New Ownership Could Bring New Cubs Front Office

When Tom Ricketts takes over, will pioneering GM join him?

Earlier today, we wrote about the Jake Peavy Trade Rumor That Will Not Die. Nothing has changed, so don't go getting all excited. Instead, there was a part of the rumor that we overlooked -- a separate rumor, we guess, but one with no less potential importance for the future of the Chicago Cubs franchise.

According to the Chicago Tribune's Paul Sullivan, MLB front office types have been bandying about a rumor that Sandy Alderson, Padres Chief Executive Officer, could be picked for a similar role with the Cubs when Tom Ricketts officially takes ownership of the team. Sullivan couldn't get Alderson to comment. No matter. This is a rumor we can get excited about.

Alderson's name might not ring a bell to many local fans, but to baseball die-hards it's sacred. Alderson was the first GM to bring the use of sabermetrics -- those advanced baseball stats that tell us more about the game now than we could have ever previously imagined -- to a major league front office. He preceeded the Moneyball era in Oakland, when his mentee, Billy Beane, won divisional title after divisional title with a fraction of his opponents' payroll. How did he do it? As Michael Lewis chronicles in Moneyball, he did it by finding value where others saw none. Sometimes that meant ignoring certain body types. Sometimes it meant finding a stat that revealed more about the player than opposing GMs knew. In either case, Alderson was the first  it. atHe is a true pioneer.

We're rambling now, but the point we mean to make is this: The notion that the Cubs could hand Sandy Alderson their $100 million-plus payroll and carte blanche to hire a GM in his image in one that ought to make Cubs fans exceedingly giddy. Jim Hendry hasn't done a bad job, but he could be better in a variety of ways, and Alderson -- short of firing Hendry -- could supplement the GM's organization all the way down to the minor leagues.

It would be a new Cubs era. It's just a rumor, like Peavy, but if it does happen, we'll be just as happy as if the Peav-ster himself were wearing Cubbie blue.

Eamonn Brennan is a writer, editor and blogger hunkered down in Lincoln Park. You can also read him at Yahoo! Sports, FanHouse, MOUTHPIECE Sports Blog, and Inside The Hall, or at his personal site,

Copyright FREEL - NBC Local Media
Contact Us