Josh Byrnes Rumors

Padres Notes: Byrnes, Bell, Hoyer, McLeod

The Padres officially named Josh Byrnes their general manager today, so the two-year-long Jed Hoyer era is over in San Diego. Here's the latest on the Padres as they prepare for their first offseason under Byrnes…

  • Byrnes says San Diego will likely offer Heath Bell arbitration, according to Dan Hayes of the North County Times (on Twitter). Bell is a Type A free agent, as MLBTR learned earlier today. If he declines arbitration to sign elsewhere, the Padres will obtain two draft picks in 2012. However, Bell has indicated that he will accept.
  • Padres CEO Jeff Moorad explained in a statement that he holds Byrnes' predecessor in high esteem. “Thanks to Jed Hoyer’s leadership, we are in a far better position to win consistently in the future than we were two years ago." The Padres played to a 161-163 record in two seasons under Hoyer, though that's just one imperfect measurement of his contribution to the team.
  • Jason McLeod, who left the Padres for the Cubs along with Hoyer, told Tom Krasovic of Inside the Padres that leaving San Diego is bittersweet in a Q&A about his time with the team.
  • The Cubs offered Hoyer a five-year contract, which the Padres declined to match, according to Krasovic.

Padres Notes: Byrnes, Aristy, Roster Moves

Happy 48th birthday to Bip Roberts, who joined the Padres via the Rule 5 draft and went on to play seven seasons in San Diego.  Some news from the modern-day Friars…

  • Josh Byrnes' rise from low-paid Indians intern to the Padres' new general manager is profiled by MLB.com's Corey Brock.
  • Prospect Alvaro Aristy, who signed with the Padres in July 2008 for a $1MM bonus, has been discovered to have lied about his age and name, reports Ben Badler of Baseball America.  Aristy's real name is Jorge Leandro Guzman and he is about two and a half years older than his claimed age (16) when he signed with the Padres.  Guzman is now 22 and still a prospect in the club's system.  The Padres were able to recoup about $900K of their bonus from an insurance claim.
  • Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune discusses such topics as the Padres' front office shakeup, how Byrnes has learned from his previous stint as a GM in Arizona and who the Padres might retain on their 40-man roster during his weekly live chat with fans.

Hoyer, McLeod To Join Cubs; Byrnes Now Padres GM

Theo Epstein's first deal as the Cubs' president of baseball operations may be one of the most significant moves of his tenure in Chicago. The Cubs and Padres have confirmed that San Diego GM Jed Hoyer and assistant GM Jason McLeod will leave the Padres to accept positions with Epstein. 

Once the World Series ends, the Cubs will introduce Hoyer as their executive VP and general manager and McLeod as their senior VP of scouting and player development. The Cubs will send the Padres a player to be named later as compensation for the two executives.

Meanwhile, Josh Byrnes will be introduced as San Diego's executive vice president and general manager next Monday, according to the Padres. Byrnes, formerly the Padres' senior VP of baseball operations, worked under current Padres CEO Jeff Moorad in Arizona, so he already knows his boss well. Byrnes was Arizona's GM from 2005-10, leading the Diamondbacks to a division title in 2007 before losing his job last July. MLBTR's Transaction Tracker offers a look back at his moves as the club's GM.

The NL West has featured some noteworthy personnel changes in the past year and a half. A.J. Hinch, the former D'Backs manager who was fired along with Byrnes last July, is now San Diego's assistant GM, so Hinch and Byrnes, two former D'Backs, now run the Padres while a longtime Padres executive, Kevin Towers, runs the D'Backs.

Byrnes worked with Epstein and Hoyer in Boston before leaving for Arizona. Before Hoyer obtained the San Diego job, he worked for Epstein as Boston's assistant GM from 2006-09. McLeod was Boston's scouting director from 2005-09.



Front Office Notes: Orioles, Cashman, Cubs, Padres

Theo Epstein is officially the Cubs' president of baseball operations and the Red Sox have announced that Ben Cherington will be Boston's next GM, but there's still lots of front office turnover on the horizon. Here are the latest details from around MLB:

  • De Jon Watson's interview for the Orioles' GM job will take place on Wednesday, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun (on Twitter). I spoke to Watson, the Dodgers' assistant GM, last month. He's up against Jerry Dipoto of the Diamondbacks and Tony LaCava of the Blue Jays.
  • Chase Headley and Heath Bell told Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune that they expect a smooth transition from Jed Hoyer to Josh Byrnes when Hoyer leaves the Padres to become the Cubs' new GM.
  • Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune explains that Cubs president Crane Kenney will move exclusively to the business side now that Epstein is the club's president of baseball operations. Kenney is a polarizing figure in Chicago and the role he played in obtaining Epstein is unclear, according to Sullivan.
  • Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times says letting assistant GM Randy Bush go would be a mistake for the Cubs.
  • Yankees GM Brian Cashman met with Hal Steinbrenner in New York today and Joel Sherman of the New York Post says the sides expect to be able to complete a new deal for Cashman with relative ease (Twitter link).

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).