Josh Byrnes Rumors

Theo Epstein Rumors: Tuesday

The latest on the Cubs' attempt to add Red Sox GM Theo Epstein to their front office…

  • Epstein is actively looking to hire a general manager to join him in Chicago, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The 37-year-old is exploring GM candidates while he waits for the Red Sox and Cubs to work out compensation for his departure. The Cubs would bring Epstein in as their president of baseball operations and he would hire a general manager to assist with the daily grind of the job.
  • The Red Sox are "holding tough" on their asking price and don't anticipate resolution tonight, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe (on Twitter).
  • Hoyer told Marty Caswell of XX1090 Sports Radio that he's not going to comment on media speculation (Twitter links).  "I'm excited about what we continue to build here in San Diego," he said. 
  • The Cubs haven't asked for permission to talk to any Padres executives, according to Dan Hayes of the North County Times (Twitter link).
  • Carrie Muskat of MLB.com points out that obtaining Hoyer could prove difficult, as he is under contract through 2013 with an option for 2014 (Twitter link).  But Tom Krasovic of Inside the Padres doubts owner Jeff Moorad would hold up a deal if it meant Byrnes became the Padres' next GM (Twitter link).
  • Current Padres GM Jed Hoyer is being considered by the Cubs and Epstein, tweets SI's Jon Heyman.  In that scenario, Josh Byrnes would become the Padres' GM.  Heyman notes that the Cubs are also looking at Padres executives Byrnes and Jason McLeod for themselves, should Hoyer stay.  All the executives were once members of the Boston front office with Epstein.
  • Yesterday we learned that the Red Sox started out the Epstein compensation discussions by asking the Cubs for righty Matt Garza, which CSNNE.com's Sean McAdam says was "rejected out of hand."  Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe says that "the sides slowly have moved their position to a more realistic center" as they discuss Cubs prospects.  
  • Cafardo says the Red Sox have been focusing on Trey McNutt, Brett Jackson, Matt Szczur, and Josh Vitters, the latter three labeled as unlikely by Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com yesterday.  McNutt and Andrew Cashner are unlikely as well, writes Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune, while McAdam says McNutt's inclusion is "far from guaranteed at this point."
  • An announcement today has been ruled out, writes McAdam, with "significant work" remaining to reach an agreement on compensation.  He says Friday's World Series off-day is the earliest possibility, assuming the teams come to terms and get Bud Selig's permission for an announcement.  McAdam says that although progress has been made, the Cubs feel that precedent calls for minimal compensation while the Sox think this situation defies precedent.
  • McAdam writes that the issue of Epstein taking Red Sox employees with him is not an issue, with a mutual understanding in place that he will not raid Boston's baseball operations department. 
  • Most reports, including this one from Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times, suggest that the five-year, $18.5MM deal between Epstein and the Cubs is not in jeopardy.  Still, as Cafardo notes, both teams have a lot of team-building to do.    

Cubs Notes: Epstein, Byrnes, Pena

The Cubs and Red Sox are now discussing compensation for GM Theo Epstein. Here are the latest Cubs-related notes as we await an official announcement about the leadership change…

  • There’s a “good chance” that Epstein hires Padres executive Josh Byrnes to work with him in Chicago, according to Tom Krasovic of Inside the Padres (on Twitter). Byrnes, the D’Backs’ former GM, worked with Epstein in Boston.
  • Carlos Pena told the Chicago Sun-Times that he's excited to see what the Cubs can do under Epstein. Pena, a free agent after the season, hinted that Epstein's presence makes Chicago an even more desirable place to play.
  • Bradley Woodrum of CubsStats.com loves the Epstein hire for the Cubs, but wouldn't trade prospect Brett Jackson for the rights to the new GM.
  • Check out Tim Dierkes' preview of the Cubs' offseason.

Cubs Considering Hahn, Byrnes For GM Job

Rick Hahn and Josh Byrnes are candidates for the Cubs’ GM opening, Jon Heyman of SI.com reports (Twitter link). Brian Cashman of the Yankees, Billy Beane of the Athletics, Theo Epstein of the Red Sox and Andrew Friedman of the Rays are long shots for the job, Heyman reports.

Hahn, the assistant GM for the White Sox, placed second on MLBTR’s list of GM candidates. Byrnes, Arizona’s GM from 2005-10, is now the Padres’ senior VP of baseball operations. MLBTR’s Transaction Tracker has a full log of his activity as D’Backs GM. Both Hahn and Byrnes interviewed for the Mets last offseason before Sandy Alderson got the job.

Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts has said he's looking for someone with a commitment to player development, a strong analytical background and a track record of success. The Cubs fired longtime GM Jim Hendry last Friday.



Rosenthal’s Full Count Video: Colletti, Hendry, Royals

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports has a new Full Count video up, so let's dive in…

  • Ned Colletti is under contract as Dodgers GM through 2012, but he has an out-clause after that. MLB is unlikely to stand in the way if another team asks to interview him before then though.
  • The consensus is that the Cubs need to show some progress if GM Jim Hendry is going to keep his job beyond this season. The team's 14-17 start already has some in the game speculating about possible successors, which might include Colletti, former Diamondbacks GM and current Padres executive Josh Byrnes, and White Sox assistant GM Rick Hahn. If the ChiSox are worried about losing Hahn, Rosenthal says they could promote him to GM and promote Kenny Williams to club president.
  • Most expect the White Sox to "snap out of it," but if not, they could be a team to watch as the trade deadline approaches. One GM said Williams is not the type to "sit there in no man's land," so expect some rumblings about free agents to be Mark Buehrle and Edwin Jackson. Some believe Buehrle would only accept a trade to the Cardinals though.
  • Their most intriguing chips are John Danks and Carlos Quentin, who are under team control as arbitration-eligible players in 2012. Danks could bring a significant return.
  • The Royals could be quite busy if they remain in contention. The Zack Greinke trade and Gil Meche's retirement freed up significant cash, and the team could be both buyers and sellers. Wilson Betemit is expendable because of top prospect Mike Moustakas, possibly to the Marlins, and they could look to deal either Jeff Francoeur or Melky Cabrera. One thing they will need in return: bullpen reinforcements. The Kansas City bullpen is throwing a ton of innings.

Odds & Ends: Daniels, Takahashi, Byrnes, Lee, Gray

Links for Wednesday, as Cliff Lee and Tim Lincecum duel in Game One of the World Series…

  • Jon Daniels called a report indicating that he asked the Mets (through back channels) to hold off on their GM announcement until after the World Series "complete bull," according to CBSSports.com's Scott Miller. Daniels can opt out of his contract after the season since the Rangers were sold this year.
  • Hisanori Takahashi switched agents from Peter Greenberg to Arn Tellem, tweets Newday's David Lennon. We learned that Takashi and the Mets were discussing an extension just a few days ago, but it appears that the lefty is positioning himself to test the free agent waters.
  • Joel Sherman of the New York Post says the "belief in the sport" is that Josh Byrnes will join the Padres' front office after losing out on the Mets GM gig. Byrnes has strong ties to San Diego's front office, most notably owner Jeff Moorad.
  • Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe wonders if the Tigers and Red Sox are getting ready to battle for the same free agents in a few weeks.
  • The Yankees have had internal discussions about how much money they'd be willing to offer Cliff Lee, according to Jack Curry of the YES Network.
  • The Cubs outrighted Jeff Gray to Triple A, so he’s no longer on the team’s 40-man roster. The 28-year-old righty struggled through 9.1 big league innings this year.
  • Alex Speier of WEEI.com explains that the Red Sox will have trouble finding another pitching coach like John Farrell, the new Blue Jays manager.
  • Omar Minaya isn't sure whether he'll stay with the Mets, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter). Heyman says there's a decent chance Minaya returns, since he gets along well with owner Fred Wilpon and incoming GM Sandy Alderson.

Odds & Ends: Brewers, Marlins, Yankees, Bagwell

A few links to check out as the Giants try to join the Rangers in the World Series…

