Theo Reporter

It's day 8 of Theo Hostage Watch...I hear he's doing as well as can be expected. The Red Sox have taken his cell phone away and all other lines of communication and they have him bordered up in his office on Yawkey Way.  He is allowed to speak to his wife and children through closely monitored Skype chats. Once the Red Sox receive their terrorist demands, he's been assured of being released. Stay tuned...

Most of this has been covered in the comments, but time for a new thread.

- Peter Gammons reminds us he's a Red Sox fan by going on WEEI radio and regurgutating this line of B.S.

“This thing with the Cubs, they don’t actually have anyone negotiating that actually has been in development, so they don’t know the players the Red Sox talk about,” Gammons said. “They have the CEO of business, and the assistant general mnager, who wasn’t actually involved in the farm system. So, it’s been a difficult negotiation. And frankly, I think everyone involved knows the Cubs are a bottom-three farm system. Trey McNutt would be Red Sox prospect [No.] 25. For the Cubs to act like they’re giving up the next Billy Williams is kind of absurd."

If that's the way McNutt is thought of by the Red Sox, they should be happy not to get him. Anyway, Baseball America's Jim Callis says the Cubs organization is closer to the middle of the pack and Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus "respectfully disagrees" with Gammons assessment regarding McNutt's ranking if he was traded.

- Speaking of McNutt, nice article at fangraphs with video on him and saying he'd instantly become the Red Sox highest upside pitcher in the upper levels.

- Stats through yesterday of Cubs and ex-Cubs playing in the winter leagues...Brandon Sing still trying.

- Paul Sullivan name dropped Trey McNutt and Chris Carpenter as players of interest for the Red Sox. It's a steep price and I certainly hope they can get away with a lesser prospect for one of them. I also hope Prince Fielder or Albert Pujols signs with the Cubs for 5/75M, but normally you got to pay something to get something. And I'm certainly in the camp that bringing Theo Epstein and his pals is worth that price for a couple of arm injuries waiting to happen.

- Growing consensus seems to be that Theo will be named president of baseball operations and will ultimately hire a GM to deal with the day-to-day grind, with Padres GM Jed Hoyer or his assistant Josh Byrnes (both former Red Sox employees) as the frontrunners. Levine says the relationship between Padres owner Jeff Moorad and Ricketts is pretty good and compensation for Hoyer would be less of an issue than with the Red Sox if that comes to fruition.

I will say that little nugget makes me think that the Cubs could indeed walk away from the negotiations with the Red Sox (yes, this is a change of opinions from what I originally argued in the comments). While I still believe not sealing the deal for Theo would look bad for the Cubs and the press would have a field day with it. If he's just going to take the president title and hire a GM anyway, the Cubs can just go about the process of hiring Josh Byrnes and Jed Hoyer as the GM and hire Theo next offseason when his contract runs out. At least they wouldn't waste a year rebuilding that way as presumably Hoyer or Byrnes run similar organizations and would make similar decisions. Hell they can call Theo up and use morse code to see if he agrees. Not like the Red Sox would want him working for them next year, they'd probably pay him $7M to sit on his ass for a season to make a point.  There is the substantial risk that Theo changes his mind over the next year and doesn't take the president's job, so it's not something I advise, but it's a card the Cubs can try and play. Although the tampering accusations on that whole scenario would probably be a mess.


Heard Michael Silverman this AM on WSCR. He was covering the Series and was flying back to Boston.

The deal is still a stalemate, with both sides pretty entrenched.

He believes the Sox want to save some face after the end-of-season happenings, so are being less than accommodating in their valuation of a suit.

He thinks that Bud may have to get involved as we have been reading, and that his "Edict" will have to hold.

There was discussion on what I have posted regarding just walking away and calling the Red Sox' bluff, and just have Hoyer take over with Theo sitting around making bank.

That is assuming that the Padres thing is happening as well which nobody really knows...

Bottom line is this will probably get done, but who knows when.

The funny thing is that the Cubs are under no real tight time pressure to do anything, unless they're intending to make a splash in free agency (Fielder). I wonder if the Red Sox are intending to pursue him, or know that Theo likes him for the Cubs and are consequently trying to create time pressure because of that.

Otherwise, they've been without a real GM since July. What difference does another week make?

they do have to handle the Ramirez situation (i.e, remember to pick up his option so that he declines it so they can save $2M and then offer arbitration). I certainly wouldn't be against Ramirez back on two to three year deal and those discussions could begin with a new GM even if he has to test the market for a bit.

Dempster might be more willing to opt out w/o a GM in place, that might not be a bad thing.

I believe they also have to decide about the Rule 5, but I think that's late November.

You'd want something in place before the World Series is over for sure.

All of those decision could be handled by the current people in place, though. It's not like with Hendry gone everyone is running around like chicken Little with wet marks on their pants.

