Quietly, not-yet-officially-announced Chicago Cubs’ baseball chief Theo Epstein may already be assembling his front office. And it could be a dream team.

Tom Krasovic, who covers the Padres, reports that he’s heard there is a “good chance” Epstein will target San Diego Padres’ VP of Baseball Operations Josh Byrnes to join Epstein in the Cubs’ front office.

Byrnes, you’ll recall, has been connected to the Chicago Cubs for months, even before word of Jim Hendry’s firing came out. Those rumors had Byrnes seeking out word with Tom Ricketts via a mutual friend (namely, Byrnes’ brother). Presumably, Byrnes was hoping for a chance at the soon-to-be-open GM gig. Would he still want to come to the Cubs even if that spot was no longer available?

Byrnes’ current position with the Padres is on the order of an assistant GM slot, although he isn’t an assistant GM, strictly speaking. Would he consider coming to the Cubs on a seeming lateral move, if it meant reuniting with Epstein, with whom he worked as an assistant in Boston? Not knowing Byrnes’ contract status, I can’t speculate whether he’s even free to come, and, if not, whether the Padres would let him be poached.

Hard to say on all of these questions. It remains not impossible – though unlikely, in my estimation – that Epstein will be coming to the Cubs as only the President of Baseball Operations (or a similar title), and not the GM. If so, someone like Byrnes would be an unsurprising target at GM.

Either way, Byrnes would be a fantastic addition to the Cubs’ front office. His experience helping build the Diamondbacks into what they are today, together with his time in San Diego, Colorado, Cleveland and Boston, speak to his strong abilities on the development side of the game. As we’ve seen over the years (or, more accurately, not see), you can’t have too many guys like that.

This report, I hope, is only the beginning of superstar names being connected to Epstein’s front office. I’ve said for weeks that, among the many reasons to consider Epstein the top choice for the Cubs, other hotshot executives and up-and-comers will be banging down the door for a chance to work with Epstein in Chicago.

  • Hawkeye

    Just as we all settle into a lull of no updates from Chicago or Boston, you come out of nowhere and get us all excited again.   Keep the good news coming!

  • JulioZuleta

    When it rains, it pours…in a good way. This really looks like it could be the beginning of an era.

  • Cliffy

    Can we get Leo Mazzone out of retirement for the pitching coach?

  • Fishin Phil

    Wow!   Looks like they are pulling out all the stops!

  • cccubfan

    I still think Greg Maddux should be the pitching coach. He knows the Mazzone technique…

    • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

      I don’t think Maddux is interested in a full time job right now. Hopefully Epstein will encourage to renew his current deal with the Cubs, though. I’d hate to lose him from the system altogether.

      • Internet Random

        I don’t think he’s that interested right now either, but that may change if Theo does start putting together a “dream team”.  Being part of a team that could finally get the Cubs a World Series title would be pretty enticing to most mortals.

        • hardtop

          … and some low level gods too…

          • Internet Random

            Well said.

  • greg

    A dream team of front office…I wouldn’t know how to feel. We’ve never even had ONE dream team caliber guy. More like nightmares.

  • NC Fan

    Where can I get an Epstein jersey!

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Cubbie_Blue

    We need new hope in here. I hope this all works out and it does not keep dragging out. I agree with Julio, this could be the beginning of a new era for the cubs

  • Jim Kress

    I don’t know what I’m more excited for…..Theo as GM or Ryno as manager. I’m sportin’ my 1990 Sandberg All-Star jersey out of anticipation alone. I honest to God feel with Theo making big moves this offseason and Ryno as GM……we could be contending for a playoff spot in 2012. I know that’s insanely early, but you get a couple good guys in your lineup/rotation, and the right guys (Ryno) coaching them, all of a sudden its September and we’re only 3 games out!

  • Kerf

    Wow, so this is what a competent front office looks like? Someone pinch me.

  • Mike Foster

    See what a real owner can do. Good on ya TR, keep it coming.

  • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

    I still think a possible Theo as President and Byrnes as GM is a possibility similar to what Texas has with Ryan and Daniels, and that has been a very good setup.

