It’s official, Trent Baalke has just been named the San Francisco 49ers’ General Manager. This shouldn’t come as a big surprise since rumors of his hire have been floating around the past couple of weeks. Recent rumors had it that Mike Lombardi could possibly overtake Baalke as the front-runner for the 49ers general manager position due to his relationship with Jim Harbaugh, Stanford’s Head Coach and the top choice to replace recently fired Mike Singletary, but Lombardi has denied this rumor multiple times. In fact, Lombardi guaranteed that Baalke will be hired as the next 49ers GM since his first interview with Jed York.
A lot of 49ers fans must be upset at this hire, but it makes sense if Trent Baalke can deliver Jim Harbaugh. Why would Jed York spend tons of cash on both Lombardi and Harbaugh if he can ultimately get Harbaugh with Baalke in tow? Also, he knows what he’s getting with Baalke and he may be open to giving Harbaugh significant personnel control. Especially since sources are saying Harbaugh has told the 49ers he’d be OK with either Baalke or Lombardi.
Ultimately, it’s about re-energizing the fan base. In the next few days, if Jim Harbaugh becomes the next 49ers Head Coach, most fans will look at this as a step forward no matter who the 49ers’ GM is. However, if Harbaugh doesn’t become the next head coach, this would set the franchise back another few years. Jed will look like a complete liar and the excitement of a new 49ers era will fizzle out much like this year’s season. Jed York better hope that Baalke can deliver his man.