Saturday, October 22, 2011

Cubs Get Their Man and Quick Hits...

- The Cubs finally got their man and it took Selig stepping in.
- Players involved will be settled at a later date.
- Theo Epstein actually resigned from his position with the Red Sox to take the GM job with the Cubs.
- Theo will negotiate compensation with the Red Sox.
- The next two moves is hiring Jed Hoyer as GM and his Assistant Jason McLeod from the Padres.
- The Cubs have received permission to "interview" both Hoyer and McLeod. Both are expected to join the Cubs soon.
- There will be a press conference Tuesday at Wrigley announcing Theo Epstein as the Cubs new President of Baseball Operations. It is also rumored they will announce the hiring of Hoyer and McLeod.
- One rival GM said the Cubs have the "brightest minds in baseball in their front office and if they cannot win with them then they should mail it in."
- There is a rumor out there that Ricketts will raise payroll to around 150-160 million next season which includes players salary and player development.
- After this front office is assembled the next moves for the "baseball minds" is to determine "who will stay and who will go on the current staff" and speaking to players about options and extensions.
- Many feel the front office team will let several coaches and staff go from all levels in the organization including coaches like Mike Quade, Mark Riggins, and several coaches in the minors.
- Theo and his team would like to put their stamp on Chicago Cubs baseball and create a new mentality so a large change over is needed.
- Like most of you I have heard the Ryne Sandberg rumors and I believe there is some truth to them. Sandberg is essentially being passed over again in the Phillies system when a report came out stating that the coaching staff will remain in place unless a coach leave for another position. The Phillies believe Sandberg will find a manager or coaching position somewhere in MLB.
- One source I have talked to said that Ricketts and Epstein have both wanted to put a family atmosphere in the Cubs organization by bring back some individuals that have impacted the Cubs in the past. This source said he would not be surprised to see the front office hire Ryne Sandberg as manager and then he in turn name Larry Bowa as his bench coach and possibly add Mark Grace somewhere on the staff. What a buzz that would create.
- There is a very slim chance that Greg Maddux will be with the Cubs in a professional capacity next season but anything is possible. If I were Theo I would beg and plead and give him a blank check to become my next pitching coach.
- Does anyone think the Cubs can get Dave Duncan from the Cards? I don't but man I would try! That guy is a genius when it comes to pitchers.
- Jason McLeod is pretty good at what he does! He is responsible for adding Dustin Pedroia, Clay Buchholz, Jacoby Ellsbury, Daniel Bard, and Justin Masterson just to name a few.

Until Next Time..

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Theo and the Funky Bunch

If you follow twitter you know all day today there has been conflicting reports in regards to the Theo Epstein talk but finally it seems like the Boston media is getting on board. No word on what players have been sent packing to Boston or when a press conference maybe but here is the latest.

- Theo Epstein will have complete control of the Baseball Operations side of the Chicago Cubs.

- Jed Hoyer will become the next GM of the Chicago Cubs.

- Hoyer will not cost the Cubs player compensation because of the good relationship between the Padres owner and Ricketts.

- Theo originally wanted Josh Byrnes but the declined and Jed Hoyer asked for an extension from the Padres before eventually accepting the job offered as the Cubs GM.

- Players included as compensation for Theo are not on the ML roster and do not include prospects Matt Szczur, Brett Jackson, or McNutt according to Bruce Levine.

- I keep hearing the names Jay Jackson and Josh Vitters from "people in the know."

- The Cubs have not asked MLB to make an announcement tomorrow as of 3:30 PM CST today.

- Assistant Jason McLeod is expected to join the Cubs front office. McLeod is Jed Hoyer assistant in San Diego.

- The Cubs new front office is considered by the media, baseball officials, rival GMs, players, and others around baseball as one of the best and brightest front offices in baseball. One official said the Cubs as an organization and their fans should be ecstatic as the changes made by Tom Ricketts. While a rival GM says "Tom Ricketts has paved a new road in baseball with the front office he just assembled.. Pretty high praises!

Here is some more information on the new Cubs GM Jed Hoyer-

- Former Assistant GM to Red Sox under Theo Epstein.

