Front Office Dream Team


Today was the day that the both the Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox had in mind as the unofficial deadline to have an agreement in place regarding compensation for the Red Sox allowing Theo Epstein to join the Cubs’ organization. It now seems that no official announcement will be made today. Instead the Cubs and Red Sox will remain in their staring contest until one side blinks. While the Red Sox have come off of their initial demands of Matt Garza or Andrew Cashner, Red Sox team president Larry Lucchino is still insisting that top pitching prospect Trey McNutt be included in the compensation package. That is not going to happen. The Cubs view McNutt as untouchable, and it is more likely that pitching prospect Jay Jackson will be in the compensation package. While the Major League Baseball has put a restriction on teams making official transactions during the World Series, it is likely that commissioner Bud Selig would allow the Cubs and Red Sox to make an official announcement on a World Series off-day. The earliest that could happen would be this Friday.

Meanwhile, the Cubs–and secretly Theo Epstein–are reaching out to some of Epstein’s former Boston colleagues to see if there is interest forming the same front office that led the Red Sox to the World Series title in 2004. The expectation is that Epstein is not going to be allowed to bring any of his current Red Sox assistants with him to the Cubs, so the Cubs are beginning to reach out to executives that were once with Epstein in Boston but have since moved on.

Once news broke of Epstein agreeing to a 5 year, $20 million deal with the Cubs, reports surfaced shortly thereafter that Padres’ Vice President of Baseball Operations Josh Byrnes would follow Epstein to Chicago. As it turns out, Byrnes may be a fall-back option for Epstein and the Cubs. Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated is reporting that the Cubs are eyeing current San Diego Padres’ General Manager Jed Hoyer to join Epstein in Chicago. Heyman mentions that Byrnes could still be the one to land in Chicago, it just seems like the Cubs and Epstein prefer Hoyer. In addition to Hoyer and Byrnes, Epstein may have his eye on Padres’ Assistant General Manager Jason McLeod. Hoyer, Byrnes , and McLeod all worked under Epstein in Boston before they moved from the organization to advance their careers.

This is where things get interesting. If Hoyer does come to Chicago, it will not be as an assistant. Instead, Hoyer would likely be named General Manager with Epstein operating under the President of Baseball Operations title. The chances are increasingly likely that Epstein will likely only have the President of Baseball Operations title, and he in turn, will hand pick the next General Manager of the Cubs. It would seem that the preferred option for Epstein and the Cubs’ front office is for Epstein to be President and Hoyer to be General Manager. Such a scenario is also possible for Byrnes, who could also serve as the Cubs’ general manager with Epstein being the President of Baseball Operations. No matter what scenario plays out, Epstein will still be the end all, be all in the Cubs’ front office.

If Epstein and the Cubs are able to lure away Hoyer or Byrnes from the Padres’organization, it may be the biggest coup in the history of the Major League Baseball. Such a pairing would automatically put the Cubs’ front office among the best in all of baseball. The underlying benefit of the Cubs’ going after Hoyer or Byrnes to be their general manager–with Epstein’s approval of course–is that seemingly help their compensation negotiations with the Red Sox. Many feel the Red Sox have the leverage in negotiations because they already have Ben Cherington in place as their General Manager, while the Cubs have no one in place as their General Manager. Thus, if Hoyer or Byrnes were in place as General Manager, the Cubs would be in a position to walk away from negotiations with the Red Sox if need be.

While the Padres resorted back to the bottom of the National League West division this season with 71 wins, the team is a year removed from a 90 win season. Then once you consider the impact of losing Adrian Gonzalez this past winter, the Padres fall seems more justified. Regardless, under the leadership of Hoyer and Byrnes the Padres have seen an improvement in their farm system that will likely pay off on the Major League roster within the next few seasons. That same leadership is what the Cubs should expect, if either is put in place as General Manager with Epstein being front-man.

Tags: Andrew Cashner Boston Red Sox Chicago Cubs Jason Mcleod Jed Hoyer Johs Byrnes Larry Lucchino Matt Garza Tom Ricketts Trey McNutt

  • johnbres2

    This whole story is becoming book worthy.

  • johnbres2

    This whole story is becoming book worthy.

  • Luke Blaize

    I’d like to see the Cubs leak three things:

    1 – Theo’s title will be President of Baseball Operations

    2 – The Cubs are looking for a GM to work under Theo, and are closing in on _____ ______ form the __________. Josh Byrnes from the Padres is likely.

