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The Cubs are reportedly hiring Carter Hawkins as their new GM

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This is a bit of a surprise, if true.

Photo by @WillByington / www.willbyington.com

Late last week, four finalists for the job of Cubs general manager were reported, and I posed the question to you: Which would you choose of these four?

  • 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

The overwhelming majority of voters in the poll at that link — 88 percent — chose Rodriguez.

Late Wednesday, a report at The Athletic says the Cubs are going in another direction:

The Chicago Cubs are targeting Carter Hawkins as their new general manager, sources told The Athletic on Wednesday, planning to finalize a move that would mark a major hire for president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer and a big-market franchise in rebuilding mode.

Hawkins has risen from advance scouting intern to assistant general manager during his 14 seasons with Cleveland. He offers broad experience in baseball operations and a background in player development, a specific area of expertise that Hoyer focused on during interviews.

This all sounds fine and all four candidates have good resumes. It’s a bit surprising but the article points out:

Cleveland’s track record of churning out pitchers is appealing to a Cubs organization that has traditionally struggled to identify pitchers in the draft and develop them through the minor leagues.

That’s certainly important, as you well know. The Cubs haven’t developed any impact pitchers over the last decade, while other teams seem to have a constant stream of guys coming out of their system who throw 95-plus or even touch 100 miles per hour. In modern baseball, the Cubs definitely need more pitchers like that.

The article notes that MLB generally frowns on major announcements like this during the postseason, although usually that’s limited to days of World Series games. Today might have been a good day for such an announcement, the first day in months with no baseball game. With only one game Thursday and the ALCS beginning Friday, an early-day announcement of a Cubs general manager wouldn’t take too much away from the MLB postseason.

As always, we await developments.