Chicago Cubs’ Owner and Chairman Tom Ricketts nailed it when he hired Theo Epstein to be the organization’s new President of Baseball Operations. Epstein nailed it when he hired Jed Hoyer to be the organization’s new General Manager, and nailed it again when he hired Jason McLeod to be the organization’s new Scouting and Development Chief.

Might they all have nailed it again by tabbing a new Director of Professional Scouting? Indeed, so says Bruce Levine.

The Chicago Cubs have hired another front office executive, adding Joe Bohringer as director of pro scouting, according to a major league source.

Bohringer, who has 21 years of major league baseball experience, had been working for the Arizona Diamondbacks since 2006 as a major league scout ….

Bohringer, a DeKalb, Ill. resident, uses the same methods as the people who he’ll be working for, employing statistical analytics as well as practical scouting when evaluating players. Under Bohringer’s direction, Cubs scouts will likely be told to use video recording of players as an added tool to evaluate Cubs players.

According to numerous sources, Bohringer also had a chance to stay in Arizona or to go with new Los Angeles Angels GM Jerry Dipoto, who was previously vice president of player personnel with the Diamondbacks.

Bohringer is a widely-respected scout, combining traditional visual scouting with advanced statistical modeling and video use.

In a sign of just how behind the times the Cubs’ former front office had become, Bohringer will be taking his “Director of Professional Scouting” title from Director of Scouting Tim Wilken, who previously held the title in a dual role. But, in a twist, it turns out that Wilken wasn’t really doing much in the way of running the Cubs’ professional scouting. Instead, that duty actually fell to assistant GM Randy Bush. So, the Cubs had a Director of Professional Scouting, but he was more focused on the amateur side, and they had a solitary assistant GM doing professional scouting, in addition to his theoretically wide-ranging duties as assistant GM (again, singular assistant GM).

The upside of all of that is that at least Wilken isn’t getting yet another demotion, though it’s possible that Randy Bush’s duties were just reduced. But, that might be a good thing – by my count, in this area, the Cubs now have six super qualified, smart dudes (Epstein, Hoyer, McLeod, Wilken, Bohringer, Bush) doing what was previously done by three (Jim Hendry, Randy Bush, Tim Wilken).

If you’re looking for the Theo/Boston connection, I’d guess it would be somewhere in Bohringer’s education (MIT) and time in Arizona, where he served under Josh Byrnes, who was an assistant under Epstein in Boston. I’m sure there’s plenty of discussion among that group of friends/former colleagues, and Bohringer’s name probably came up a number of times.

For those looking for a further endorsement, baseball writer Jonah Keri – who is awesome – says, “Joe is GREAT. Cubs fans should be thrilled.”

When it comes to a front office hire in the new regime, why am I not surprised that the Cubs just nailed it again?

  • Fishin Phil

    The Cubs are finally being dragged into the 21st Century!

    • bacboris

      Phil, for now lets say the 20th century, (what with video being used and all). We’ll have to wait and see if we finally make it to the 21st.

  • Cliffy

    Pete Mackanin and Jim Hendry will be on Bruce Levine’s talking baseball show today. Program is on am1000 starts at 900am. Not sure what time each will be on.

    • Cliffy

      Jim Hendry will be on in the 10 oclock hour Pete Mackanin on at 1130.

  • Dave

    The Cubs may be solely responsible for the unemployment rate dropping to 3% by the start of Spring Training. I’m not sure whats more impressive, the number of hires of people who are believed to be smart, competent and capable or the derelict state of the Cubs’ front office before this offseason.

    • Oswego Chris

      Love the unemployment rate comment Dave..

      Were we really this far behind the times? 

      You gotta figure Hendry has to feel a little resentful since his staff was bare bones and now we are now assembling the front office All-Stars…


      • Brett

        Maybe Hendry liked it that way. Hard to know.

        • Oswego Chris

          Brett, would like your opinion on a trade idea…I don’t like to do this because we are usually way off, ( I usually just prefer to write silly things)

          Giants desperate for hitting…

          Soriano 3 years left at 57 mil

          Zito 3 years left at 46 mil

          split the difference and swap even up…I think an overpaid 5th starter for the next 2 seasons(3rd year is option year for Zito) would be better than more Sori….could expand by giving them Byrd for a pitching prospect…

          OK…go ahead and poo-poo this idea..



