Getting The Band Back Together


Now that Theo Epstein is officially in charge of the daily operations on the baseball side of the organization, the Chicago Cubs have asked and received permission from the San Diego Padres to speak to Padres’ General Manager Jed Hoyer, and assistant Jason McLeod. The interview of both Hoyer and McLeod is nothing but a mere formality as it was reported earlier this week that Hoyer will join the Cubs’ organization as the next general manager, and McLeod will have similar role to that of Tim Wilken.

There have been many that have questioned bringing in Hoyer considering that the Cubs’ already have one the game’s greatest baseball minds in Epstein. The reason for bringing in Hoyer is the same reason why Epstein and Hoyer depended on each other while the pair were together in Boston. Hoyer was Epstein’s right-hand man, and played a vital role in the player acquisitions. Hoyer joined Epstein in the pursuit of Curt Schilling during the winter of 2003, which lead to the pair convincing Schilling to accept a trade to Red Sox during a Thanksgiving dinner at Schilling’s house.

There are also some underlying reason why Hoyer would be general manager under Epstein. Reason being that the day-to-day grind of being a general manager can be overwhelming. Epstein has been the Red Sox general manager since 2003, and the time has come where he should have more power in an organization. With Larry Lucchino in place as the Red Sox team president, that power was not available to Epstein in Boston. But one of the benefits of being a team president, is that the general manager is usually the one addressing the media and dealing some of the other minor nuances of running the baseball operations. Epstein will be the end all-be all when it comes to baseball decisions, but Hoyer is going to be the face announcing those decisions.

Jason McLeod is not to go overlooked either. In fact, some suggest that McLeod could be the better hire than both Epstein and Hoyer. McLeod’s role within the organization is not yet determined, but the consensus is that he will be on the same level as Tim Wilken. That could mean any number of things. It could mean that McLeod will take over as the scouting director while Wilken is re-assigned within the organization. Or that could mean that McLeod and Wilken will go hand in hand–much like Epstein and Hoyer–and together continue the improvement of the Cubs’ farm system.

Unlike the comical compensation negotiations with the Red Sox, the Cubs and Padres should come up with a compensation agreement rather quickly. Cubs’ owner Tom Ricketts and Padres’ CEO Jeff Moorad are close friends and Moorad already has his eye on promoting Josh Byrnes to general manager position with the Padres. While the compensation being sent to the Padres will likely be announced at a later date, the expectation is that the Cubs will send a lower level prospect to San Diego.

With the Epstein introductory press conference already scheduled for Tuesday, it is possible that the Cubs will introduce Hoyer and McLeod as well. After that is when the fun begins, as the trio will begin to look for ways to improve the organization–from the farm system all the way to the major league roster.