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Sorry Cubs, the Reds plan to keep Jocketty

Sep 15, 2011, 12:27 AM EST

Walt Jocketty AP

Cincinnati general manager Walt Jocketty has an expiring contract, leading to speculation that he would leave the Reds for the Cubs, who let Jim Hendry go in July.

One report said that the Cubs had even discussed the possibility. But Reds owner Bob Castellini tells the Cincinnati Enquirer that Jocketty isn’t going anywhere. He also said of Reds manager Dusty Baker’s future that “of course he’ll be back.”

It makes sense, as the Reds seem to need only a few tweaks rather than an overhaul.

As far as what this means for the Cubs, our friend Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com has an in-depth look at the issue, and at the importance of this hire in what is ultimately a winnable division.

With Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder poised to become free agents, and the Cubs hoping to land some hotshot executive, the Central landscape could change dramatically.

But if Tom Ricketts gets this hire wrong, then the scouting and player-development infrastructure Hendry built could crumble. This organization could be set back for years to come, and starting all over again later this decade.

It’s a risk the chairman’s willing to take. The rest of the division will be rooting against the Cubs.

 You can follow Bob on Twitter here, or if Facebook is your thing, be his friend here.

  1. brucewaynewins - Sep 15, 2011 at 8:36 AM

    As a fan of the Reds I can say I’m not worried who they sign. Let the Cubs get Billy Beane, Pat Gillick, or Jesus himself. I really hope they sign someone like Fielder or Pujols. It’ll hurt the team he lives and it won’t help the Cubs do anything but win more games. They still won’t win enough to be champions. The Cubs have become a team that knows consistent failure to meet their fan expectations and I love it.

  2. Alex K - Sep 15, 2011 at 8:54 AM

    As a Cubs an I am very happy to hear this news.

    • paperlions - Sep 15, 2011 at 9:28 AM

      Yeah, drafting and development of players and Walt Jocketty don’t exactly belong in the same sentence. It will be interesting to see what happens in Cinci when the players already in the system when Jocketty arrived have all graduated, guys like Votto leave because Cinci is on a budget, and they have to fill holes. Will Jocketty continue to go for the cheap veterany goodness of marginal 33+ yr old players, or will he trust they kids coming up through his own system? How will he manipulate assets to maximize output and minimize costs?

      If the handling of the Chapman (who should be far along as a starter now instead of being an inconsistent reliever) and Alonso (who should have been traded for young talent at a position of need last off season) situations are any indication, it doesn’t look good for Cinci if they keep him and Baker around.

      I think Cinci needs much more than a few tweaks. Last year, everything broke right for them. This year their record more closely reflects the talent on the roster. A few teaks will won’t get them much above .500.

      • stlouis1baseball - Sep 15, 2011 at 9:59 AM

        “Drafting and development of players and Walt Jocketty don’t exactly belong in the same sentence?” Really? I am not the most “internet savvy” person…but can someone do a quick search and tell me how many GM and/or Executive of the year awards this man has amassed over the course of his career? I can tell you (as a Cardinals fan)…I (and whole lot of other fans of the Birds on the Bat) would love to have him back.

      • paperlions - Sep 15, 2011 at 11:51 AM

        He sucked so bad in his administration of the farm system that they finally had to take it away from him. He was great operating under the old valuation system….but that system is gone and he has not adapted. The Cardinals would have been much better off if they had ditched LaRussa as well…or if the owner would let the GM do his job.

  3. shawon0meter - Sep 15, 2011 at 9:20 AM

    glad to hear it but i doubt he was even a top 5 choice for the Cubs in the first place

  4. stlouis1baseball - Sep 15, 2011 at 10:00 AM

    (Cont): Further, I have a number of buddies who are Redlegs fans and when Walt left for Cincinnati to work for his buddy (Castellini) I told them they were going to be very happy to have a G.M. of his caliber. And to this day…they sing his praises while simultaneously busting “Double Switch Dusty’s” balls on a daily basis. What did the Redlegs do last year? Rethorical question. A sweep or not…everything falling in place correctly or not…they made the playoffs for the 1st time since when? Walt staying in Cincy is Cincinnati’s gain and the Cubs’ lose. Cubs fans are apparently to ingorant to realize this (as evidenced by Alex’s comment about).

    • Alex K - Sep 15, 2011 at 10:33 AM

      Wow, ad hominem attacks about me being ignorant because I don’t want a GM who doesn’t have a great track record of drafting and developing players for my team? I never said he was a bad GM. I only said I’m happy he won’t be the Cubs GM. He’s not the right fit. The Cubs are in a place right now where they need to draft and develop their own players.

      I’ll give Jocketty credit for Pujols, Haren, and Rasmus as guys the Cardinals drafted in his time, but who else? They traded Haren during Jocketty’s time so his development can’t even be a total credit to Jocketty.

      With the Reds how has he increased thier chances of winning? Paper outlined what he has done to decrease their chances and I agree on all accounts.

      • stlouis1baseball - Sep 15, 2011 at 11:15 AM

        Not attacking Alex. I don’t necessarily expect you to realize how good of a GM he is as you haven’t witnessed it first hand. He has done more with paltry salary limitations than most GM’s could ever hope to. If DeWallet would have dusted the cobwebs off and spent a little jack it would have been scary what he could have done. Castellini is of the same mold as DeWallet (they are great friends, business partners, etc..). If Castellini ever decides to open his wallet up it would be no different. As for Haren…I would obviously love to have him back (no different than Chris Perez with the Indians. But at that time…they needed to make some changes. As they say…hindsite is 20-20.

      • stlouis1baseball - Sep 15, 2011 at 11:26 AM

        By the way…I like the “ad hominum” useage…even if I my intentions weren’t to attack you. Ad hominem is so seldom used it’s nice to see someone work it in.

      • Alex K - Sep 15, 2011 at 11:50 AM

        Fair enough. When you specifically said my name and ignorant in the same sentence it’s hard to see how you weren’t.

        You didn’t answer my question. How has he helped the Reds towards winning? The only examples given of his moves in Cincinnati that have been given are mistakes.

        Also, no one has any clue if things would have been different if the Cardinals had a bigger budget. We also don’t know if the Reds had a bigger budget how that would change anything.

        Once again, I never called him a bad GM. I’m just happy that he won’t be the Cubs GM because he’s not a good fit for where they are at, right now.

      • paperlions - Sep 15, 2011 at 11:56 AM

        Rasmus and every other player to come up through the cardinal system the last few years were all drafted AFTER Jocketty was relieved of his oversight of player development (and the draft). Pujols was drafted in the 14th round, Jocketty actually had nothing to do with it….as with most GMs, his involvement stopped much earlier in the draft.

        Jocketty did fine when the cardinals were among the top 5 spenders; when he has to balance FA and player development, he failed.

        So far, the Reds had one fluky successful year under Jocketty…if it wasn’t a fluke, they should repeat it (pretty much the same team this year as last year). He is not the kind of GM you want if you have a budget and need to rely on player development. For over a decade the Cardinals had very few useful homegrown players contribute to the ML team.

  5. stlouis1baseball - Sep 15, 2011 at 3:42 PM

    Great arguments Paper (and Alex). Personally, I think the Redlegs issues this year have far more to do with Milwaukee’s dominence than anything else. I mean…jeesh…they won what…something like 28 of 32 games at one point. That kind of winning percentage is ridiculous. The Cardinals were in 1st place on July 26. Just prior to Milwaukee going off with there string of 28 wins in 32 looses.

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