Obsessive Cubs GM Watch: Friedman, Beane, Hahn, and Other Candidates Not Named Theo Epstein

It may be hard to believe, what with the excitement of the last three days, but there remain a multitude of candidates for the Chicago Cubs’ open general manager position. And the rumors haven’t died down simply because Theo Epstein has stolen the limelight…

  • Tampa Bay Rays’ GM Andrew Friedman, whose team is on the brink of elimination in the ALDS, could still be interested in the Cubs’ job, says Gordon Wittenmyer. His source tells him that the Cubs’ job is, in fact, the only one outside of Tampa Bay that intrigues Friedman.
  • For his own part, Friedman isn’t interested in discussing the issue right now. ‘‘Right now, it’s almost embarrassing for the topic of conversation to be about me and not on our players, not on what we’ve accomplished over the last four years, even more specifically over the last month or the last two innings of Wednesday’s game,’’ Friedman said yesterday. ‘‘I understand it goes with the territory, and at the end of the season, when we’re done playing, it’s obviously something I’ll address. But right now, all of my focus is on this team.’’
  • Multiple sources are saying that Ricketts’ B-list of candidates, after Epstein, are Red Sox Assistant GM Ben Cherington, White Sox Assistant GM Rick Hahn, and Atlanta Braves Director of Professional Scouting John Coppolella. None of those three would be a surprising name, but it’s worth pointing out that all of the reports seem to find their origin in a Baltimore Sun article about the prospect of an open Orioles’ GM position. That Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun would have the access to divine Tom Ricketts’ short list, while no other local writer can do so, is suspicious. If I had to guess, I’d say Connolly was simply relating a distillation of the rumors that have travelled around for weeks (that he calls his source “an industry source” makes me even more circumspect that this is actually new information).
  • Paul Sullivan has a little more info on Coppolella, who is the least well-known of the candidates. Phil Rogers has a little more on Hahn.
  • Bruce Jenkins of the San Francisco Chronicle hears a stadium deal to save the Oakland A’s is not imminent, and, in that case, Billy Beane should consider many of the options before him. Ken Rosenthal wonders whether Beane might head South to Anaheim.

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: Friedman, Beane, Hahn, and Other Candidates Not Named Theo Epstein”

  1. Dave

    Something I started writing then aborted due to a lack of creative energy was something comparing the various rumored GM candidates to things you’d find at a flea market. Billy Beane is compared to a pennyfarthing because he was once innovative but now there are more sophisticated options.

    1. Buck

      Would Friedman then perhaps be a Shamwow? A relatively new, young, innovative product that works extremely well with minimal components, all at a low price. You following me, camera guy?

      1. Buck

        Plus, as the coked-out, whore-beating spokesperson would tell you, “you know the Germans always make good stuff”.

        1. Wilbur

          Germans are also good at organizing things and starting wars …

  2. Deez

    I hope Friedman is the guy. He’s done “more w/ less” & they’ve done it in the American League East. That being said, I have to give a lot of props to Joe Maddon as well.

  3. die hard

    Criteria for GM is someone who has guts to tell owner that owner is wrong when owner is wrong….so far I havent seen any names rumored fitting that bill

    1. Dumpman

      Thats where my boy, Josh Byrnes, comes in. A lot of speculation about him getting axed because he wouldn’t fire his manager in Arizona. Thats a big reason why im behind Byrnes. Obviously a guy who stands behind what he believes.

    2. Rancelot

      What?!?! Any executive with confidence, and I would think that a GM with 2 championships (something that this franchise is craving) under his belt, aka Theo Epstein, would not hold back in said scenario. If it is a BASEBALL decision, who has more experience, Theo or Tom? Advantage Theo of course, and I’m sure that an astute business man such as Tom Ricketts would respect the advice. Now, if we are talking about the Hahn’s or Cherington’s of the world, your argument might hold true.

      Obviously you don’t think Theo would do this…please list someone in your opinion that would. Very interested in seeing this list of ballbusters.

  4. JulioZuleta

    Rays down 4-2 in the seventh. Fly Friedman straight here from the game. Go Rangers, and Tigers

  5. die hard

    Dick Tidrow would tell it like it is…hes old enough not to care what happens if so…Mr. Ricketts was burned by letting Hendry run show…fool me once shame on–you know the rest

    1. TWC

      You’re killing me, die hard.  Again you name drop your nephew (or whatever) without one scintilla of evidence the Tidrow is either a) qualified, or 2) interested.  It’s fascinating.

      “Old enough not to care what happens”.  What does that even mean?  My grandfather is 92.  He doesn’t care what happens, but that’s because he doesn’t know what the hell is going on most of the time.  I’m certainly not considering that a qualification to run the Cubs.

  6. Matt

    If the Rays and Yankees lose tonight, as all the candidates are available to speak to Ricketts, would you expect an announcement by the end of the week? On that same thought, Ricketts has probably already spoke to Epstein? The more time that passes after the Rays and Yankees are out of the playoffs, the less likely the chance that Epstein is the man for the job. Has anybody heard or read anything from Epstein’s Camp? I am wondering if Ricketts has spoken to him already?

  7. Nomar's Left Glove

    The last week has been more interesting than the entire shit season. Sad

  8. AbnerDoubleday

    Yes, Josh stood behind AJ in Arizona. Noble but misguided. Hinch may have been the worst manager — both strategically and in the clubhouse — in the majors in decades. That alone should eliminate Byrnes from any future GM job anywhere.

  9. ty

    Abner is right. I lived in Phoenix during that debacle with Josh and his buddy. He is on probation forever for fear of repeating.