Here are the latest Cubs notes from today-
- The Red Sox are pushing Epstein and the Cubs to come up with some sort of announcement whether it is accepting a job or declining it. The Red Sox are in a bad position at the top of the organization because they are waiting on Epstein and the Cubs and because of that they have put their manager search on hold. Their seems to be some regret and anger on the Red Sox part for allowing an interview to take place but it goes against their philosophy to decline an interview for a position higher than what the employee already obtains.
- The Red Sox have mentioned assistant GM Ben Cherington a lot recently almost like they are prepping Red Sox nation for him to take over the GM reigns when Epstein bolts for Chicago.
- The Cubs may have “at least” 3 possible replacements for Aramis Ramirez via trade (besides David Wright). Here they are-
· Alex Rodriquez- Rumors out of New York say the Yankees are growing tired of Arod and his lack of production, injury concerns, defensive decline, and off the field issues which may cause the Yankees to shop Arod. He has 6 years 143 million left on his contract which would be near impossible to unload unless the Yankees take on a similar contract or pay over half of Arod’s contract to get a deal done. I can see a Soriano and Zambrano for Arod deal but the Cubs would be basically trading 4 years 72 million for 4 years 143 million. So essentially they would take on 2 years 71 million if the Yankees did not pay any of his contract. So a deal might be pretty hard to do.
· Mark Reynolds- He could be traded to make room for some of their young up and coming corner infield prospects. Reynolds can play both 1st and third so he would be a nice addition for the Cubs considering he hit 37 homers last year. He has not hit below 32 in the past three years but with that you get his high strike out totals that have not dipped below 200 until this year. He plays OK defense and is nice power from the right side that would have the sting of losing Aramis Ramirez production hurt less. I could see the Orioles liking some young prospects or even a package around Randy Wells and Tony Campana in return for Reynolds.
· Kevin Youkilis- The guy has not been able to stay healthy recently and getting up there in age which is why it was reported yesterday that the Red Sox may entertain offers for Youkilis. The Red Sox might be starting a large overhaul and introducing some of their young minor league talent to the big leagues. As reported yesterday the Red Sox are growing more confident in young 3rd baseman Wil Middlebrooks. At age 22 Middlebrooks last season went from low A to AAA hitting 23 homers, batting .285, and playing decent defense. If the Red Sox do shop Kevin Youkilis then expect the Cubs to call because he is the best stopgap for younger players in the system to develop. Youk will make 12 million next season and has a $13M club option for 2013.
Bruce Levine had his chat today and here is the latest from him-
· He says the Cubs may have some competition from the Angels since they are looking for a GM as well.
· Levine says if the Cubs lose out on Epstein it is not the end of the world. He names DiPoto, Ben Cherington, and Rick Hahn as other candidates.
· Bruce once again stats he does not expect the Red Sox to receive compensation if the Cubs hired Epstein and I agree. Although he says in a worse case scenario the Red Sox get a mid-level prospect but nothing more.
· He does not see the Cubs going after Fielder. I do think they will go after him and land him.
· Crane Kenney will not be replaced as Team President for Theo but both titles could be altered in the form of President of Baseball Operations and President of Business Operations.
· Bruce thinks the Cubs could add John Danks, James Shields, or J.A. Happ this offseason via trade because they value is low and upside is good.
· Levine sees Aram landing with the Angels, Red Sox or Marlins. I think the fish and Angels are the best bet.
· Bruce thinks LeMahieu could be a fit a third for next season. Defensively I agree but not offensively.
· The Cubs will eat a good portion of Z and Sori’s contract to get a trade done.
· Bruce says if Epstein is the next GM we will find out this week.
· Bruce also does not see the Cubs going after C.J. Wilson.
Until Next Time..