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Chicago Cubs GM search rumors and news have piled up to such an unwieldy level that the only solution is a massive bullet-style dump, which I bring you now. Enjoy:

  • The Cubs’ GM job is legitimately attractive to top tier candidates like New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman and Tampa Bay Rays GM Andrew Friedman. “Who wouldn’t want to be the GM of the Chicago Cubs?” former Orioles GM Jim Duquette said of the job. “You have tremendous resources, a great fan base and you are in a world class city that is attractive to free agents. I believe that you can turn that team around fairly quickly if you get the right guy in there.”
  • Those top tier types may not ultimately come, but this isn’t a matter of Cubs fans believing our opportunity is so great because we live in a bubble of delusion. It genuinely represents one of the most exciting opportunities for every executive in baseball. I don’t know about you, but hearing that again and again this week only serves to make me more depressed that Jim Hendry, however nice he is, lasted as long as he did.
  • Dave Kaplan says his New York sources tell him they would be “stunned” if Cashman left New York, given his young family’s ties to the city. Kaplan also runs through the pros and cons of the “Big Three” of Cashman, Friedman and Red Sox GM Theo Epstein.
  • If Cashman is willing to leave, the Cubs might try to get him in a package with current Yankee manager, and long-time Cubs regret, Joe Girardi.
  • Jon Heyman says he’s hearing that White Sox Assistant GM Rick Hahn and Padres Director of Baseball Ops Josh Byrnes are the front-runners for the Cubs’ GM job, and that Cashman, Friedman, Epstein, and A’s GM Billy Beane are longshots. That may well be so, but, as my friend Matt Clapp has said elsewhere, of course those four are the “longshots.” They’re they ones who are already employed as GMs, and there’s no way any professional is going to discuss leaving his current job for a lateral move until the move is already all but finalized.
  • Although Beane is under contract through 2014, his strong relationship with A’s ownership, and an in-place successor in David Forst, are believed to be reasons that he would be given permission to interview with the Cubs. Something to keep in mind before getting too excited about Beane: despite his early success, the A’s haven’t had a winning season since 2006.
  • With the White Sox struggling – in large part because some of their most high profile moves have blown up in their face – Kenny Williams’ job as GM could be in doubt, which could, in turn, open up a spot for Hahn.
  • The many reasons Tampa Bay will try desperately to hang onto Friedman.
  • Rangers Assistant GM Thad Levine, who is considered (like Hahn) to be one of the top assistants in the game, was mum on speculation that he could seek a promotion to the big seat with another team. “My singular focus is this job,” he said. “I’m extremely honored to have my name thrown in the mix. I don’t want to get distracted from what I’m trying to help this team accomplish.” Not exactly a strong denial of interest, if you ask me.
  • Larry Bowa says the Cubs should still consider Pat Gillick for a president-level job.
  • More background on theoretical candidate, MLB executive Kim Ng.
  • Bruce Levine says the GM search is going to take a long time because the Cubs will want to consider executives under contract for the rest of this season. Levine then suggests that the Cubs would have to wait until the season is over to ask permission to speak to those executives, which is flatly wrong, so I buried this bullet at the end. The search probably will take a long time, but not because the Cubs have to wait to ask permission to speak to the guys they want. It’s just that the teams may not be willing to give permission until after the season, or the candidate may not want to make a decision until after the season.

For my part, here’s all I’ve been able to dig up so far:

1. The Cubs started asking teams for permission to speak to prospective candidates as early as this past weekend (i.e., immediately after announcing Hendry’s termination), one of whom is among the popular names that has been reported as a potential candidate. With apologies, to protect the identity of my source, I can’t reveal the name of that particular candidate (yes, I know how lame that sounds – but it’s true).

2. The Cubs have asked all other MLB front offices to keep tight wraps on those requests, and on the Cubs’ GM search in general.

3. Legitimate leaks are hard to come by (did I mention that you can contact me with tips at brett *AT* bleachernation.com?). If the Cubs could keep Jim Hendry’s firing secret for a month, they’ll probably do a good job of keeping this process relatively quiet.

  • CubFan Paul

    if Rick Hahn is so smart why did he negotiate that Dunn contract? everybody in their right mind knew Adam Dunn would struggle in the A.L. (because he struggled in the N.L.)

    i’ll pass on Hahn. Deals like that remind me of the Bradley, Soriano, and Dempster contracts

  • MichiganGoat

    Beane’s success was because he had an amazing core of pitchers during the Moneyball period, but since that core has left he has had problems replicating success. There are too many questions for me get excited.

  • JulioZuleta

    In the past “big name” guys, players/ coaches/whoever, typically come to the cubs after their prime, the thought of getting cashman/ girardi, or ever moreso Epstein, friedman while still young is exciting

  • Cheryl

    Seeing the background of Ng she should be given serious consideration. Will she? Probably not. The GM post is still considered by many a male reserve. I hope she gets interviewed. But even by some miracle she was hired as GM it wouldn’t take long for people to begin criticizing her performance. Pease Tom, at least interview her! She may surprise everyone.

