It has finally come to pass. ESPN Boston’s Gordon Edes is reporting that in addition to former Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein becoming the Chicago Cubs’ new president, his first move in charge was to name Jed Hoyer, formerly of the San Diego Padres, the new general manager. And there was great rejoicing in The Windy City.
Hoyer and Epstein are very familiar with each other, having worked together in Boston for almost seven years, prior to Hoyer leaving to take the general manager’s position with the Padres. They’re the same age and share a reputation for being more analytically minded than most baseball executives.
Both also share of a sense of escape, as recent events have shaken the foundation of their former teams. For Boston, I’m of course referring to the confirmation that pitchers dared to consume light alcoholic beverages in the clubhouse on their off days, while in San Diego, members of the front office were actually considering making the Red Sox an offer for John Lackey. I’ll let you decide which activity would be more destructive.
I assume it’s rare to see two people of similar stature agree to work in a situation like the one that’s developed in Chicago, primarily because of ego, but also due to the enormous potential for insecurities. No one would want to work everyday in an environment where a potential successor is eagerly awaiting promotion. The experience that these two share in working together and the commitment from the Cubs to patience for what I imagine to be a rebuilding of the franchise, has allowed for the formation of what is quite likely the most impressive leadership group of an executive team in all of baseball.
There have been rumours that Hoyer asked Jeff Moorad for a five year extension to stay in San Diego, but the Padres owner instead let his GM leave without a problem. Going to Chicago with Hoyer will be assistant GM Jason McLeod, another graduate of the Red Sox front office. This leaves the remainging Padres assistant GM, Josh Byrnes, formerly of the Arizona Diamondbacks, as the new man in charge in San Diego.
The only wrinkle left to iron out is the small, but vital detail of agreeing to compensation terms with the Boston Red Sox, who still had Epstein under contract. Talks are ongoing and both sides are hoping that they’ll come to a resolution at some point tomorrow.