Trump picks Cubs co-owner, big GOP donor for Commerce deputy

President-elect Donald Trump shakes hands with Todd Ricketts, co-owner of the Chicago Cubs, after their meeting at Trump International Golf Club, November 19, 2016 in Bedminster Township, New Jersey.
Drew Angerer | Getty Images

Donald Trump announced Wednesday he has picked Todd Ricketts, a Chicago Cubs co-owner and part of a family of major Republican donors, as deputy Commerce secretary.

Trump chose Ricketts as second in line to Commerce secretary choice Wilbur Ross, a billionaire investor in distressed debt. The president-elect also picked former Goldman Sachs veteran Steven Mnuchin as Treasury secretary.

Ricketts, an Illinois financier, is the son of TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts. The family has owned the Cubs since 2009. It donated heavily to an anti-Trump super PAC during the Republican primary before backing him.

"Todd Ricketts is an immensely successful businessman with unparalleled knowledge of the finance industry," Trump said in a statement. "As Deputy Commerce Secretary he will help us cut waste and streamline government so that it works for the people of America. The incredible job he and the Ricketts family did in the purchase and turnaround of the Chicago Cubs — one perfect step after another, leading to the World Championship, is what I want representing our people. I am very proud to have him on our team."

Trump previously said the Ricketts family was doing a "rotten job" of running the eventual World Series champion Cubs when the family was contributing money against him.

Ricketts said in a statement that he wanted to advance "practical policies that promote economic opportunity." Ross, Trump's pick for the top Commerce spot, has previously attacked the Obama-backed Trans-Pacific Partnership and advocated for major corporate tax cuts.

In the most recent election cycle, Ricketts donated to Republican Senate candidates Mark Kirk, Kelly Ayotte and Joe Heck, as well as the Illinois Republican Party, according to Federal Election Commission records. He did not personally donate to Trump during his presidential run.