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.

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btw Callis says Red Sox and Cubs system are comparable, both with lots of depth, but not top-heavy and invested heavily in 2012 draft.

"invested heavily in 2012 draft."

You probably meant 2011, unless the idea is that by going 7-20 in September, the Sox invested in next year's draft.

typo indeed

http://www.csnchicago.com/baseball-chicago-cu...

significant (yet non-detailed) progress has been made on talks

Several sources confirmed to me today that while Epstein was the top choice of Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts all along, he was not the only candidate that Ricketts interviewed as he explored every avenue before making a hire. One candidate who interviewed and requested anonymity spoke of Ricketts long term plan.

“I was very impressed with Ricketts' openness and honesty to do whatever it takes to make the Cubs one of the elite franchises in all of baseball," he said. "He is focused on the organization as a whole, not just a quick fix to stabilize the major league club. He is fully prepared to spend significant dollars on baseball operations and he is going to allow the next GM total authority. I wish it was going to be me but they are getting a great one in Theo Epstein and he and his staff should have the ability to appropriate how they want to spend the budget which should be in the area of 150 million dollars including the draft and amateur signings."

That's very cool. I saw a quote from another major league executive during the draft signings who gushed over Rickett's commitment, too, basically saying anybody would love to work for the guy because of the commitment. It's all pretty promising. My opinion on Ricketts has done quite an about face over the last couple months.

Kaplan making shit up again?

I'm curious to know what you are referring to regarding Kaplan making stuff up. I know nothing about Kaplan, as he appears to be a Chicago radio guy and I'm not in Chicago. But he and Levine seem to be the only local journalists who are worth reading for Theo info. Everything in Sullivan, Wittenmyer, Rogers and DeLuca is yesterday's news if it's news at all. (Wittenmyer did have the teeniest little scoop yesterday about opinion being divided among Cub brass whether Vitters is expendable.)

To me, almost bigger than the Theo story is the incompetence of sports journalists in Chicago. Plus, the beat writers aren't on the Cubs' side, as opposed to the Boston writers dutifully relaying messages daily from Henry and Lucchino to the world.

Well, when Kaplan ranks the Red Sox farm system in the top 3, that will seal the deal on him.

In my experience, radio guys tend to make stuff up more than print. There's some TCR guys who swear by Kaplan, and others not so much.

**Plus, the beat writers aren't on the Cubs' side, as opposed to the Boston writers dutifully relaying messages daily from Henry and Lucchino to the world.**

Bruce Levine disagrees with you.

But I do agree with you that most of the Cubs/Chicago baseball "journalists" are a joke.

On this debate surrounding Theo, Cubs, Red Sox... there will be a solution. Bud's in the mix. Expect it soon

The Peter Principle Plan to bring Theo Epstein to the Cubs as Team President after he was the GM on two World Series Champion teams in Boston with the understanding that he will hire one of his proteges to be the GM smells an awful lot like about 15 years ago when the Cubs hired Andy MacPhail to be Team President after he was the GM on two World Series Champion teams in Minnesota, only to see MacPhail hire the ever-incompetent Ed Lynch to be his GM.

If you want to hire Theo Epstein primarily because he was a GM on two World Series Champion teams, then make him the GM. I don't want to see Josh Byrnes or Jed Hoyer as the GM. It would be MacPhail-Lynch all over again.

MACPHAIL: You traded who for Matt Karchner?

oh fine, rain on the parade...

was Ed Lynch one of MacPhail's guys?

My memories are that Lynch was already part of the Cubs organization when they hired him and no prior GM experience.

I know you don't like Byrnes and maybe Hoyer, but they've had some success already as GM's (some failures too).

Submitted by Rob G. on Wed, 10/19/2011 - 5:20pm.
oh fine, rain on the parade...

was Ed Lynch one of MacPhail's guys?

My memories are that Lynch was already part of the Cubs organization when they hired him and no prior GM experience.

I know you don't like Byrnes and maybe Hoyer, but they've had some success already as GM's (some failures too).

==================================

ROB G: Ed Lynch was the Player Development Director for the San Diego Padres before he was hired as Cubs GM.

MacPhail did not have a group of Assistant General Manager Proteges following him around in Minnesota like Epstein did in Boston, so it wasn't a matter of him bringing in one of his guys to be the GM.

But what is important is this...

MacPhail was a successful General Manager. He took the Cubs job offer to be Team President because (from everything I've heard from people who were involved at the time) he was burned out as a GM and wanted to try something else (he supposedly really wants to be MLB Commissioner).

No question Epstein was a successful GM. But I disagree about Josh Byrnes and Jed Hoyer as being good choices to be General Managers.

Byrnes took an Arizona Diamondbacks team built by GM Joe Garagiola, Jr, Scouting Director Mike Rizzo, and Player Development Director Tommy Jones and ran it into the ground within three years. He was in way over his head, but hey, he was a Theo Epstein Disciple, so he must be good.

Very similar to what Peter Principlian GM Jim Frey did with the Dallas Gren/Gordon Goldsberry-built Cubs team of the late 80's, riding it to the NLCS in 1989 before watching what should have been a longer running success story collapse around him thanks to stupid and unnecessary trades and dumb FA signings.

