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Friday, July 22, 2011
Sources: Pat Gillick open to Cubs talk

By Bruce Levine
ESPNChicago.com

CHICAGO -- Longtime baseball executive Pat Gillick is open to talking with the Chicago Cubs about a potential role with the team, according to sources.

"If the situation was right for Pat, he would definitely consider the Cubs," one of his longtime associates told ESPNChicago.com.

Gillick told the Chicago Sun-Times on Thursday that he is happy with his consulting job with the Philadelphia Phillies but he would be open to leaving for a president-level job with the Cubs or another team.

"If I did anything else, it would have to be something in a presidency role that would interest me," Gillick told the Sun-Times. "As far as an advisory or consultant job, I've got a great deal in Philadelphia. There would be no reason for me to go any other place in an advisory or consultant role. We're in first place. I like it here. The people are great to me. If something came up where it would be above the GM position, I would think about it."

On Wednesday the Cubs denied a WSCR-AM report that Gillick and owner Tom Ricketts spoke as recently as last week. Ricketts said last month that he was not interested in bringing in a big name to evaluate the roster and the performances of general manager Jim Hendry and manager Mike Quade.

Crane Kenney is the Cubs president and was the team chairman prior to the Ricketts family purchasing the team in 2009.

The Cubs have been interested in speaking with Gillick for a long time, but have not, according to sources.

For that to happen, the Cubs would have to first get permission from Phillies executive David Montgomery. The Phillies have not immediately returned a message seeking comment.

Gillick, who will be 74 in August, was the architect of two world championship teams with the Toronto Blue Jays in 1992 and 1993 and one with the Phillies in 2008. He is known as a baseball gym rat who also has a passion to continue to be relevant well into his 80s.

"Pat is always out looking at young players," said one of his close friends. "You can find him at a high school game in Tupelo, Miss., one day and a college game in California the next. His mind is as sharp as it's ever been. There's no secret to what Pat does. He and the people he surrounds himself with just outwork everyone else."

Gillick is in Cooperstown, N.Y., this weekend to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

In 1994 executives from the Tribune Co., which owned the Cubs at the time, were in search for a new baseball man to replace GM Larry Himes. Gillick was the first person they talked to. Eventually ownership hired Andy MacPhail away from the Minnesota Twins in October 1994.

At the time, Gillick was not impressed by the presentation of the job by Tribune executives, according to sources. The Cubs were at the bottom of the National League before the season was cut short by a strike and eventual lockout.

Bruce Levine covers the Cubs for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.