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Theo reportedly heading to Cubs; Hunsicker not likely an O's candidate



   There are multiple reports tonight that GM Theo Epstein is on the verge of leaving the Red Sox to join the Cubs.

    If so, that would seem to be a doubleheader win for the Rays.  It would end speculation that executive vice president Andrew Friedman would leave the Rays for the Cubs (though he could still be a candidate in Houston) and it creates further disruption for the rival Red Sox, who have already parted ways with manager Terry Francona amid talk of a disconnect between the front office and the clubhouse. Epstein is expected to be replaced by assistant Ben Cherington.

    There are also reports that  Rays senior vice president Gerry Hunsicker is reported to be among six candidates for the Orioles vacant general manager’s job, but such a move seems unlikely.

  Hunsicker, former GM of the Astros, has been with the Rays since November 2005 and likes his role enough to have resisted previous overtures about other GM openings, creating the expectation within the industry that it would take an ideal scenario to lure him back. 

   Given their long stretch of losing and with strong-willed personalities in owner Peter Angelos and manager Buck Showalter, the Orioles are not considered to be close to that.

   ESPN reported Tuesday that candidates to replace Andy MacPhail include Hunsicker, former Diamondbacks GM and current Padres assistant Josh Byrnes, former Blue Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi, Marlins assistant (and former Rays scouting director) Dan Jennings, Rangers assistant Thad Levine, and Blue Jays assistant Tony LaCava.

   The Baltimore Sun also reported Hunsicker was a candidate, along with Jennings, LaCava, Ricciardi, former Red GM Wayne Krivsky, Yankees scouting direcor Damon Oppenheimer, Rangers player development director Scott Servais and Phillies assistant (and former Rays assistant) Scott Proefrock.

- Marc Topkin, Times staff writer

[Last modified: Thursday, November 10, 2011 12:40am]


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