Other than working as an underling for Theo Epstein in Boston, Jed Hoyer has nothing to recommend him, either.

I understand why long-suffering Cub fans (of which I am one) are attracted to Theo Epstein. He broke The Curse of the Bambino in Boston, so he certainly should be able to break the Billy Goat Curse, too. Right?

I just think Ricketts should understand that if he hires Epstein to be Team President and then Epstein hires a Byrnes or a Hoyer to be his GM, that he might not be getting what he thinks he is getting.

While I agree with the concern (and haven't had time to research yet), isn't Hoyer at least acceptable, esp with a Theo safety net? He had the balls to trade AGonz when I don't think some GMs (ahem, JH) would have.

Submitted by Tony S. on Wed, 10/19/2011 - 5:43pm.
While I agree with the concern (and haven't had time to research yet), isn't Hoyer at least acceptable, esp with a Theo safety net? He had the balls to trade AGonz when I don't think some GMs (ahem, JH) would have.

===========================

TONY S: If you're looking for somebody to be a GM of a low payroll, small market team, with no expectations of success anytime soon, then I guess Jed Hoyer could be the guy.

The one thing Theo Epstein (and ONLY Theo Epstein) can bring to the Cubs that has value is his expertise and track record as a General Manager of a large market, high payroll team, and even then there are some red flags over his performance there over the past couple of seasons.

And I certainly would not give up anything of significance as far as player compensation is concerned to get him.

Byrnes took an Arizona Diamondbacks team built by GM Joe Garagiola, Jr, Scouting Director Mike Rizzo, and Player Development Director Tommy Jones and ran it into the ground within three years.

respectfully disagree with your sentiment

they made the playoffs in 2007 and the year after he was fired in 2011. If you are trying to credit everyone else but Byrnes for the successful 2007 season, then he gets a lot of the credit for 2011. You can't have it both ways.

They also thought so well of him to give him an unprecedented 8-year extension and was one of two finalists for Mets job. The reason for his firing allegedly was a refusal to fire AJ Hinch.

Same goes for Hoyer, Padres won 15 more games his first year there rather surprisingly. I'm not gonna fault him for having to trade Gonzalez, they got a good return and from my passive observations, haven't done anything dumb.

I just think Ricketts should understand that if he hires Epstein to be Team President and then Epstein hires a Byrnes or a Hoyer to be his GM, that he might not be getting what he thinks he is getting.

certainly some truth to that, but as reports have come out that the Cubs have had the smallest front office in baseball, it sounds more like they're just trying to catch up with the times.

I think we can agree that over the last 15 or so years for the Cubs, whatever the process for making decisions and hierarchy involved is rather dysfunctional and behind the times.

But being behind the times is the story of the Cubs...

fwiw, everyone seems to be suggesting it will be Hoyer with Byrnes taking over in San Diego.

I wonder what the Padres and Red Sox fans are going to think about the Gonzalez deal when they see both GM's sitting in Chicago's front office less than a year later.

respectfully disagree with your sentiment

Moments like these frighten me. Only your's and AZ Phil's authority prevent this place from descending into a state of civil war, Rob. I have visions of NAVIGATOR, The Real Neal, crunch, and Chad leading their warring clans from atop separate thrones of human skulls while Cubbie Blue cuts satirical comics into pieces of driftwood and rokfish sends his incomprehensible elegies via carrier pigeon.

Or maybe the negative feeling just stems from my childhood experience growing up in two separate homes and I merely dread the interweb stepdaddies and stepmommies that might try to take your's and AZ Phil's places.

im still trying to figure out how d.haren got traded from ARZ for the pathetic package that resulted...i dont care how much pressure to lower payroll you have...that was a mindblowing trade, imo.

J. Byrnes was already fired by that point.

He traded for Haren and gave up quite a bit though (C. Gonzalez, C. Carter, D. Eveland, A. Cunningham, G. Smith and B. Anderson).

heh, that was great.

I'm fairy certain that AZ Phil and I are fine with agreeing to disagree at times and keeping it quite civil.

In reality, it just occurred to me that it's kind of nice to see AZ Phil getting a chance to take part in conversations that are always going to be characterized by debate, rather than his usual field in which he is always going to be (among most crowds at least) the highest authority. It reminds me that the mysteries of baseball would not disclose themselves if only we had an AZ Phil for every issue. It's a very intellectually democratic moment for TCR, I think. And it's another reason that I enjoy reading the comments here and not just the main posts.

Also, to be honest, in my imagination, everyone here is a hot lesbian, not a warlord or parental figure.

I demand to be represented according to my status here. Please add:
jumbo will watch it all while drinking beer and scratching his balls

someone's been watching too much Game of Thrones, heh.

