(CBS) On the verge of clinching the NL Central and making a run at a long-coveted World Series title, the Cubs are also bracing for the possibility that they’ll lose an important front office member or two after the season to another job.
In their search for a top baseball executive, the Twins have requested permission to speak with Cubs senior vice president of scouting and player development Jason McLeod, general manager Jed Hoyer confirmed Monday. The Cubs do expect McLeod to take that interview at an appropriate time.
The Twins fired general manager Terry Ryan in July and have also reportedly expressed interest in Cubs assistant general manager Shiraz Rehman.
“Let’s be honest: You can’t ever totally be focused on tonight’s game if an assistant GM or someone like that might leave your organization,” Hoyer said. “Obviously, there are things that pull you in different directions. I always look at it like you never want to lose somebody you’ve worked with for a long time, especially someone that has a ton of value to the organization, but ultimately if your friend’s that person and they’ve done good work for you, you want them to have great opportunities and you want them to go elsewhere and get promotions. When Josh Byrnes left Boston, when I left Boston, Theo (Epstein) was really happy for us and encouraged us. Both of us sort of took one employee with us. You don’t want to get raided, but you also realize it’s a great opportunity for that person. In some ways, we’re after the same goal, but we all have individual goals too. And if that leads one of our good employees to another team, you’ll be sad to see them go but you’re happy for them. In this business, with only a handful of these jobs, I think you have to look at it that way.”
Hoyer was then specifically asked if the Cubs expected to lose any front office members below Epstein and himself.
“There’s a good chance,” Hoyer said. “There’s one opening now, and there could be more. We have people that really should be desirable, so I think that’s a strong possibility. We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.”
In years past, the Padres have been among those to express interest in McLeod, and McLeod and Rehman were both on the Mariners’ radar last season, according to reports.
Both McLeod and Rehman have been with the Cubs since late 2011, when Epstein was brought to Chicago to see a rebuild from the ground up that was marked by a breakout season in 2015 and now the Cubs sporting an MLB-best 92-51 record.
“We’ve dodge a few bullets the last few years with him,” Hoyer said. “I’m expecting if not now, soon. I just think there’s probably not a better scouting and player development guy out there. He has all the skills to do every other part of the job.”