As you have all heard by now, the Chicago Cubs announced today that GM Jim Hendry has been relieved of his duties effective immediately (hat tip David Kaplan). The way it all went down, however, is suspect at best from relatively new Cubs Owner Tom Ricketts. According to a story on Yahoo! Sports:
Ricketts said he came to the decision on July 22 and informed Hendry of his dismissal at that time. But both sides agreed to not make it official or public until almost a month later — after the team had gone through both the July 31 trading deadline and Aug. 15 deadline to sign this year’s draft picks.
Now, that may explain some of the questionable moves (or non-moves) the Cubs made around the trade deadline. If you remember correctly, Hendry had a lengthy list of untouchable players around the trade deadline. The list included some players that made sense (Starlin Castro, Matt Garza, Sean Marshall) and other players that made absolutely no sense at all (Jeff Baker, Darwin Barney). Speculation would lead one to believe that this was Hendry’s final Stick-It-To-‘Em move seeing as his fate had already been sealed.
However, all that is in the past, and it is time to begin looking at Jim Hendry’s replacement. Assistant GM Randy Bush has taken over as the Interim GM, but MLB Trade Rumors has reported that he is not considered a long-term option.
So the question remains, who is a logical candidate? Who makes the most sense? Who is the one that has the statistical analysis that the Cubs covet and would be willing to tackle what has become one of the most difficult jobs in sports?
Again, the fine reporters at MLBTR have a list of GM Candidates that might be available. Of this list, the names that jump out are Rick Hahn (VP, Assistant GM of the White Sox), Ben Charington (Senior VP, Asisstant GM of the Red Sox), and Kim Ng (MLB Executive). Hahn is believed to be ready for a GM job, but whether or not he would be willing to jump to the North Side remains in question. Charington isn’t as well known, but after watching how the Red Sox’ Brass have ran their franchise over the last decade, it is not a far stretch to think that some of the Executives under Theo Epstein will be coveted sooner rather than later.
Kim Ng is one of the more intriguing GM Prospects in the field. She may be the one who eventually breaks the gender barrier among GMs in sports and is known for having a great baseball mind. How she would operate after making “the jump”, however, is unknown. But one historical past of hers that may lead to her interest in the Cubs is that she graduated from the University of Chicago.
There are other candidates that could be interested whom already hold a General Manager job in the MLB. The first that comes to mind is Oakland Athletics’ GM Billy Beane. One would think that it would take quite the offer to lure him away from Oakland, where he is not only the GM, but a minority owner in the franchise. One would think the Cubs would have to make him a similar offer, and there’s no confirmation that he would be interested in such a job anyway.
Another intriguing candidate would be Andrew Friedman, Executive VP and GM of the Tampa Bay Rays. He would have to accept the change in weather, but has shown an ability to put together a good team with half the monetary resources of other teams. Again, there is no confirmed interest from him, either.
The only actual confirmation that I am aware of is that Hall Of Famer Pat Gillick is not a candidate for the Cubs’ GM Job, Per Ken Rosenthal.
So what say you, Cubs fans? Which candidate (named or un-named in this article) are you the most hopeful the Cubs can reel in? I’m pulling for one of the current GMs myself, but with the Cubs being in the process of finding a replacement for less than five hours (officially), we’re still very early on in the process.
Any questions, comments, cussin’s or discussions? Leave ‘em in the comments section below!
Enjoy Chicago, Enjoy Sports.
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