The Cubs announced Wednesday that Jason McLeod will be transitioning from Senior Vice President of Amateur Scouting and Player Development to Senior Vice President of Player Personnel. According a team press release, the new role will involve all aspects of the major league operation with particular focus on the roster construction and day-to-day workings of the major league club.
“I’m excited for this new opportunity in player personnel with the Cubs, especially for the chance to be more involved with the major league team,” said McLeod, per the release. “We’ve built a tremendous group of scouts and player development staff who work tirelessly to acquire and develop the next generation of great Cubs players.
“I’m proud of the progress we have made, and I’m thankful for the contributions of this talented group. The work continues for all of us to realize our singular goal: win another World Series championship.”
McLeod has spent the last eight seasons overseeing amateur scouting and player development in the Cubs organization, a tenure that included drafting several of the team’s current contributors. However, the farm system has admittedly struggled to develop pitching and has had little to no success with players drafted outside the early rounds of the draft, so a change was going to have to take place at some point.
Rather than part with a highly intelligent and skilled executive with nearly a quarter-century of experience between the Padres, Red Sox, and Cubs, this transition will allow McLeod to put his talents to use in a different manner. It’ll be a significant shift, no doubt about it, but the Cubs are almost certainly going to be shaking things up further this offseason.
“Jason has made immense contributions to the organization in his eight years supervising Amateur Scouting and Player Development,” Theo Epstein said in the release. “He helped build and grow two departments that were crucial in the Cubs’ rebuild, championship and run of sustained success.
As his career has evolved, Jason is prepared for new challenges at the Major League level, where his strengths in evaluation, development and culture-building will be quite impactful.”
That last bit is interesting, since the culture of the “Cubs Way” was supposedly one of the foundational tenets of the organization’s model for sustained success. But given their current stagnation and with Joe Maddon, the primary steward of that culture, likely on his way out the door after this season, the Cubs are going to have to reshape a few things.
The timing of this move is interesting as well, coming as it does prior to the end of the season and shortly after Dave Dombrowski was relieved of his duties in Boston. Jed Hoyer’s name has been mentioned in connection with that role, so could this be a way to have McLeod assume some of Hoyer’s duties in the interim? Or maybe some of Epstein’s?
Jason McLeod was asked if new role meant he's not interested in Boston's top job should they come calling. "I still aspire to someday get into that type of position," he said before talking about new role. So is he ruling it out? "I do aspire to someday lead an organization."
— Sahadev Sharma (@sahadevsharma) September 12, 2019
Maybe it’s simply a matter of keeping McLeod in the organization while going in a different direction in terms of scouting and development. Either way, it looks like the Cubs are getting an early start on their offseason overhaul.