Obsessive Cubs GM Watch: Epstein, Friedman, Beane, Hahn, Coppolella, Shapiro, Sandberg, Kenney

As promised, a boatload of Chicago Cubs general manager search news, rumors, etc. for you today:

  • SI’s Jon Paul Morosi has a long article up about the Cubs’ GM search. Among the high points: (1) There’s almost no chance a new GM will be in place by the end of the month; (2) the Cubs are going to try and get “the biggest name they can”; (3) Theo Epstein is probably Tom Ricketts’ top choice (duh); (4) Billy Beane’s minority ownership interest in the A’s is a small hurdle to his candidacy (a buyout would have to be negotiated); (5) the job in Chicago is very different than the one in Tampa Bay, which could scare off Andrew Friedman; (6) Ricketts could shift Crane Kenney’s title to something like “president of business operations,” which would open the door to giving the “baseball president” title to an incoming GM; Rick Hahn remains the most popular guess of insiders; and (8) Tigers’ assistant GM Al Avila is probably not a candidate.
  • SI’s Tom Verducci says Tom Ricketts needs to aim high, and suggests reasons why the big four (Epstein, Cashman, Friedman, Beane) would all be attracted to the Cubs’ job. He even cites a source who says Beane would consider the job. Verducci, like every other national writer, says the Cubs’ GM job is very desirable to almost everyone in baseball. It’s not just the possibility of being the guy who finally wins it for the Cubs – it’s the huge market, the untapped revenue streams, the aggressive owner, and the very winnable division.
  • Jayson Stark, as though responding to Verducci, goes through the reasons why the big four would not be interested in the Cubs’ job. Though he, too, notes sources indicating Beane’s interest in the job.
  • Phil Rogers thinks that, if Theo Epstein is ever going to leave Boston, the time is now. He also thinks Andrew Friedman should find the Cubs’ resources highly attractive. Hooray! Phil Rogers is telling me things I want to hear! I like him!
  • Bruce Levine’s weekly chat hit on a number of GM search topics. Levine doesn’t think Epstein will ultimately be the guy, and instead guesses that it will be Rick Hahn. Indeed, Levine thinks Epstein, Brian Cashman, and Andrew Friedman are going to use the Cubs’ opening to leverage more dollars out of their current organizations. Boo! Bruce Levine is telling me things I don’t want to hear! I don’t like him!
  • Rogers also thinks that, if Ricketts can’t land one of the biggest names, San Diego VP of Baseball Ops (and former Diamondbacks GM) Josh Byrnes is the guy he’ll look at the hardest. In part, Rogers gets that sense from the GM of Byrnes’ current organization, Jed Hoyer. That reminds me: why hasn’t Hoyer’s name ever come up as a candidate? He was Epstein’s prized assistant in Boston for a number of years before getting the big job in San Diego two years ago. He satisfies all of Tom Ricketts’ criteria, and comes straight from the “Boston Red Sox model.”
  • Braves’ assistant GM John Coppolella, who would definitely fall into the “up-and-coming assistants” crop, wouldn’t speculate on the Cubs’ open GM position and the team’s prospects for 2012.
  • Popular Cleveland Indians blog Waiting for Next Year (sound familiar?) sings the praises of Indians’ president Mark Shapiro. I’m generally of the mind that, if a fan base doesn’t want to lose a particular executive, that executive must be at least decent – especially if the executive has been around for more than 10 years. We fans tend to grow weary rapidly.
  • SI’s Jon Heyman, whose skills appear to have eroded this year, bizarrely suggests that Tom Ricketts might go ahead and hire Ryne Sandberg as the Cubs’ manager without waiting for the next GM. That suggestion is so absurd is to not warrant a response.
  • Cubs blog Inside Cubs is reporting that Crane Kenney will not return next season as Chicago Cubs’ president. The same has been suggested here in the past, in large part because Kenney is not particularly well liked in Cubs circles, his position as “President” stands as a (symbolic) threat to the next GM (even though Tom Ricketts has said the GM will report directly to Ricketts), and the “need” to keep Kenney as a go-between in Wrigley Field/Triangle Building talks is fading. Inside Cubs says Ricketts has made the decision, and Kenney will be out at the end of the season. This could open up a nice additional title to give an incoming GM. Other than that, the practical impact of the move might be slim, given that, again, Ricketts expects the next GM to report directly to him. UPDATE: A source of Dave Kaplan’s says this rumor is “100 percent false.”
  • Lastly, don’t forget to “Like” Bleacher Nation on Facebook or follow it on Twitter to get the latest GM news and rumors as it becomes available.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

21 responses to “Obsessive Cubs GM Watch: Epstein, Friedman, Beane, Hahn, Coppolella, Shapiro, Sandberg, Kenney”

  1. TWC

    I used to like this site a whole lot more when the articles were short.

