Reds GM Jocketty deflects Cubs talk

CINCINNATI – Cincinnati Reds general manager Walt Jocketty should be at or near the top of the list of baseball executives the Chicago Cubs want to interview for their vacant general manager post.

According to major league sources, Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts has yet to ask for permission to speak to any GM under contract.

Jocketty’s reputation for building winners in small markets, with even smaller baseball budgets, precedes him.

“It’s not really my place to talk about other teams' job openings,” Jocketty said before Tuesday’s game. “The Chicago job is always going to be considered a great one, but I’m very happy where I’m at with the Reds and I am under contract.”

Jocketty is in the option year of his contract with Cincinnati. The 60-year-old GM won two pennants and the 2006 World Series while running the St. Louis Cardinals’ front office. Jockety was the Cards’ GM from 1995-2007.

He was hired to run the Reds’ baseball operations in 2008. His team won the NL Central in 2010.

Jocketty held executive positions with Oakland and Colorado before taking the St. Louis job. He was named The Sporting News baseball executive of the year in 2000, 2004 and 2010. The award is considered the most prestigious among baseball executives – it is voted on by general managers.