Chicago Cubs president of business operations Crane Kenney announced he has agreed to terms on a five-year contract extension through 2019 during an interview Saturday with Chicago’s WSCR-AM 670.
He was a guest on “Inside The Clubhouse” with Bruce Levine and Wayne Randazzo and doesn’t worry about his critics.
“Thank God it is not a popularity contest with the Ricketts,” said Kenney. “I know where I stand there. Tom just extended my contract through 2019. We’re locked in to this thing for the long-term to get it done.”
Kenney, has spent 21-years with the Cubs, and recently has drawn criticism from fans over the team’s negations with Wrigleyville rooftop owners over Wrigley Field renovations.
Long time Chicago Cubs’ beat writer for the Chicago Tribune Paul Sullivan wrote about the extension’s timing.
Kenney’s new contract runs three years longer than Epstein’s five-year deal, which ends after 2016. While Epstein is expected to be offered an extension eventually and repeatedly has said he has no intention of leaving, there are no guarantees.
Ricketts can point to the Cubs’ publicly-funded spring training complex in Mesa, Ariz., and new revenue streams like the Toyota sign and Captain Morgan Club, as evidence of Kenney’s business acumen and importance to the organization.
During Kenney’s brief term in charge of the front office at the end of 2011, when general manager Jim Hendry was fired and Ricketts decided not to hire an interim GM, he handed vice president of player personnel Oneri Fleita a four-year extension. The move shocked most observers, knowing any new GM the Cubs hired would likely bring in his own player personnel director.
Epstein was named president two months later and hired Jason McLeod as Fleita’s boss. The following August, Fleita became part of a front-office purge, with current bench coach Brandon Hyde taking his place. Fleita’s contract runs through 2015.
He later went on to address the newly revised plan and the apparent miscommunication between the Cubs’ front office and the City of Chicago.
“We let the City know we were moving the bullpens and we did have drawings that showed the doorways getting larger but our communication wasn’t perfect and that is on us,” Kenney said. “If the City is unaware of something that falls on us to make sure that they are aware of it so they wanted to take a second look at the question of enlarging the bullpen doors.”