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.