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Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer, Jason McLeod, Joe Bohringer, and now, Shiraz Rehman.

I’ve been wrong about many things in my time at Bleacher Nation, but I’ve been right about a thing or two, too. One of the latter was a prediction that, if the Cubs landed Epstein (ironically, something about which I was wrong), the top up-and-coming executives around baseball would be banging down the door to work with Epstein. As both a fan and a prognosticator, I’m pretty excited to see that prediction coming true.

The Chicago Cubs have added former Diamondbacks’ Director of Player Personnel Shiraz Rehman as an Assistant to the General Manager, whose title is begging for an ‘Office’ joke. The move came with little fanfare – that is to say, no fanfare at all. There wasn’t even an announcement.

But don’t let that suggest to you that landing Rehman isn’t another coup for the front office.

Rehman is a statistically-inclined guy, with a background in finance, who primarily focused on roster management with the Diamondbacks. From his MIT Sloan Analytics Conference (which is what it sounds like it is) bio:

Rehman’s primary responsibilities [with the Diamondbacks] are with the Major League team, assisting in the maintenance of the club’s 40-man roster, providing financial and statistical analysis to support trade and player evaluation, and overseeing all transactions and Major League rules interpretation and compliance. He plays a key role in the arbitration process, contract structuring and negotiations, and oversees baseball analysis efforts for the team. Rehman also spearheads the D-backs’ development of Baseball Operations technology and video solutions, and coordinates the department’s internship program. In addition, he manages much of the financial planning and budgeting processes for all of baseball operations. Before joining the D-backs, Rehman interned for the Boston Red Sox during the 2005 season in Baseball Operations.

And there’s your Red Sox connection.

Rehman’s precise role with the Cubs remains to be seen, but you can imagine that “super awesome smart guy” is probably going to be in there somewhere. Rehman is a true up-and-comer in the baseball world, and was even listed as an honorable mention in MLBTR’s list of top GM candidates who’ve yet to land a top job. Given his broad base of experience with the Diamondbacks, it’s fair to assume Rehman will be among the Cubs’ inner circle members when it comes to decision making on the big league level.

Rehman was interviewed a couple years ago by Baseball Prospectus, and, while long, it’s worth a read. This is clearly another bright guy who “gets it.”

“It,” of course, being not only the right way to build and operate a modern ball club, but also the chance to dramatically improve the way the Cubs have been going about things for the better part of two decades. The Cubs now have a half dozen of those guys at the top, but, what the hell – let’s hope for a few more.

 

(h/t to John Arguello)

  • CubFan Paul

    no h/t to me?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Sorry, Paul – I’ve had this in the can since John wrote his story on Saturday. Wanted to wait for Monday, though. No soup for you.

      • CubFan Paul

        what about bread? can i at least have the warm bread??

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          You want bread? $3.

  • rocky8263

    What do you think this job pays? We don’t give T.R. enough credit for spending the money. With the old crew still on the payroll and all the new guys I can’t venture a guess what the front office payroll is. And they must be sharing desks , the Cubs front office is tiny.

  • BD

    My favorite part of all this is looking at the Front Office directory at cubs.com. It is awesome to see all of these names working on the North Side!!

  • ced landrum

    All of this excitement over his hires has been awesome for me.  I love player development and looking at unique ways of determining player value, but I fear it may set me up for a let down.  I have to remind myself that it doesn’t mean the product on the field will change overnight.

     

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Indeed. Patience will remain a virtue.

  • die hard

    Will soon have enough to re-create the seating arrangement at the Last Supper. Who among these disciples will be the Judas? Cant wait. Meanwhile, nothing has changed on the field has it?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      If you do not acknowledge that OF COURSE nothing has changed on the field IN NOVEMBER, this will be my last response to you, die hard.

      • Andrew

        Brett, Spring Training starts tomorrow, right? If they don’t have the ENTIRE 25- and 40-man roster determined 3 months before every other MLB team I will be left with no choice but to call this front office an epic failure. Come on Theo – set the roster now and don’t spend the entire offseason getting the team ready for Spring Training. Geez. Theo sucks!

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

          No, sometime in February is when pitchers and catcher report. I hope your joking to suggest spring training beginning one month after world series?

