Cubs Extend Fleita, Wilken Possibly Next
Over the weekend, Tom Ricketts had the audacity to spend his own money on a guy he seems to believe is good at what he does. Someone whom the Detroit Tigers and possibly a few other organizations believed in as well. Some folks reacted as you might expect...with uninformed opinions.
Why is that stupid? Because that’s one of the prime positions that general managers want to fill. That’s not a position that a Fanboy Owner should be filling, and certainly not a Fanboy Owner who doesn’t seem to understand much beyond bison dogs and urinals.
So, now the situation in the Fanboy Owner’s search for Jim Hendry’s replacement is this: The new guy will have to take Fleita if he’s going to take the job.
Which means the situation is really this: The Fanboy Owner can forget about the top-shelf candidates he blathered on about hiring. Or maybe he already has. Maybe he was wrong or lying about that. Maybe he found out that what he’s offering is a joke as long as Clown Kenney remains his team president and no one else can get that title.
Rosenbloom seems to be actually using the term "Fanboy Owner" as a derogatory term, becaue we all know how much better it was with "Non-Fanboy Corporate Owner" in charge.
Nonetheless, Fleita's position as farm director and head of international scouting is an important one as is Tim Wilken's and rumors are that he may be next in line for a deal. With a new GM to soon be in place, there is worthy concern that you'd want that new GM to have some input there, as well that one of the bigger names would be upset that he doesn't get to bring in his own guys. But let's do some reading....
Like Fleita, Wilken will have a number of teams interested in his services. If the Cubs decide to make a further commitment to Wilken, the next general manager will have two vital positions in place when he takes over. There will, however, be some flexibility for Ricketts and his next general manager to make changes to those spots in the near future. Fleita’s deal (and a possible one for Wilkens) will be structured creatively with buyouts and options to benefit both the team and the executives.
So essentially Ricketts takes all the risk with his own money on a couple of guys he believes in and then leaves the option in there in case a new GM decides he wants his own guys in there. Oh the tragedy...
Now the actual wisdom of extending two guys, one of which has been in place since the turn of the century can certialy be questioned. Fleita may have a lot of admirers in the baseball world, but I don't think many of them are Cubs fans, although our own Arizona Phil has had mostly good things to say about him. It's not like the Cubs are well-renownned for their ability to develop young players and certain promotions have left me scratching my head. But I can firmly grasp that I have no idea the scope of what Fleita does and I presume, possibly on a faulty premise, that Ricketts did some homework and knows what he has and doesnt't have in Fleita and what other folks in baseball think of him.
As for Wilken, well I think Levine summed it up best..
Darwin Barney, Andrew Cashner, Casey Coleman, Jeff Samardzija, Tyler Colvin and farm-system jewel Brett Jackson are just a few of the Cubs’ signings since Wilken took over the amateur and pro scouting job in December of 2005.
I think Levine is trying to write that sentence as a positive? That in 5 years worth of drafting, Wilken has managed not one superstar player, well except for the "crown jewel" that is certain to be manning center field for a decade with a trophy case of awards despite striking out more than Adam Dunn did in the minors. You could have wrote that same sentence about Stockstill, couldn't you?
Ryan Theriot, Mark Prior, Sean Marshall, Rich Hill, Ryan Harvey and farm-system jewel Geovany Soto are just a few of the Cubs’ signings since Stockstill took over...
Anyway, I know I'm actually pretty disappointed in Wilken at the moment, although I do appreciate his out-of-the-box thinking. Well let's hope it was the cash flow that was truly holding him back. Time will tell...