  • Over at RotoAuthority, Tim Dierkes lists some Pittsburgh Pirates that could help your fantasy team next season. 
  • Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com report that Joey Cora and Bob Melvin are among the final candidates for the Brewers managerial opening. Pat Listach was informed that he is no longer considered a candidate for the job according Tom Haudricourt of The Journal Sentinel
  • Elsewhere in Milwaukee coaching news, the team has confirmed that Dale Sveum will return as hitting coach on a two-year deal according to MLB.com's Adam McCalvy (via Twitter). Sveum was a candidate for Pirates' manager job.
  • The Marlins have no immediate plans to interview Yankees bench coach Tony Pena for their managerial opening now that New York has been eliminated from the postseason, reports Juan C. Rodriguez of The Sun-Sentinel
  • Meanwhile, Wallace Matthews of ESPNNewYork.com lists ten issues the Yanks must deal with this offseason, starting with Derek Jeter's contract situation.
  • MLB.com's Brian McTaggart tweets that Jeff Bagwell has informed the Astros that he will not be returning as hitting coach. Astros senior director of social media Alyson Footer says (via Twitter) that there are no hard feelings on either side.
  • MetsBlog.com's Matthew Cerrone muses about the Mets acquiring a starting pitcher.
  • In today's blog post at ESPN (Insider req'd), Buster Olney explains how the Rangers were able to take on payroll over the last year despite being bankrupt. 
  • Joel Sherman of The New York Post reports that when the Mets interview GM candidates Sandy Alderson and Josh Byrnes for a second time this week, they will focus on what each would do in the immediate future, meaning the upcoming offseason. 
  • Meanwhile, Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com tweets that because Josh Byrnes is still under contract with the Diamondbacks for the next five years, the Mets would only have to pay him a "reasonable amount" if they hire him as their new GM. That amount would then be deducted from what Arizona is paying him. 
  • In the wake of their ALCS loss to the Rangers, John Harper of The New York Daily News says that the failed Cliff Lee trade ultimately cost the Yankees.
  • Richard Justice of The Houston Chronicle thinks there's a case to be made for the Astros signing Lance Berkman this offseason.
  • Troy Renck of The Denver Post thinks the Rockies should make a run at Javier Vazquez if the price is right (Twitter link). 

Poll: Mets’ Next General Manager

After a first round of interviews, the Mets have narrowed their general manager search down to two candidates: Sandy Alderson and Josh Byrnes. Both have experience running a team, Alderson with the A's (1983-1997) and Byrnes with the Diamondbacks (2005-2010), and both surely have different strengths and weaknesses. Byrnes gives them a younger exec perhaps more well-versed in today's game, Alderson a veteran front office presence with deep roots in the game.

Both Alderson and Byrnes will interview for the second time this week, and a decision will presumably be made shortly thereafter. Time for the poll…

Who should the Mets hire to be their next GM?

Click here to vote, and here to see the results. 


Mets GM Interviews Start This Week

The Mets will interview Sandy Alderson, Rick Hahn, Allard Baird, and Josh Byrnes this week for their general manager vacancy, according to Dan Martin of the New York PostDavid Lennon of Newsday tweets that it's Baird today, Hahn on Tuesday, Byrnes on Wednesday, and Alderson on Thursday or Friday.  Martin adds that a team official told him other candidates could be added to the list.

Alderson is "perceived to be the favorite," writes SI's Jon Heyman.  Heyman notes that Alderson has longtime ties to Mets owner Fred Wilpon, as well as support from fans and media members.  Andy Martino of the New York Daily News, however, puts on the brakes and provides four tough questions for Alderson that he'd like to see answered.


Odds & Ends: Young, Torre, Williams, Bass, Ethier

Links for Thursday, after lots of chatter about Derek Jeter's acting ability

  • The Padres will wait until Saturday to activate Chris Young from the disabled list, at which point they'll need to remove someone from the 40-man roster according to MLB.com's Corey Brock (Twitter link).
  • Dylan Hernandez of The Los Angeles Times tweets that Joe Torre has informed his wife and Dodgers GM Ned Colletti about what he plans to do next season, but he will not make his decision public just yet.
  • White Sox GM Kenny Williams chatted with Joe Posnanski about football and the challenges of being in second place. Check it out at SI.com.
  • Brian Bass cleared waivers and accepted an assignment to Triple A, according to Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (on Twitter). The Pirates designated Bass for assignment earlier in the week. 
  • Andre Ethier told MLB.com's Ken Gurnick that it doesn't even make sense to comment on the rumor that he'd like to play in Boston.
  • Joe Pawlikowski of FanGraphs argues that the Royals should offer Wilson Betemit a contract this offseason, since he can be something of a "bridge between the present and the future."
  • Indians GM Mark Shapiro told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that he and assistant GM Chris Antonetti met with friend and former colleague Josh Byrnes. The former D'Backs GM "would make anybody better," including the Indians, Shapiro said.

Odds & Ends: Dunn, Phillies, Crisp, Molina, Fielder

Saturday linkage..