Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/15/12

The evolution of the Cubs' front office continues.

Team president Theo Epstein might have raised a few eyebrows Wednesday with the firing of longtime minor-league fixture Oneri Fleita. Less than a year ago, team owner Tom Ricketts gave Fleita four-year contract extension.

Fleita had served the Cubs since 1995 in various capacities relating to the minor leagues. His most recent title had been vice president of player personnel. He gained most of his acclaim for overseeing player development and for helping the Cubs make inroads in Latin America.

However, when Epstein came aboard last fall, he brought with him Jed Hoyer as general manager and Jason McLeod as senior vice president for scouting and player development.

"We've taken the last 10 months to really evaluate the organization," Epstein said before the Cubs beat the Houston Astros 7-2. "With the personnel, I think it's my responsibility to determine the structure that's going to put the Cubs in the best position going forward. Ultimately we reached the conclusion that there would be a change in personnel atop player development.

"Once we reached that determination then the question was if it would make sense to keep Oneri in the organization but in a different role and ultimately decided it was best for him and the organization at that point to move on."

Epstein said it would have been awkward to keep Fleita.

"It can be hard to make that work," Epstein said. "When I talked to Oneri about it, he saw it the same way. He couldn't have been more professional in how he handled things. I think he genuinely cares more about the Cubs and more about some of the people who work for him than he cares about himself sometimes."

Fleita was a longtime associate of former GM Jim Hendry, who was fired last year. The Cubs have kept several Hendry proteges, including assistant GM Randy Bush and special assistant Tim Wilken.

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