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Officially Official: Chicago Cubs Name Carter Hawkins the New General Manager

Chicago Cubs

Today the Chicago Cubs made it officially official, naming Carter Hawkins the team’s new General Manager, after a year without anyone in that spot. Jed Hoyer was promoted to President upon Theo Epstein’s departure this time last year, but didn’t fill the GM spot because he wanted the time to go through a more personal and thorough hiring process.

That process led him to Hawkins, formerly an Assistant GM in Cleveland, and the dude generally in charge of the organization’s (very successful) player development program. From the team’s announcement:

The Chicago Cubs today named Carter Hawkins as the club’s General Manager. Hawkins becomes the 16th general manager in franchise history.

Hawkins will be formally introduced during a press conference this Monday, October 18, at Wrigley Field.

“I am thrilled to bring Carter into our organization,” said Cubs President of Baseball Operations Jed Hoyer. “He has earned a fantastic reputation as a leader through hard work, open-mindedness, humility and intelligence. I enjoyed getting to know him throughout the interview process, and it quickly became clear that we share the same passion for team building. I look forward to partnering with him to build the next great Cubs team.”

Hawkins, 37, spent 14 seasons with the Cleveland Indians, including the last five as Assistant General Manager. He was involved in all aspects of baseball operations, including player and staff procurement and development, negotiations, rules and administration and player personnel decisions at the major and minor league levels.

Hawkins also oversaw the Indians Player Development Department, ensuring that the values and vision of the department align with those of the organization. Entering the 2021-22 offseason, Cleveland has five players included in MLB.com’s top 100 prospects list, tied for the most among major league teams.

Prior to his promotion to Assistant General Manager, Hawkins was named Cleveland’s Director of Player Development in 2015 after serving as Assistant Director of Player Development starting in 2010. He had a full-time role in Professional Scouting in 2009 and began his tenure with Cleveland in 2008 as the Advance Scouting Intern.

Hawkins graduated magna cum laude from Vanderbilt University in 2007 with a degree in Human and Organizational Development and was a four-year letter winner as a catcher for the Commodore baseball team.

Now we start the process of better getting to know what Hawkins is about. To that end, I appreciated this morning’s read from The Athletic on how Hawkins fits:

A selection that speaks to some of the value the Cubs are no doubt hoping to get:

One baseball official compared Cleveland’s operation to a black box, given the industry’s curiosity surrounding the emergence of homegrown pitchers like Shane Bieber, the 2020 American League Cy Young Award winner who had been a fourth-round pick out of UC Santa Barbara in the 2016 draft. That draft class also included starting pitchers Aaron Civale (12-5, 3.84 ERA this year) and Zach Plesac (5.1 career WAR, per Baseball-Reference). Neither Civale (third round/Northeastern) nor Plesac (12th round/Ball State) came from the top of the draft or a traditional powerhouse in college baseball ….

Cleveland’s resourcefulness can be seen in the development of pitchers who previously struggled or changed course. Both Triston McKenzie (the No. 42 pick in the 2015 draft) and Cal Quantrill (the No. 8 selection by the Padres in 2016) look like legitimate rotation weapons for Cleveland. That wasn’t so obvious when most assumed that McKenzie’s extremely slender build would force him to the bullpen, and Quantrill’s prospect shine had worn off by the time he was included in the 2020 trade-deadline deal that sent Mike Clevinger to San Diego. McKenzie and Quantrill still need time to truly establish themselves, but there appears to be some method to the madness when it comes to the pitching in Cleveland, an ability to identify pitching talent and then maximize those skills.

Much more soon, including from his introductory press conference on Monday.



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.