    • MichiganGoat

      I’m sure she’ll get interviewed, I’m not certain but I’m sure there are some rules about interviewing minority candidates. Unfortunately that’s all the interview will be, I think Ng took the job with MLB because she believes she’ll never have a shot at a GM job. Sad but true.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        I just don’t like that she’s become the “token” woman candidate for all these GM openings. It prohibits us from fairly evaluating her on her merits – either pro or con. On paper, she looks like a “meh” candidate. Several GM interviews, never got the big job. That’s a red flag. Left front office life for a job with MLB to work under Joe Torre, with whom she previously worked. That’s a red flag.

        But I feel guilty saying that stuff because I risk sound like a sexist because of the “role” with which she’s been painted.

      • EQ

        yeah, and let’s just come out and say it, this is one of the most important moves the Ricketts family will ever make as owners of the Cubs, they need to make the right choice.. if they hire a female and she bombs, they’ll never live it down.. of course on the flip side, maybe a female decision maker is the one, true breaker of the curse??!!!

        • Cheryl

          I’m realistic enough to know she probably won’t be seriously considered. But her background did seem strong. I don’t like her being considered as thee token woman candidate. And EQ is right, if she was hired and bombs Ricketts would never live it down. But on the other hand, if he believed she was right for the job he should follow his instincts. I once knew a female judge who was the first in that particular role in thos area. She was thought tin the beginning to be just a token. But as it turned out, she was considered about the best in her field. A good manager would be able to get a feeling if she was one that could break the “curse”. But she would have to be exceptional. I’m not sure about the “red flags” since I’m sure that male candidates have interviewed and not gotten GM jobs. But I’d rather she’d be excluded from interviews than viewed as “we have to interview her because of her being a minority.”

    • jstraw

      Do you think she has the three qualities Ricketts says are the criteria for the hire?

      • Cheryl

        On paper she seems to have the qualities. She has analytical skills, has worked in the contract area. I’m not sure how much she’s been involved in player development. It would be interesting if Joe Torre gave her rave reviews. He thought enough of her to hire her again when the opportunity came. That says something.

        • jstraw

          Ricketts has said he wants someone with a background in modern statistical analysis as well as old school baseball acumen, experience in this job and a history in and the ability to bring a culture of success to the Cubs.

          It doesn’t sound a lot like he plans to make anyone a first time GM.

        • Toosh

          Never played baseball at any level. Some knowledge you can only acquire by doing. Not qualified to be the GM of a baseball team.

          • Cheryl

            Toosh, When was the last time a woman was allowed to play minor league baseball? When was a woman allowed to even take part in baseball at the college level? A woman can play baseball if given the opportunity. But you are right, she hasn’t been a GM before. There’s a big difference in the type of sports a woman could take part in. I don’t see a woman being able to take part in football, but baseball, yes.

            • Toosh

              I wrote “at any level”. Not just post high school. Men play baseball from a very young age. At varying levels of skill. If they’re smart, the more they play, the more they learn. That would give any man that played baseball knowledge and qualifications that a woman that didn’t wouldn’t have. If Ng were aspiring to be a GM in a sport that she’s played, that would be great.

              • EQ

                Unfortunately she may be great and do great at a GM job someday but she is a loooooong shot to land the Cubs gig… the truth is, there’s really just a few names that Ricketts really wants.. (Gillick, Epstein, Cashman, Freidman, & Beane) I believe those are the true top 5.. and I believe in that order as well… Gillick/Epstein, I believe, are their 1st choice(s).

                Hahn, Byrnes, Ng, etc. would be a 2nd tier group in my opinion, Colletti should be a “we struck out with everyone else and have to hire someone” choice.

          • hardtop

            Theo Epstein didn’t even play high school ball. For all I know he didn’t even play in little league.
            Bud Selig’s a car dealer for Christ’s sake… I’ve never seen evidence that he played even a minute of organized baseball and he’s the commissioner of the game! (not that i think he should be).

            Ng, is not qualified to be the Cubs GM, but if you’re telling me that the lack of even a little t-shirt league ball means she could never be a GM somewhere?… well I’m calling bullshit.

            btw, dreadful game. back to old habits it appears: lots of errors, sparse offense, no hitting with risp, mediocre to bad starting pitching and runs out of the bullpen. the whole buffet of suckage. castro’s lost a little something at the plate it seems too.

            • Toosh

              She could be. She just wouldn’t be as qualified as a man who had played baseball.

              • http://twitter.com/thomaswconroy TWC

                But if she was a woman who had played baseball?

                • Toosh

                  Yes! Absolutely.

              • MichiganGoat

                I’d agree with you if we were talking about a coach or a scout but the GM is exactly that a manager. A great manager does not have to have a history as a baseball player, I don’t think the knowledge Epstein, Friedman, or Cashman use their little league knowledge when it comes to decision time.