AZ, when you have a strong opinion about something like this, it gets kind of scary

Agree. I also think he's been testy since the end of the APIL (Az Phil Intructional League ;-)

Source believes #Cubs -- #Padres talks are going smoother than #Cubs -- #RedSox. Why am I not surprised? #Theo

the source "believes"?? how devout of him

it's weird watching people who were anti-garza-trade being okay with giving up prospects for a guy with a cell phone and pencil.

who are you specifically talking about?

i'm not railing out a list so they can come and defend themselves...no one i'm talking about is gung-ho and one has an * on his statements that it wouldn't matter that much if they moved on to a suit that didn't cost compensation.

it just doesn't match the anti-garza-trade furor on comparison for giving up talent...

fwiw, i find the garza trade important to what was being attempted in 2011 as well as an important part of a weak 2012 pitching market...and i know i wouldn't mind the guy getting a 3+ year deal.

Let's see if Theo, or whoever gets the job, trades the remaining prospects in our system for someone to follow Cyarza in the rotation.

This is an absolute paradoxical impossibility.

It takes the rest to get the GM..!

(which, I'm all for...)

Sun-Times railing on Kenney now

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/...

The fact the Epstein deal hasn’t been closed reveals the naivete of the Cubs’ management team, specifically president Crane Kenney. A major-league source said Kenney has bragged since September that he is leading this process, despite claims from Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts that the former Tribune Co. executive wouldn’t be involved.

Whoever is leading the talks for the Cubs committed a major blunder by closing the deal with Epstein before signing off on compensation with the Red Sox. That gave the Red Sox’ brass — knowing the Cubs couldn’t afford to have the deal collapse at this point — huge bargaining power.

Teams typically work out compensation before moving to the next step, as the White Sox did last month in their talks to send manager Ozzie Guillen to the Florida Marlins. That goof by the Cubs has caused the Epstein talks to drag on longer than necessary.

same old, same old...he runs his mouth.

also, since when was he not involved when it's been reported he is involved...even meetings?

it's a helluva leap to conclusion by DeLuca to be honest.

but yet again, more fuel to the fire.

it's known fuel, though...for at least 2 years, if not more. he really made a reputation for himself during the zell transition when he powerplayed his role as grandfather linking tribune's suits to zell's transition team...ricketts kept him on, too.

a pesky little brother isn't a dominating strict father even if they're in the same family.

a pesky little brother isn't a dominating strict father even if they're in the same family

it's neat that you've convinced yourself that was the argument anyone was making.

my argument all along about the guy is that he's not running things, pulling strings, or making things happen on the scale some people think.

i also am yet to see, hear, or read of an instance where he was shot calling.

the guy gives too much info, has a huge ego, has pissed off reporters by having to answer to where they got info on stuff only to piss off others in the organization by replying the info came from the prez...he's a very difficult personality with a loud mouth and an inflated sense of worth to his employers in the wrong realm of what they actually have him around for. he's lucky he's so good at making sports/government/civil business get done or he would have been bounced 1-2-3 owners ago.

cool then, we're in agreement...

he's a nuisance that gets in the way of baseball people doing baseball things and should have been fired or reassigned long ago.

pretty much...it's just gotten to a stupid-level of overblown of what some people think the guy does. there's a lot of people out there with real reasons not to like the guy or find him annoying without pretending he's working 80 hours a week running the team like a secret mob boss.

Crane Kenney should be demoted to beer vendor and have to see how real people with real jobs live.

I'd offer the Red Sox one from column A and one from column B. Column A: Jeff Beliveau (a New England native), Eric Jokisch, Chris Rusin; Column B: Greg Rohan, Matt Cerda, Justin Bour

Did the Red Sox just hire Jim Hendry as the director of scouting? I doubt they have any interest in those latter three. They're the prospect equivalents of replacement level players.

But that's what I think the clearing price should be. That's about what the Marlins just paid for Ozzie, which was in part to settle tampering charges, which don't exist here. If the Sox did originally ask for Carza, I think they're delusional, but it indicates a wide gap between bida and ask. I think it should settle at some thing like I offered: guys that could be expected to get to the majors. If they want a better non-pitching prospect, I'd offer less on the pitcher side.

I have a suspicion that Selig will get involved, if he iis not already involved. I don't think MLB wants to set up a market for trading players for executives, and therefore will not want either MLB players or crown jewel type prospects to go.

I could see sending them one of Flaherty, LeMahieu, or Lake and then also a relief arm that's close to the majors, like Beliveau. I would hate to see the Cubs part with a real starting pitching prospect, though (except maybe a Jay Jackson 5th starter type).

Flaherty, okay, because he's older. He will be a major leaguer, however.

I've always thought Beliveau would be highly vulnerable because the Red Sox could say they got the Cubs' minor-league pitcher of the year. And he is 24. But I hope the Cubs steer the conversation to someone else.

Not directed at you, VA Phil, but just in general because a couple of people have made comments in a similar vein.

The Red Sox are going to want to get guys who they will reach the majors and contribute in a meaningfull way. The Cubs system isn't stacked with those guys.

They're not going to take the types guys Hendry traded his vets for. They're smarter than Hendry, which is why we are replacing Hendry with Epstein.

made a great play to get an out in the top of the first. I don't care who you are, it was badass, he really wanted that out. #desire

cj wilson...we dont want you in a cubs uniform if you can't take care of stl, anyway...hurumph.

also, wtf stl in the WS...wtf...

