In Tuesday’s iteration of the MLBits, we discussed the Giants’ firing of General Manager Bobby Evans after his second consecutive losing season in San Francisco, with this to say about it:
Evans was reportedly instrumental in the Giants three World Series wins from earlier this decade, but he’s nevertheless been sent packing. Someone will pick him up in some capacity, for sure.
In the meantime, VP (and former GM) Brian Sabean will keep his job, as will manager Bruce Bochy. Then, the Giants will look for Evans’ replacement.
In case you’re worried about losing Jed Hoyer, I don’t think that would happen. Hoyer is a GM multiple times over. As we’ve discussed in the Mets context, Hoyer’s next move will most likely be “up” to president, which would not be available on the Giants. Of course, you always have to keep an eye on other Cubs front office talent – like Jason McLeod and/or Shiraz Rehman – being poached …
And whaddaya know, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting that the “time might have arrived” for Jason McLeod’s first general manager gig. After the expected “I’m not looking, because I like it here” comments, McLeod admitted that “if a team had interest, and it’s the right opportunity, yeah. There is a time I do see myself in a situation where I could possibly be running an organization.”
I would HATE for the Cubs to lose McLeod, who currently serves as the organization’s player development and scouting chief (and really, the third head to the three-headed beast that runs the Cubs), but I cannot allow him to sell himself short like that. McLeod is absolutely a future GM and has already been asked to interview for open GM jobs in the past (he withdrew from the Padres’ GM race in 2014 because the Cubs were on the cusp of turning the corner, and was passed over by the Twins in 2016).
As for his fit with the Giants, well, based on what team president Larry Baer told reporters on Monday, I’d say he fits perfectly: “Sort of a ‘next-gen’ general manager, if you will. Somebody who’s going to be head of baseball ops. People will say, ‘new school vs. old school’; people will say, ‘analytics vs. scouting.’ And I think that the new, next-generation general manager is able to do both, and we will bring both into the mix.”
McLeod is currently the senior vice president of scouting and player development for the Chicago Cubs under Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer. If that doesn’t check the (1) scouting and (2) analytics boxes, I don’t know what will. In addition, Epstein has continually stressed the importance of focusing on the individual player side of the game, which leads me to believe McLeod has seen first-hand how important that can be.
The Giants might have some competition. The Mets are also looking to fill a GM vacancy this offseason, and McLeod’s name has already come up in rumors for that opening as well. Again, on a selfish level, I would truly hate to see McLeod leave the Cubs (especially because I sorta had this vision where Epstein departs on his own terms, Jed Hoyer gets promoted to President, and McLeod to GM), but you want deserving people to get opportunities.
Would I rather McLeod got a job somewhere in, say, the American League? ABSOLUTELY. But do I also want him to get the recognition he deserves after being so instrumental in delivering the Cubs first World Series title in over 100 years? Yes.
So good luck this offseason, Jason McLeod. I secretly hope you don’t get that big promotion, but not because you don’t deserve it.
And, hey, we’ll always have that time I saw you on Waveland, when I shouted “McLeod!” and you didn’t hear me and kept walking into Wrigley Field. It was neat. #Memories.