    3 – The Cubs have offered Chris Carpenter and Rebel Ridling, but the Red Sox are flatly refusing to discuss anyone but Trey McNutt. As a result, the Cubs are prepared to leave their offer on the table and wait until 2012.

    Let that leak with credible backing, and start the stop watch. Boston will leak all sorts of nasty nonsense to the press about the Cubs, and take the deal before close of business that day.

    Boston is bluffing. Call it, Cubs. You own all the aces. Lay down your hand and walk away from the table. When Boston fans find out their front office is turning down a 100 MPH fast ball and a decent right handed bat with power over sheer pettiness, the Red Sox will have no choice but to cave.

  • Luke Blaize

    I’d like to see the Cubs leak three things:

    1 – Theo’s title will be President of Baseball Operations

    2 – The Cubs are looking for a GM to work under Theo, and are closing in on _____ ______ form the __________. Josh Byrnes from the Padres is likely.

    3 – The Cubs have offered Chris Carpenter and Rebel Ridling, but the Red Sox are flatly refusing to discuss anyone but Trey McNutt. As a result, the Cubs are prepared to leave their offer on the table and wait until 2012.

    Let that leak with credible backing, and start the stop watch. Boston will leak all sorts of nasty nonsense to the press about the Cubs, and take the deal before close of business that day.

    Boston is bluffing. Call it, Cubs. You own all the aces. Lay down your hand and walk away from the table. When Boston fans find out their front office is turning down a 100 MPH fast ball and a decent right handed bat with power over sheer pettiness, the Red Sox will have no choice but to cave.

  • LouCub

    @Luke Blaize I would think Hoyer would take the lateral move because Byrnes is super tight with Pads owner Jeffery Moorad who hired him in San Diego and Az and he would become Hoyer’s replacement..It’s a brilliant move and if Theo is Pres would that prohibit the Sox from seeking compensation becaus eit’s an obvious promotion

  • LouCub

    @Luke Blaize I would think Hoyer would take the lateral move because Byrnes is super tight with Pads owner Jeffery Moorad who hired him in San Diego and Az and he would become Hoyer’s replacement..It’s a brilliant move and if Theo is Pres would that prohibit the Sox from seeking compensation becaus eit’s an obvious promotion

  • LouCub

    Larry Lucchino and John Hendry are douche bags

  • LouCub

    Larry Lucchino and John Hendry are douche bags

  • Luke Blaize

    It wouldn’t prohibit Boston, but it would make significant compensation a much tougher sell.

  • Luke Blaize

    It wouldn’t prohibit Boston, but it would make significant compensation a much tougher sell.

  • Luke Blaize

    So, today word comes out that the Cubs are in serious talks with the Padres over compensation for someone (or more than one someone) in the Padres front office. We also get word that Theo will have a President level title and will be above the GM.

    And right on schedule, Peter Gammons, who works for the Red Sox TV network, does an interview in which he tries to trash the Cubs, the Cubs owner, the way the Cubs are handing the negotiations, and the entire Cub farm system. Also not surprisingly, apparently no one believes him and Cub fans are not rioting in the streets like the Boston media said they would.

    And miraculously, the Red Sox talks are suddenly said to be going much more smoothly. Apparently the Red Sox have stopped insisting on the moon and the seven stars. Hmm. I wonder what could have possibly changed their mind.

  • Luke Blaize

    So, today word comes out that the Cubs are in serious talks with the Padres over compensation for someone (or more than one someone) in the Padres front office. We also get word that Theo will have a President level title and will be above the GM.

    And right on schedule, Peter Gammons, who works for the Red Sox TV network, does an interview in which he tries to trash the Cubs, the Cubs owner, the way the Cubs are handing the negotiations, and the entire Cub farm system. Also not surprisingly, apparently no one believes him and Cub fans are not rioting in the streets like the Boston media said they would.

    And miraculously, the Red Sox talks are suddenly said to be going much more smoothly. Apparently the Red Sox have stopped insisting on the moon and the seven stars. Hmm. I wonder what could have possibly changed their mind.

  • Ashley Bolton

    Would love to see Hoyer join Theo here in Chicago!!! I like the moves the Ricketts family is making they are coming through in their commitment to winning promise. I think Theo will give Cubs good shot of making back to playoffs soon and maybe a World Series in next 5 years. Just my opinion though!!

  • Ashley Bolton

    Would love to see Hoyer join Theo here in Chicago!!! I like the moves the Ricketts family is making they are coming through in their commitment to winning promise. I think Theo will give Cubs good shot of making back to playoffs soon and maybe a World Series in next 5 years. Just my opinion though!!