          • Cubbie_Blue_13

            Im not Brett i know, but Chris you may be onto something here. I dont think that would be bad or impossible for that matter.

          • Brett

            It’s an idea that’s been kicked around for a couple years, and it’s not a terrible one. But: I don’t think the Cubs should do it unless it’s a money saver, and I don’t think the Giants would do it unless it was a money saver for them. Would I do a straight up swap, which would save the Cubs $10-11 million, open up left field, and get rid of the contract nastiness in two years rather than three? Absolutely. Don’t see why the Giants would do it, though.

            • Oswego Chris

              Especially since sori is so bad in left….I just can’t see anywhere logical for Soriano to go…and Kaplan swears he is gone….. Of course supposedly Lapland source is crane kenney..

              • Oswego Chris

                That was Kaplan obviously…Lapland sounds like a strip club

                • Brett

                  Hell of a buffet at Lapland.

              • Cliffy

                Here’s a scenario for Soriano. Trade him to Toronto, they are rumored to be eyeing Ortiz for DH at acost of 10 million. The Cubs pay 15 million Jays pay 3 million. Ortiz and Soriano’s numbers are very similar. They both are the same age. The Cubs get John Farrell as their manager. The Cubs fill two needs with this move. The Blue Jays get a bargain basement DH.

  • Goatbusters

    I agree with you Dave. I can’t wrap my head around the fact that the cubs had so little help in the front office. One would think that if you spent that kind of money you would have more people ensuring it was put to good use. No wonder we were falling short on so many of the acquisitions we made.

  • The Big Mustafa

    He looks like Len Kasper…before the Adderall.

  • Ian Afterbirth

    Anyone from DeKalb is ok by me!

  • Justin

    agree with Mustafa. that IS Len Kasper

  • funkster

    “@jimcallisBA Another tremendous hire by the #Cubs. @espnchicubs: Cubs hire Joe Bohringer to pro scouting director role.”

    “Sure. It’s fantastic. RT @miguelbenitez1: @Kevin_Goldstein Any thoughts on the Cubs hiring of Joe Bohringer?”

  • http://spoon1 J. Spoonmore

    Finale a scout .. WOW that is great … that is something the cubs needed …. maybe things will start moving foward.

    • Brett

      I can’t tell if this is joking or not, but, to be clear, the Cubs have many, many scouts. Joe is now going to be the boss of the pro-level scouts.

  • CubFan Paul

    poor Tim Wilken wiling to bet a dollar he finds a new job (or gets fired) by spring training

    • Todd

      I think Wilken will stay on. The Bohringer hire gives Tim the chance to re-devote himself to amateur scouting. I’m guessing he’s the “Director of Amateur Scouting” now?

  • BetterNews

    While all the changes in the front office seem to be a good thing, let’s not
    forget it is the players that ultimately get the job done. I think people
    are going a bit “overboard” in thinking that problems are solved. Until we get
    the “players”, I would not be “shouting” World Series.

    Good management does not win games! Perhaps facilitates victory, but
    certainly does not guarantee anything.

    • Toosh

      Exactly! The new hires are great and press conferences are fine, but it’s time to get to work on the product on the field.

  • Mike Foster

    Brett, love your enthusiasm, however, we’ll see how “nailed” we are when we see results. However, this IS the best Cubs blog….carry-on.

  • BetterNews

    Right on Mike Foster! Love Brett but what have the Cubs “nailed”. We
    have basically doubled management staff and nothing else. I want to
    see the changes when it comes to the lineup, as this will dictate what
    direction this ship is truely heading and whether it will be capsized by
    the high waves at sea.

    Is management better? Yes, of course. But again, how much is that worth?

    • Alex


      You can’t build a building on a shaky foundation. The recent hirings show how thin the Cubs front office has been in the past.

      Building a World Series contending team is going to take time. Just because Theo and his staff haven’t leaked out which players they are looking at, doesn’t mean they are sitting on their hands.

      Putting the right people in place that will evaluate the right players for the future is worth a goldmine to me. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Give the new regime some time.

      • Toosh

        What’s another 103 years in the grand scheme of things?

        • BetterNews


        • Alex

          Wow; 103 years of bad ownership and management and you guys are high fiving each other for 103 more.

          These guys haven’t even been in town for two weeks and you expect to see big changes. They still have to fix what your boy Hendry screwed up. The way he handcuffed the new regime isn’t going to be easy to fix.

