Saturday, Sahadev Sharma and Patrick Mooney posted this article at The Athletic in which they noted that Cubs President of Baseball Operations Jed Hoyer had narrowed his search for his general manager to four finalists.
If you think the GM job doesn’t matter, I’ll strongly disagree. When Theo Epstein left the Cubs, he indicated that Hoyer had been involved in nearly every major player acquisition decision, had driven some (the Jake Arrieta trade, notably) and vehemently disagreed with others (reportedly, the Jose Quintana trade).
It’s undoubtedly good for the Cubs to have another management voice to help Hoyer in making decisions. It’s more than, as Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts once notably put it, “a baseball guy watching a baseball guy.” Most MLB teams are now leaning in the direction of having two top baseball ops executives.
The article notes this as one of the major criteria Hoyer is looking at for his hire:
narrowing his focus on external candidates with strong backgrounds in player development
This is exactly what the Cubs need, a voice from outside the organization who can bring to the table things the Cubs don’t have. And, player development has been at best uneven over the last decade.
While I don’t simply want to post everything in Sharma and Mooney’s article here, here are the four reported finalists:
- Carlos Rodriguez, Rays vice president of player development and international scouting
- Carter Hawkins, Cleveland assistant general manager
- James Harris, Cleveland vice president of player development
- Jeremy Zoll, Twins assistant general manager
These are all young or youngish men — the youngest is Zoll (32), the oldest is Harris (43). Hoyer, who is the same age as Epstein, turns 48 in December. 48 isn’t “old” in executive terms, but baseball ops teams have been getting younger and younger in recent years and having a younger voice wouldn’t be a bad idea.
Two of these men (Rodriguez and Harris) would be a minority hire. This would be a good thing for the Cubs, as there haven’t been enough minority members of the team’s front office.
All things being (relatively) equal among these four given their backgrounds (which you can read in the article in The Athletic), I think I’d lean toward the guy who’s with the Rays. That organization does nothing but churn out winners and their player development organization is second to none. With a background in player development he’s exactly what this team needs. He also played college baseball at the University of North Florida.
Per Sharma and Mooney:
The process could conclude as soon as next week with a possible announcement prior to the League Championship Series.
“Next week” refers to this week, so this could happen soon. As always, we await developments.
Who should Jed Hoyer choose as GM from among the four finalists?
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