The Search for the Next Cubs GM

I started writing this article on the Cubs search for their next GM, but wasn’t able to finish it before it was announced that the Cubs have hired their new President of baseball Operations in Theo Epstein and General manager in Jed Hoyer. I decided to finish and post this article as planned and a future article will come on my opinion solely on the hire of the new Cubs front office with Epstein heading up baseball operations and the new direction for the organization. So please keep in mind that this article was written evaluating the Cubs front office and their options before they hired their new GM.

The Chicago Cubs will be looking for a new manager this off season. I am sure they have actually started their search since the day they announced they have let former General Manager Jim Hendry go. The Cubs have their handful finding the right guy to take over the reins for this job. The Cubs do not have anyone with baseball experience within their organization calling the shots now. Thus, the new General Manager will need to be very talented and insightful to clean up the mess he has inherited and build up the organization from the bottom up. The Cubs aren’t in the worse situation in the league, like some of the teams such as Houston, Seattle, to name a few. They have some prospects and some money off the books, but the new GM needs to build a plan for the organization, put an emphasize on the minor league system, stress the fundamentals from the minors league system to the Major league level, and find a Manager who knows how to coach. I figured we should look at some of the general manager candidates who may be mentioned and then those who probably won’t be considered, but should be who could possibly handle the job as General manager of the Chicago Cubs to end the drought and clean up the mess that keeps getting deeper from Ed Lynch to Andy MacPhail, to Jim Hendry.

The Cubs reached out to Hall of famer Pat Gillick recently and asked him to join the Cubs organization in some capacity such as a special assistant to the owner reporting to Tom Rickets. After Pat Gillick stepped down after the rigous duties of being an GM of the Phillies he became an advisor for them. The same type of role the Cubs have offered him. So why would he want to leave a team that when he took over as GM several years he built the team up to what it is today? They also have a great thing going in Philliadpha being a contender every year with the stellar rotation. If he left the good situation he is now to come to Chicago he would want a position of power to be able to steer this sinking ship in the right direction and get it pointed up instead of going further down. That is why he supposedly told the cubs he would only come as President. That way he would have control over the Cubs to set the direction for the organization from top to bottom. It is also rumored he doesn’t want to take orders from current Cubs president Crake Kennedy, even though he is a business guy. Because Kennedy is president he tries to get involved is all aspects of the club, even though his expertise is only business. Thus, having Kennedy as President has scared a Hall of famer like Gillick away. I would have liked them to bring Gillick in as President with him setting the tone for the organization and guiding the GM he picks. That way he can mentor someone who has some old school smarts like himself, but also may be a little more analytical and advanced stat savvy. Gillick coming to the Cubs is done so lets move on to possibly alternatives.

My first choice for GM would be Andrew Friedman whom I consider to be the best GM in baseball. He has one year left on his contract with the Rays, where he has a limited budget, and in a tough division with the Red Sox and Yankees. So I wouldn’t be surprised if he is interested in the Chicago Cubs job. He is very analytical, knows how to analyze numbers coming from wall street, and has experience running a baseball organization.

My second choice is Theo Epstein whom became the youngest GM at 28 for Boston. In 9 years he has won them 2 championships with a big payroll and rebuilt their farm system. He drafted superstars in Dustin Pedoria, Jacoby Ellsbury, Johnanton Pappelbon, and traded for many others to help them win their championship like Mike Lowell, Josh Beckett. He knows how to draft well and spend money wisely of a big market club, even though some may question that with the signings of John Lackey, Carl Crawford, and J.D. Drew. The only one of those that was really bad at the time and will be regretted is John Lackey. Oh, lets not forget about Dice-K.
Brian Chashman is rumored to be a candidate because his contract is up with the Yankees. I am not a big fan of Cashman though because I don’t know what he has done. He has an endless budget and has hired some good scouting directors to drafts some good talent to keep or use as trade bait. The Yankees may always be good and competeitve, but I don’t think Cashman could have the same success in Chicago and I think he would fail like MacPhail and Jim Hendry did.

Billy Beane has also been mentioned, but like I don’t think he is qualified for the difficulties of this job to turn things around. The Oakland Athletics’ haven’t been in the post season in years because other teams have adaptive to his style and he hasn’t adaptive to the game. He needs to balanced in his approach to the game to gain his advantage to put a winner on the field and he isn’t. That is why he isn’t our guy to run the Cubs.

The Cubs need someone who can turn around an entire organization from top to bottom and that is why Theo Epstein was a great choice. The Cubs have a few talented players thanks to Tim Wilken and isn’t in terrible shape like some teams, but needed someone like Epstein who is one on the few executives currently active in the game in the game that I like who is smart enough to turn around an organization in shambles!