After this season’s trade deadline, Bush felt like he needed to recharge and met with Hoyer in August, expressing a desire to step down once his contract expires at the end of October. The COVID-19 pandemic had forced Bush to reassess his priorities, and he wanted to spend more time in Florida with his wife, Cathy, and their three grandsons. Hoyer, in turn, offered Bush an advisory role that will allow him to be based in Jacksonville and find a better work-life balance.
Bush has been a valuable and trusted member of the Cubs front office dating back to the Jim Hendry days, and carried some weight in the clubhouse because he’s a former player, with over 1,200 games with the Twins from 1982-93.
Now, we have learned the name of Bush’s probable successor:
Sources told The Athletic that team president Jed Hoyer is expected to bring in Ehsan Bokhari as assistant general manager, adding an executive to the fold who has spent his career at two of the most recently successful organizations in baseball.
After a season leading the Houston Astros’ research and development department, Bokhari has spent the last two years as their senior director of player evaluation. Prior to that, he was one of the original members of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ R&D staff, spending four seasons with the organization as a senior analyst.
So this will be someone with an entirely different style working alongside Hoyer and Carter Hawkins, more of a quantitative analyst. I like this description of Ehsan Bokhari’s style:
According to those who have worked with him in the past, Bokhari brings that academic mindset to his job in baseball. He’s known for being very rigorous in making sure that the processes that lead to certain conclusions — whether they’re coming via a model or through scouting by the human eye — are sound.
Despite having a heavy R&D background, Bokhari is well-rounded and during his time in Houston, had input in a variety of transactions including professional acquisitions, draft picks and international signings. Bokhari is lauded for his personable nature and his ability to ask questions to better understand all aspects of the front office.
This is good because I am a firm believer that scouting is as important as analytics for putting together a winning baseball team. It’s good scouting that brought Jake Arrieta to the Cubs in 2013, for example. Analytics at the time probably wouldn’t have said so.
Bokhari’s background sounds well-suited to modern baseball. I would caution anyone who holds “Astros” against him to note that he has worked there only since November 2018, after the days of the cheating scandal that happened during the 2017 season and World Series. Not everyone who works for that organization is tainted, and I hope Bokhari brings new insights to the table in the Cubs front office. If you’re interested in his professional background, here’s his LinkedIn profile.
All the best to Ehsan Bokhari and the Cubs front office as they work to bringing another winner to the North Side.