"We'll do it as efficiently and quickly as possible," Ricketts said. "It's a big decision, and there's no point in rushing it. We have to have the right guy at the right time, and however long it takes, it takes."
The Cubs have lost 90 games and wrap up a disappointing season on Wednesday against the Padres. Ricketts did not want to term next season as a "rebuilding year."
"I think one thing you've seen in baseball over the last few years is that turnarounds can happen pretty quickly," Ricketts said. "I don't think it's meaningful to describe a year as a rebuilding year or a reloading year or any of that.
"The fact is, you get the right players on the team and they all stay healthy and they play hard, a team can go from 70 wins to 90 wins. It happens pretty frequently. Look at the Diamondbacks -- look at the Cubs a few years ago. Things turnaround fast, and that's the way we look at things."
The Cubs did go from a 96-loss season in 2006 to the National League Central division title in '07, but also spent $300 million that offseason on players and hired Lou Piniella as manager. The Cubs' baseball-operations budget was expected to be relatively the same as it was in 2011.
Cubs manager Mike Quade does have a contract for 2012, but whether he or his staff returns will be the new general manager's decision.
"I'm not blowing through this like it's no big deal," Quade said on Wednesday. "[There's] no anxiety. It's always great when things are cleared up, one way or the other, and you look forward to that day.
"I want to see who they're going to hire, and how that's going to play out. I don't do all the speculation or listen to the names. I'm more interested in concrete information."
The Cubs have taken steps toward next season by giving player-personnel director Oneri Fleita a four-year extension, and assuring scouting director Tim Wilken that it's business as usual for his department.
"The fact is Oneri is a really valuable part of this organization," Ricketts said. "I think any general manager coming in would agree with that. It was a step we took to make sure we had good continuity, and make sure that we kept building on the things we think we're doing well."
Part of that continuity involves building new facilities in the Dominican Republic and also in Mesa, Ariz., for Spring Training. Ricketts said details are still being finalized, but he expected to break ground on the two projects in a few months.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter@CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.