Obsessive Cubs GM Watch: Epstein, Friedman, Jocketty, Cashman, Hahn, Cherington

It appears to be becoming a Friday thing; some Chicago Cubs general manager search bullets for your consumption…

  • Theo Epstein is catching a great deal of flack for his Red Sox’s September crumble, which – assuming you don’t also think he’s an incompetent boob – could be great news for the Cubs. You can literally Google “Blame Theo Epstein,” and the number of articles doing just that in the last week is incredible. Yahoo’s Jeff Passan absolutely excoriates Epstein for, among other things, leaving the Sawx without adequate pitching depth.
  • SI’s Jon Paul “George Ringo” Morosi does the same, and adds this bit at the end of his piece:

Meanwhile, the Cubs’ search for a new GM is playing the role of Oz in this late-season Rays-Red Sox drama — unseen but always there. Epstein is viewed as a possibility, along with Tampa Bay’s Andrew Friedman, and there would probably be a 50/50 split within the industry as to which of them is better.

Epstein has been associated with more bad contracts, but that’s not really a fair comparison. We’ll never know if Friedman would have made some of the same signings, because his payroll didn’t allow him to consider those possibilities. (Big-market GMs have an inherently harder job than small-market GMs, who are able to say, “Sorry. Can’t do it. Too expensive.”)

At the same time, there’s no denying that Friedman has developed more top-end pitching than Epstein. That is why the Rays still have a chance. So maybe Epstein and Friedman should put a gentlemen’s bet on the wild-card race.

Winner goes to the playoffs. Loser takes over the Cubs.

  • Ken Rosenthal says Epstein might explore an opportunity with the Cubs regardless of his team’s struggles, depending on how much power the Cubs would give him.
  • Jon Heyman says he’s hearing that the Cubs are indeed taking their time with the GM search so that they can have a crack at the big guys like Epstein, Andrew Friedman, Brian Cashman, and Billy Beane after their teams’ seasons end. Heyman also listed Ned Colletti among them, but it stuck out so embarrassingly badly that I tried to save Heyman the shame and embarrassment by glossing over it. Oh. Wait. Oops.
  • Phil Rogers dotes on Andrew Friedman as a possible Cubs’ GM. Drools even.
  • Bruce Levine had his weekly chat, and discussed a bit about the Cubs’ GM search. He thinks the Epstein-Cashman-Friedman triumvirate is at the top of the Cubs’ list, but doesn’t think the Cubs can land any of them. If not one of those three, he’s guess one of Rick Hahn, Ben Cherington, Mark Shapiro and Billy Beane.

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

32 responses to “Obsessive Cubs GM Watch: Epstein, Friedman, Jocketty, Cashman, Hahn, Cherington”

  1. Bleed Cubbie BLue

    Brett, I honestly think that the cubs can land epstein. for it to happen though:

    1. ricketts would have to rub off his magic and convince him and tell him hey you win the WS with us thats a one way ticket to cooperstown

    2. the biggest reason is if the redsox can have some sort of meltdown? losing there next 5 of 6 and the rays winning the wild card, if the rays somehow do win it epstein would GREATLY ATLEAST have to consider the cubs

    1. Internet Random

      Put enough cheddar on the table, and you can make almost anything can happen.

  2. Alex

    Pretty funny read on Epstein only running with 13 All Stars on the Red Sox.

    http://www.sportspickle.com/news/8065/theo-epstein-taking-heat-for-not-acquiring-a-14th-or-15th-all-star

  3. philoe beddoe

    I am so tired of all the Chicago media guys throwing Rick Hahns name in the mix…

    A. It would be a ho-hum hire that would not excite people. I think Ricketts knows he needs a “sexy” hire.

    B. I’m sorry, but have I missed out on something? Where are all of the wonderful prospects the Sox have developed? It’s one organization that may be in worse shape than the Cubs(bad contracts, poor farm system)

  4. die hard

    dont want other teams’ leftovers……need someone not GM now who has good credentials….I would like experienced minor league GM with major league experience in some capacity

    1. jstraw

      You’re not getting that. Tom says so.

  5. Steve

    “George Ringo”

  6. Steve

    I’d love to see John Coppolella as the Cubs’ GM.

    1. John Arguello

      Agreed. Coppolella may be young but he has all the tools you want in a GM — statistical analysis, scouting, winning background (Yankees, Braves) and he’s media savvy enough to handle the Chicago press.

      He’s what Epstein was 9-10 years ago. Someday soon some team,maybe the Cubs, is going to take a chance on him and be really happy they did…

      1. Steve

        I’m actually rooting for the Cardinals to make it to the post season so the Cubs can get a head start and sign Coppolella. I’m sure you read Tim Dierkes’ interview on MLBTR (I go by the s/n Blue Catuli) he tried to bait him into answering Cubs’ questions, but Coppolella wouldn’t bite. I think he might be Tim’s first choice as well.

        1. Toosh

          No, no, no. No Cardinals in the postseason. That’s Step 1. Then Pujols takes all the money in their player budget so they can’t re-sign any of their other FAs. That’s Step 2. Then the alcohol and PEDs and age do the rest.

          1. TWC

            Toosh makes me happy with comments like these.

            1. Toosh

              I’m happy that you’re happy.

