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Some Friday Cubs GM search bullets for your consumption…

  • Mike Silva thinks that, if Billy Beane decides he wants to leave Oakland, Chicago’s where he’d go. Unless, that is, Brian Cashman has already bolted New York, in which case you might see a Cashman-to-Cubs, Beane-to-Yanks kind of shuffle. All in all, though, Silva doesn’t see Cashman leaving New York.
  • Could Tampa Bay Rays’ assistant Gerry Hunsicker become a candidate for the Cubs’ GM position? A source calls him “a decent underdog,” noting Hunsicker’s strong development and statistical background. You’ll recall that the Astros were dominant under Hunsicker’s watch, making the playoffs five out of nine seasons, and finishing first or second in the NL Central every single year. He’s on the older (not old) side at 61, but his track record speaks for itself.
  • Paul Sullivan creates a power rankings of the top 16 GM candidates, but it’s clear that many names are thrown in “because they’ve come up.” His top six, perhaps unsurprisingly, are Andrew Friedman, Billy Beane, Theo Epstein, Brian Cashman, Rick Hahn, and Josh Byrnes. I’d be surprised if the Cubs’ top six is much different. For good measure, Sullivan also includes Oneri Fleita (7), Tim Wilken (11), and Ari Kaplan (15). Tom Ricketts has said that he is not considering in-house candidates.
  • Ken Rosenthal has a long write-up about the Arizona Diamondbacks’ success, and, specifically, about who should get the credit. On former D-Backs GM Josh Byrnes, Rosenthal writes, “Well, it was Byrnes who traded for right-hander Ian Kennedy and center fielder Chris Young, and [Jerry] DiPoto who traded for right-hander Daniel Hudson. [Kevin] Towers, meanwhile, freely acknowledges that several of his moves didn’t work. But he’s the one who rebuilt the team’s bullpen and changed the team’s losing culture, emerging as a leading candidate for Executive of the Year. Byrnes, now the VP of baseball operations for Padres, is gracious in his praise of both Towers and manager Kirk Gibson, who was promoted from bench coach to replace A.J. Hinch after both Byrnes and Hinch were fired on July 1, 2010 …. [On] Towers? ‘Obviously, there were some holes on the roster that needed to be addressed. Kevin addressed them very well,’ Byrnes said. ‘The bullpen killed the team in 2010. He made that group a lot better.’ … Byrnes might have built a bad bullpen, but at least it was a bad bullpen without bad contracts. In fact, none of the D-backs’ contracts was especially onerous, and that too contributed to the team’s rapid turnaround.” For what it’s worth, GM candidate Mike Rizzo, who was an assistant with the Diamondbacks at the time, says he and his now-assistant Kris Kline deserve the credit for the current D-Backs.
  • Barry Rozner (ah! no link! foiled by the Daily Herald pay wall!) also suggested that Fleita could be a GM candidate down the road. As far as I can tell, these guys are throwing out his name because he’s in the news right now as being a highly-respected member of the Cubs’ front office. In other words: there is presently no legitimate reason to be thinking of him as a future GM candidate. A reason may evolve, but it ain’t there yet.
  • Baseball Prospectus’ Kevin Goldstein says Rick Hahn and Ben Cherington are the front-runners for the Cubs GM job, but I’m not sure upon what he’s basing that.
  • Carrie Muskat says the Cubs need to move expeditiously to get the new GM in place so he can start making player personnel decisions.
  • Fishin Phil

    “For good measure, Sullivan also includes Oneri Fleita (7), Tim Wilken (11), and Ari Kaplan (15). Tom Ricketts has said that he is not considering in-house candidates.”

    Never let the facts stand in the way of a good story.  Right Mr. Sullivan?

  • CubFan Paul

    Hahn and Cherington are exactly the types of candidates that Ricketts is probably targeting since he wants ‘some baseball operation power’ (the GM will report me) ..since Cricketts last comments/Hendry’s press conference I’ve given up hope on an experienced/accomplished GM like Cashman, Epstein, Freidman, or even Byrnes because guys like that wouldnt want Ricketts hands in their cookie jar with so much to do already. But the ‘assistant GM’ types who want a shot would take the job for less money and allow Ricketts to meddle

    • Bails17

      Why do you get the feeling he want to meddle?  Just because he signed Fleita?

      • CubFan Paul

        because he said so, in so many words as far as not wanting to hire a baseball man (a President), saying that he wants the GM to report directly to him, signing Fleita & possibly Wilken before he hires a GM and him thinking he’s smart enough now to make baseball decisions now and going back on his words as far as the future of Fleita & Wilken

        • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

          I know you are suspect of Ricketts, but just because he said the GM will report to him does not mean he wouldn’t hire a president. It was a good business tactic. He already has a President and instead of opening the rumor mill up to wild speculation about multiple positions and the future of the current president (Crane Kenney), he deflected responsibility to himself. He has not commented since that day and therefore we have no more understanding about his intentions. Im not panicking or worried that Ricketts won’t make the best decision for the team.

