The Chicago White Sox are expected to announce three outside additions to new GM Chris Getz’s front office, at least two of them coveted executive talents.
Scott Merkin was first out of the gate on Tuesday evening, with the announcement that Josh Barfield is expected to join the White Sox as assistant general manager.
Multiple sources have confirmed to myself and @SteveGilbertMLB that Josh Barfield is expected to join the White Sox as an assistant general manager. Really good hire for the White Sox.— Scott Merkin (@scottmerkin) September 20, 2023
Chuck Garfien confirmed Merkin’s report moments later:
Can confirm @scottmerkin's report that the White Sox are expected to hire Josh Barfield as an assistant general manager under Chris Getz. Barfield has been the farm director of the Arizona Diamondbacks since 2019.— Chuck Garfien (@ChuckGarfien) September 20, 2023
The Diamondbacks have had a top-10 farm system for the last several years. They were ranked 3rd by MLB-Pipeline to start this season, but fell to 12th at midseason.— Chuck Garfien (@ChuckGarfien) September 20, 2023
Bob Nightengale tweeted additional confirmation, adding Brian Bannister and Gene Watson to the list of expected new additions.
New Chicago #WhiteSox GM Chris Getz has quietly made a slew of shrewd hires for his front office:— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) September 20, 2023
Josh Barfield (leaving the #Dbacks)
Brian Bannister (leaving the #SFGiants)
Gene Watson (leaving the #Royals)
While Barfield will be an assistant GM, Bannister's expertise will be pitching development and Watson player personnel. https://t.co/IuKhiWZuye— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) September 20, 2023
Barfield, a fourth round pick by the San Diego Padres in 2001 and the son of former outfield standout and Joliet native Jesse Barfield, played parts of three seasons with San Diego and Cleveland from 2006-09. After his playing days he joined the Diamondbacks organization as a scout, working his way up to director of player development, a role he has served in for Arizona since 2019.
Bannister, son of White Sox 1980s rotation stalwart Floyd Bannister, pitched in the majors from 2006-10 for the New York Mets and Kansas City Royals. He joined the Boston Red Sox organization in 2015, working in various roles from scout, to assistant pitching coach, to director of pitching analysis and development, before leaving Boston for a similar role with the San Francisco Giants.
Bannister, like Barfield, is a difference-maker in the front office, and has been a particular pioneer in the area of pitching design.
Watson is expected to join the White Sox after serving as the Royals vice president of major league scouting and assistant GM since 2022. He has held various roles with the Royals including from major league scout, coordinator of pro scouting and director of pro scouting, and senior director of pro scouting. His MLB career dates back to 1997, having worked for the Padres, Braves, and Marlins in the past.
While all three hires seem to have direct connections to GM Chris Getz from his playing days, it is encouraging to see the White Sox look outside their insular bubble for younger and more analytical-minded executives. Anyone not named Dayton Moore is better than Dayton Moore, after all.