Tom Ricketts will likely go to great lengths in finding the next general manager of the Chicago Cubs. After observing the “old-style” of Jim Hendry, Ricketts is searching for a young analytical general manager. Note that while Ricketts still has interest in Brian Cashman, Theo Epstein, and Andrew Friedman, the Cubs chairman is coming to the realization that neither of the “big 3″ will be leaving their current position anytime soon. Enter Rick Hahn, Josh Byrnes, and the newest candidate, assistant general manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks Jerry Dipoto.
Hahn and Byrnes have been on the candidate list ever since it was announced that Hendry had been fired as Chicago Cubs general manager, Dipoto is the latest candidate to be connected to the Cubs’ position. Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune, who has surprisingly been all over the Cubs general manager search, suggests that Dipoto will likely be interviewed by Ricketts for the Cubs general manager position. To be honest, I am surprised it took this long for Dipoto to wind up on the list of potential candidates to be the next general manager of the Chicago Cubs.
For as much praise as Hahn receives for being the “top prospect” among future general managers, Dipoto deserves just as much. In fact MLB Trade Rumors listed Dipoto as the top general manager candidate among candidates that are still seeking their first general manager gig. For as much loathing as Diamondbacks’ fans give Byrnes, there should be the same amount of credit that they give Dipoto. Dipoto has spent time working in the front offices of the Colorado Rockies, Boston Red Sox, and now, the Arizona Diamondbacks. Dipoto was in the Red Sox front office when they won the 2004 World Series. Interesting enough, Dipoto is close friends with Byrnes, so it would be interesting to see if Dipoto would bring Byrnes with him if he indeed became the next general manager of the Cubs.
Dipoto also would be the analytical general manager that Ricketts is looking for. Dipoto told MLBTR that while he does not consider himself a “saber-junkie”, he still understands how to utilize analytics on a case by case basis. This is an important criteria for the Cubs next general manager.Hendry’s “old-style” skill-set has set the Cubs back as an organization, as modern technology and analytics became popular among baseball front offices. The advanced statistics, that many front offices are beginning to put stock in, are becoming a more accurate way of evaluating players.
Speaking of player evaluation, Dipoto also would seem to excel when it comes to evaluating players as well as prospects. After Byrnes was fired, Dipto took over as interim general manager of the Diamondbacks. While operating under that label last season, Dipoto made two successful trades in acquiring Daniel Hudson from the Chicago White Sox, and being perceived as the “winner” when he traded Dan Haren to the Los Angeles Angels. In addition to those trades, while working under Kevin Towers this season, Dipoto played a vital role in the Diamondbacks drafting Trevor Bauer, Archie Bradley, and Andrew Chafin in this year’s draft.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Dipoto’s name starts to be commonly mentioned with the Cubs’ general manager position, Dipoto is a very deserving candidate.