          Besides you’ve got enough to worry with the Colts and the future of Payton, “Always look on the bright side of life”

          • CubFan Paul

            its Hell here in Indianapolis MG!! f**kballs!!

            so either Ricketts is a liar and he will hire a President & GM because Kenney is no good in that capacity on the field wise or he’s not going to do what’s best for the team

            i have no faith in him doing “whats best” because September 2011 & he’s let the on the field product deteriorate from day One & for paying fan thats unacceptable, nor do i care to hear people’s reasons for why he sat back for 2yrs & did nothing because his non-actions & lowering of the payroll on a ‘old team’ is unacceptable/inexcusable ..and he did ‘lie’ about the futures of wilken & fleita in that hendry press conference by doing what he said he wouldn’t do ..i tend to put no faith in people who tell lies, then run and hide as if i’m supposed to accept his/her actions or backtalk ..not cool

          • DaveB23

            “I know you are suspect of Ricketts, but just because he said the GM will report to him does not mean he wouldn’t hire a president.”

            Sorry MG but gona have to disagree with you there. In my eyes, because he said the GM will report to him DEFINITELY means he won’t hire a president. He basically said he’s taking over the president of baseball ops role during the Henry press conference. Now, I’m not saying that this means he plans on making most of the decisions himself. I just feel that he will not give anyone (other than himself) the role of ‘President’.
            The reason this irks me is because by doing this, Ricketts isn’t giving the Cubs a chance (however small that chance really is) to land Epstein, because obviously Epstein won’t truly consider bolting Boston unless he’s offered a President role.
            Also, notice how the Pat Gillick (another very qualified candidate to help turn this ship around) rumors dropped COMPLETELY off the radar as soon as he said he would consider leaving Philly only if offered a President-type role? I haven’t heard his name come up a single time since Henry was fired, even though he seems to be more qualified than most of the other candidates (other than Epstein, Friedman, and maybe 1 or 2 others).
            Why has he completely dropped off the radar? Because Ricketts won’t offer anyone a President-type role, the only thing that would draw guys like Epstein and Gillick here.

            • CubFan Paul

              i agree Dave

              • Jeff

                I don’t agree.  I think you guys may be misreading what he was trying to say.  Or maybe I’m misreading, who knows.  By saying that the GM will report directly to him, I believe he’s saying that Crane Kenney will have zero say in any baseball move, and that it will come to Ricketts for final approval.  The GM isn’t the head guy on any team, that usually is the President and the owner above him.  I think Ricketts is, if anything, undercutting what the Whooping Crane’s role with the team is.  I think Ricketts is acting more as the president, and most gm’s report directly to the team president, who reports to the owner.  He’s just taking Kenney out of the equation, at least that’s what I think.  And if that’s the case, I’m all for the way he’s going about this.

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

              It’s worth pointing out again that, at the time Friedman became the Rays’ GM, his resume looked strikingly similar to Tom Ricketts’. Ricketts may, himself, want to be the “baseball president.” For now, I support him in that.

              • philoe beddoe

                wasn’t aware of that….I do think the “baseball guy” argument may sometimes be overrated…I may be off base hear, but in my dealings with MLB scouts(yes I am only a high school coach not big time at all) they aren’t always the smartest guys you meet, many of them just follow what other guys are doing…

                former players love to believe that you have to have MLB experience to work in baseball, and I do believe that it may be necessary for a manager sometimes…

                something to be said for an education….Don Zimmer was a baseball lifer…probably most guys on this message board would build a better team then he could….

  • KB

    If I’d just spent $800 million on a ball team, I’d kinda want to meddle a bit too. At least he seems to be the right kind of personality for a meddling owner: doesn’t seem to know much about the game, but seems to be quite savvy about the statistical side of things, or at least about using objective analysis to evaluate players.

    • CubFan Paul

      but You didnt spend the $800million and if you did you would of fired Hendry and made front office changes Day One ..be honest

      • Jeff

        Probably not, when he took over as owner, the team was coming off of two straight division titles.  There wasn’t a whole lot of calling for Hendry’s head until he decided Aaron Miles was his new Mark DeRosa, and that Milton Bradley was the best left handed bat on the market.

  • Cedlandrum

    The whole, we must hire a baseball man is a tired argument. We had that once upon a time in Chicago while Hendry was the GM and MacPhail was president. It didn’t work all that well. The idea is to get good baseball guys who do a good job and get a little lucky. You don’t need a chain of command necessarily to do things right.

