mlb logo featureBecause the Cubs have a particularly unique group of young, talented front office executives and scouts, we’ve been paying especially close attention to the relatively robust number of front office opportunities across baseball.

Most of the high-profile spots have been filled as the season draws closer to its conclusion and the offseason looms, but the Phillies, who, if you recall, hired former Cubs president Andy MacPhail as their President of Baseball Operations, are still looking for their general manager. Given the resources there, the increase in young talent over the last year, and the relative commitment to a rebuild, the job is going to look pretty attractive.

Bob Nightengale and Jerry Crasnick offer some of the latest on the search:

While there are some conflicts in the tweets, there are a few things that we can take away. First, the Phillies have not hired anyone yet, and plan on conducting at least a few more interviews before any decision is made. To me, that is important, because it indicates that the team is not in a situation where it has already made a decision and is simply waiting for the playoffs to conclude before announcing anything.

Second, Royals assistant GM J.J. Picollo is most likely heavily involved in the search. Whether he is a favorite or not is always a difficult and dangerous game to play. When there are conflicting reports about where a player or executive are most likely or favorited to end up, it’s important to remember the conflicting motives that may lurk behind the scenes. For now, it’s enough to know that he is clearly a candidate and a reasonably good one at that.

Lastly, the Phillies are reportedly planning to decide on their general manger by the start of the organizational meetings early next week, but again, that doesn’t mean any decision will be made. This could be all about adding a slight increase pressure on candidates that are simply in negotiations or to provide a deadline for more desirable, but hesitant candidates, like Cherington, for example. Moreover, even if a decision is, in fact, made early next week, it may not be announced until after the conclusion of the World Series – which, incidentally begins early next week – because MLB does not like teams or transactions taking attention away from the series. Alternatively, look for an announcement in between the conclusion of the LCS and the start of the World Series

All in all, if the Phillies continue on the route that appears to be laid out, the Cubs may escape the rash of high profile openings relatively unscathed – the exception being Tim Wilken going to the Arizona Diamondbacks. While you should, as a good person, be happy to see the Cubs front office personnel take advantage of any opportunity to progress their career as far as possible, it’s understandable if you don’t want to see the band break up just yet. No doubt, the Cubs’ current run in the playoffs could be helping in that regard, from both logistics standpoint, as well as an emotional one.

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