Source: Kenney to stay with Cubs

Updated: August 26, 2009, 9:48 AM ET
ESPNChicago.com

Chicago Cubs chairman Crane Kenney has an agreement in place with Tom Ricketts to stay in his current capacity as the team is being sold by Tribune Co. to the Ricketts family, according to ESPN 1000.

The agreement is for multiple years, a source close to Kenney told the radio station.

A second source confirmed with ESPNChicago.com that Kenney is expected to remain with the Cubs for the foreseeable future.

Tribune Co. and the Ricketts family signed a deal last week to transfer a 95 percent ownership stake in the Cubs, as well as Wrigley Field and a stake in Comcast SportsNet Chicago for $845 million. The sale won't be official until it is approved by a bankruptcy judge and 75 percent of the other baseball owners.

ESPN 1000 first reported Tuesday afternoon that the prospective Cubs owner had agreed to a multi-year deal to keep the Cubs' boss in charge after the Tribune Co. officially hands the team over to the Ricketts family, likely later this fall.

Kenney has been a lightning rod of criticism lately, with reporters and columnists criticizing him for everything from inviting a priest to bless the Cubs dugout during the playoffs last year to inappropriate fraternizing with the players. Still, he's served on the Cubs board of directors for a number of years as a vice president and general counsel with the Tribune Company and provides some sense of stability in the organization.

It is known that Ricketts has talked to Kenney about staying in his role, but the number of years, or other details, in any prospective deal couldn't be confirmed. Both parties were out of town Tuesday.

The Ricketts family is placing a good deal of importance on keeping "continuity" at the top of the organization, the source said, which also bodes well for general manager Jim Hendry, whom Kenney signed to a four-year contract extension last year. Hendry said he had no idea if Kenney had inked any kind of pact with the Ricketts family.

"I'm certainly glad the Ricketts family is going to be running the club," Hendry told reporters before Tuesday's game. "Obviously, I know quite a bit about their reputation from my years in Omaha. I'm certainly glad they were the winners."

Hendry once coached baseball at Creighton in Omaha, Neb., where the Ricketts family business is based.

A judge has agreed to expedite the proceedings in the bankruptcy case, and a hearing is scheduled for Aug. 31.

Kenney is in his seventh year as the principal executive in charge of Cubs operations.

Information from the Associated Press and ESPNChicago.com's Jon Greenberg was used in this report.

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