        2. John Arguello

          I did read that. I also happened to write article on him on my blog a while back (click on my name if you’re interested). He’s one of my favorite candidates out there. Doesn’t get the publicity that Hahn does because of his close ties with the Chicago media and his recent top ranking in SI, but I like Coppolella better as a candidate.

          Not sure if it’s better for him to make the playoffs and draw more attention for what he and the Braves have done or to lose and get an early start. My feeling is the Cubs are going to wait for Epstein or Friedman anyway, so it may not hurt him if the Braves make a deep run. It may even help.

  7. Cubs_Fanatic

    Friedman, Espin, Cashman. My top three. Friedman would probably be best, but I think Espin could do okay. I’m concerned about Cashman since we wouldn’t have the blank checks the Yankees give him.

  8. die hard

    For instance….heres somebody

    Ron Myers Director of Florida Operations Lakeland Flying Tigers

    Ron graduated from Central Michigan University in 1980 with a B.S. in Communications. After graduation Ron moved to Lakeland, FL where he started his career as an intern with the Lakeland Tigers. By 1993 Ron had risen to Vice President and General Manager of the team. The same year, he accepted a position with Minor League Baseball, which consisted of 217 member clubs that operated in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Here he was selected to create and pioneer the first in-house Marketing Department. After his time with Minor League Baseball, Ron was appointed as Vice President of Marketing and Operations for the Tampa Bay Storm in the Arena Football League. Following his time in Arena Football, Ron became the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the Verizon Classic Senior PGA Tour in Tampa.

    He then made a foray into the world of basketball – he was selected by the NBA to become President and General Manager of the Mobile Revelers of the National Basketball Development League.

    After some time in Basketball, Ron decided to move back to his first love, baseball, as the Director of Corporate Sales for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

    In making the circle complete, he came back to Lakeland in November of 2003 to take on his current role of Director of Florida Operations for the Detroit Tigers.

  9. Ernie

    Why are the Cubs so excited about Cashman. They have the highest payroll by far and they should be winning the world series every year.

    They need a GM who can make great trades and

  10. Ernie Banks

    Why are the Cubs so excited about Cashman. They have the highest payroll by far and they should be winning the world series every year.

    They need a GM who can make great trades, know talent, develop talent and win not depending on payroll. The Cubs will not spend the money the Yankees or Red Sox.

    Billy Beane, Money Ball, should be in the top tier. Is his contract up this year? Look at the GM who have to win based on less payroll.

    Remember we are not NY with unlimited payroll or the US government that can print money at will.

    1. Toosh

      Ricketts has the money to give the Cubs the highest payroll in the NL. They could at least be winning the pennant every year.

  11. Deez

    Epstein was good when Manny was on Steroids, but the Sox have some “albatrosses” on their Roster.
    Carl Crawford, Lackey, & don’t forget the Matusaka deal.
    Also, wasn’t J.D. Drew one of his?
    It’s easy to cover up your mistakes w/ money.
    “Money doesn’t solve all your problems, but it’s good to have it.”

  12. cubbylair

    I just came back from having seen the movie “Money Ball” and while the story is not new to me it moved me to think that Beane would be a fit and he might be willing to move on now.

    The Cubs will be in a similar situation that the A’s were presented with in 2003. The A’s has just lost the guts of their team due to free agency. It appears the Cubs will lose Zambrano, possibly, Ramirez and ,hopefully, Soriano. While the Cubs are in a better position to go after high tier free agents, I don’t think they will. This has nothing to do with the general perception that Ricketts is too cheap but rather that it makes good business sense to let the present contracts  to “go off the books” before the organization to starts spending again. Who better than Beane to deal with this environment.

    Would Beane accept the Cubs when he rejected the Red Sox in 2002-2003. I think his circumstances have changed. He knows he can never win with the A’s and his daughter is now a grown young lady. I don’t know if his contract is up but I don’t see that as a major obstacle. Is he the right person for the job? I have my reservations.

  13. Cheryl

    cubbylair, you make a convincing argument for Beane. I’m beginning to cool on Cushman and Epstein. Somebody who knows how to develop talent would be in line with what we know about Ricketts thoughts so far. Whoever the cubs pick, there has to be a parting of the ways with Quade. I have no idea what his managerial style is except playing veterans no matter what and he doesn’t seem to know how to develop minor leaguers once they get to the majors.

    1. Boogens

      Hey Cheryl, I agree with you, especially on a couple of points. I am beginning to cool on Epstein a bit because of the Sox’s recent losing streak and I cooled on Cashman a while ago because he doesn’t want to come here and his giant budget covers a variety of mistakes. I think that Friedman would be ideal. He has developed a lot of talent with the Rays and they appear to be able to make effective adjustments regularly. I’d love to see him here but I really doubt that he’d leave his current position. Saying that, I would be ecstatic if Theo were to come here. If it’s not Friedman or Theo then I would have to say that I would prefer Coppolella or Cherington over Beane, Beane really hasn’t demonstrated that his approach works in the post-season and it doesn’t appear to me that the A’s are a strong player development organization. If he were to take the position we would have to allow him more time to fail before launching him over a less senior candidate if things don’t work out.

      Also agree with you on Quade. I’m so sick of managers (like him & Lou) that say they “owe it to the veterans” to play them. That’s a load of BS. Quade owes it to the Cubs, not the veterans, to put the team in the best position for the future. I don’t see how pumping up Pena’s stats for his impending free-agency accomplishes that. Quade is lost, over his head and just has to go.

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