The first offseason task for Chicago Cubs president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer involved finding a new general manager.
The position had been vacant since Hoyer was promoted in November, replacing the departed Theo Epstein. A search that began in earnest weeks ago is nearing its conclusion. The Cubs reportedly are planning to hire Cleveland Guardians assistant general manager Carter Hawkins.
It is unclear when the team will announce the hire. Major League Baseball typically does not want teams to announce personnel moves during the postseason. Game 5 of the National League Division Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants is Thursday night while the American League Championship Series begins Friday and the NLCS slated to start Saturday.
Hawkins, 37, spent 14 years in Cleveland, the last five as the assistant GM. He joined the organization in 2008 as an advance scouting intern before transitioning in 2009 to a full-time position in professional scouting. A year later, Carter became assistant director of player development, which he held for four seasons before being elevated in 2015 to director of player development.
Hawkins’ duties as assistant GM included player and staff procurement and development, negotiations, rules and administration and player personnel decisions at the major- and minor-league levels. He also oversaw the organization’s player development department. Hawkins graduated from Vanderbilt in 2007 and was a catcher on the Commodores’ baseball team.
Hawkins’ player-development background is extensive and attractive for an organization that must continue to find and develop talent after moving on from its core players within the last year. Cleveland has developed a reputation for its player development, especially on the pitching side. From the onset of the GM search, the Cubs were expected to go outside the organization for the hire to get a new voice and perspective in the front office.
“I’m excited to add a partner and bring someone in that can help me,” Hoyer said during his news conference after the season. “I was really proud of the way our office handled (the trade deadline). They were able to pick up a lot of slack this year with Theo being gone and without having a GM in place.”