  • Martin

    like sweet music to my ears. keep it coming Mr.Tom Ricketts

  • http://bleachernation.com ricosanto

    I actually think it would be Rick Hahn in the postiion you described. I said that a few days ago. Your Cub Site is the best. i have Cubs webpage first and yours second even though your articles are much better and you are on top of things quickly.

  • NyN

    I have to admit that I am incredibly excited about the movements within the Cubs front office but…. I am reading all of this and cannot help but think of how bad we have had it. I mean we are doing backflips over guys that do not even play the game. If we ever win the world series there probably would not be enough military personnel in the country to stop the riots. Go Cubs GO!!!

    • Wilbur

      Organizations cannot consistently prosper without excellence at the top. They can occasionally get lucky or outspend their mistakes as the Cubs did in 98, 03, 07 and 08 but then you hit these horrible valleys in between where bad luck and over investment in bad inventory take you into deep valleys.

      Excellent management is something to do flips over as it means the average performance is set at a totally new and higher level, variance from season to season decreases, and even bad luck is somewhat mitigated as a deep talent pool allows you to fill injury or performance gaps a couple of ways.

      It doesn’t guarantee a championship, it just means lots of chances for it. It also doesn’t happen quickly because the lag time from putting good management in place until the product on field changes is likely two to three years.

  • Dumpman

    I’d love to see Byrnes join this organization. I thought he had a chance at the GM position and maybe he still does if Theo is named President of Baseball operation. All I know is its only a good thing if hes with us in one way or another.

  • LouCub

    Byrnes would be a good hire as long as he works on the player development side of things…he did a real wishy washy job as the D’Backs gm but his work in the minors is now paying dividends for them.

  • Irish cub

    Which of these pitchers would u want the cubs to go after each one probably has a hefty price tag: James shields fransico liariano gio Gonzalez Trevor cahill or jonathon Sanchez

    • Rancelot

      Would LOVE to get Complete Game James Shields or Trevor Cahill. Jonathon Sanchez is a mess, sort of Oliver Perez Lite and Liriano scares me with his injury history.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Cubs would probably take any of them – problem is putting together a prospect package to land them.

      • EQ76

        Never underestimate the power of the “3-team deal”

        • Rancelot

          Something that Hendry was incapable of pulling off. All he could ever execute were trades with teams in need of a salary dump (ie: Pittsburgh and Florida). Fleecing the poor was a Hendry specialty…the Bizarro Robin Hood if you will.

          • http://www.calliopevoices.com The Big Mustafa

            See Garciaparra, Nomar…four teams involved.

            • Rancelot

              Oh yes, and please forgive me for forgetting the John Koronka/Freddie Bynum/cash deal with Oakland and Texas. Such a rich and successful history of multi-team deals.

  • Irish cub

    If not a huge trade pitching wise why not a smaller like a Logan Morrison are they any other guys like that out there?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Morrison is the number one realistic Winter trade target I’ve heard discussed. Would be IDEAL for Cubs.

  • Swaz46

    Wait, has anyone heard from Rosenbloom about why I should hate this potential move?

    And I hope Phil Rogers has a beer to cry into if Rick Hahn isn’t coming.

  • Jason

    This is the article that finally made me realize the transformation that is taking place in our FO. We may now have two people who are widely regarded as some of the best minds in baseball going to work at Clark and Addison on a daily basis.

  • cubsklm

    I would love to see Big Z to the Marlins plus a mess of cash for Morrisson.
    Also you left Maholm off the list of pitchers. He’s a nice lefty the Pirates can’t afford.

    With the Astros moving to the AL, they will need a DH. Maybe Sori can go there.

  • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

    I say trade them Tony Campana because I want to watch him in LF playing off the Green Monster. Wouldn’t it be awesome to watch him chase balls as they bounce over his head? It would be like throwing a tennis ball off a wall and watching a puppy chase it down only to jump and flip on his back as it richocets off the wall. I know I’d watch the Red Sox play if he was the starting LF, wouldn’t you?

  • Mike Foster

    MG, I don’t flame people very often, but that is a crap post!

    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

      Because of how much “Scappy Love” Campana deserves or the auto-correct typos (which have been fixed- typing at a bar is not as easy as I thought).

  • Lou

    I actually would like to us trade for Justin Upton, though it’d probably take Castro to do it.

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