          Hardly any moves of merit have been made by any team yet and you’re ragging on the new front office for not making any moves?

          I guess you are the same guys crying over Sandberg being passed over for manager.

          • Kansas Cubs Fan

            Right on Alex!

            Alex- Good!(LOL)


        • Kansas Cubs Fan

          I wouldn’t say 103 years of bad management and ownership, I would say about 56 year’s.

          The cubs were in 10 world series between 1906 and1945(last WS appearance) But could only win two.

          So take that.   Haha

          • BetterNews

            Maybe we are missing something here! Please fill us in.

            Toosh and I were not high fiving anybody for years of neglect, I was simply high fiving
            (if thats what you want to call it)for the fact that Toosh said we can not wait another 103
            years for a World Series.

            • Alex

              I think you are missing something. I think you’re too wrapped up in the old regime and traditions to give the new one a chance.

              No one wants to wait 103 years for another championship; but c’mon, you guys are already on Epstein after 2 weeks.

              No one is expecting the Cubs to contend for the World Series next year. It will take a couple of years of solid drafts, getting rid of the dead weight on the team and bringing in players that fit the Cubs philosophy (or Cubs Way) of doing things. The goal is for sustained success.

              If the Cubs aren’t making marked progress after 2 years, then I can understand giving Theo some grief. Your expectations after 2 weeks are off the charts.

              • BetterNews

                Alex—-You make good points, seem like a well reasoned guy.
                Nobody in their right mind would consider the Cubs making
                the World Series. However, with this cast at management,
                making the playoffs should seem very reasonable according
                to the Epstein theory! Would you like to place a bet?

                • Alex

                  Sorry BetterNews, I’m not a gambling man. I hate to disappoint you.

                  I am a patient man though. I’ve been a Cub Fan for over 40 years. There are fans that have been there a lot longer than I have that are no doubt getting impatient. I’d be lying if I said that I haven’t been frustrated myself over the years. 11 Cardinals World Series championships since the Cubs last one will raise any Cub fans blood pressure.

                  But the Cubs are now going in a new direction with new leadership. In my lifetime, this is the first time I have seen ownership make a commitment to sustained success. I would have loved to see the Tribune back Dallas Green the way TR is backing Theo.

                  That’s been the Cubs problem in the past, putting band aids on problems. We make the playoffs for a year and then drop down the standings next year. There is no reason that in the NL Central that the Cubs with their resources can’t be a perennial playoff team, like the Yankees and Red Sox.

                  That’s why I’m all for having Theo and Jed take their time and do it right. If it means I have to wait a couple of years to see a contending team, I have no problem with that.

                  There are a lot of people in your camp that want to see the Cubs make moves to win next year. There are also a lot of people in mine that would rather see the Cubs build a winning organization with staying power.

                  • BetterNews

                    Alex—-You made good points. I was not saying the Cubbies were going in the wrong direction with
                    management! What I am saying is our Cubbies
                    (management) is leaning to far the other way.(By the way, I am from the NorthSide and
                    never clapped for the White Sox )

                    YOU HAVE TO HAVE THE PLAYERS!

                    • Alex

                      BetterNews, ultimately we want the same thing, the Cubs to win the World Series. It’s that we disagree on how to get there.

                      OK; so, what would you do to make the Cubs a contender next season?

                  • BetterNews

                    I could think of a lot of things, but I do not hold the

                    To elaborate, neither you or I have financial info when it comes to the
                    Cubs! What i would do, or what you would do holds no value.

                    The question at hand is whether management is “solely” going to solve the
                    Cubs problems. I say “not” without a major change with the roster!

                    • Alex

                      Well we all have thoughts. Mine is to build the organization slowly, but you apparently have some idea on what Theo should do right away. Why not throw out a couple of your ideas.

                      I’d love to get Logan Morrison. I’ve seen some people throw out a trade proposition with Barney and McNutt earlier. Frankly, we don’t know what the Marlins want for him. That might not even be close.

                      Trades are too hard for fans to figure out, especially when our prospects at the higher levels are thin with impact players.

                      I’d also kike to see what we can do to send Marmol elsewhere. Sell while you can still sell high with him. Another year of 10 blown saves and we’ll be lucky to get what we can for him after that.

                    • BetterNews

                      Alex—And here seems to lie the perpetual problem!

