Could Sox be in for front-office shakeup?

August, 22, 2011
Levine By Bruce Levine
Rich HahnAP Photo/Charles Rex ArbogastRich Hahn is considered perhaps the top GM prospect in all of baseball.
One of baseball's best and brightest will be able to interview for the vacant Chicago Cubs' general manager's post if called upon.

White Sox vice president and assistant general manager Rick Hahn has a clause in his contract that allows him to interview with a handful of major league teams for a GM position, and the Cubs are on that list, according to a major league source.

Hahn previously has interviewed for the St. Louis Cardinals and New York Mets jobs. The Winnetka native pulled himself out of contention for the Cardinals job after two interviews. In 2010, he finished runner-up to Sandy Alderson for the Mets job.

What may be the most interesting element to any pursuit of Hahn may be the way Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf approaches Hahn's position. Hahn, GM Kenny Williams and Reinsdorf make up the brain trust for all White Sox baseball decisions. Hahn is the highest paid assistant GM in baseball, according to industry sources. And he's considered one of the top GM prospects.

Knowing the Cubs may be seriously interested in Hahn, Reinsdorf may decide to promote Williams to a position with a greater title such as team president and move Hahn into the general manager post. This would be similar to the move Reinsdorf made with the Chicago Bulls, where former GM John Paxson was promoted to VP position above general manager Gar Forman.

Hahn is considered the No. 1 candidate in baseball who is not a GM. SI and Baseball America have named Hahn as the top of the line in the next wave of GM stars.

Hahn would have a tough choice to make if the Cubs do call and Reinsdorf does change the structure of his front office in order to retain what he may consider an irreplaceable employee.

Bruce Levine | email

Chicago baseball beat reporter
Bruce Levine has covered sports in Chicago for over 28 years and hosts "Talkin' Baseball," heard Saturday mornings on ESPN 1000.



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