Update: Kantrovitz is reportedly staying in Chicago. Big news for the Cubs.
The downside to revamping an organization’s scouting and development is the people responsible for the improvements may be lured away by other teams. That was the case for former assistant general manager Craig Breslow, who was just hired by the Red Sox to run baseball operations after overhauling the Cubs’ pitching infrastructure. Now it looks like VP of scouting Dan Kantrovitz is drawing serious interest.
Kantrovitz joined the Cubs following the 2020 season and immediately upgraded their amateur scouting department, leading them to much better draft assessments in the years since. Not that it would have taken much to improve upon a disastrous 2019 draft that led to Jason McLeod’s reassignment within the front office prior to his eventual departure from the organization.
As Jon Morosi reported Thursday afternoon, the Mets “have had discussions about hiring Dan Kantrovitz for a high-level position overseeing their amateur scouting and player development departments.” This would appear to be a bigger role than what he currently has with the Cubs, at least in terms of assigned duties, though Breslow’s exit opens a little room for more responsibility.
While it hurt to see Breslow move on, losing Kantrovitz could be even worse because you can only develop players once they’re brought into the system. Of course, ranking them hardly matters if both end up going elsewhere. The losses won’t just be strategic or intellectual, either, as both Kantrovitz and Breslow are highly respected for the way they carry themselves and treat people.
The Mets have been something of a shitshow in the past, which might have otherwise scared off savvy young execs looking to further their careers without being nuked professionally. However, new baseball boss David Stearns has elevated the outlook in a big way and owner Steve Cohen have proven he’ll spare no expense when it comes to trying to build a winner. Those things are surely attractive even to someone who’s already in a good situation.
As cool as it is to see good people earn new opportunities, it’s hard not to be selfish when it comes to wanting the Cubs to keep all those talented individuals in-house. That’s even more important as they try to turn the corner into sustained competitiveness, which will require continued success in talent evaluation and development. With the obvious focus on filling holes in the roster, Jed Hoyer is going to have to hit home runs on front office moves as well.