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With the regular season at a close, and the Red Sox’s historic collapse complete, the volume of interesting GM search material is through the roof. Down the rabbit hole…

  • The Chicago Cubs will pursue Theo Epstein for the open general manager position, says Gordon Wittenmyer. The pace of the search always suggested that Ricketts was waiting out some candidates whose current teams were in contention, and it’s unsurprising that one of those guys is the creme de la creme, in Epstein.
  • That the Cubs will pursue Theo Epstein is great news, but we could have (and have) guessed as much. Far more important is whether he’ll listen, and you’ll get a different answer depending on whom you ask. There is a contingent of folks who say Epstein would never leave after such a disastrous year, not wanting to look like he was fleeing. Then there is a separate group who say Epstein is interested in exploring other options, and this year might just be the catalyst.
  • To wit: Buster Olney says he’s heard from friends of Theo Epstein that Epstein “would embrace the opportunity to go to the Cubs.” You have to worry about the leverage angle (Theo tells friends, “hey, maybe drop a hint here and there that I might be willing to look at the Cubs,” word gets back to the Red Sox, and maybe they give him a little more green), though I doubt he’ll be trying too hard to negotiate after what just happened.
  • For his own part, Epstein wouldn’t say much about the rumors, other than to brush them off as “speculation.” Of course, if anyone expected him to say anything of note the day after his team died, they expected too much. In the same article, Paul Sullivan joins the group of folks who believe Epstein wouldn’t leave the Red Sox at such a low point. Ditto Phil Rogers.
  • Curt Schilling said earlier this week – before the Red Sox collapse was complete – that he could see both Terry Francona and Theo Epstein being bounced. With Francona on the way out, might Schilling have heard some things that we haven’t? Not sure. Seems unlikely that the Red Sox would elect to remove both the manager and general manager because of one bad (ok, really bad) month.
  • Jon Heyman says he’s heard that the Cubs have already reached out to Rays’ GM Andrew Friedman (who works without a contract). Heyman says most folks see Friedman staying in Tampa, though. Phil Rogers agrees.
  • An interesting read on Billy Beane from the New York Times. Nothing really specific to the GM search, but interesting nevertheless.
  • Beane was asked yesterday about the Cubs rumors, and he didn’t say much. After joking about an upcoming trip, Beane said he “expects to be here” in Oakland in 2012. These guys sure aren’t interested in offering a strong denial, are they?
  • Phil Rogers says that associates of A’s owner Lew Wolff hear from the owner that Beane isn’t leaving.
  • Brian Cashman says he gamed the Red Sox on the Carl Crawford signing, making them believe the Yankees had interest when they, in fact, didn’t. Savvy guy, that Cashman. Unfortunately, it is becoming increasingly unlikely that Cashman will leave the Yankees – the team is going to try hard to keep him, they say. And, outside of Cliff Lee, when the Yankees want their man, they get their man.
  • You can pretty much cross Walt Jocketty off the list, if he was ever on it. The Reds signed him to a three-year extension earlier in the week.
  • Spencer

    So if the Cubs go after Epstein and Francona, doesn’t that present the same gloating problems from Red Sox fans that we discussed with respect to LaRussa/Pujols?  Not saying I wouldn’t love to have them, but that’s still there.  I don’t think snagging both of them is likely anyway.

    • Fishin Phil

      If we enjoy the same kind of Success they’ve had for the last 7 years, I don’t care who gloats!

      • Spencer

        Nope, I wouldn’t mind a couple World Series banners either.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Nah (to me) – the Cubs and Red Sox aren’t mortal enemies. We don’t have to face their fans on a regular basis. And we aren’t taking the greatest player in Red Sox history, to boot.

      • Jeff

        I almost view the Red Sox fans as cousin-like.  They suffered alongside us Cubs fans for many years.  I won’t begrudge a team for turning their fortunes around in much the same way the Cubs are trying to now.  They may have become more smug lately, but you can be damn sure I would be a smug bastard if the Cubs won two World Series titles in the next five years, so I can’t blame them.

  • ISU Birds

    Francona, Epstein, Fielder, Wilson.

    Name four things that I hope the Cubs get this offseason.

    Quade, Zambrano, ARam, Riggens

    Name four things I hope leave Chicago.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Hi – O

  • die hard

    be careful what we wish for….getting a movie star headline grabbing GM is not Ricketts style and if he pulls trigger on this, then that shows desperation…..and a bad move, cause this GM not the panacea for our ills….he looks good only cause given blank check..we need someone who can look good without a blank check….and I dont see Ricketts giving a blank check…why?…cause hes not using the house’s money..ie…using his own…lot easier if using the Tribune’s money and can hide behind corporate layers of vice presidents….Ricketts does not want to end up in poor house just to live his childhood fantasy of being a Cub…or does he?…if he does, then if I was in his hedge fund, I’d pull out cause that shows how he manages money and I wouldnt want any part of it….