    • DaveB23

      Jim Henry is a ‘baseball man’? So what exactly did he do that made him a ‘baseball man’ before coming to the Cubs?
      Being head coach of a college baseball team for a few years? Being a minor league coach for a couple of years?
      Sorry, but in my book that doesn’t qualify as what the Cubs should be looking for in a ‘baseball man’. Sure, Henry had a background in baseball, but thats NOT the type of ‘baseball man’ the Cubs should be looking for.
      The argument for the Cubs ‘baseball man’ is one who has had success, HERE, IN THE MAJOR LEAGUES. Not on some college team, or in the minor leagues.
      So I agree with you that the Cubs shouldn’t be looking for simply for someone who has any sort of baseball background (my uncle coaches a little league team, does that make him a ‘baseball man’?) What you fail to understand is that the argument is for someone who has a PROVEN track record, whose done it before, with results, at the major league level.
      If you haven’t noticed, this organization is in quite a bit of disarray, and its going to take someone who really knows what they’re doing (because they’ve done it before, with results) in order to fix it. If you don’t see that, then sorry but you are mistaken. I just hope Ricketts isn’t thinking the same mistake, because otherwise the results for this organization will be the same that they’ve been the last 100+ years.

      • CubFan Paul

        i couldnt agree more with dave ..again ..100%

        “PROVEN track record, whose done it before, with results, at the major league level” ..those were Ricketts words also, meaning, he needs to hire a G.D. “baseball guy”/President to make decisions, like: the new President of Baseball Ops hires the new GM, not Ricketts

        • TWC

          CubFan Paul wrote: “he needs to hire a G.D. “baseball guy”/President to make decisions”

          He needs to hire a Grateful Dead baseball guy/president?

          I’m all for THAT, Pauly!

          • CubFan Paul

            lol ..”goddamn”, not the Dead ..when i use cuss words Lou gets upset

            • TWC

              Well, now *I’m* upset.  You just can’t win, Paul.

      • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

        Agreed that we should hire someone with proven success, but Epstien, Friedman, and Cashman weren’t exactly “proven” when they got their jobs.

        • CubFan Paul

          MG, Proven is the word Ricketts used himself ..but then again he proved most of his words wrong by resigning Fleita…

        • DaveB23

          MG you’re point is true that guys like Epstein, Friedman, and Cashman weren’t exactly ‘proven’ when they got their jobs. But that’s my point here.
          The Cubs simply can’t afford to gamble on someone in the hopes that they will be the next Epstein or Friedman. I feel that the situation that the Cubs are in (I.E. century-long streak of losing) is too dire/difficult/pressure-filled to try to hand over to the next up-and-comer to try and right the ship. A situation like ours calls for someone whose already been through the pressure-cooker and proven that they can get it done at the ML level.
          While it would be great to find the next Epstein, Cubs simply can’t bank on that. The results of the last 100 years speak for themselves. We need somebody PROVEN.
          Other teams may be able to afford to take a gamble on finding the next big thing, but we need the already proven thing to get us where we need to be going.

          • Coal

            It will be tricky to find a “proven” person but one still with “something to prove.” I vote for a little more “something to prove.” I look at the Soriano signing, the decision to hire Pinella over Girardi (or somebody less “proven”) as examples of what I think the “old Cubs” would have done. Buy a star. If we think the same way this time, I think we will regret it.

            (And Ricketts doesn’t seem to be thinking the “old” way, which I like.)

  • Cheryl

    Mayve we’re reading more into his statements than we should. Right now it seems as if he’ll wait before making any more moves. Next on the agenda is Wilken. Then, he’ll probably get to the GM The only exception may be if the new GM is not in post season or if he’s already settled on a new GM and will announce that person at the same time he deals with Wilken. I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if he makes the announcement of the new GM on the 16 or the 19th.

  • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

    Agreed, to take everything a owner, CEO or upper mgmt says as unchanging fact is just foolish. Let him take his time and trust the next GM is the best available and best for the Cubs. We have no idea who is interested all we have is second hand speculation.

  • Mike

    Billy Beane to me is a guy that continually gets overlooked. People have lost the glitter to him because of the situation in Oakland. So be it, but the stadium issue, the ownership hamstring, and the constraints he was and is forced to work under are impossible.

    Take a deeper look at this guy. He has excellent baseball roots, He played the game and understands all aspects from the ground up. He’s a fiery competitor who wants to go to a market with a chance to win. He understands player development and minor league investment. He is Ivy League and brilliant. He is an innovator in what Rickets says he wants in terms of user high power statistical modeling. Of all the people available supposedly and mentioned he alone carries the highest ceiling and accolades the Blanche Rickey tag.

    Yes, I would be equally happy with Epstein or Cashman, but here’s the kicker. When Henry wanted to create his Boston resurgence this is the guy he coveted. If Beane wants this job, I honestly don’t believe Ricketts has much of a decision if some of you are right about Ricketts competence. Billy Beane is as close as I think I’ve ever seen to the perfect fit for a situation in sports.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I would be fine with Beane, though I do have some minor concerns, mostly tied to the A’s failure to have a winning season since 2006. But I know there are a number of excuses for that, most of which have nothing to do with Beane’s efforts.

      • Toosh

        Cool weather in the Bay area, too many day games, bad luck, not enough LH hitters, injuries. He’s too nice of a guy.

        • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

          You replace “Bay area” with “Midwest” and that statement is about Jim Hendry.

  • Toosh

    Rimshot!

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