                      Throwing good money after bad money. Lets be sure to say when I say bad money I am not
                      talking about the recent money spent on
                      management, I am speaking about the fact the
                      contracts of individuals on the team.

                      ( I did not say this, but how can Big Z be making more than Theo E?)

                      It is a problem, fix it!

                    • Alex

                      BetterNews, now we’re in the same ballpark. I’m with you 100% on the bad contracts.

                      Me personally I’d give Soriano and Zambrano away for a McDonalds Happy Meal. Those contracts are sunk costs and I’ll be happy to get whatever the Cubs brass can get for them. I just wouldn’t trade a bad contract for a bad contract. Bottom line is that Z’s contract is on the books for one more year and Soriano has 3 even if we trade him away and pick up the lions share of his contract.

                      We have to get rid of the dead weight ASAP. It’s a lot to ask, but I think Theo and his staff will do what’s best for the Cubs. It stinks that Theo has to fix Hendry’s problems. But hey, if it were easy, Hendry would still be GM.

                      Great back and forth this evening. Thanks for your input.

                      GO CUBS!

    • Brett

      The Cubs couldn’t win a game yesterday. But they could make (another) excellent hiring decision. And they did.

      What else could you hope for from a random, early November day?

      • MichiganGoat

        Absolutely, open free agency has just begun and the big names are not going to sign early, and the trade market isn’t going to start really popping until the Winter Meetings. Right now every team is busy building/replacing management the management carousel needs to happen first before players can be added and that is exactly what the Cubs are doing.

        In the next ten days the Cubs will name a manager and that will be followed by a pitching coach and a decision about Rudy. Then the entire FO team will start to make moves to build a roster. I am certain Theo & Jed have been in contact with free agents and have already put out feelers about trades, but to expect immediate moves is the reactionary and short-sided nature of the old Cubs, but for the first time in my lifetime the Cubs and the FO are actually committed to a long term plan for sustained success.

        So let’s be patient and give Theo the time to make informed decisions instead of outbidding just to get the big names, screaming to make moves for the sake of making moves is foolish.

  • goatbusters

    It’s fine and dandy to not let anyone see your cards, but you have to make a move sometime!

  • BetterNews

    Kansas—Come on, what are you saying. 1908+103 =2011 the last time I checked.
    If your talking about the “so” called series in 1907, you just started another debate.

    We are talking recent baseball, by the norms, today, 2011!

    Back in 1907 there were only 16 teams, all located in major metro cities. I hardly consider that
    a world series. I don’t, as a matter of fact, consider “recent” baseball a world series, it
    can be called a U.S. Series, but that again is another issue in itself.


  • BetterNews

    Go Cubs!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • BetterNews

    Alex—-Yes, good back and forth, but that does not mean I am going
    to agree with thee everytime.

    Taking the option on the Ramirez contract was a great move by the Cubs.

    He was good by most stanards during a regular season, but was absoluteley
    sub-par in in the playoffs—.105,215 averages during the Cubs playoff runs, could
    be less, this is off the top of my head.

    Now he goes to the next (sucker). Did I say that?

  • Jim Kress

    Fort Myers, Florida. I read that someone wanted to see where our cubs fan were coming from so I thought I’d lead with that. You can all do the same if it helps show where we are all from.
    Anyway, I was thinking about the FA’s and what our biggest needs are. C.J. is def best candidate out there, but I only see him coming to the cubs if we offer him LOTS of money or LOTS of years. Neither thing I’d like to do.
    Now here comes Mr. Maddux, my personal fav at the managerial candidacy. I believe that with Maddux (and the possibility of bringing Gregg in as pitching coach) he not only has the ability to make our bad pitchers good and our good pitchers great, but he also attracts other top pitchers. No pitcher wants to pitch for an Ozzie Guillen or Mike Quade (guys who don’t know how to use/coach pitchers). These are some of the things that I believe make Maddux our guy.

    • BetterNews

      Go fly a kite Jim Kress! Where are we from? Hello! Where are you from?

      We ARE the NorthSide

    • BetterNews

      Go Cubs

  • BetterNews

    No options?

  • BetterNews

    Ask Theo! Can’t pick right now.

  • Jim Kress

    Dude I was born and raised in Chicago. Until recently I moved down here to Florida. So shut it.
    I’ve decided I don’t like you until further notice

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