitive limits for the international market.

Now Evan Drellich says the league is looking at leveling the playing field in front offices by seeing if they can crack down on how much teams spend on technology, player development, scouting and health.

A league spokesperson said MLB’s focus has been on technology vendors, rather than staffing.

“There is nothing happening on that front,” the spokesperson said. “What we are focused on is gathering information on vendor costs to find potential cost savings through efficiencies and to ensure equal access to all technology.”

But multiple officials who have been briefed on or participated in some of these conversations said the thinking extends to personnel, as well. At least some clubs would enjoy seeing caps on spending in any area that can influence on-field success, player salaries or otherwise. Executives with smaller-market teams have long lamented the task of keeping up with the spending capabilities of larger market teams.

It was helpful to see Driveline’s Kyle Boddy agree with the league’s stated rationale, as he said the league has successfully achieved data standardization with PITCHf/x and Trackman data, making it easier for teams to get involved, and for systems to talk to each other.

And as somebody who celebrates the adoption of USB-C as the default method for charging devices, I get that part. But when it comes to limiting the amount of personnel teams can carry, you’re probably free to maintain your skepticism and expect MLB to govern down to the level of its cheapest teams.

This news broke as the White Sox prepared to open a series against the Dodgers, and the two teams provide a study in contrast both on and off the field. Their front office directories provide evidence of the sizable investment gap in non-playing personnel and tech, which you’ll see below.

I had to exercise some editorial discretion in the following tale of the tape because the White Sox and Dodgers format their front office pages differently. The White Sox divided theirs into a few departments, and they also listed multiple people under the same job title. The Dodgers did the opposite: no subcategories, but every employee got his own listing. I started with everybody underneath the chief baseball officer — Ken Williams for the White Sox, Andrew Friedman for the Dodgers — and tried to filter out some inconsistencies toward the end (the Dodgers incorporated their clubhouse attendants, the White Sox did not).

Just about all of these changes favored the White Sox in terms of reducing the gap, so I suppose you can credit them for some level of honesty. They did not try to change the font size or expand the margins to meet the page count quota. But even after making these changes, the Dodgers’ list just keeps going.


