This afternoon, Bob Nightingale has reported that the White Sox have decided to retain Robin Ventura for 2017 ... if he wants it (corrected):
The Chicago White Sox have decided to retain manager Robin Ventura and will sign him to new contract providing Ventura wants to return, a high-ranking White Sox official told USA TODAY Sports.
The official spoke on the condition of anonymity since there has been no public announcement, and contract negotiations have yet to commence.
If he does, he’ll return for a sixth season after compiling a 373-432 record over five seasons. Coming into the season, it was assumed that this was a do-or-die season for Ventura. After a quick start, the White Sox stumbled through the season, looking a lot like the team they have for the previous four seasons. However, as Nightingale pointed out, the White Sox refused to blame Ventura for the losing records.
This also comes after the most recent sign of clubhouse dissent from the normally quiet Jose Abreu. Coming on the heels of a couple outbursts by Chris Sale over the season, the clubhouse handling by Robin Ventura was seen as the last real positive most people saw in him. With that gone, it seemed inevitable that Ventura would be gone as well.
After the trade deadline, White Sox GM Rick Hahn mentioned that the first few moves of the offseason would really define the direction that the team was going to go. With the return of Ventura, it seems that the White Sox offseason plan is to continue the status quo. If the White Sox are offering a contract to Ventura, it also seems that the White Sox will not be making any major changes to the front office, such as general manager, since a new general manager would likely look to replace a manager with a losing record. A new contract for Ventura theoretically ties a new general manager’s hands for the season.