Obsessive Cubs GM Watch: Beane, Friedman, DiPoto, and Other Bullets

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Obsessive Cubs GM Watch: Beane, Friedman, DiPoto, and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

As promised, a bullet-dump of notable Chicago Cubs GM search news and rumors. And don’t let the bullet-style fool you, there’s some big stuff in here. Most are specific links, but others are a distillation of many things I’ve read/heard over the past week.

  • Tom Ricketts is currently in the due diligence phase of the search, and most sources believe no interviews have yet been conducted.
  • Indeed, the most common timetable (which is just everyone’s guess) has Tom Ricketts continuing to talk to baseball insiders and gather intelligence over the next two weeks before possibly conducting interviews late in the month or in early October. Dave Kaplan aptly notes that the process could drag into November if the Cubs have picked up a sense that one of the big-name GMs (whose team is in the playoffs) is legitimately on the table.
  • Rays manager Joe Maddon is a big Andrew Friedman fan, and neither wants Friedman to leave Tampa Bay, nor thinks Friedman will. “That’s where [people speculating about Friedman going to the Cubs] are going to make their mistake. It’s not about [being a glamorous situation],” Maddon said. “We love what we do here, and we’ve got a great thing going on. So I’m sure that this is all very complimentary to him. But at the end of the day, just don’t think because this is a glamorous situation he’s going to want to jump to it. That’s not true.”
  • The same article notes the special relationship Friedman shares with Rays ownership, and suggests that’s the primary reason he wouldn’t leave in favor of Chicago, no matter how much money or what title the Cubs throw his way.
  • Ricketts did not meet with or interview Billy Beane when he was in San Francisco earlier this week.
  • Carrie Muskat’s list of candidates: Rangers assistant GM Thad Levine, Red Sox assistant GM Ben Cherington, Royals assistant GM J.J. Picollo, former Twins GM Terry Ryan, White Sox assistant GM Rick Hahn, Marlins assistant GM Mike Hill. That’s an interesting mix of names we’ve heard about and names we haven’t. It’s also mostly assistants. Very interesting. You should note that Muskat didn’t say these were the only six candidates; just six names to “add to the rumor mill.”
  • Jon Heyman agrees that Terry Ryan should be a candidate. Ryan does have an impressive track record, but he’s been a “senior advisor” in the Twins organization since stepping down as GM in 2007. Is that too long to be away? It depends on what he’s been doing, I suppose. Separately, Heyman has a cursory list of potential candidates here.
  • Phil Rogers says Arizona assistant GM Jerry DiPoto (who served under Josh Byrnes) should be a candidate for the Cubs’ GM gig. DiPoto was named MLBTradeRumors’ top GM candidate earlier this year.
  • Not candidates, according to Rogers: D-backs GM Kevin Towers, Brewers GM Doug Melvin, Nationals GM Mike Rizzo, and (swoon) Reds GM Walt Jocketty.
  • A San Francisco Chronicle columnist says Billy Beane should jump at the chance to take the Cubs’ job if offered.
  • Gordon Wittenmyer warns Tom Ricketts not to focus on a sabermetrics guru (or “propeller head,” as Wittenmyer so cleverly calls them) in his search. Then Wittenmyer appears to describe the “advanced baseball metrics” as including such new-fangled concepts as “on-base percentage,” and he completely loses any and all credibility in the discussion.
  • Speaking of Wittenmyer and credibility, here’s something shameful. There are two versions of a recent Billy Beane article Wittenmyer wrote floating around out there (presumably one is the ‘net version, and one is the print version; you can only find one version on the Sun-Times web site anymore). Both versions have the same content – fluff about Billy Beane, but no indication that the Cubs are actually looking at him, or that he’s actually interested – and yet they have starkly different titles. One is accurately (if cheesily) titled, ‘Cubs GM dial spins to Billy Beane after Ricketts trip spawns speculation.’ The other is horribly, misleadingly titled, ‘Rumors of Billy Beane for Cubs GM might be on the money.’ Guess which version survives now online? And, yet, there is absolutely nothing in the article to suggest that the Beane rumors are “on the money.” Nothing. I know writers don’t always choose their own titles, but, if Wittenmyer didn’t choose this one, he should be screaming at his editor that it makes him look like a cheap, link-baiting scammer.

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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.