Tell me if you haven't heard this one. A big team wants to make Billy Beane their general manager.
You probably haven't heard this one in awhile though: Beane might be ready to listen.
Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Beane could seriously consider an offer to become general manager of the Chicago Cubs. The Oakland Athletics are growing impatient at trying to get approval from Major League Baseball to move to a new home in San Jose. If ownership can't get approval, the team might have to be sold. Sources indicate that Beane would be ready to move on.
The Athletics have struggled for ages, are probably back to square one and are in desperate need of a reboot. They haven't been in serious contention for an American League crown since 2006, and have not finished a season over .500 since then (they were at .500 last year). Unless the team can make a move, it's unlikely that they can improve much in Oakland under the current ownership.
It'd probably be time for Beane to branch off and try his Moneyball tactics elsewhere with a team like the Cubs, who have tried and failed with more traditional approaches (spend spend spend spend!). Chicago did finish in first place twice after going to the bank for big free agents, so Beane would finally be able to utilize resources to pick up big-time free agents along with players who are appealing via the numbers.
That being said, a lot has to fall in place before Beane is ready to go anywhere. A's fans should be troubled but not yet alarmed by this rumor--there are other candidates being circulated as well and the Cubs could very well lean in another direction besides Beane's. And MLB has to reject the San Jose bid--if it does go through, then this little rumor is probably all for naught.
For more on the A's, go to Athletics Nation. For more on the Cubs, Bleed Cubbie Blue is where to go.