Friday, November 18, 2011

Sveum New Skipper, Coaching, and Player Notes..

- Congrats to Dale Sveum to becoming the Chicago Cubs new skipper. Here is some quotes and notes from Jed, Theo, and Dale from the press conference and side meeting with the media-
· Theo says Dale knows the game inside and out and is a great combination of intelligence and instinct which is tough to pull off.
· Theo said he is sincere, direct, comfortable, strong, and respects the game. Dale expects these same qualities from his players.
· Dale says you need to play the game the same everyday, like it is the 7th game of the WS.
· The Cubs need to address bad defense and lack of power but learning to play the right way is most important.
· In regards to the coaching staff it will be a long process but will start today. He also has a list of guys he likes and wants to meet with existing coaches.
· Got the nickname of “Nuts” from his past but it has nothing to do with his lower half and has something to do with something stupid he did.
· In regards to the Cubs the past is the past and you have to try to establish a new winning tradition.
· Statistics are apart of the game now but you cannot totally rely on them.
· My opinion: Dale seems like a very smart, knowledgeable, and cool manager. I expect him to be much stricter on all players’ not just rookies which is different from the previous managers of the Cubs. He is going to bring a different look (just like Theo) to Cubs baseball and it will be a nice and much needed change.
- Early reports were Robin Yount would be a coach on his team but since then Sveum has squashed those reports by saying he won’t.
- I expect Pat Listach and Rudy Jaramillo to stay on staff.
- Mike Maddux pulled out of the manager derby because of family concerns and other issues. Maddux calls Sveum “one of the best baseball people I know.”
- A source told me that Jim Hickey and Rick Kranitz are on the short list of pitching coaches Sveum and Theo & Co. are considering.
- SS Junior Lake will be added to the 40-man roster. Another step in him making the Big League club out of ST.
- The Yankees among other teams have called the Cubs about Matt Garza. One team official says it sounds like it will take a lot of move Garza so a trade is unlikely. While another says if the Yankees include a couple of their top prospects like Montero, Romine, Banuelos, and/or Betances.
- Jason McLeod was in the Dominican Republic this week to see Cuban Star Yoenis Cespedes and things already look good because Theo Epstein along with Jed Hoyer are going to the Dominican to check things out as well. His value is going up because it is now being reported that he may seek 8 years 60 million which is not that bad considering the years you would get him.
- The word now the Cubs brass is using is “revamp the roster” not “rebuild” which could mean some activity is expected.

Until Next Time…

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

You Want Rumors! You Can't Handle the Rumors!

- Scott Boras confirms what I said on Saturday via twitter that he is expected to meet with Theo and Co. about Prince Fielder and Carlos Pena this week.
- The Cubs and Red Sox are trying to hammer out a comp. deal and Boston GM Ben Cherington said a trade between the clubs could fill the obligation for both teams.
- Carlos Marmol is being shopped around because of his price and the closer market. The Cubs could get 2 top prospects and a mid-level. The Giants, Dbacks, Red Sox, Blue Jays, Nationals, and Yankees are just a few teams that have interest in Marmol.
- Jed Hoyer said the Cubs are open for business and said they will listen on every player in the organization. Don't get worried; guys like Brett Jackson and Castro will be staying put.
- 4 trade names I am hearing a lot linked to the Cubs are David Wright, Chase Headley, Jon Danks, and Brett Anderson.
- Terry Francona is no longer a candidate for the Cubs position. He says he will not manage in 2012.
- Dale Sveum is the favorite for the Boston Red Sox managerial position and could be named this week.
- Pete Mackanin is no longer a candidate for the Red Sox position and is also unlikely for the Cubs according to one source.
- The two favorites for the Cubs job that I am hearing are Sandy Alomar Jr. and Mike Maddux. Mike Maddux is still addressing family matters otherwise I think he would have been named by now.
- Sandberg unlikely to land a coaching position in the majors according to sources but I think that could change once the Cubs name their manager.
- A source of mine says the Cubs will make an offer to Fielder but it will not be beyond 4-5 years. Fielder and Boras are looking for an 8 year deal worth 200+ million.
- The Cubs added Shiraz Rehman as Assistant GM. You can find out more about him here

