The Cubs’ search for a new general manager is underway, and the team is aiming to start interviewing candidates by the middle of the month, The Athletic’s Patrick Mooney and Sahadev Sharma report. For now, the Cubs are looking at candidates from outside the organization.
The next GM will work under president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer, who was himself promoted from the GM role last November when he signed a five-year contract extension. The PoBO/GM structure was in place in Chicago throughout Theo Epstein’s tenure, with Hoyer working as Epstein’s second-in-command. Hoyer said last December that he wanted to wait to hire his general manager, in order to conduct a more proper and in-depth interview process that would be less hampered by the pandemic.
This is an even more necessary step if the next GM did come from another team, and wasn’t already a known quantity to Hoyer. Though obviously Hoyer and Epstein share different personal perspectives despite their long working relationship, adding a general manager who is completely new to Hoyer and the Cubs would help bring new ideas into the mix and perhaps create more of a firm delineation between the Epstein era and Hoyer’s tenure in charge of the front office.
It remains to be seen which names will emerge as part of this search, and which areas of expertise Hoyer will look to draw from in naming his chief lieutenant. For instance, Mooney and Sharma write that Hoyer could target an executive “with a strong background in player development” considering that the Cubs’ trade deadline selloff brought several new young players into the organization.
The new hire will immediately have a lot of their plate, considering the decisions the Cubs face this offseason in the wake of their revamp. With plenty of future payroll space now available, the Cubs could look at a quick return to contention by adding some higher-priced talent this winter. Conversely, the team might prefer to spend another year bolstering their younger core before making a bigger push in the 2022-23 offseason. By that time, the Cubs will also fully know what to expect from the new collective bargaining agreement, as this winter’s hot stove action could well be interrupted or even frozen by CBA negotiations between the league and the players’ union.