    • hansman1982

      Epstein has put together a helluva team and has done good work creating talent from within (Elsbury, Pedroia) and using his farm system to land a top tier 1bman

      It wouldn’t hurt nearly as bad if missing the playoffs meant having a 90 win team year in and year out and had the Rays not surged at just the right time they would still be in the playoffs.  Basically this was a team that was two mega slumps (April and September) away from winning 100 games.  A GM cant do anything about slumps but the fact that he put a team on the field that was capable of winning 100 games is fairly impressive.

      He has had 7 of 9 years with 90 wins or more and the two years he didn’t hit 90?  89 and 86.  By 2004 there were only 7 guys left on the roster from 2002 and in 2007 there were 2 so it isnt that his WS rings came from the previous GM’s team.  His payroll (prior to last year and this) has averaged $133 Million, which is right were Ricketts appears to want his payroll to sit, with that number being skewed up by 2010 and 2011 where it jumped to the $160′s.

      Epstein has made his mistakes, sure, but everything else he brings to the table far outweighs the bad contracts.  Any GM we bring in here will have made plenty of mistakes and will make plenty in the future but Epstein has WS rings at a team that is where we want to be…why not bring him in?  I am still waiting for a convincing argument that he shouldn’t be the #1 or #2 GM candidate.

  • TWC

    Man, the intense negativity and pessimism around these parts is a drag.  Aren’t we Cubs fans, for whom optimism reigns supreme?

    • hansman1982

      This site is rainbows and sunshine compared to the place I used to visit.

      • greg b

        Let me guess chicagocubs.com cause those are the most negative people I’ve ever seen and not to mention they constantly bash each other,lol…especially some guy named paeolo1 or something to that regard he always has a nickname 4someone like kerry wood dl diva c’mon I understand voicing your opinion but to here some of theses people make you wonder why do you continue to claim to be a fan but never ever say anything positive about your team sure the cubs suck but there are at least a select few reasons to be positive either way support your team or go find another one to root for this is why I love this site and also the reason why I don’t go to chicagocubs.com anymore,so there I said my peace and I feel much better,haha

    • Jeff

      Wait til next year?

  • miggy80

    I’m sorry but I don’t give a flying back flip penguin ice slide what Curt Schilling sea shells by the sea shore has to say. That Jack wad lost all credability when he used his baseball game 7 reference in a political robo call for a certain canidate’s re-election bid and I refuse to watch baseball tonight when that D-bag is on.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      No one will begrudge you your hate, but, if he’s still got connections in Boston, I don’t mind hearing what he’s hearing.

      • Jeff

        From what I have been reading, Schilling might just have ears in places we don’t know of.  From reading newspapers, blogs, and comments by readers, there is a huge swell of negativity forming against Theo Epstein in the Boston area.  The Red Sox own fans are calling for his head and nobody is really stepping up to dispel the notion.  I do think Schilling is the type of guy to be close to John Henry, he seems like the schmooze type to me.  Boston has capable replacements in place, a steady baseball man at the top with lots of influence, and with the bad vibe around this years team, they might be ready to move on the opportunity to go in a different direction.

    • Ian Afterbirth

      Haha! I have the same ethical issues with him. It’s nice to hear someone hates him as much as I do.

      • miggy80

        ^^^like^^^

  • Matt Murton

    I think if we somehow got Francona and Epstein in the fold, signing Prince to the Cubbies would almost be a no-brainer. Am I alone in thinking with those two, we all of a sudden have the people in place to make the decisions necessary to win immediately?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I wouldn’t call you crazy for saying so.

    • willis

      Nope, not alone. You ink those two and credibility goes way up. Finally, two World Series winners are running shit. Instead of chump after chump throwing shit against the wall trying to make this a winning club. These two bring a winning credibility we haven’t seen in our lifetimes.

  • TWC

    From MLB Trade Rumors:  Mike Lynch of WCTB TV in Boston reports that Red Sox GM Theo Epstein told management that Francona wasn’t working out six weeks ago because of a “lack of urgency.” Francona was voted out 3-0 a few weeks later.

    Doesn’t sound like there’ll be a Francona/Epstein tandem at Clark & Addison any time soon if this is true.

    • Fishin Phil

      Poop!

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Epstein’s recent comments, then, would be some pretty good politicking.

    • Jeff

      I also just read that there has been tension and discord between the two throughout the season.  Probably over the acquisition of starting pitching or lack thereof.  I wasn’t too keen on Francona anyway, but this makes it look like Epstein is planning on staying in Boston for a while.

  • Toosh

    No team needs a GM that doesn’t have his manager’s back. Hopefully Ricketts removes Epstein from his list.

