We mentioned yesterday that the Chicago Cubs will try to make a splash when they hire a new general manager, and that Red Sox GM Theo Epstein will certainly be a target. Another name we listed was long-time Oakland A’s GM Billy Beane, and whereas Epstein is a pipe dream, Beane may actually be available.
Reports suggest that Beane would definitely consider an offer if the Cubs approached him, and they are almost certain to make an overture. Oakland’s future is in flux, as they continue a search for a new stadium. The current ownership group wants to get a new park built in the San Jose area soon, and if they can’t achieve that, they may sell the team. Beane isn’t likely to wait around through all of that drama.
Beane is currently signed with the A’s through 2014, which means the Cubs would likely have to send some major compensation Oakland’s way if they pry him from the Bay Area. But, frankly, that shouldn’t be much of a problem if the Cubs think Beane is their guy.
For the Cubs, adding Beane would certainly send their franchise in a different direction. There would likely be no more ridiculous, long-term contracts like the ones that have currently hamstrung the franchise. Beane would almost certainly want a top-to-bottom restructuring to make the franchise more efficient. I’m sure that would go over well with ownership, but it might rub some of the players the wrong way. No matter, Beane will just jettison the dead weight.
It’s well known that Beane has flirted with leaving the A’s before only to decide against it. But with the current drama unfolding in Oakland and a big opening available in Chicago, it may finally be the right time for him to move on.