For those Indians fans wondering what Mark Shapiro would be able to do with a big-market spending budget, you may soon get your answer as ESPN’s Jayson Stark is reporting that the Indians’ team president is “intrigued” by the presently open general manager job with the Chicago Cubs.
While Stark says that there is no indication that the Wrigleyville Warriors have spoken with Shapiro and that the former general manager is very happy with the Indians, its tough to say what decisions would be made if Tom Ricketts made the call.
Shapiro has long be constrained by small-to-mid-market spending during his tenure with the Indians, forced to trade household names with the hopes of striking it rich in the prospect market. Some calculated moves have worked to the team’s advantage while others have fallen considerably short. The result, however, was the longtime GM being promoted to team president after the 2010 season with Chris Antonetti taking over his duties.
The Cubs, however, have taken the lovable loser category to a whole new level this season by turning contracts like those of Alfonso Soriano and Carlos Zambrano into a record of 65-83. They’re in a state of flux, looking for renovations to the historic Wrigley Field, but the Cubs GM job is one of insane asymmetry when it comes to reward. Whomever takes the Chicago job would get some time to gut and rebuild the roster, and if he or she were to fail, it would merely be another name on the century-long laundry list of losers. But if that individual takes the core of Starlin Castro and Matt Garza and wins a World Series, streets would be renamed in their honor.
The Indians front office, when questioned by WFNY, would not provide comment.
Photo: Marvin Fong, The Plain Dealer