SEPTEMBER 12: The Twins have now requested permission to speak with McLeod, GM Jed Hoyer told reporters including Bob Nightengale of USA Today (Twitter links). Hoyer suggested that it is all but a foregone conclusion that McLeod will eventually depart to take over another baseball ops department, though of course it remains to be seen whether there’ll be a match with Minnesota.
SEPTEMBER 7, 9:50pm: Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times writes that the Twins haven’t approached the Cubs about speaking to either McLeod or Rehman about a front office role. Of course, that doesn’t mean that the Twins don’t have interest in the pair of execs. Thus far, there’s been no indication that the Twins have progressed beyond compiling a list of potential candidates, let alone conducting interviews.
Rehman downplayed the reported interest when speaking to Wittenmyer, calling it “flattering” but stressing that he, like the rest of the Cubs’ front office, is focused on bringing a championship to Chicago.
12:50pm: The Twins are “looking closely” at some members of the Cubs front office as they continue their own executive search, Jon Morosi of MLB Network tweets. Specifically, Minnesota has interest in Jason McLeod and Shiraz Rehman, per the report.
We heard yesterday that Minnesota is considering former Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos for the post of president of baseball operations. [Editor’s Note: Anthopoulos has since said he is not interested in pursuing the position at this time.] The club is set to institute a two-tier arrangement, hiring a PBOp who will in turn hire a GM.
It is not immediately clear how the Cubs’ executives fit into this still-developing picture. Both of these still-youthful executives obviously carry wide industry respect, but neither has yet been tasked with final decisionmaking authority over an operations department.
McLeod, the senior VP of player development and amateur scouting, has previously drawn consideration for GM gigs but has seemingly been committed first to his work in Chicago. “I really want to be here when we win,” he said back in 2014 after declining a chance to interview for the Padres’ GM opening. “Being a GM is something I still really hope to do in the future, but right now I felt this is where I want to be.”
Rehman is an assistant general manager who has long-standing ties to top Cubs executives Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer dating back to their time with the Red Sox. He worked with the Diamondbacks before coming to Chicago. For more about his background in Arizona — under a regime that prioritized statistical analysis — check out this 2009 interview from David Laurila.
It’s worth noting that the expectation is that no Cubs personnel will change organizations while the season is ongoing, per 1500 ESPN’s Darren Wolfson (via Twitter). That wouldn’t appear to remove any of that club’s executives from consideration for this or other openings that may arise, but it could impact the timing somewhat.