Barney-lite says hi ;)

Ugh. Can u believe it? WS??

i cant believe the cards are in the WS and the most exciting thing in cubs-land is that we're looking to shift prospects in order to get a new GM who wants to be president/GM and hire another GM who's already a GM on another team which will probably cause more prospects to be traded...*deep breath*...

Will the team be better or worse after the new additions. you have to ask yourself this. having been one who gave some benefit of the doubt to the last regime early on, then started hating on it.

SO, will Theo be a huge upgrade?

IDK.

But why should the fucking Ned-Flanders Cardinals have such dominance over my team for so long?!

Hopefully we'll finally be some log-term competition to them starting soon.

it's impossible to say what an executive will do...or add to a team vs. a player.

we had a guy who signed neifi for a couple years around 2m bucks...we're about to get a guy who signed alex cora for a couple years around 2m bucks...

it's not like theo's immune from status quo, greatness, or mistakes...some people never get the 2nd of those 3 and he has, though.

He is one smart motherfucker. Now with pedigree and experience.

And, believe me he would be an upgrade over the status quo.

visions of NAVIGATOR, The Real Neal, crunch, and Chad leading their warring clans...
---
Don't forget the War-Blue face paint

Doc Cubster in the trenches with his trusty amputation knife. We don't need no stinkin' towel drills.

http://tinyurl.com/44pv5oz

no love for silent towel and mikec?

cold, yo.

I assume Mike C is busy enriching uranium and silent towel is assembling his corpse army already, as we haven't heard from either in a while.

There are a lot of personalities on this blog.

MIKE C is busy on his own blog: The Cubs Non-Prospector

As an on and off participant from the days of no cursing, Transmission, Christian, etc, I'm actually kinda glad to not be present enough to warrant mention.

"In my day, kids, Az Phil was just a regular commenter like you and me..." =)

Silent Towel, LOL. That was teh awesome. Every blog needs a nitwit like that now and then.


OMFG IT'S THE HOURLY THEO UPDATE

http://www.bostonherald.com/blogs/sports/red_...

short and vague...just how i like my theo news.

Trick or treat?

Kaplan: @thekapman: I just spoke with two excellent sources on Epstein negotiations and it appears deal is basically done with announcement of agreement tmrw.

stoopid worthless sources, no names? Kaplan forgot to send the Malnotti's?

who likes a good conspiracy? TCR likes a good conspiracy...

"Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the Padres have internally discussed the possibility of trading for John Lackey."

the possibilities of a 3-team clusterfuuuuu...awesome.

Who has the worst contract on San Diego? That's likely who would end up a Cub.

Let's see, Z, McNutt, and Carpenter to Boston for Lackey and Epstein, Lackey to SD for Hoyer and Orlando Hudson (5.5 mil in 2012 plus 2 mil buyout of 8 mil option). Cubs and Red Sox pay at least half of the $45 million of Lackey's contract. Sounds about right.

Petco's a good fit for Lackey...well any pitcher.

so they can fire Mike Quade by Friday?

Is it a foregone conclusion that Qubes is gone? I sure hope so, but does the rest of the world know how lost he was?

Muskat tweets:

Bryan LaHair is en fuego. He hit 6th HR for Magallanes in his 7th Venezuelan winter ball game Wed night.

daaaamn.

Navegantes del Magallanes (Magellan's Navigators) is my team! Go Navigators!!

I don't think I've ever seen a ball hit harder than LaHair hit #6 home run. It was a frozen rope line drive that cleared the right center field wall before the crowd could finish gasping. A real jolt.

Of course there's always a caveat if you're a Cub fan. LaHair hit that bomb off of Hector Mayora and Mayora (22) is a Boise Hawk. On the other hand, Mayora has only allowed 3 HR in 137 IP in the minors. He's stingy with the long ball.

Video link of LaHair's hr?

You can watch the replay of the game (if you hurry) on Espn3.com
Scroll about 2/3 of the way through the game to the bottom of the 6th inning.

Peter Gabriel's Biko is oddly fitting...

October, 2011
Mike Quade thinks he's doing fine
It was business as usual
In the Wrigley Field vines

Oh Theo, Theo, because Theo
Oh Theo, Theo, because Theo
Billy Sianis, Billy Sianis
Your goat is dead
Your goat is dead

When I try to watch TV at night
I can only watch in red
The world series is wrong tonight
I want these friggin' birds dead

Oh Theo, Theo, because Theo
Oh Theo, Theo, because Theo
Billy Sianis, Billy Sianis,
Your goat is dead
Your goat is dead

You can throw out every first pitch
As long as Cue-Ball's fired
Once Theo-fever begins to catch
The hype will blow it higher

Oh Theo, Theo, because Theo
Oh Theo, Theo, because Theo
Billy Sianis, Billy Sianis
Your goat is dead
Your goat is dead

And the eyes of the world are watching now
watching now

Nice one, and it makes me want another about Hendry's departing to "The Blood of Eden".

indie league nightmare featuring washed up ex-major leaguers and a kevin costner owned (or part owned) indie ball team (North American League)...

http://washingtonexaminer.com/sports/2011/10/...

