Jason McLeod, one of the Theo Trio of executives who took over Cubs baseball operations a decade ago to city-wide fanfare and helped make history with the 2016 championship, has decided to leave the organization for other opportunities.
McLeod, who was brought in as Theo Epstein’s top scouting and player development executive 10 years ago, was offered senior positions to stay beyond his expiring contract amid a front office reshuffling that began with Jed Hoyer’s ascension to team president last November to replace the outgoing Epstein.
“I’ve been with him for almost 20 years with three organizations,” said Hoyer, who was with Epstein and McLeod in Boston before taking McLeod with him to San Diego when Hoyer got his first general manager job after the 2008 season.
“I think he’s an absolute culture changer,” Hoyer said Friday, “a fantastic evaluator. I have no doubt he’ll transform another organization.”
The departure comes a week after the Cubs hired Cleveland’s Carter Hawkins as their new GM. Since then longtime assistant GM Randy Bush stepped aside and into an advisory role with the club, and the Cubs expect to announce Ehsan Bokhari, the Houston Astros senior director for player evaluation, as the new assistant GM early next week.
McLeod, who oversaw the drafts that produced 2016 MVP Kris Bryant and postseason hero Kyle Schwarber, has interviewed for general manager positions in Minnesota, Anaheim and San Francisco in recent years (and declined other interview offers).
Despite the Cubs’ failures during his tenure to develop pitching to backfill competitive rosters, the Cubs found enough successes with homegrown hitters and prospects who netted high value in trades to help produce the best six-year run in franchise history.
Those six winning seasons included five postseason appearances, three consecutive appearances in the National League Championship Series (2015-17) and what some consider the most celebrated World Series championship in history.
McLeod did not immediately return messages.
The Athletic first reported the news of McLeod's departure.