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Chicago White Sox GM Chris Getz talks improving team's defense, Dylan Cease's future

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GLENDALE, Ariz. (CBS) – There are plenty of new faces in camp with the Chicago White Sox, but it's a familiar face in a new role calling the shots for the first time.

Chris Getz was the White Sox assistant general manager last season. After Rich Hahn was fired, Jerry Reinsdorf tabbed Getz to replace him.

CBS 2 Sports Director Marshall Harris sat down with the first-time general manager in Arizona to ask, among other things, just how much better one of the worst defenses a year ago could be this season.

Getz: "I feel pretty good. I mean, fundamentally, I've always been a believer of it starts with up-the-middle defense. And you said it, between [catchers Matín] Maldonado and [Max] Stassi and then [infielders Paul] DeJong, and Nicky Lopez, and Luis Robert, who we've had, you know you evaluate your team defensively starting at those positions. I think it's really important. It was very important based on the conversations that I had with some of our pitchers internally, but also when I was talking to free agents and agents this offseason.

White Sox Cubs Baseball
Chicago White Sox's Mike Moustakas (18) talks with Paul DeJong (25) during a mound visit during the fourth inning of a spring training baseball game against the Chicago Cubs, Friday, March 1, 2024, in Mesa, Ariz. Matt York / AP

 "There was concern of players coming here or continuing their careers here with our current defense. So, to be able to bring in one of the most credible defenders in Matín Maldonado and Max Stassi has a tremendous reputation of building a rapport with a pitching staff. We've got young arms, also some veteran arms that are gonna benefit with having those two guys helping them navigate games."

Harris: "No one's under the illusion that [pitcher] Dylan Cease is going to be a long-term White Sox guy. We don't know if he'll be here on Opening Day. How much of a hole would that leave if and when he's moved?"

Getz: "Whether it'd be Dylan Cease or other players, and looking back at some of the trades that we've made, or acquisition, there's a though process of helping our team now, and also in the future. And Dylan is a significant performer at the major league level. There's no denying that. You know, when you assess whether we should move him, or we don't move him, you obviously look at the return and does it help the health of the organization?

White Sox 2024 Baseball
This is a 2024 photo of pitcher Dylan Cease of the Chicago White Sox baseball team. This image reflects the Chicago White Sox active roster as of Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024 when this image was taken in Phoenix. Lindsey Wasson / AP

"When we cross the bridge of a Dylan Cease trade or anyone else, you gotta assess the return and if it does seem to provide a gap in another area, then you gotta get creative and find ways to find that production. So yeah, it's not an easy decision when you're talking about a Dylan Cease. It's not taken lightly, but right now, he's a part of the organization. We're happy to have him here."

Harris: "Fans don't love a rebuild, but they do understand a rebuild. They have their eyes, they're always on some shiny thing for the future. That thing here seems to be [minor league prospect] Colson Montgomery, just from the fans I've talked to. What does his timeline look like to you? And how soon could he be a major leaguer?"

Getz: "Yeah Colson has continued to impress and I could look back to day one, right after we drafted him, to where he is now. The physical and mental maturity is something that certainly stands out. He puts together major league at-bats. He's very under control, makes good decisions. Defensively, he's continued to get better and better. Obviously, that's a bigger frame for shortstop, so there's some nuance to the position that needs to be sharp for him to be successful. More than anything, we want to position him so he's on the field throughout a full season. He hasn't done that yet. Obviously it's early on in his career, so we want to find a way to keep him on the field, because the more he's on the field, the better we're off as an organization."

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