Hoyer's move to Chicago appears likely

Hoyer's move to Chicago appears likely

Hoyer's move to Chicago appears likely
SAN DIEGO -- For the past week, general manager Jed Hoyer has buried himself in the process of interviewing hitting coaches for next season, but it's beginning to appear likely that Hoyer won't be around to see if the hires pan out.

Several published reports have Hoyer becoming the GM of the Cubs, maybe as soon as next week, the first hire by his former Red Sox boss, Theo Epstein.

Epstein is expected to be named the Cubs' president of baseball operations, according to several reports, possibly as early as Friday. Once Epstein is hired, the Cubs figure to ask the Padres for permission to talk to Hoyer.

The Padres are not expected to ask for compensation for Hoyer, who is under contract for two more seasons in San Diego with a club option for 2014.

San Diego's assistant GM, Jason McLeod, who has run the last two Drafts for the club, could join Hoyer and Epstein in Chicago. McLeod ran the Drafts for Boston before joining the Padres in December 2009.

The Padres are expected to promote Josh Byrnes, a vice president of baseball operations, to GM.

Byrnes was the GM of the D-backs from 2005 to 2010, hired by current San Diego vice chairman and CEO Jeff Moorad, and he was later awarded an eight-year extension following the 2007 season, when the D-backs advanced to the National League Championship Series.

The Padres hired Byrnes in December.

Both Hoyer and Byrnes have declined to comment on the reports.

Hoyer and Epstein worked together from 2002 up to the point when Hoyer was hired by Moorad to be the Padres' GM in October 2009. Byrnes worked as Epstein's assistant before becoming GM of the D-backs.

Though Major League Baseball discourages teams from making major announcements during the World Series, which started on Wednesday, several reports said that a news conference could be held on Friday, a travel day for the Cardinals and Rangers.

The timing of the announcement would have to be approved by Commissioner Bud Selig.

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.