Hoyer to Cubs as GM; Byrnes promoted

Associated Press  |  Last updated October 26, 2011
General manager Jed Hoyer and assistant Jason McLeod are leaving the San Diego Padres to accept similar positions in the Chicago Cubs' front office. Because Hoyer was still under contract, the Cubs have agreed to send the Padres a player to be named as compensation. Both teams said Wednesday that they will hold news conferences after the World Series. The Padres will announce on Monday morning that Josh Byrnes will replace Hoyer as general manager. The Cubs will introduce Hoyer as GM and McLeod as senior vice president of scouting and player development at a date to be determined. The deals have been in the works since Theo Epstein left his job as Boston Red Sox general manager and was hired by the Cubs as president of baseball operations. Hoyer and Byrnes both worked under Epstein with the Red Sox. Byrnes is a former GM of the Arizona Diamondbacks. ''If we bring in someone as a general manager it will be because there is someone I think is one of the best and one of the brightest in the game,'' Epstein said Tuesday after he was introduced in Chicago. ''Somebody who can make a real impact for the Cubs. We have a ton of work to do. It's going to be a lot of hard work. We're ready for it. ... I think it was important to develop a structure that allowed for the hiring of the GM, if we got the right person.'' The moves give Byrnes the chance to once again serve as GM under Jeff Moorad. Byrnes was hired as GM of the Diamondbacks in November 2005, when Moorad was one of Arizona's top executives. Byrnes and manager A.J. Hinch were fired by the Diamondbacks on July 1, 2010. In March 2009, a group headed by Moorad began its purchase of the Padres on an installment plan. Moorad fired GM Kevin Towers after the 2009 season and hired Hoyer away from the Red Sox. The Padres went 90-72 in 2010, leading the NL West for much of the season before stumbling in September and missing the playoffs. After Hoyer traded three-time All-Star slugger Adrian Gonzalez to the Red Sox for three prospects and outfielder Eric Patterson in December, the Padres struggled badly and finished last in the division at 71-91. The Diamondbacks, who hired Towers as GM late in the 2010 season, won the division this season. Hinch was hired as the Padres' vice president of professional scouting in September 2010. He was promoted to vice president-assistant GM last month and will replace McLeod. Byrnes will work with a player payroll of between $53 million and $55 million -- one of the smallest in the majors. It'll be his turn to try to field a team suited to Petco Park, a pitcher-friendly ballyard where runs are hard to come by. Epstein, Hoyer and McLeod worked together with the Red Sox and helped build teams that won the World Series in 2004 and 2007. In 2005, Hoyer served as Boston's co-general manager for 44 days while Epstein briefly left the organization. Hoyer was assistant GM under Epstein in Boston and, like his boss, is known for his ability to analyze data when evaluating players. Epstein said Tuesday that Hoyer had put together a computer-based information system program in San Diego that was similar to the one used by the Red Sox. Hoyer had two years and a club option left on his deal with the Padres.
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