Recently, Cubs President of Baseball Operations Jed Hoyer noted that he was going to fill his old position as General Manager. Per Patrick Mooney and Sahadev Sharma at The Athletic:
The interview stage is expected to begin by the middle of September. There is a fluid element to the candidate list as the Cubs continue their background work. There would be value in an external hire, especially since Epstein and Hoyer tended to lean on their Red Sox connections the last time the Cubs started a rebuild and restructured their organization.
The GM spot has been vacant since Hoyer succeeded Theo Epstein. The gamble doesn't seem to have too terribly destructive, though it possibly could have been. Easy question for today: Who do you want as the next GM of the Cubs?
In general, teams are allowed to interview and promote executives from other organizations without compensation. MLB organizations can be a bit labyrinthine as far as who has which specific title, though. I looked to the front office page of three different teams, and tried to locate who held the title of "General Manager," assuming most people beneath that would be free for the poaching. Unsurprisingly, I leaned Rays, Dodgers, and Cleveland.
Tampa Bay’s GM Erik Neander was recently promoted to President of Baseball Operations and got a contract extension. Who works under him? As effective as Tampa is at scalding teams on trades, I want someone from their scouting department. That's the top of my list: Kevin Ibach, Rays Senior Director of Pro Scouting and Pro Personnel.
Now, on to the Dodgers front office list: This one is rather easy. Jeffrey Kingston is the top-listed Assistant General Manager. He'd probably be my preference here.
Cleveland’s general manager is Mike Chernoff. They are fantastic with pitcher development. That doesn't sound a direct leaping off point for GM, but I figure the executives probably exchange ideas. The Indians names are largely unfamiliar to me. However, if the system churns, find a name of a spot that might add to the pipeline. I came up with three names.
- Eric Binder, VP Baseball Operations: Seems relatively safe.
- James Harris, VP Player Development: Player development, especially arm-side, seems their joy spot.
- Keith Woolner, Principle Data Scientist, Baseball Analytics: A mild reach on the job title, but I'm fascinated. (Also, that job title is a direct copy/paste from Cleveland’s website. They probably mean “Principal.”)
I’ll be honest. I didn’t exhaustively research work histories online, or anything close. I knew three teams I’m intrigued by in the player development side, and looked them up. There are quite a few other well-run organizations. You might know of a few teams I should have perused, or names I should have sought out.
Internally, here are a few Cubs executives I ‘d like the team to keep for a few more years, at least:
- Craig Breslow: Assistant General Manager, Vice President, Pitching
- Dan Kantrovitz: Vice President, Scouting
- Justin Stone: Director, Hitting
Feel free to add who you’d like to poach below.
Who would make the most sense to you as the Cubs General Manager choice?
This poll is closed
Kevin Ibach, Rays
Eric Binder, Cleveland
James Harris, Cleveland
Keith Woolner, Cleveland
Jeffrey Kingston, Dodgers
Someone else (leave in comments)