Executive Vice President & General Manager: Brandon Gomes
Sr. Vice President, Baseball Operations: Josh Byrnes
Vice President & Assistant General Manager: Jeffrey Kingston
Vice President & Assistant General Manager: Alex Slater
Vice President, Assistant General Manager & Baseball Legal Counsel: Damon Jones
Vice President, Scouting: David Finley
Vice President, International Scouting: Ismael Cruz
Vice President, Amateur Scouting: Billy Gasparino
Vice President, Player Personnel: Galen Carr
Vice President, Player Performance: Brandon McDaniel
Sr. Director, Baseball Administration: Ellen Harrigan
Sr. Director, Team Travel: Scott Akasaki
Sr. Director, Baseball Resources: Duncan Webb
Director, Player Development: William Rhymes
Director, Minor League Player Performance: Brian Stoneberg
Director, Baseball Strategy and Information: Michael Voltmer
Director, Baseball Systems Applications: Brian McBurney
Director, Baseball Systems Platform: John Focht
Director, Performance Science: Megan Schroeder
Director, Specialized Performance Programs: Eric Potterat
Director, Clubhouse Operations: Alex Torres
Director, Strong Mind Cultural Development: Leo Ruiz
Director, Quantitative Analysis: Richard Anderson
Director, Baseball Product Development: Yuji Akimoto
Assistant Director, Player Development: Matt McGrath
Assistant Director, Amateur Scouting: Zachary Fitzpatrick
Assistant Director, International Scouting: Matthew Doppelt
Assistant Director, Baseball Strategy and
Ethan Levitt
Assistant Director, Baseball Systems Applications: Jonathan Funkhouser
Assistant Director, Baseball Systems Platform: Drew Troxell
Assistant Director, Professional Scouting: Lucas Geoghegan
Special Assistant to the President: Chase Utley
Special Assistant: Adrian Gonzalez
Special Assistant to the GM: Pat Corrales
Special Assistant, Scouting: Thomas Allison
Special Assistant to the GM: Ron Roenicke
Senior Advisor: John Sears
Special Assistant, Baseball Operations: Joel Peralta
Special Instructor, Infield: Jose Vizcaino
Principal Research Scientist, Performance Science: David Hill
Senior Analyst, Baseball Strategy and Information: Craig Weinhaus
Senior Analyst, Baseball Strategy and Information: Sam Elias
Manager, Player Development: Andrea LaPointe
Manager, Minor League Administration: Juliana Ortega
Manager, International Scouting: Javier Camps
Manager, Amateur Scouting: Jalen Phillips
Manager, Integrative Baseball Performance: Emilee Fragapane
Manager, Baseball Product and Data Operations: Jason Gilberg
Manager, Performance Operations: Will Ireton
Assistant Manager, Clubhouse: Jose Castillo
Coordinator, Strong Mind Program: AJ LaLonde
Coordinator, Major League Video/Replay: Jonathan Rhymes
Major League Video Coordinator: Petie Montero
Integration Analyst, Performance Science: Tyler Duncan
Sr. Developer, Baseball Systems: Ryan Casey
Developer, Performance Science Applications: Timothy Reen
Developer, Performance Science Applications: Brennan Ojeda
Sr. Quantitative Analyst: Max Weinstein
Sr. Quantitative Analyst: Sam Fleischer
Quantitative Analyst: Justin Williams
Data Engineer: Clayton Green
Jr. Quantitative Analyst: Grace Peng
Jr. Quantitative Analyst: Jordan Rivera
Senior Research Scientist: Will Vandenberg
Senior Research Scientist: Theodore Williams
Jr. Developer Baseball Systems: Alex Arriola
Jr. Developer: Riley Wartenberg
Jr. Data Engineer: Sherman Lu
Jr. Analyst, Baseball Strategy & Information: Matt Popowitz
Jr. Analyst, Baseball Strategy & Information: Charlie Willingham
Jr. Analyst, Baseball Strategy & Information: Sean Young
Assistant, Player Development: James Weilbrenner
Assistant, Baseball Operations: Mark Kozhaya

White Sox

Senior Vice President/General Manager: Rick Hahn
Assistant General Manager: Jeremy Haber
Senior Director of Baseball Operations: Dan Fabian
Senior Director of Sports Performance: Geoff Head
Director of Baseball Analytics: Matt Koenig
Director of Baseball Operations: Daniel Zien
Director of Team Travel: Ed Cassin
Special Assistant to the Chairman: Dennis Gilbert
Special Assistants to the Senior VP/GM: Nick Hostetler
Special Assistants to the Senior VP/GM: Marco Paddy
Special Assistants to the Senior VP/GM: Bill Scherrer
Special Assistants to the Senior VP/GM: Jim Thome
Special Assistant to the Executive Vice President: Todd Steverson
Manager of Baseball Operations: Zach Jones
Manager of Sports Science: Todd Kubacki
Executive Assistant to the Senior VP/GM: Nancy Nesnidal
Major League Analytics Coordinator: Sam Mondry-Cohen
Biomechanist: Aaron Trunt
Developer, Baseball Operations: Daniel Seguin
Developer: Brett Phillips
Developer: Joseph Wilson
Senior Analyst: Wataru Ando
Baseball Operations Analyst: Peter L’Oiseau
Baseball Video Coordinator: Bryan Johnson
Technical Video Coordinator: Ross Mika
Baseball Operations Fellow: Ethan Bain
Baseball Operations Fellow: Zubin Srivastava
Assistant General Manager/Player Development: Chris Getz
Director of Minor League Administration: Kathy Potoski
Assistant Director, Player Development: Ken Williams Jr.
Special Assistant to Baseball Operations: José Contreras
Director of Arizona Facilities: Joe Lachcik
Assistant Director, Baseball Operations: Graham Harboe
Assistant Director, Baseball Operations: Rod Larson
Biomechanical Analyst: Christopher Gearhart
Minor League Clubhouse and Equipment Manager: Dan Flood
Minor League Assistant Clubhouse Manager: Bryant Biasotti
Manager, Player Development/International Operations: Grant Flick
Assistant, Player Development/Video: Jack Larimer
Manager, Player Development Latin American Operations: Louis Silverio
Manager, International Player Development/Education: Erin Santana
Director of Amateur Scouting: Mike Shirley
Assistant Director of Amateur Scouting: Garrett Guest