Cafardo must have the same source as Gammons

Completely agree with @pgammo that cubs have bottom three farm systm regardless of where milb pubs rank them. Cubs have very little.

I don't care what the experts say, my buddy knows more... what an idiot.

Maybe they're confusing "bottom third" with "bottom three"? Saying we're ranked 21 is at least defensible.

Nick Cafardo of the BOSTON Globe? Stunning

At least Boston writers are loyal. It's the company line.

Wikipedia: "Gammons was a featured writer at The Boston Globe for many years as the main journalist covering the Boston Red Sox."

Like a lot of journalists, Kaplan is very high on "I was first" to break the story. I get it, but it's annoying.

Great headline from the Sun-Times:
Hiring Theo Epstein won’t guarantee Cubs will end Series drought

Sorry if this has already been posted. I'm having computer troubles...

Radio report from Levine this morning says Epstein deal is on the 5 yard line. McNutt, B. Jackson, & Szczur not involved. "Jud" Hoyer coming to Cubs (no compensation to Padres).

good news if McNutt's not going, I'm guessing Cub Carpenter is one of them, no idea on the second.

also this

and at one point proposed the Cubs take pitcher John Lackey's contract as part of the compensation, according to a major league source. Lackey has three seasons remaining on a five-year, $82.5 million contract. He was 12-12 with a 6.41 ERA in 28 starts for the Red Sox in 2011.

I think I'd rather take Lackey's contract than to trade McNutt. Surely a move to the NL central would do him some good.

Yeah. I'd rather take on a bad contract that fills an area of need (starting pitching) than give up a good prospect from an area of weakness (err, prospects).

Sullivan's take, should probably trust Levine more

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball...

The drawn-out saga concludes a week of talks between the two teams over the value of Epstein in a trade. Boston is expected to receive at least one top-level prospect, perhaps right-hander Trey McNutt, and a low-level prospect.

No, Paul, the week of talks *was* the "drawn-out saga" (if you really must characterize SEVEN DAYS in an intensely pejorative fashion for some reason). *This* is the conclusion. Chicago sportswriters aren't even trying to make sense anymore.

"Jud" Hoyer coming to Cubs (no compensation to Padres).

interesting, is Moorad trying to build up leverage so he has some allies in ownership for something?

There was rumblings early in the Hoyer speculation (it's been linked here, don't have it handy) about (a) Moorad and Ricketts already being buddies and (b) Moorad being fine with Hoyer leaving because Byrnes is 'like a son to him' (or some such).

It's probably pity, or Moorad just likes Byrnes better, or maybe even a warning from Bud's office to not continue the f'ng circus...?

I read that, but no one is that nice. Maybe Moorad just wanted Byrnes to be GM in the first place but already had Hoyer, but even then you rarely just give up an asset for absolutely nothing.

At the very least, he wants Ricketts to side with him on future ownership issues.

My guess? Moorad is cheap and this will save him a few bucks. Problem solved and no buyout!

@nickcafardo
Nick Cafardo Just asked John Henry if Theo deal was close to being done. "No, not close," he responded.
11 minutes ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®

Maybe the ball is on the Sox' five-yard line, and Henry is saying, They'll never get in!

You don't take a pass on a GM or President because of McNutt or Chris Carpenter. Not unless you are talking about the Cy Young award-winning Chris Carpenter. That notion is asinine. I know TCR loves them some prospects, but prospects are worthless until they do something. Worthless.

My belief is the deal is done, they're just stalling until the WS series is over (like I said they would do last week). Bud Selig doesn't like off-season headlines to eclipse the playoffs.

...and seconds later, I read this on ESPN:

Major League Baseball already has told the Cubs that they can have a news conference on Friday to introduce Epstein, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.

Thanks for making me sound like a jackass, MLB.

It's still a valid point, and if they don't wrap this up soon Selig may step in say enough is enough. This deal shouldn't be this complicated. It's not like the sides are negotiating national borders or anything.

Just to follow your line of thought to it's logical conclusion, in 2000 Albert Pujols was worthless (Jeff Bagwell was worthless in 1990, Greg Maddux in 1985, Starlin Castro in April of 2010 etc). That's the official Ryno opinion on prospects?

And to follow yours, BJax is going to have
10 yrs of .300/30/100 production? Or McNutt has 4 CY in a row ahead of him?

Age old argument, let's not be absurd.

Nobody thought Piazza would be as good as he was, but that doesn't mean trading a 62nd rd pick (or whatever) for Theo wouldn't be a good idea, or that it should be this complicated.

"I know TCR loves them some prospects, but prospects are worthless until they do something. Worthless."

[ ]

"And to follow yours, BJax is going to have
10 yrs of .300/30/100 production? Or McNutt has 4 CY in a row ahead of him?"

To say that the statement that "prospects are worthless" is silly does not imply that all prospects are future hall of famers.

