Finding Jim Hendry's successor

The Chicago Cubs relieved general manager Jim Hendry of his duties on Friday. Team chairman Tom Ricketts said in a statement, “My family and I appreciate Jim’s dedication during our time with the Cubs and thank him for his overall 17 years of service to the Cubs organization. It is time for a fresh approach in our baseball leadership and our search begins immediately for our next general manager.”

Hendry won NL Central division titles with the Cubs in 2003, 2007 and 2008, and the latter two were the first back-to-back playoffs berths for the club since 1907-08.

Hendry's old-school approach was based on his scouting foundation and terrific people skills. He wasn’t afraid to spend money, and the Cubs always had one of the top payrolls in the National League during his tenure. His long-term deals for players such as Carlos Zambrano, Alfonso Soriano and Aramis Ramirez helped the organization win early in their contracts but hamstrung their flexibility in recent years. Despite putting together one of the better scouting departments in baseball, Hendry leaves the Cubs organization with a very thin farm system at the upper levels.

The search for a new general manager begins immediately; assistant GM Randy Bush takes over as interim GM. If I were making the call, here's whom I would go after (assuming they were interested, of course).

1. Pat Gillick: He’s a Hall of Famer and won world championships in Toronto and Philadelphia.