Maybe we lose Dempster without Theo in house, but maybe Theo comes in and encourages him to depart, anyway.

of course they could be, they could be handled by a simple poll on a variety of Cubs blogs.

doesn't mean either's a good idea...

I guess if you're operating on the premise that every decision he will make will be correct, and it will be the opposite of what the current staff would do... seems like a shaky proposition though.

I'm working on the proposition that it's best to have the people that you want making the decisions for the next 5 years, start making them.

Garza and Castro it is then!

that's exactly what I'm've nailed it.

But you aren't really saying anything.

What is going to happen? How is he going to shape the franchises future in the next two weeks?

start talking to Fielder's agent? Ramirez, Dempster, Q-Ball and getting a new manager that may have a small impact on FA's..those all start the process.

I don't recall making an ultimatum about it, just saying they should be in place by the end of the World Series at the very least. The sooner they start, the sooner the hopeful success cycle begins.

otherwise Kenney might still be involved. :)

If the Cubs were an 85 win team with a top farm system poised to strike, I would think that every day is crucial.

They're not, though, and despite our fantasies, Theo isn't going to come in and say "Forget what you think you know about baseball, this is what's goinh to happen." He's going to meet with and gather information from the staff, have the annual meetings etc... Fielder isn't signing with anyone until his agent gauges the Cubs interest, anyway.


Recent comments

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  • Yup. Have to agree. Baseball, like golf, certainly has that psych component for the player. There is no real reason why a fielding position should affect a batting average. The Cubs are 106 years over due for a little luck. Don't you guys think so? Maybe the rookies can bring some dumb luck on.

  • probably stacking capable lefties vs cole while keeping the "hot" castro in the game. fwiw, he's 1-6 lifetime with 0 bb/k vs cole (double).

    i chalk bryant's issues at the plate while playing OF up to coincidence so far.

  • I will call your dead horse, "Trigger".

    In one game, when anything is possble, I am glad that Joe Maddon is our Manager.

    He knows the stats better than all of us. It would seem, IF La Stella gets the start at 3B, it will be only up to the point that they were to get the lead (crosses fingers). From everything I have read, the game will be managed like a hoops game: offense/defense. So expect La Stella to be out of the game by the 5th. This team is incredibly deep which is so surprising. We never woulda thunk it.

  • i don't know what their roster plans are, but j.herrera is out there practicing with the team.

    i can't imagine him making any roster, though. dude had 4 PA the entire month of sept. him being a good dude to be around while keeping the clubhouse loose seems to be his main role at this point.

  • I know it's my own personal dead horse to beat --but Bryant has been a lousy hitter when playing the OF this year. Given that it's his first playoff game, I really hope they keep him in his natural position and don't mess with his routine.

    Lousy as in 8-for-45 with one XBH and no HR. Small sample and all that -- but why take the chance?

  • hard to tell what's up given they'll probably want to stack as many good lefties into the lineup as possible.

    castro being a bit hot doesn't help things. if he was still cool they'd probably stick la stella at 2nd and call it a day.

  • Madden won't announce lineups but Stella is practicing at 3rd and Bryant in LF today. I'd rather see Bryant at 3rd but I guess Stella has been hotter than Coghlan.

    /edit. Though I guess they could be practicing this with the idea Stella would come in as a PH then double switch him to 3rd base and Bryant to LF. Hope that's the plan instead

  • I really like the sound of that idea about expanding the AFL to ten teams. Each org. gets to field more players.
    They should do that anyway, regardless of Adv. Instructs.

  • Dallas Beeler, Corey Black, David Garner, Pierce Johnson, Steve Perakslis, James Pugliese, Duane Underwood Jr, and Rob Zastryzny threw early-morning bullpen side-sessions at Riverview yesterday.  

    Underwood threw last, and received specific one-on-one instruction from pitching coach Mike Mason. 

  • HAGSAG: There are only five advanced instructs squads left, and presently the only "co-op" team operating is the Angels/Cubs.

    The league was originally established as a "parallel" league to the AFL (a sort of "junior AFL"), for players too advanced for traditional ("basic") instructs but who were unable to get placed on AFL rosters due to AFL player-limits.

  • He is but I would think it'd be better to start out with offense and then bring in Jackson and LaStella once they have a lead. Stella has very good PH #s too.

  • most likely cost sharing + the league is short on players anyway. not many teams are chipping in on 'advanced instructional.'

  • I'm glad this is a one game playoff coming up, because McCutchen is one of my favorite MLB players. And as a baseball fan, I rather like the Pirates. I hope we beat them bad, of course. No mixed feelings here. And, I don't want a nail biter. Too old for that shit. The team of moran fans is easy to hate, though, and more suitable for a longer series.

  • A Jurickson Profar sighting!!!!???

  • I'd guess Jackson over Coghlan for the defense.

    EDIT: Now that I think about it, is Jackson a better defender?

  • Less stress on the pitching staff?