What has long been
feared speculated, is coming to fruition: Cubs Senior VP of Amateur Scouting and Player Development Jason McLeod will interview for a high profile executive position with another team.
The Team: The Minnesota Twins
The Position: President of Baseball Operations … or General Manager (we’re not quite sure).
Speculation surrounding a couple of the Cubs’ front office personnel began to circulate in the wake of the Twins’ decision to fire long-time General Manager Terry Ryan in the middle of July. But for a while, speculation is all it was. Eventually, Jason McLeod and Cubs Assistant GM Shiraz Rehman‘s names were specifically mentioned as targets of the Twins, alongside former Blue Jays GM and current Dodgers VP of Baseball Operations Alex Anthopoulos.
After a short while, however, Anthopoulos took his own name out of the running and Shiraz Rehman suggested that he was still focused on the Cubs, leaving just Jason McLeod as the only current and publicly-known candidate for the job who had yet to clarify the situation. Well, as we said up front, McLeod is being considered for the job and according to Cubs GM Jed Hoyer, the Cubs have officially given their consent to an interview.
Per multiple reports (ESPN, Twins.com), Hoyer confirmed before tonight’s game that McLeod has been given permission to interview with the Twins, adding that this is something he’s long expected to occur. “We’ve dodged a few bullets the last few years with him,” Hoyer said, per ESPN and Twins.com. “I’m sort of expecting if not now, soon. There’s probably not a better scouting and player development guy out there.” Indeed, McLeod has long been a well-known up-and-comer in the industry, having played significant roles in the drafting of guys like Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, Justin Masterson, Clay Buchholz, Josh Reddick, Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant and Kyle Schwarber in recent years. More than that, he’s simply a well-respected voice at the highest levels of the Cubs’ organization.
But while Hoyer and the Cubs would hate to see him leave, they won’t stand in the way of a promotion (especially one that they are incapable of replicating). Which is also why Hoyer gave McLeod a glowing review, suggesting that he has all the necessary skills to do every part of the job, has a great personality, manages people well, and that people love working for him.
And to be fair, McLeod has turned down potential opportunities like this with the Mariners and the Padres in the past – despite how things may seem, these sort of opportunities don’t usually come around too often. You can read more about the soon-to-be interview here at Twins.com (Rhett Bollinger) or here at ESPN Chicago (Jesse Rogers). It would be a bummer to lose McLeod, but it’s hard to argue that he doesn’t deserve it.
We’ll keep you updated as the process moves forward, but we may not know too much until the offseason arrives.