“Of course the Dodgers have a huge front office,” you might say, “because they spend on everything.” And you wouldn’t be wrong, but one look at the Tampa Bay Rays’ front office page shows it’s not specifically a lifestyle of the rich and famous. I’d do the same exercise with a side-by-side comparison except they use completely different formatting that would take too long to amend, so just click on the link and put some miles on your mouse scroll wheel. Deep pockets help everything, of course, but it reflects priorities more than resources.

Jerry Reinsdorf’s White Sox have tended to only invest in the things they can see. They were among the league’s lowest spenders in the draft and international markets when both were unregulated, but the league bailed them out by instituting budgets with punitive overage penalties. It’s likely that a cap on front office spending would be the only way to pull the White Sox up to league-average levels in this area. Rick Hahn has maintained that the White Sox’s front office listing doesn’t reflect everybody doing work for them, but their “quiet” approach has generated equally faint results, so there’s no reason to give them the benefit of the doubt here.

Watching MLB continually implement rules that bend markets toward the White Sox’s will brings to mind the old quote that Reinsdorf rehashed at the Milkin Institute conference last month, in which he said teams are “at the mercy of your dumbest competitors.” It’s hard to know if he realizes which side of that the equation the White Sox fall, or if he just doesn’t care.

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I’ve never understood the whining from “small” market teams about spending when all you have to do is look at how Tampa operates. Look at Milwaukee! They’re consistently competitive too! There’s a way for small market teams to compete, they just don’t want to do that. I suppose that’s their choice, but the idea of making the league and the sport worse, because owners like Jerry can’t be bothered to do something new, strikes me as being a particularly awful idea.


This argument ignores the laws of supply and demand. The Rays are competitive because they find undervalued assets because they’re smarter than everyone else (Moneyball’s “island of misfit toys.”) As soon as everyone gets as smart as them, then the undervalued assets will become properly valued and then the price will reset accordingly. The A’s broke the AVG/RBI model by valuing OBP but once everyone did that their competitive advantage was lost. The Rays use of the opener and bullpen taxi squad are paying off, but will soon be the norm rather than the exception. Small market teams can compete with one-off strategies, but there aren’t enough one-off strategies for them all to compete at the same time.

Augusto Barojas

As an alternative to hoping that the rules change to prevent teams that have ownerships with a strong desire to win from implementing that goal, perhaps the Sox can just get some smarter people for starters?


They’ll probably try to institute a cost- controlled front office expansion type draft.


Ironically, the White Sox aren’t a small market team, they just act like it…simply because? The league trying to force teams who care about every competitive advantage to be more like the White Sox is sad, no team should want to be ran like them.


Matt, I think you’re wrong. We fall into the trap of thinking of the Sox as a “big market” because they’re located in a big market. But they only own a third of the market. And that isn’t going to change. Even when they won the World Series, they couldn’t outdraw the Cubs, who hadn’t won in 100 years, and who have the stronger national brand, the iconic ballpark, the happening neighborhood, and the more affluent fan base. (The Sox have … um … hats that all the hip hop guys wear.) Metro Chicago is about 10 million people. A third of that — 3.3 million — puts the White Sox’ real market size in the tier with Minneapolis, Tampa, San Diego and Denver.

As much as it pains me to say it, the smart business move for the White Sox would be to move to Charlotte. The metro population is only 2.8 million, but it’s growing rapidly, and they would pretty much own North Carolina (10.7 million) and South Carolina (5.2 million).

Joliet Orange Sox

Is this a serious post or parody?

