Brian O'Halloran could join Theo in Cubs front office

Now that Theo Epstein is officially a Cub, the next step is to build the front office.  We already know Epstein is interested in bringing in Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod. Carrie Muskat tweeted late yesterday that the Padres have officially given permission the Cubs permission to talk to them.

If the rumors are to be believed, this is pretty much a done deal.  The compensation has been decided upon and the word is that it could range from nothing to a couple of lower level prospects.  Judging by how quickly the two sides came together, it is not expected that they will be top prospects.

Depending on how the compensation talks go, the other person who could be coming is Brian O'Halloran.  He is currently the Vice President of Baseball Operations with the Red Sox and one of Epstein's original interns back when he was with the San Diego Padres.  O'Halloran, like many of the Boston lineage, is very highly educated and has the resume to get himself a well-paying job but instead chose to work in baseball for peanuts.  The story is that he followed Epstein to Boston even though a position wasn't available and could only work unpaid, after midnight, and on whatever computer was available.

It now appears that O'Halloran may once again be following Epstein, this time to Chicago for an unspecified role.  Although he began his career in a more administrative, analytical type role, O'Halloran has learned the art of scouting as well and is considered a well-rounded member of Boston's front office.  It's possible he could resume his baseball operations role but it wouldn't be surprising for him to get a bigger role when he moves to the Cubs.

O'Halloran is considered well qualified at this point to be an assistant general manager, but that position may be filled by Jason McLeod, who held that role over in San Diego.  As we've talked about before, the front office structure is expected to change, so he will likely get a position here that is not yet created.  One opening might be as the VP of Player Personnel and Professional Scouting (the role Allard Baird currently fills in Boston) with Tim Wilken focusing strictly on the amateur side.

Contrary to popular belief, the new school model doesn't throw out old school scouting, there is still a lot of value put into subjective scouting that focuses on tools and projection.  The difference is that it isn't as valued the higher a player moves up the organizational ladder.  Statistics become more important at this point, something we'll talk about in a later article.  The point for now is that Wilken is more likely to be held in higher regard for his work on the amateur side in this new regime.  That may give O'Halloran a role on the professional side where he can perhaps fill that Allard Baird type role for the Cubs.

If O'Halloran does come part of the package, it'll be yet another jewel to be added to the front office that already expects to add Hoyer and McLeod as well as having several strong holdovers from the Hendry regime.  We should expect the new front office  to be a strong blend of old school and new school baseball people. It's likely a model that will be followed on the field as well, as the new Cubs will bring in a different blend of players to add to the holdover talent (sparse as that may be) that already exists on the roster.


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  • Wow! I am really stoked now! I don't think I've ever been this excited to get the World Series over, and starting up the winter meetings!

    I can't wait to see that World Series banner on the North side! It's going to be insane!

  • In reply to pkm613:

    Me too!

    ...though I don't expect that to happen for a couple of years. I do expect to get ballplayers who play a more intelligent, team-oriented game rather than worry about counting stats like RBI (i.e. Soriano and Ramirez), and that should pay off with better baseball to watch from the outset --even if we don't win a whole lot next year.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Agreed! The Cubbies didn't have any sort of identity teamwise for the past decade. It always seemed...I dunno, like fitting square pegs in circles.

    But I am so looking forward to seeing what the braintrust will do in the Winter Meetings and the draft. I somewhat hope that they will gear, and I think they will, the team toward OBP like the 2008 Cubs, but of course, not choking in the end (you could sort of see it, the way they were playing toward the end of the season).

    It'll be a surprise for me if they field a competitive team next year, but I fully expect some exciting things in 2013. But I can honestly say, I think I will see a World Series on the Northside in my lifetime. Oh man, it's going to be crazy!

  • I'm relieved that things are finally moving forward. Hopefully we can start worrying about the roster soon as well. My only worry is that of unneccesary spending. But there were rumblings that that didn't have to do as much with Theo as some would want us to believe.

    The talent in our farm system is exciting right now, and here's to hoping that it will continue to get better.

  • In reply to Cameron Macpherson:

    Will be moving on to the players, soon, which in the end is what interests people the most. Epstein, Hoyer, McLeod are just a very important means to that end. In fact, I've got my Top 30 Prospects lists ready to go for tomorrow (also have the 10 who missed the cut for a future piece).

  • I hope the compensation prospects are not on your list. I really
    enjoy your lists. Lets hope for the Cubs future.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    Thanks Emilio...unfortunately the compensation almost certainly will be someone from my list!

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Hey John! How would you feel about another poll? Who your readers think the next manager WILL be. I know a lot of people WANT Sandberg. I think the next manager will be DeMarlo Hale.

  • I think I will do that poll whenever the compensation is done. This time I'll include Hale, Valentine, and others I left off before.

  • "Ricketts becomes Tom Terrific, lands Theo" ... Rosenbloom redefining the definition of the word "asshat", flip flopping faster than the most glib pol or gold medal gymnast

  • Even though it's officially happening, we are still back to square one, compensation. Now that we are at this point, I actually want Bud Selig to intervene in the negotiations. He doesn't want the trading of executives to become a trend. My opinion is that he forces a trade in which the Cubs give up very little in order to send a message to the rest of the league. If negotiations do get to that point, it will make the Red Sox look even greedier.