            • Toosh

              Anybody notice something else about the game today? The Braves’ manager, who was smart enough to not be interested in the Cubs’ job, isn’t afraid to throw pitchers out there in the 7th, 8th or 9th innings other than Venters or Kimbrel. Quade’s going to pitch Wood, Marshall and Marmol ’til their arms fall off. Win or lose. A manager has to show faith in all his players. Can hardly wait ’til Quade is gone. You think he’ll know why he got fired?

  • Lou

    Well, let me throw Mark Shapiro in the ring as well. Yeah, I know Cleveland is on the upswing, but c’mon it’s the Cubs job with more resources. And if he would win the WS, he would be a legend.

  • Cubsklm

    They need to get the best young GM out there. My hope is Freidman.
    Forget all the nice guy talk, I want an energetic, young, aggressive GM that wakes up everyday thinking about winning.

    Show me your 3 years plan to get this team contending for divisional, NL, and World Series Championships? What’s your strategy/track record for player development?
    Who would you hire as the field manager? When can you start?

    The Cub Nation is waiting!

    • Deez

      Friedman should be the choice w/o a doubt.

      He has constantly done more with less during his time as a GM & developed talent & more importantly, COMPETES w/ the Yankees & Red Sox spending less money.

      Cashman & Epstein have had tremendous resources to spend anually one the big name FAs available of their choosing.

      If the Cubs go completely young next year & finish 25+ games under .500, I don’t care because we are accessing talent.
      Look at our payroll & roster now, we can’t do any better.

  • jstraw

    Someone should tell Larry Bowa that there *is no* presidents level job opening with the Cubs.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Should probably tell Buster Olney while they’re at it.

  • philoe beddoe

    Brett, what kind of timeline do you think we are looking at(and I know you can’t say for sure)?

    But my first thought is A) we won’t know until after the world series, but then my second thought is B) won’t they want someone in place for organizational meetings in October?

    • Fishin Phil

      I thought the organiztional meetings were in November?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I think they’re going to work their ass off to try and find out ASAP if guys like Cashman/Friedman/Epstein will seriously consider making the leap. If they won’t, I think the Cubs will focus on guys like Hahn/Byrnes/Cherington/etc. whom they could *probably* hire before the end of the season.

      So, the only timeline thing I can give you is a guess that, if we don’t hear much of anything by the end of September, my guess is the Cubs are waiting on a big name, and have a sense that he just might say yes.

      • philoe beddoe

        thanks….. that makes sense and is a pretty sound strategy….probably strategy Hendry used for Dusty Baker(yikes)…although I think Dusty gets a bit of an unfair rap…although I am sure Dr. Andrews and Dr. Jobe like him a lot….

        • EQ

          I’m sure Dusty has some sort of frequent flyer miles thing with those dr.’s. that and a toothpick endorsement deal.

        • hardtop

          dr. sweetleaf likes him a lot too. he keeps a lot of docs in business.

      • Cheryl

        Brett, Makes sense with those three. I’ll switch gears away from NG. I think Cashman may actually be interested.

  • Toosh

    Bowa has a good mind for baseball. Ricketts shouldn’t rule out hiring a more baseball oriented President.

  • Ron

    Friedman gets a lot of credit for developing talent but if he has only been there 4 years how many has he drafted to make the bigs already? And how has their farm system been ranked since he took over? I like the idea of the guy but have questions.

  • RY

    let me repeat, marlon bryd SUCKS!@

  • Joe Cartwright

    Get out of my bubble!

  • RY

    were you thinking the same thing joe?

  • Cardfan

    I have officially announced my candidacy for the opening. I have prepared a detailed business plan for Mr. Ricketts that outlines a contigency-based compensation. Bottom-line is that I field a better team at a lower price (as evidenced by season wins). Whatever reduction I attain in payroll is paid to me at 50%. I also get a cut of the gate at the proposed “Wrigley Tractor Pulls 2012″. Oh yeah, it’s in the plan. In it to win it, baby…

    • Jeff

      Do we have to send the moths after you too?

  • Chris

    The one thing I’ve learned about New Yorkers is that they’re genuinely stunned if ANYONE leaves New York.

  • Vince

    I think Tom Rickets has already decided on a general manager. Hendry knew for a month that he was through. The decision has already been finalized. Everyone is keeping mum til the right moment. Rickets has had plenty of time to make his decision on both general manager and manager. Rickets is very smart, don’t underestimate him.

    • Cheryl

      Vince, I think you’re right. He had a month to see what he wants to see. He’ll probably announce the choices before the October meetings and this time the announcements will be on a Monday. He may space it out with the new GM announced first and the GM making the announcement of a new manager the following week. But I wish he’d replace Quade earlier so some of the minor leaguers can actually play.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      While I can see the virtue in waiting on letting Hendry go (there were things to be done), I see no value in waiting to have a new GM in place. There are things he could be doing now for the future of the organization – not just August waiver trades, but minor league transitions. I don’t think there’s anyone chosen just yet.

  • Matt

    Kim Ng played softball at University of Chicago.. some on here questioned whether or not she’s played the game.

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