Augusto Barojas

I agree. Pure nonsense. The reason they draw like a small market team many years is that their history of success is one of the worst in sports. They’ve won a playoff series in one season since the inception of playoffs 50+ years ago. The Sox drew 3 million fans the year after they won the World Series, and over 2.5 million from 2006-08, which is proof that there is plenty of baseball market to go around if the team is actually good. They don’t have to beat the Cubs in attendance to be bigger than a small market, give me a break.

There is nothing wrong with the south side of Chicago, for an ownership that doesn’t want to run a team like Gollum. They aren’t smaller than Philadelphia for Christ’s sake. I can’t believe what people write sometimes.


…agree to disagree? Go Sox

Right Size Wrong Shape

That last paragraph says it all.


The monkey paw of this is the Sox will end up spending even less since the good teams will do the work for them.


Just substitute “the White Sox” for “your dumbest competitors”, and Jerry’s quote would be accurate.


That the White Sox only ever benefit from industry practices that penalize efforts to win is indication that the end of the Jerry Reinsdorf Era can’t come quickly enough.


They need a booster chair and want to be lifted into it.

Yolmer's gatorade

There are some pretty obvious nepo hires on the White Sox list as well.


Now remove Ken Williams Jr., Jim Thome, Jose Contreras, Nick Hostetler, and others with fake jobs and the variance between both lists looms larger.


And Todd Steverson!


Trick does advance scouting; watching MLB teams that they’re playing a few weeks ahead of time and preparing reports. Now, have open comment about how you feel that assignment, or the strangeness of that role and Marco Paddy running all of their international amateur scouting operations, having a relatively similar title. But that’s what Steverson does.

Yolmer's gatorade

They often seem pretty unprepared. Last night was a good example of that.


A selective aggressive hire

Joliet Orange Sox

I don’t think you can count Pat Corrales on this list. I think he’s exactly the kind of front office person every team needs. As a player, he had enough sense to retire while his career bWAR was still barely above zero and as a manager he was able to finish 4th in the AL manager of the year voting one year by the brilliant move of losing 102 games the previous year so that finishing over 0.500 the next year looked good. And he’s barely over 82 years old.


The last sentence of the last paragraph says it all. Jerry has to go the way of Bill Wirtz for the White Sox to change, The sign above the entrance at the Rate should say “Abandon all hope ye who enter”.


I’ll keep rooting for labor against the white sox.

I want to play blackjack at the big tables without paying full price too, tough shit.

Last edited 3 months ago by StockroomSnail
Shingos Cheeseburgers

All rosters in MLB are the same size and that hasn’t really benefited the White Sox to this point

Right Size Wrong Shape

Maybe if the Sox didn’t insist on dedicating 2-3 roster spots at all times to guys who are hurt and can’t play…


I could maybe tolerate those guys being on the roster if they weren’t in the lineup every day.


The worst thing is the Sox have proven with this last rebuild that they really don’t know how to be effective at spending like the large market teams like LAD and they can’t consistently draft/develop players like the smaller market ones like TB. Mired in the middle forever.


“This Whole Thing Smacks Of Renisdorf,” i holler as i overturn my uncle’s barbeque grill and turn the 4th of July into the 4th of Shit


At the end of the day, it all boils down to allocating the required resources (money) and have the right executives in place to be allowed to build the type of front office like Tampa, Dodgers, San Diego and the other teams that are adept at finding talent. And, have the proper minor league system in place to develop said talent….

We all know, that is not the Reinsdorf and the White Sox way. And, we all know Reinsdorf will not change his now.

As Jim pointed out, Sox were always one of the teams that spent the least in draft, until the hard slotting system was put in place. Also, if you look at the coaches/managers in the Sox minor league system… you will see the incestuous hiring that is typical with the Sox permeates in there too. I see far too many failed former Sox prospects and friends of Jerry & Co on the coaching staffs. All this does is a guarantee a recipe for failure.


I’m not sure you can include San Diego as a team that’s “adept at finding talent”. They’ve spent a lot of money in the last few years, but they don’t have a lot to show for it. They’ve won 3 playoff series in the last decade and two of them were last year.