Theo Epstein has not yet officially joined the Cubs -- negotiations between Chicago and Boston for compensation are ongoing -- but he's already considering potential executives to join his front office. One target is Padres GM Jed Hoyer, according to both Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports and Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated. Hoyer, 37, worked under Epstein in Boston from 2002 until accepting his current position in San Diego in 2009.
When news first broke that the Cubs were interested in Epstein, the initial assumption was that he would assume general manager duties himself. It seems, however, that he may be elevated to the role of team president, allowing him to hire a GM.
But would the Padres allow the Cubs to poach their GM? And more importantly, does Hoyer have any desire to be poached? After all, he'd be making a lateral move, albeit to a team with far greater resources. Those answers are still unknown, but as Heyman notes, the Padres have an in-house replacement should Hoyer leave:
It's uncertain how the Padres would react to the Cubs interest in Hoyer but if he is able to go to Chicago, Josh Byrnes, who has been working as VP of baseball operations in San Diego, would be elevated to GM.
Then again, Byrnes is a potential target for the Cubs himself. Like Hoyer, he worked under Epstein in Boston, from 2002-05 until leaving to become general manager of the Diamondbacks. But given Byrnes' relationship to San Diego's current ownership, he may want to stay. Rosenthal notes:
Padres lead owner Jeff Moorad, who previously had a similar role with the Diamondbacks, hired Byrnes to be the D-backs' GM in 2005, and was instrumental in bringing Byrnes to San Diego.
Either way, expect Epstein to bring in someone -- that is, whenever the Cubs and Red Sox finally come to terms and allow the first domino to fall.