"Not every prospect. Just every guy on the AA Tennessee roster" VA Phil

I haven't been high on McNutt and Vitters (both at Tennessee) because apparently they look better than they perform. They have upside but they don't show you much today. I'm interested in Cub prospects but I don't get to see them, so I have a built-in bias in favor of those who perform better than they look.

In the case of Samardzija, the people who judge on looks were right and I was wrong.

Samardzija isn't exactly a safe bet just because of his respectable 2011.

According to Fangraphs, the Cubs are still considerably in the hole on the Samarddijaza signings.

No, it doesn't. Neither does a few cherry-picked examples of stars when they were prospects prove that all prospects are worth a damn, which was the post.

You, me, nor anyone on here knows for certain if Trey McNutt will even be playing baseball in a couple years. And some of us disagree over the value he or any other prospect brings to the organization over the next five years compared to that of a given GM. I say trade em all and start over if that's what it takes, have open tryouts. But that's my opinion, which some folks share and some don't.

It's why they're called prospects, and the banter is why TCR is fun for me

The point is that prospects have value. We may disagree as to what that value is (and of course none of us know what the future holds), but to say they are worthless is at best silly.

Put another way, for every Pujols, there are almost countless Mike Harkeys, CPats, (shall I go on?).

I don't know where McNutt will fall, but the odds are literally against him.

But that's not what he said. You're obviously reading something into it, that's fine. But that's not what he said. He said that prospects are worthless, not the Cubs current prospects (which is a very stupid statement in and of itself), but prospects, which means any prospect in the game.

Prospects aren't worthless, they get you things... like GMs, apparently.

Seriously, I agree that prospects aren't worthless, and maybe I did read into it.

That said, and with no concept of what Boston really wants or doesn't, does it really f'ng matter if we give up some prospects to get the next GM? Is he worth it? Hell, I don't know, but at the end of the day, if you want something bad enough, ya gotta pay. So just fucking pay. Worst case? Trey McNutt is the next Babe Ruth and Theo wastes the next 5 years on hookers and blow. I say it doesn't matter because it's still the right call today.

The assumption is that Theo will work whatever GM voodoo here that he worked in Boston (which I'm not sold on), implying that the credit for two rings goes to him. What does McNutt have on his record? The argument is, he doesn't have jack, because he hasn't even smelled the show yet. Now before you jump my ass, notice I said 'yet'. He may not only get there, he may excel, but to this point, he hasn't.

The funny thing about this? I like the prospects better, because overpaying for Theo is philosophically akin to overpaying for Soriano. But I just don't think anybody in the Cubs' system would be overpaying, except mayyybe BJax. I just don't have any faith in the Cubs' player development, and the irony is that's what a lot of people want to see Theo start work on first.

What I was really pointing out (and I am OK with trading prospects for a GM, though would prefer we didn't have to), is that prospects do have value. If they don't have value, we could trade Jackson,Szczur and McNutt and promise to give them Baez and Vogelbomb at a later date, all to get the GM... and of course one of the main reasons we want to have the new GM is so that we can get better prospects (who are worthless).

Ryno doesn't really believe that prospects are worthless, he just thinks that Cubs fans over value ours. He's probably right, but that's not what he said.

Word.

Mike Harkey was not a failed prospect.

A 10 yr pro career with a .500 record and a 4.49 ERA from a first rd pick?

If Theo (or anybody else) doesn't consider that a failure it's gonna be another hundred years.

He had an awesome year before the shoulder injury that pretty much derailed his career. He was a failed prospect in the same way that Mark Prior and Kerry Wood failed as prospects.

That said I do agree that many around here really over rate the system as a whole.

The system produced our best players...Ramirez, Castro, Marshall, Marmol, Soto, Garza.. the only exception is probably Dempster.

Our ability to absorb salary had more to do with Garza and Ramirez being here. And lets not pretend this is a talented team by any stretch.

Our now fired GM had more to do with both of them being here. There were plenty of teams that could afford Garza. There was only one shit-for brain GM who thought he should trade four of his top 13 prospects for him.

Rosenthal says Padres assistant GM Jason McLeod coming over as well.

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/Chicago-Cu...

Since we are plundering San Diego, can we negotiate a few sunny days in February too?

another dude saying "not so fast".

http://www.bostonherald.com/blogs/sports/red_...

another dude says Cubs haven't even asked permission to talk to Hoyer yet.

http://twitter.com/ScottMCBSSports/status/127...

PLAYED DH YESTERDAY FOR MESA, AND DREW A WALK. HE'S TRAINING TO BE A RED SOX. CONSIDER IT A DONE DEAL.

MCNUTT AND CARPENTER GOT ROUGHED UP - THEY'RE STAYING WITH THE CUBS.

Fire Uncle Fester!

They need a live webcam of Cue-Ball getting the news he's fired.

or, a farewell mentioning the players missed, named only by their nicknames.

"Hey Qua-dee, or is it Cuey?...oh the who fuck cares...I want you to look at two things here. Tell me what you see"

(shows video of Castro at shortstop looking lost before a pitch, followed by Soriano playing with his glove before a pitch)

"Well, that's Castro dicking around again, kid really needs to stay focused 100% of the time. Soriano's playing as hard as ever".