- Carlos Zambrano is expected to get a chance to EARN his way back on the team according to Theo Epstein. No word on what he has to do to EARN it.
- I am hearing interest between the Cubs and Sizemore is mutual and the Cubs view him as a possible fit for RF.
- The Cubs are interested in Chone Figgins but only if the M’s take Zambrano and Soriano in a deal. The Cubs would be willing to pay all of Figgins contract and half of Soriano’s to get the deal done according to sources.
- The Cubs so far balk at C.J. Wilson’s asking price of 6 years $100M.
- There will be no formal 2nd interviews by the Cubs just phone calls and possibly one meeting with Tom Ricketts. If you are meeting Tom Ricketts chances are you go the job.
- The Cubs did do a phone interview with DeMarlo Hale and feel he is in the same position as Francona was that they did not need to put him through the ringer like the other candidates.
- A decision on the manager could be announce this weekend at the earliest and I am guessing we will be hearing a press conference announcing the next manager Tuesday.
- The Cubs are considering placing a bid on Yu Darvish. Some say the posting fee could be between $20M and $50M and I can see the Cubs bidding between 20-30 million for him.
- The Cubs and Padres have talked about Headley and Vitters could be apart of the deal but nothing is close according to my source.
- The same source said the Padres have called on Carlos Marmol, Tyler Colvin, and Josh Vitters among others. Obviously taking the Cubs up on the “listening on everyone” report we heard today.
- Jed Hoyer says he would like to move in on the decision making phase this week on a new manager.
- Bruce Chen has a possible offer from the Cubs according to MLBTR

- The Cubs have great interest in Justin Upton and could offer up Marmol in a deal.
- Bruce Levine says the Cubs adding Jason Veritek is not if but when. He also speculates that when he is added Soto will likely be dealt and the Cubs will bring up one of their young catchers to replace Soto and learn under Jason. I like the idea!
- The Cubs have been in constant contact with Mark Buehrle and he could fit in nicely behind Garza in the rotation. He has strong interest from the Yankees, Cards, and Marlins and is commanding a 4 year deal so that could be a sticking point. Not to mention him pitching on the wrong side of town for many years and he is a die hard Cardinal fan.
- Jason McLeod was sent to the Dominican Republic to watch a private workout of Cuban sensation Yoenis Cespedes. He could command 6 years 30+ million dollars.
- Kerry Wood is likely to come back to Chicago and could sign very soon.
- Levine said he saw Francona as the favorite to land the Cubs job… OUCH! I have noticed that the Chicago Media has been really lacking of late in the rumor department and outside sources like Cubbies Crib, Chicago Cubs Online, Bleacher Nation, my site (Hot Stove Cubbies), and others have been leading with breaking news and rumors. Which could be attributed to a lot of things but most notably their source is no longer on the baseball side. Yes, I mean Crane Kenney.
- Bryan LaHair is still considering playing in Japan.
- If Marmol is traded Shark or Cashner could be the closer according to Levine. I also would not count out Marshall or Wood for the position.
- Jason McLeod is scouting 19 years old OF Jorge Soler in the Dominican Republic while he is down there looking at Cespedes.
- The Cubs could be looking at Aaron Harang, Livan Hernandez, and Chris Capuano according to the Sun-Times. I can see Capuano because he is left-handed but the other two do not make sense to me.
- If the Cubs deal Sean Marshall and/or Matt Garza this year it is because they got a “can’t be beat package of prospects.” One rumor stats now a Garza deal would fetch more than what the Cubs gave up getting him. Marshall could fetch one top prospect and one mid-level. For example if the Yankees called on the Cubs about Matt Garza the deal would have to include two of Gary Sanchez, Manny Banuelos, and Jesus Montero plus two mid-level prospects, and a minor leaguer.

Until Next Time…