With all the talk that has circled around general manager Jim Hendry’s job status, surprisingly there has been little talk on the potential candidates to replace Hendry if he is indeed fired. Though, considering Hendry has not been fired yet, it makes sense that there has been little speculation on who Hendry’s successor will be. Of course, the big names like Brian Cashman, Billy Beane, and Ned Colletti have already been linked to the Cubs general manager job in various reports. But neither of those three seem like fits considering they are currently filling the same capacity with another team. Though, things could change after the season. But after the season may be too late for any of those three, as one candidate is already expressing interest in the Cubs general manager job.
MLB Network Insider Tracy Ringolsby joined the “Boers and Bernstein” show today on 670 The Score, and reported that Padres Vice President Josh Byrnes is “sniffing” around the Cubs general manager job through his brother’s ties to the Ricketts family. This is the second time that we have learned of Byrnes looking into the Cubs general manager job, as it was originally reported by Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. In Rosenthal’s report, there was believed to be mutual interest between the Ricketts and Byrnes. But considering the Cubs general manager position is filled for the time being, it would be extremely dangerous for Byrnes to openly express interest in the Cubs GM position. But it appears that members of the Ricketts’ camp and members of the Byrnes’ camp have been in contact with each other. The classsic “have my people talk to your people” scenario.
Before joining the Padres organization, Byrnes was the general manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks. There never was a clear reasoning as to why the Diamondbacks fired Byrnes last season, and replaced him with former Padres general manager Kevin Towers. Though have suggested that it was because of the transactions made under Byrnes’ regime that led to his departure. However, that does not seem to be a fair criticism considering that Byrnes was the victim of an under-acheiving Diamondbacks team.
Personally, I am big fan of Byrnes’ general managerial styles. Some may forget that he is a part of the Theo Epstein’s tree of general managers. as Byrnes served as Epsteins assitant general manager with the Red Sox before heading to Arizona. Not to mention that Byrnes had a high reputation among other baseball officals, many who considered him to be one of the best young general managers in the game. If the Ricketts family wants to follow the Red Sox blueprint of success, then Byrnes would be an ideal option to replace Hendry as general manager.