The Cubs were eliminated from the postseason two weeks ago, but their front office personnel remains in demand.
Jason McLeod, who was instrumental in drafting first-round picks Albert Almora Jr., Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber and Ian Happ, has interviewed for the vacant general manager’s position with the Giants.
McLeod, the Cubs’ senior vice president/scouting and player development, is one of several candidates who have been contacted about the position, according to a source.
McLeod, 46, interviewed for the GM position two seasons ago and withdrew from consideration for a similar position with the Padres after the 2015 season.
His candidacy comes as no surprise to Cubs officials because of his draft background and success, starting with the Padres in 1994 and ascending with the Red Sox (2003-09) before handling scouting and player development duties with the Padres (2010-11) and Cubs.
“We needed to take a fresh approach with baseball operations,” Giants CEO Larry Baer told reporters last month shortly after Bobby Evans was dismissed as GM. “We’ve had a very successful group here a long time, but we’ve got to bring a new approach to Giants baseball and take a look outside.”
McLeod’s interview, first reported by Bruce Levine of WSCR-AM 670, surfaced after assistant GM Shiraz Rehman left to join the Rangers as an assistant GM.
The Rangers are looking to accelerate their analytics department. Rehman spent his last season with the Cubs with duties of strategic initiatives added to his assistant GM title. Rehman’s duties with the Cubs included an emphasis on evaluating current systems and identifying and applying solutions in an attempt to create competitive advantages.
In his new duties with the Rangers, Rehman will be involved in the daily operations of the major-league team, from player acquisitions to roster management to player contracts and salary arbitration.
The Cubs have yet to make any formal announcements about manager Joe Maddon’s coaching staff for 2019. Bench coach Brandon Hyde is a candidate for managerial openings with the Rangers, Angels and Twins, and multiple reports have linked Hyde with the Blue Jays.
Coincidentally, Astros bench coach Joe Espada – Hyde’s brother-in-law – also has been linked as a managerial candidate for those four teams.