- Persuaded Curt Schilling to accept a trade from Arizona to Boston. A move that would be a big part of winning a World Series.

- Was among the group that landed Josh Beckett, Mike Lowell, Mark Loretta, and Andy Marte via trade. All moves that helped the Red Sox win the World Series.

- Hoyer had interviewed with the Pirates and Nationals before landing in San Diego in which his first year they won 90 games.

- Hoyer was also responsible for the trade of Adrian Gonzales to the Red Sox when he determined Adrian was going to leave free agency the following year. Hoyer was able to obtain the Red Sox #1 prospect Casey Kelly, #3 prospect Anthony Rizzo, and #6 prospect Reymond Fuentes. All of which are doing well in the Padres system.

Until Next Time...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

D-Day: No Epstein Announcement But Rumors Likely

Many say the announcement is unlikely today but some say it is still possible. I am leaning toward the former.

- Nick Cafardo is one that is optimistic saying most deals get done once they reach the imposed deadline so a deal is still possible.

- It should be noted that Theo Epstein right now is in Boston and no announcement will be made without his presence in Chicago.

- Reports came out last night that the Red Sox asked for Matt Garza as compensation for Theo Epstein. The Cubs of course balked at that and then they moved onto Starlin Castro in which Randy Bush and Tom Ricketts laughed. They are now onto minor league prospects.

- Sean McAdam of CSNNE says the two sides are too far apart to get a deal done today. WEEI and the Sun-Times both agree with Sean McAdams.

- Sources say the Red Sox have now drawn their attention to top prospect Trey McNutt and Chris Carpenter. Most sources in relation to the Cubs label McNutt, Carpenter, Szczur, BJax, and Vitters are all untouchable. I think Epstein is worth a pitcher like Carpenter or McNutt but I do not think the Cubs should give in and give up one of those prospects.

- The thought around baseball is their is no way Epstein is in Boston next season because the Boston management has already promised Ben Cherington the GM job, said that they would not renew Epstein contract, and will not pay Theo 7 million for a lame duck season. Not to mention they criticizing Theo for the Crawford deal. I tell you what Boston brass I will take Epstein, Crawford, and Lackey if you take Soriano and Zambrano.

- Sources close to Tom Ricketts say he is willing to wait until he gets the right deal rather than jeopardising the Cubs farm system. Rumors have even gone as far as possibly putting a baseball operations team together until Theo comes along.

- Josh Byrnes may move before Theo according to sources. Theo Epstein has already told Ricketts some of his plans in the interview so Tom (if confident a deal could get done) could start hiring and firing and making moves that Theo would have done his first days and weeks on the job starting with hiring Josh Byrnes and possible firing Mike Quade.

- Many sources think the Cubs have a lot move leverage considering the Red Sox have went for asking for Garza down to minor league talent. Shows a lot of leverage the Cubs way and desperation from the Red Sox to get something of value.

- Many say a deal is incredibly unlikely to fall through. One of my sources say there is a better chance of a Babe Ruth resurrection and signing with the Cubs for 2012 than a deal falling through.

-Both clubs need to get a deal done because both need to start conducting a managerial search very soon!

- Bud Selig does a MLB announcement blackout during the World Series so an announcement could still be made before the game tomorrow evening. Although the Cubs could ask permission from Selig to do one on a off or travel day.

- Epstein wants to take three Boston employees with him to Chicago. The Herald has all three names Brian O'Halloran who is VP of Baseball Operations, Dave Finley is a Special Assistant to the GM, and Mike Reinhold who is the Head Athletic Director and Assistant Director of Medical Services.

- Another name that could be coming to Chicago is Jason McLeod who is the head of the amateur draft and Jed Hoyer's assistant for the Padres.

- MLB cannot interfere or arbitrate a resolution between the two clubs but will continue to monitor the situation.

- If Ryne Sandberg interviews for the Cubs manager position (if and when Quade is fired) then he will get the job. They will not turn him down twice.

Let's hope something gets done today and an announcement is made tomorrow so we can get the off season underway!

Until Next Time...