  • In reply to elusivekarp:

    I think now that Epstein is in Chicago, Boston's leverage has diminished and there will be a fair deal worked out -- but I can see us still losing a good prospect, but I trust Epstein and possibly Hoyer to put this deal through.

  • It's really a relief ti have this whole soap opera over with. It will be very exciting to see how Epstein and the Cubs build from here on out. If O'Halloran joins the Cubs, I cannot think of another team in MLB that will have a more dynamic front office.

  • In reply to Steve Flores:

    Yes, I want to see what they do with the 2012 draft and
    international signings. Lets hope Tom gives them the
    same money as he did in 2012

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    He will. The draft and international signings are big part of the plan moving forward.

  • In reply to Alex:

    Agreed...I think what we saw last year will be closer to the norm, and it's part of what attracted Epstein here to begin with.

  • It's Christmas in October!

    All these presents are making this the best Christmas ever!

    After reading about how Theo is another in a long line of people that were brought in to bring the Cubs a World Series, I figured I would chime in on that.

    When Dallas Green was brought in, he was going to bring in a new tradition. After he left, he talked about how the Tribune took Cubs profits to pour into other entities. He wasn't put into a position to succeed.

    When Andy McPhail was brought in, it was to run the Cubs like a small market team. Basically to run the Cubs like he ran the Twins. And then market the Wrigley experience to maximize profits.

    Don Baylor was basically a non factor after he tried to reign in Sammy Sosa's presence in the clubhouse. He lost out when Sosa went over his head to management who sided with Sammy.

    Dusty was brought in to a no win situation where the players basically ran Dusty. He was the ultimate players manager, but couldn't win with that group of players.

    When Lou took over, it was much of the same regarding the culture in the clubhouse. It wore him down very quickly. Players that are numbers guys and not team guys. He clocked out after 2 seasons.

    The common denominator here is the Tribune Company ownership. There was no commitment from the corporation to make the Cubs a successful organization.

    The commitment from the Ricketts family to make the Cubs a model organization and bring a World Series warms the cockles of my heart. Playing meaningful games in September and October consistently will get you closer to a World Series than the formula the Cubs used in the past.

    Unlike the Tribune company, Ricketts will invest heavily in the draft and international signings. Create a first rate developmental facility in the Dominican Republic. Build a state of the art spring training facility. AND NOW build a front office commensurate of a first class organization.

    Color me pumped!!

    The commitment from the top/down is why I feel it's Christmas in October that will be the gift that keeps giving.

  • In reply to Alex:

    Excellent rundown of past "celebrity" hires! I'm with you too in that I think that Epstein will have a better chance to succeed than any of these guys did.

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    Merry Christmas Everyone!!!

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Merry Christmas!

  • Why did I ever want Mark Cuban.

  • In reply to Break The Curse:

    I agree.. I wanted Cuban too.. This worked out WAY better.

  • In reply to Alex:

    Agree with both of you guys. This seems to have worked out for the best.

  • I always complained that Hendry did not seem to have a plan year to year. He was/is a good guy who made some good moves, but I never got the idea that he had an overall vision of what he wanted to see on the field or in the system. Like when he had Daryle Ward, Cliff Floyd, and Jacque Jones on the same team because they needed a right fielder who batted lefty. And I am sure there are better examples - but my point is not to trash Hendry.

    I never even imagined the kind of top to bottom planning that we are talking about now. I am excited to watch the process, and then the team. Thank you TR.

  • In reply to bruno14:

    That was my biggest complaint with Hendry too, it always seemed somewhat disorganized and everything was kind of played by ear. I don't know if that was the case, but that's what it looked like. It does seem now like we're going to have more of a cohesive plan that permeates the entire organization.

  • I have to admit , I was a little skittish on Tom Ricketts at first. This whole thing with Theo has turned me around , the Cubs finally have a owner with vision who wants to win and build something. You have to go back to the original Wrigley, William Wrigley, back in the 20's and 30's. He understood the game and would spend whatever it took to win. When he died , his son PK Wrigley, took over. From what I read, he seemed like a good guy, but he actually cared little about the game and was cheap. He owned the team because he felt it was his civic duty to own the Cubs, winning was incidental. As we know about the Tribune company, profit was more of their aim more than anything else.In Tom Ricketts, the Cubs finally have an owner who "gets it".

  • In reply to Steve Flores:

    I've always felt that's where it starts..with ownership. We saw what a difference it made with the Blackhawks, hopefully we'll get that same impact with the Cubs too.

  • Man, not sure how I feel right now about all this finally going down. I don't want to get too excited and at the same time I can't help to think that this organization is finally headed in the direction that Dallas Green had in mind.

    I think from here on out WE can pretty much say that this owner has removed the stigma (not sure if that's the right word) of the title that has been bestowed upon the CUBS by the media. Yes. That's right! Loveable Losers. GONE! Cursed by a goat?! Pfft! More like The Curse of The Tribune!

    Winter meetings and the next few weeks after the series will be very interesting. I hope he works his magic and is able to trade away Soriano and as much as I hate to say it, Zambrano, too!

  • In reply to lokeey:

    The only curse has been bad ownership, in my opinion, and I'm hoping Ricketts finally changes that. So far it looks like he has.

  • In reply to John Arguello:


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