  • Cheryl

    Ricketts doesn’t need someone whose stirred up a lot of controversy. Maybe both Epstein and Francona have dealt themselves out of the cubs consideration.

  • http://spoon1 J. Spoonmore

    Don’t get into a hurry,lets look at what we have at home real good. Bob B. cubs announcer and lets give another look at Sanburge. Both men are baseball leaders and know the game as good as anyone. I don’t know if Bob B. would take the job but it would not hurt to talk to him. If you hear him talk baseball you know right away he knows the game and that is what we need, a baseball leader.Also look at what Sandburg did in the minors with the young players that today are our home grown players. He understands them and they listened so that tells you something.

  • RY

    Why the HELL has Qball not been fired yet????

  • die hard

    keep Quade…fire Riggins…would make a big difference

    • Jeff

      I think you need to go back and watch a few games and then listen to Quade’s interviews after those games.

  • Alex

    Well isn’t Phil Rogers the bearer of good news.

    No from Friedman, Epstein and Beane. It’s almost as if he takes particular pleasure in pointing out the big name GM’s not wanting to come to the Cubs.

    First off, the Red Sox can keep Epstein. He has missed as often as he has hit in free agency. Dice K, Lackey and Crawford come right to mind as misses. It’s easier to cover the misses when you have a payroll north of $160 Million.

    Beane would be interesting, but as soon as other teams started using sabremetrics to help in player evaluation, the A’s haven’t made much of a ripple in the AL West. It was much easier when the A’s had 3 stud pitchers like Mulder, Hudson and Zito in their primes pitching them to a division title.

    My personal preference for GM in order are: 1) Friedman 2) Cherington 3) Hahn 4) Epstein 5) Anyone other than Beane.

  • die hard

    hows this for a GM pick?

    “Dick Tidrow
    Vice President, Player Personnel

    A former American League Rookie Pitcher of the Year and 13-year Major League veteran, Dick Tidrow embarks on his 13th season as the Giants’ vice president, player personnel and his 18th year overall with the club.

    An invaluable aide to Brian Sabean, Tidrow came to the organization prior to the 1994 campaign, serving as the club’s Major League scout for the American League. He was promoted to special assistant to the general manager in 1996, and was elevated to director of player personnel prior to the 1997 season. His current responsibilities include providing Major League player recommendations for trade or free agent signings, as well as scouting amateur players for the draft and evaluating each of the club’s minor league affiliates.” See more here: http://www.mlb.com/team/front_office.jsp?c_id=sf

    [Edit: Copying and pasting from other sites, especially without a link, is a big no-no. You could get a brother in trouble. Edited to fix the issue.]

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I was assuming Die Hard was simply suggesting him because of his Colletti:

      Tidrow Stache

      • TWC

        Bah.  That’s a West Coast mustache.  He wouldn’t fit in Chicago.

  • Matt

    I am not so sure that “Die Hard” isn’t an alias for Dick Tidrow. That was a long, well thought out resume….I mean post.

    • TWC

      I’m willing to bet you $1 that it’s a cut/paste job from the Giants website.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        It is, and it has been edited to reflect the Internet norm of taking a small snippet, attributing, and including a link. Take note, friends – it’s one thing we have to make sure and do right around here.

  • Wilbur

    I think trying to pick one candidate over another based on one or two good versus bad signings doesn’t make a good basis for comparison. I don’t know exactly what the metric is, but something pretty basic, likely of marginal value, is how much did you pay per win (payroll/wins).

    My point is ALL GMs make bad assessments/signings, all have some bad luck like the Red Sox starting pitching or even Hendry’s early season loss of his #4 and #5. What makes a good GM is how deep is your pool of replacement talent. That is a function player development to keep priming the pump and the fact that you haven’t tended to over commit payroll in long term deal on risky or marginal value players so you can buy the occasional start to round out a roster.

    Going back to the conversation a couple of days ago, any of the top two tiers will be a positive and franchise shifting plus over where we are …

  • Toosh

    Speaking of GMs, the White Sox just signed Santos to a 3 year, 8.25 million dollar deal. What did Hendry give Marmol? Shrewd!

  • die hard

    hmmmm…sorry for the violation of internet protocol…lets make sure I got this right…pasting from other sites wrong unless they are of half dressed girls?

    • TWC

      NOW you’ve got it figured out!

  • die hard

    Angels GM Tony Reagins let go….

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Cubs are going to have some competition in the GM market. Arte Moreno can be a heavy hitter when he wants to be.

      • Toosh

        Let the Ricketts’ PR machine get cranked up.

  • cubsklm

    Francona 90 wins and falls on the sword.
    Quade 71 wins and expects to return next year.

    I like Ricketts and the direction he’s going, but this is a no brainer!
    Fire Quade now!

    No sense holding him hostage, he may be a candidate for the Redsox Nation.

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