(MCT) — GLENDALE, Ariz. — In one of his first official duties as the White Sox’s general manager last October, Rick Hahn offered a one-year extension for the 2015 season to manager Robin Ventura. It was rejected.
That’s not to say that there’s any disappointment or reservation in Ventura’s mind as he looks forward to working with Hahn and managing the next two seasons before another extension offer possibly surfaces.
“I don’t want it to be about turning down an extension,” Ventura said Wednesday. “We still can get to that. I’m not holding out for anything. That conversation will come up again.”
The subject of an extension came up as Hahn and Ventura were discussing the contracts of new coaches Daryl Boston and Bobby Thigpen. Ventura confirmed that the security of the coaching staff does play some role in his future, but that he preferred to focus on the next two seasons.
Pitching coach Don Cooper has the most security as he enters the second season of a four-year contract, and Ventura wants to earn the same long-term faith.
“I want them to think that in two years I’m still the right guy for the job,” Ventura said. “It wasn’t anything that was a big deal ... or (I’m) disappointed in not wanting to stay here.”
Meanwhile, Hahn spoke nearly as confidently about his players as he did regarding his faith in Ventura.
For instance, Hahn defended the Sox’s decision not to acquire veteran support for first-year starting catcher Tyler Flowers while signing free agent Matt Lindstrom as protection in case Addison Reed struggles as the closer.
“While there may not be this sort of hedge you have in the bullpen for Tyler, that’s not atypical and we do like some of the guys we have in-house,” said Hahn, adding that backup Hector Gimenez has the confidence of the pitchers and coaching staff.
The only concern Hahn has regarding Flowers stems from outside the organization.
“I worry, sort of, about the potential pressure of fan reaction or expectations for him,” Hahn said of Flowers, who is to replace popular A.J. Pierzynski. “No matter the position, no matter the player, when you replace someone who took on close to, if not, iconic status within an organization, it’s tough to be that next guy.”
Hahn also didn’t rule out a rebound from third baseman Brent Morel that could allow Ventura to play Jeff Keppinger at other infield positions.
But the Sox aren’t paying shortstop Alexei Ramirez $26.5 million over the next three years to sit on the bench. That perhaps puts some heat on second baseman Gordon Beckham if Keppinger were able to move from third base.
“Let’s see how it goes over the coming weeks,” Hahn said. “There is a fair amount of mobility in the roster that we feel we will be able to piece it together.”