"That's what I thought, go home, don't come back...ever, unless you buy a ticket."

http://mlb.sbnation.com/2011/10/20/2502512/je...

A Red Sox fan takes a look at Jed Hoyer

FWIW: according to GM Scores, Theo was worth 20.3 WAR per year for Boston

http://www.85percentsports.com/2011/04/21/gm-...

interesting stuff, allegedly Cherington, Hoyer and others pulled off the Hanley for Beckett trade. Doubt anyone is too upset over it. Marlins scored a star, Red Sox scored a star and a WS ring.

I read "were involved in" not "pulled off" on the Hanley trade.

not from that link, Beckett trade happened post gorilla suit, pre-getting rehired while Epstein was touring South America following Pearl Jam.

They may very well have asked him about it or he was still pulling the strings, I certainly don't know for sure.

a 180...

thekapman David Kaplan
Here is latest: Deal not yet signed off by BoSox. No presser yet scheduled but deal will get done. Still hoping for Fri but not guaranteed.

Keith Law chat

Re: Junior Lake's arm
I could go 7 on that. But his lack of instincts on both sides of the ball is scary. I'm not sure he can stay in the infield, and his favorite pitch to hit is the first one of the at bat.

Re: Theo, Jed and McLeod
I would expect Theo to remain involved in baseball decisions. Those guys (and McLeod) worked well together in Boston so I don't expect the friction you might normally anticipate when the President is dabbling in baseball ops.

Re: McNutt
Or Red Sox fans? He's a good athlete with arm strength who'll flash an above-average breaking ball, but he's not repeating his delivery at all, not the arm path, not the release point. Fair amount of work to do there but with upside of a 2-3 starter if you can get him some consistency.

Re: Lake as "Future leadoff hitter or more middle of the order if he can figure it out on defense?"(1:29 PM)
Neither. I guess he's replacing Terdoslavich as this year's "most overrated prospect based on a tiny AFL sample."

some other less interesting Cubs bits

meanwhile, Angels making a play for Friedman?

found on rotoworld
According to DRaysBay, Rays executive vice president Andrew Friedman was seen dining Tuesday night in St. Petersburg with Angels owner Arte Moreno and team president John Carpino.

Just trying to figure out how to beat the Rangers.

Sun-Times

Despite media hyperventilating from a couple outlets w/ same source, Cub-R.Sox talks not done.

and

As several outlets have reported all week, deal is "when not if" proposition that could be announced Fri -- or next wk.

http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/...

The actually people involved in the talks - GM-to-be Ben Cherington and owner John Henry - felt there was much work to do before an agreement is in place, while the Cubs side where Tom Ricketts, team president Crane Kenney and assistant GM Randy Bush obviously have a different view per reports out of Chicago via sources that the teams are close to hashing it out.

Gordon Edes
It's done, according to source: Hoyer to join Theo as GM of Cubs, Byrnes new GM in SD

Woohoo! Not sure I really like Theo not being GM for the first couple of seasons to at least get things in order, but as long as he's bringing in smart people who are all on the same page, that's a huge improvement over the clowns who have typically run the team in my lifetime.

I suppose the major attraction for Theo (besides another drought to break), was working fewer hours and and having a less stressful life if he's only the team president. Which is understandable.

Apparently his source isn't the same as Carfado's.

Edes updated that Theo deal not done until medicals get approved on players going to Boston.

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/may/2...

McLeod fella talks about scouting, mentions Mark Prior

Press release when McLeod was hired by Padres

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/press_releases/press_...

be interesting to see how he works with Wilken

Did Wilken get an extension too, or just Fleita?

no extension, signed through 2012 I believe.

also report from Espn Chicago that Epstein wanted Byrnes, but he said no. Then moved to Hoyer who asked for 5-year extension from Padres first and didn't get it.

http://espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/story/_/id/712...

medicals still need to be approved on for the prospects that no one can unearth names of yet according to kaplan

So, Carfado tweets that Epstein is working out of his office in Boston, and from THERE, Epstein is working the phones on trying to get people under contract in SD to come work for him in Chicago?

scratches head, starts to do some work for another company from office.

I'm guessing his office is not inside the Green Monster at Fenway.

So technically the Red Sox GM is tampering with San Diego employees, which means Lucchino will have to pay the compensation to Moorad. :)

this whole thing, especially the "tampering" thing, is a whole lot more casual than people give it credit for. organizations are rarely out to bend another organization over a table and violate them over a procedural issue or technicality.

at the end of the day 30 teams are trying to get 30 individually different jobs done under the same realm.

we are talking about a business that will lend players and minor leaguers to each other as favors and/or future consideration for no other reason than to be friendly and perhaps get a guy more ABs/innings even if it's somewhere else.

World Series Game #1 on FOX: 5.2 in M18-49 (-13% vs. last year) and 14.2 million viewers (-3%). 2nd smallest Game #1 audience behind '06.

Good to know America dislikes the Cardinals as much as Cubs fans

heh

Do Larry Lucchino's lips move when Cafardo speaks?

@nickcafardo Epstein still working in Boston - http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/...

