Bruce Levine is reporting today that Oneiri Fleita got a four-year extension as Vice President of Player Personnel earlier this week. This is huge for a couple of reasons: 1) it means a Cubs beat reporter may have reported a story within the same calendar week as when the events actually occurred (largely believed to be an omen signaling the beginning of the end of the world) and 2) the Cubs made this move without first having a new General Manager in place (which is largely believed to be an omen signaling the beginning of the end of the world – on Twitter anyway).
I’m not nearly as concerned as the people OMGing all over the place like the Cubs just signed Aaron Miles to a 10-year, $300 million contract as a pitcher.
How much money could Oneiri Fleita possibly make? A million dollars a year? Maybe? I can’t find anything solid, but Ivychat Chuck said Hendry was rumored to make $2.5 million per year as the GM, so the guy reporting to him probably makes less, and probably significantly less. That would make the Cubs on the hook to Oneiri Fleita for an additional $4-$6 million total.
I understand that is a lot of money, but when you are talking about the kind of money that streams through a major baseball organization like the Cubs, that is nothing. This is a team that is looking at pissing away tens of millions to rid themselves of Zambrano and Soriano. What’s a few more if the new GM decides he doesn’t like Oneiri Fleita when he gets here?
There are a lot of important details missing before we all go jumping off a bridge because Ricketts made a move that is, admittedly, a bit out of the ordinary. Is he guaranteed that position? Is he guaranteed certain job responsibilities?
Fleita gets four more years as VP of Player Development. It isn’t out of the realm of possibility that the Cubs create a position above Fleita (a President of Player Development?) inserted above him in the organizational hierarchy. Shit like that happens in corporate America all the time, and we know Tom is fluent in corporate-speak and double-talk.
In the last thread, MB hypothesized that maybe the Ricketts already have the GM choices down to a short list and could have determined from each of them that they would be amenable to having Fleita kept as part of the organization if they got the job. The fact that this has not been reported doesn’t mean anything since we are just now learning from the Chicago press that Kennedy was shot.
We know that the reason Ricketts extended Fleita is because he is highly regarded and being sought by opposing teams. Maybe the Cubs locked him up to keep him a Cub, knowing that no contract in sports is an iron-clad blood oath between the two parties if there are other interested parties involved. Maybe the Tigers will be willing to part with a prospect in order to get their hands on Fleita if the next GM decides he’s not his man.
The worst case scenario is that the new guy comes in and fires Fleita on the first day he’s on the job and the Cubs pissed away $4-$6 million. That is hardly the end of the world for this team.