          Edit – now I see this as a die hard mock, nicely done.

          • Andrew

            Haha. It had to be done. I’m very excited about this front office and excited to see what the product on the field becomes OVER TIME.

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

              Again nicely played, nicely played

          • Rancelot

            MG, I think the overnight shift (aka the devil’s playground for BetterNews/ACS and the like) and their inane lack of logic has gotten the better of you and your sense of sarcasm. Crack open a Founder’s to retain your sanity!

            • Katie

              I got sucked into the insanity one night too. I need to take my own advice: if you kick turds, you just end up with shit on your shoes.

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

                Yup, I’m trying to help the virgins but it’s becoming a lost cause

                • CubFan Paul

                  there’s a perverted joke in there somewhere..

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

              Exactly! So much TIRESOME conversations during the late shift.

        • Brian Peters

          Yeah, I’ve heard that, since Theo has dropped the ball after being on the job for ONLY THREE WEEK, he is going back to Boston with his tail between his legs. LOL!!! Some people.

      • die hard

        Yes its mid November and we are already 2 wks too late in naming a manager. Arent there enough in the front office already to make this decision or is the plan to populate the front office first with as many bodies as necessary to share the blame on this decision. The corporate culture thrives on rivalries among jealous executives. Adding more execs will only create more such opportunities. Will a large front office translate to a winning culture? There is no proof of that around the league. The Yankees seemed to have done ok for all those years with Steinbrenner running the show. Ricketts seems to think that more is better. But this is not IBM or Microsoft. This is a baseball team. And until he shows he knows the difference the Cubs will not improve. Somebody has to be in charge. Decision by consensus will not work for a baseball team. As for not responding to my attempts to think critically instead of like a lemming, hey, I am used to that. A voice in the wilderness can still be heard if everyone stops talking for a second to listen.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          I don’t ask for lemmings – I ask only for well-reasoned, thoughtful responses (as you’ve now given, even though I disagree as strongly as I possibly can), rather than dour, repetitive gloom, full of thoughtless cliche (like the suggestion that adding a number of brilliant execs in October and November is meaningless because the Cubs haven’t won any additional games yet). Let’s move forward from here.

          • Toosh

            I agree. That being said, it’s time to hire a manager and start making some personnel moves. There’s no time like the present.

        • Jeff

          “Decision by consensus will not work for a baseball team.”

          The Atlanta Braves operated this way for a long time under Schuerholz and Bobby Cox, it seemed to work out okay for them.  Boston had a pretty similar “decision by committee” and it helped them win 2 world series titles.

          Also, the Red Sox and Brewers are both still without managers, the Cardinals hired their new manager a couple of days ago.  I’m not sure what your timetable for a successful hire is, but I’ll take the long road as opposed to getting stuck with Robin Ventura anyday.

          • Toosh

            What happened to the Brewers manager?

  • Swaz46

    Ced,

    THAT is exactly what I’m trying to remind myself: this won’t necessarily change things immediately. But we’ve seen, time and again, from Ricketts, that he’s willing to take the “long view” of things. Clearly all this is going to take time, and it’s exciting to have an owner who gets it and has the desire to get things right once and for all, even if it takes time.

    But I suck at waiting.

  • rocky8263

    They fertilized and raked up the last of the leaves.

  • Wilbur

    Great stuff is happening.

    Even if MLB changes the draft rules the Cubs will be in a much better place, maybe even better compared to their peers. If you can’t flood your late picks with over slot’s so that you can sort through high caliber chafe to find the wheat;you’ll need to be pretty precise on your top draft picks, trades, and FA signings and the value of their contracts.

    That’s what this crew can do, establish accurate market value for future performance and pay for that value. When the players outperform their contracts you get added value. When they under perform, as many do, you haven’t paid exorbitantly over what others are also doing, giving you flexibility.

  • Daniel Bejarano

    Start casting for the Cubs version of Moneyball because this shit is gettin’ allllllllll statistically brilliant up in here! Cubbyball, coming to theaters in 2015. And if they hire Pete McKanin it could be Phillip Seymour Hoffman again! Niceeeeeeeeee.

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