But the White Sox left no question about his status Friday, announcing a contract extension for Ventura that came with a public vote of confidence. The terms of the extension weren't announced. All we know is that it's a multi-year deal.
"We are in complete agreement with the direction and vision for this organization in 2014 and beyond," said Rich Hahn, the White Sox's senior vice president and general manager, in a statement. "I have great confidence that Robin's leadership and direction will help us reach our goals, and there was never really any question in our minds as to who we wanted in the White Sox dugout now and into the future."
Last season's White Sox finished with the fourth-worst record in franchise history, and the third worst in the league behind the Houston Astros and Miami Marlins. In Ventura's defense, he didn't have a whole heck of a lot to work with beyond ace pitcher Chris Sale.
The South Side remembers that, just like it remembers Ventura playing 10 of 16 MLB seasons in a White Sox uniform. That surely helped buy him a little more time as the club enters a rebuilding phase.
The White Sox got off to a good start this winter. They signed Cuban slugger Jose Abreu, traded for young third baseman Matt Davidson and outfielder Adam Eaton from the Diamondbacks, and added some extra pitching, including a buy-low deal on hard-throwing pitcher Felipe Paulino, who is coming off Tommy John surgery.
At least Ventura has more to work with now, and the young players know he'll be around beyond his lame-duck contract season.
“We have been on the same page since Day One, but I’m very happy to have this behind us so we can continue to keep our focus on the playing field,” Ventura said in a statement. “I’m excited about the direction of the club and the moves we have made this offseason, but there is still a lot of work to be done so I think we’re all ready to get to spring training and get started.”
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- Chicago White Sox
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