The time for talk is over. After spending time with just about every national and local media outlet within the past 24 hours, new Cubs’ President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein is already working on revamping the Cubs’ front office. The World Series, albeit rained out today, is coming to a quick end. As soon as the last out is recorded in the World Series and the Cardinals or Rangers are crowned as the champions, Epstein and company will have to hit the ground the running. During Tuesday’s press conference, Epstein was emphatic that no one person should be credited with building an successful organization. While Epstein is the one to receive most of the credit for being the curse buster for the Red Sox, there were plenty of Red Sox executives underneath Epstein that contributed to the Red Sox winning World Series titles in 2004 and 2007.
Two of those executives were Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod. Hoyer and McLeod have since moved on from their glory days in the Red Sox front office, and spent the past two seasons with the San Diego Padres. Hoyer served as the Padres’ general manager, while McLeod served as the Padres’ scouting director. While both were viewed as long-term fixtures with the Padres’ organization, things all changed once it became clear that Epstein was heading the Cubs’ baseball operations department. Hoyer was Epstein’s right hand man in Boston, and he apparently wanted another run with Epstein to once again be curse busters.
The Cubs have officially announced that both Hoyer and McLeod will be leaving the Padres’ organization effective immediately, and will be joining the Cubs’ front office. As expected, Hoyer will serve as the Executive Vice President/General Manager while McLeod will be given the title of Senior Vice President of Scouting and Player Development. The Cubs will hold an official press conference after the World Series, and the compensation the the Cubs will send to San Diego will be announced at a later date.
To go into more specifics, that we haven’t already touched on, Hoyer will serve as Epstein’s right hand man. While Hoyer has been given the title of General Manager, it is likely that he will not be able to make any transaction without the approval of Epstein. Epstein is still the end all, be all in the Cubs’ baseball operations department. That is not to say that Hoyer will not have a say, as the pair will likely get into some friendly competition in regards to various baseball moves. While the exact terms of Hoyer’s contract has not been made public, it is believed to be a five year contract.
Meanwhile, McLeod is essentially the new Director of Scouting and Player Development. Both Tim Wilken and Oneri Fleita will operate under their current titles, but, both will have to report to McLeod. While the McLeod hiring does symbol a direct demotion for either Wilken or Fleita, both will have less responsibilities than they have had in recent seasons. Remember, Cubs’ chairman Tom Ricketts gave Fleita four year contract extension, while only assuring Wilken that he would be with the Cubs’ organization in 2012. However, a Cubs’ scouting department that includes McLeod, Wilken, and Fleita is one that is going to run circles around the rest of the major league.
How can you not like what Epstein is doing? In the matter of the two weeks, the Cubs’ front office has transformed from being stuck in the traditional way of processing to kicking down the barrier that blocked them from entering the modern age of baseball. While it is only in the early stages, the Cubs’ front office is on the cusp of being one of the best in all of baseball. All hail the Theo Era.