A key executive for the Chicago Cubs has been fired.
The Cubs announced on Wednesday Oneri Fleita, the Cub’s vice president of player personnel, has been let go. And the team’s new president of baseball operations, Theo Epstein, says more management changes are coming.
Cheryl Raye-Stout, WBEZ sports blogger, said Epstein, who was hired in October of last year, wants to bring in his own people. It's not an unusual move, according to Stout, especially in baseball.
“They are clearing their decks,” Stout said. “This is now Theo Epstein’s team. This is going to be run the way he wants it to be run.”
Stout said Fleita may not be a household name for fans, but he was a prominent figure in the organization. She added the only strange part about the move is that Cubs owner Tom Ricketts offered Fleita a four-year extension to stay in Chicago last September. But that was before Epstein was hired.
Fleita joined the Cubs in 1995. He was the manager of the club’s Class-A affiliate and also oversaw extended spring training. After spending time as an area scout and coordinator of Latin America operations, Fleita was promoted to director of player development.
He played a major role in developing players from Latin America, like current shortstop Starlin Castro and closer Carlos Marmol.
Epstein said Fleita is “free and clear” to pursue opportunities with other organizations.