    1. Serio

      HA! got to say good info

  2. philoe beddoe

    the only way I would want Hahn is if we get the big fish baseball guy(epstein..etc) as prez….I was always a bit of a Hendry defender, but really after analyzing the job as a job “opening”, he was in over his head….this is probably the 3rd or 4th best job in baseball and we should have a very qualified candidate…

    fyi…did anyone else see that blurb about Hendry interviewing with Selig and he may get a high profile job with MLB?

  3. Fishin Phil

    “fyi…did anyone else see that blurb about Hendry interviewing with Selig and he may get a high profile job with MLB?”

     

    I actually think that could be a good gig for Hendry. 

     

     

    1. Toosh

      Maybe the next Commissioner? He’d almost have to be better than Selig.

  4. hansman1982

    No surprise that Hahn is a favorite of the Chicago media – someone they already have contacts with and have a working relationship – more likely to not have to work too hard to get the same access they already have…

    NO TO HAHN – YES TO CASHSTEIN!!!!

  5. die hard

    McPhail….Green….Lynch….Himes etc werent these cant miss winners supposed to be saviors for the franchise?…how many world series did we win under them?….how many world series did we go to under them?….before Ricketts gets caught up in finding the perfect GM, someone should remind him “been there done that” …. he should review where we have been to avoid repeating mistakes of past…after doing so, the one common thread of failure is not having a manager who has the experience, autonomy, brains, character and guts to run the team as he sees fit…I thought Durocher was the guy but he lacked brains and character….so this GM search means nothing unless a manager with the foregoing attributes arrives also….thats my take

    # Name↓ Seasons↓
    1 Charles Weber 1934–1940
    2 James Gallagher 1940–1949
    3 Wid Matthews 1950–1956
    4 John Holland 1957–1975
    5 Salty Saltwell 1976
    6 Bob Kennedy 1977 – May 1981
    7 Herman Franks May 1981 – October 1981
    8 Dallas Green October 1981 – October 1987
    9 Jim Frey November 1987 – October 1991
    10 Larry Himes November 1991 – October 1994
    11 Ed Lynch October 1994 – July 2000
    12 Andy MacPhail July 2000 – July 2002
    13 Jim Hendry July 2002 – August 2011

    1. Steve

      Thanks for the list of past GMs???

    2. Jeff

      I don’t remember Lynch or Himes being “can’t miss winners.” I’ll give you the McFail reference though, which is partly why I am weary of Andrew Friedman. McFail was can’t miss and almost do no wrong with the Twins, but never figured it out with the Cubs and left the job to Jim Hendry, who coincidentally did a better job than his old boss.

  6. Toosh

    Green would have led the Cubs to a World Series if the Trib’ hadn’t of forced him out.

    1. Fishin Phil

      I believe this.

  7. CubFan Paul

    i vaguely remember reading something here or somewhere about Josh Byrnes months ago, well before Hendry’s firing that he was snooping around the Cubs un-opened GM job.. Supposedly Byrnes knows Joe Ricketts or someone close to Tom Cricketts and he was showing interest the back channel way & it leaked publicly

  8. cubsklm

    Yes, I stated weeks ago that Josh Byrnes will be the new Cub GM.
    Byrnes was shafted in AZ, he built that team. He will also hire Ryno as the manager.
    There was also an article posted about his behind the scenes interest.

    Tell me how it made any sense to keep LaHair’s left handed bat in the minors all year long, when he could’ve platoon in LF and 1B. Plus provide a power stick off the bench.

    I say there’s enough ABs next year for both LaHair and Colvin, in platoon situations and pinch hitting. Dump Baker and DeWitt.

  9. Jerry McClellan

    I may have mentioned it in a response to a blog post on this site. I wrote my own blog post about how the Cubs should either fire Kenney or change his title to President of Business operations and the new GM would be the President of Baseball operations and GM. If the Cubs intend to keep Kenney around and they get a big name, I hope that is what they intend to do. Hopefully Kenney will be out the door and the idea wont be needed.

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  11. JeffM

    For God’s sake..pick a new GM…it’s crazy why this is taking so long…wait a little longer, and you’ll lose one of the best third sackers in baseball…get with it Rickett’s!!!

    1. Toosh

      Who’s that? Ramirez? Please! Never hits in April and May and doesn’t play defense all season. Ramirez needs to go.

    2. Jeff

      The season just ended, actually hasn’t ended completely yet.  He can’t even interview his top choices yet, why would you want him to hire a guy already?