Meet the Cubs’ GM Candidates Cheat Sheet: Ned Colletti

[This series intends to introduce you to each of the legitimate Chicago Cubs GM candidates, and give you a quick, clean rundown of the most important information to know about that candidate as the Cubs' search process continues. Previously: Brian Cashman, Theo EpsteinAndrew Friedman, Billy Beane.]

Name and Age: Ned Colletti, 56.

Current Role and Contract Status: Los Angeles Dodgers’ General Manager since November 2005. His current salary is unknown, and he’s signed through at least the 2012 season.

Previously on BN: Is Colletti Really a Candidate?, Colletti Could Bring in Ryne Sandberg, Bullets, More Bullets

Record in Current Role: The Dodgers have made the playoffs three times in Colletti’s six years, and have generally been near the top of the AL West each year. Indeed, the Dodgers had the second-best winning percentage (.530, behind only the Phillies) in the NL in Colletti’s first five years running the team.

Notable Prior Experience: Before taking the reigns with the Dodgers, Colletti was a long-time assistant GM under Brian Sabean in San Francisco. He had come to San Francisco from the Chicago Cubs’ organization, first in the public relations department, and then as a staffer in baseball ops.

Reason(s) for Including as Candidate: As noted, Colletti started his front office career with the Chicago Cubs. He is from Chicago, and is currently the GM of a MLB franchise. I suppose those are legitimate reasons for mentioning Colletti’s name, but is it enough to make him the most frequently-mentioned name outside of the big three (Epstein/Cashman/Friedman) and Rick Hahn?

Tom Ricketts’ Criteria: Track record of success in a winning organization? Check. Demonstrated commitment to player development? Check-ish. Strong analytical background? Probably not a check.

Pros/Hype: Mustache-growing ability is above reproach. Almost unnaturally good.

Cons/Cynical Criticism: Colletti, by most accounts, is cut from the same cloth as the Cubs’ previous GM, Jim Hendry. He is a scouting-first, “old school” GM, whom his team’s own fans can’t wait to be rid of. He overpays for vets, and is slow to admit mistakes.

Desirability: Low. To my mind, the criticisms are fair, and the fact that the fans don’t want him is enough for me to pass. The Cubs have before them an entire dessert cart of choices – why take the Ho Ho?  (Ok, Ho Hos are actually pretty great. But when they’re up against a molten chocolate lava cake with vanilla bean ice cream on top? Come on, now.)

Likelihood/Probable Outcome: Low, despite what local writers might want you to believe. Keep fixed in your mind that many in town hope someone like Colletti (or Rick Hahn) gets the Cubs’ gig because they already have long-standing relationships with him. That hope, whether subtly or overtly, can translate to slightly more positive takes on a candidate. For my part, I simply can’t see what Colletti brings to the table that Jim Hendry didn’t. Maybe he’d be a little less player-friendly (which, of course, cuts both ways) and a little more ML-level-player savvy. And he does tend to surround himself with well-respected assistants. And I suppose the Dodgers have been pretty consistently good under his watch. So, it’s possible that he could be a minor upgrade. The Cubs, however, have available to them any number of major upgrades. I think they’ll take one. Colletti might get a preliminary interview, but I have a hard time seeing anything more than that.

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

34 responses to “Meet the Cubs’ GM Candidates Cheat Sheet: Ned Colletti”

  1. philoe beddoe

    Brett, nice even-handed job of reporting on this guy, very very well done….but

    he would be a big yawn

  2. james

    I just threw up a little in my mouth. No, Ned, no.

  3. TWC

    “…at Celozzi-Ettleson Chevrolet – in Elmhurst –  at York & Roosevelt Roads, where you always save more money.”

  4. Michael Castillo

    Ace, why would you throw this guy’s name into the ring? It would be a catastrophic era, and I can’t believe how many people in LA actually believe he’s going to leave the Dodgers to go to the Cubs. It’s ridiculous.

    1. Jeff

      I don’t think it’s so much that they believe he’s leaving, it’s more like they hope he’s going to take the Cubs job.  With the ownership still in flux, I’m not sure the Dodgers are in a position to be rebuilding their front office.  They are in a similar situation to what the Cubs were a few years ago, and major changes are usually unlikely until the ownership is settled, or until Emperor Selig takes the team from McCourt.

  5. Fishin Phil

    Ned is like a bad Hollywood remake of the last GM movie we just sat through.  No thank you.

  6. EQ76

    I’m wondering when we’re gonna see a “Meet the Cubs GM Candidates cheat sheet” guy who is actually considered a possibility.. every one of them you’ve done so far you’ve put low, or very low, or unlikely..

  7. Jim

    Should we be making a friendly BN wager over who can guess the GM…?

  8. Cheryl

    Of the most prominent names mentioned, Cushman is out; Epstein will stay in Boston; Friedman will stay where he is; dont think Hahn or Colletti are in the running; Beane a possibility; but I think it’s either Epstein’s assistant or another candidate.

    1. CubFan Paul

      i’m curious on all those assumptions..

  9. Cheryl

    As for my other assumptions. there is now a push to have Cushman remain with the Yankees. Recent articles have indicated Epstein and Friedman may prefer staying put. Colletti is mentioned but from what I’ve read here and elsewhere he doesn’t seem to be one of the top candidates that Ricketts will consider. Beane is interesting and might be what Ricketts is lookiing for in terms of his statistical background. There have been other assistants mentioned who may be good but Im not very familiar with them. I liked what I read about Ng. But she probably won’t be considered/

  10. cubsklm

    I’ll bet it’s either Cherrington or Byrnes with Ryno as the manager.

    It will be interesting to see if Ricketts cans QBall or if it’s the first act of the new GM.

    1. Toosh

      Good question! Why didn’t Ricketts fire Quade when he fired Hendry? Or let them both finish out the season?

      1. Ron

        If Ricketts fired Q who would have taken the reigns with that kind of mess? I think the decision was made on Hendry early, but Rickets decided to play for the long term furture and kept Hendry to sign the kids. The reason that he kept Quade is for two reasons, who replaces him (who is the bench coach anyway) and the guy waited almost 30 years finally got a chance, (there was no turning this boat around) why not give him the chance to at least finish the year…….and that is why Q plays vets!! What, its Rickets fault!

  11. LouCub

    No Byrnes, No Coletti ……. Please

  12. Toosh

    F—— Cardinals! Hope the Phillies don’t lay down for them in the playoffs like they did earlier this month.

  13. Jason

    3 way tie : Will the Cubs get the 5th, 6th , or 7th pick in the 2012 MLB Draft , Does anyone know ?

    1. Jeff

      The Cubs will pick 6th next year.  If teams are tied, the team with the worse record the previous year gets the higher pick.  San Diego won 90 games last year, so the Cubs pick in front of them.  Kansas City was Kansas City last year, so they get to pick 5th.

  14. MichiganGoat

    Tonight on the BN message board there was an epic thread over tonight’s games it was the most exciting night of baseball that I’ve ever watched and re-reading was incredibly fun.  So many highs and lows, so much drama, so much baseball.