So how does the relationship work? According to the two, it’s a collaborative effort.
“It’s been pretty organic,” Greenberg said. “We had the built-in advantage [that] we knew each other going back 10, 11 years now, so there was just a natural thing we had. There wasn’t really that feeling-out process that I would imagine you sometimes get in these situations. So I think as I get further into it, that will evolve.
“We talked going into this process, when I first came in, the idea of it being a true partnership. And I think so far, it’s very much played out that way.”
Both are involved in big-picture planning, and both are involved in day-to-day operations. Greenberg doesn’t have one particular area of focus, having done a little bit of everything during his time with the Cubs, from baseball operations to pro and amateur scouting to player development.
“I don’t really view myself as having one niche expertise,” Greenberg said. “Depending on the time of year, whether it’s offseason or in-season, it feels like there are always 100 things going on. We’ll figure out over time what exactly that breakdown looks like, but I feel like it’s more of that approach, rather than two or three things to focus on.”
One unique trait that the 38-year-old Greenberg does bring is a background in a different sport. His year-plus as an associate general manager with the Blackhawks allowed him to work under different parameters and see how approaches translated from sport to sport.
“I think jumping into hockey after spending 16 years in baseball, you kind of have to go through that learning process, learn the culture, identify what problems you’re trying to solve, how to build those things at a foundational organizational level,” Greenberg said. “It can sound a little cliché, but the systems and processes that support scouting to development to decision-making from the bottom up, those are really foundational things that any healthy organization needs to do well, any sport. Coming in with a totally fresh experience, not having worked in hockey before, you’re kind of forced to adapt some of that first-principles mentality.
“I think going through that process at a macro level was useful, and definitely something I’m trying to apply in this role here.”