The Red Sox need the Cubs to feel the pain for taking Epstein away and the Cubs need to feel as though they haven't given much up and still acquired one of the best team builders in the game.

"Both sides have really dug in with their positions," said a major league source.

~snip~

The solution offered here is allow Epstein to negotiate or have input in who the Cubs give up for him. Epstein wants this done. He's got bigger problems with the Cubs than the loss of one top prospect.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball...

A source said the Cubs were prepared for an announcement Friday, but added the deal is "not done" yet.

This is getting so boring! Get on with it.

I never thought I'd be excited about a new GM, but as a Cub fan, small joys are what I embrace. Development and philosophy-wise, I'm glad we'll be getting out of the stone age (ie. hit ball, good). I also think acquiring Theo, while not the only one who could bring this change, sends a message to players and management elsewhere that the Cubs are 'serious this time' about winning. Will this help us land better free agents? I don't know, but at least we'll be finished with all the Hendry doughnut jokes. Hee hee, he's fat. fart.

I also look forward to a time when I'm more active here during the season instead of more interested in my fantasy team than in the Cubs.

I also look forward to a time when I'm more active here during the season instead of more interested in my fantasy team than in the Cubs.

like that would ever that happen.

I likes the green.

[edit] Actually, the real reason is that I'm in Korea and most of the activity here takes place when I'm working or sleeping. I know how sad this makes everyone.

[edit] Actually, the real reason is that I like making you cry.

Scott Miller at CBS has the latest Theo-gate update...

http://scott-miller.blogs.cbssports.com/mcc/b...

Compensation issues are not limited to the Cubs and Red Sox in this elaborate game of executive hopscotch, either...the Padres also are expected to be compensated by the Cubs for allowing Hoyer to break his contract... San Diego most likely will receive one or two lower-level minor leaguers in return.

As of early Thursday evening, the Cubs had neither asked permission from Major League Baseball to hold a news conference on Friday, a World Series off day, nor had they asked permission from the Padres to speak with Hoyer.

I hear that "As of early Thursday evening, the Cubs had neither asked permission from Major League Baseball to hold a news conference on Friday, a World Series off day, nor had they asked permission from the Padres to speak with Hoyer."

No way!

eh, cubster fixed his post...

I heard that Cubster fixed his post.

I have a source close to Rob G that says nothing is imminent concerning Cubster's post. Furthermore, another source tells me that he believes Rob G is being 'difficult' concerning fixes to Cubster's post.

As of early Thursday evening, the Tony S. had neither asked permission from Major League Baseball to hold a news conference on Friday, a World Series off day, nor had they asked permission from TCR to speak with Rob G.

Angelfan wife is tweeting that Tony S. is going to have to come off a substantial compensation package to speak with Rob G.

Same Scott Miller dude says this

#Cubs not only will compensate #Red Sox for Theo, #Padres will receive comp from Cubs for Hoyer/McLeon. Likely two lower level minor lgrs

In that case, we'll really need these guys to help rebuild the system.

or learn how to play SP/RF/3rd/1st...

i wonder if there's a pitching coach out there somewhere under contract the cubs could send some prospects out to obtain.

i wonder if there's a pitching coach out there somewhere under contract the cubs could send some prospects out to obtain.

---

Just offer Maddux a boatload of cash and all the blow and hookers he could ever need.

you could probably deal it down to McDonalds gift certificates and a really comfy folding chair.

Make it so.

Great.

I know have "Hookers and Blow" stuck in my mind to the tune of "Siver and Gold" from the animated "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" video.

Which may help explain Rudolph's red nose...

Are you? Are you?

He TOTALLY looked like he was gonna cry!

(and about the tag apparently, cause the ump got it right)

Hey look! The Cardinals' bullpen!

http://www.csnne.com/blog/redsox-talk/post/Cu...

Boston's CSN-New England, Sean McAdam, says the Red Sox are agreeing to take nothing from the Cubs.

a source with knowledge of the ongoing talks said late Thursday afternoon that "nothing" has been agreed upon in compensation talks between the two teams

...oh, never mind.

"only theriot is left on the bench"

Stinkin' bottom third...

http://twitter.com/jimcallisBA/status/1267668...

Mirror, mirror on the wall, Jim Callis tells us who has the WORST farm system of them all

What's it say?

Callis thinks Cubs have a middle-of-the-pack farm system, very comparable to the Red Sox. He says that the White Sox have the worst farm system hands down.

Did I miss this elsewhere? Prior to asking for Garza, they asked for Castro? Seriously, wtf?

http://espn.go.com/chicago/mlb/story/_/id/712...

If this is right, no wonder the negotiations have taken so long.

SOX: We'll take Garza, Castro, $1 billion and your first-born children
CUBS: we were thinking more in lines of a small cash payment, like $100,000
(1 hour later) SOX: OK, we've talked to the owners. we have to have a player. Our last, best offer is Garza, Castro, $990 million and you can keep the kids. Unless you say no within 5 seconds, your silence will be deemed agreement. Deal?

This could take awhile.

Time to walk away.

it's like trading with JD

Burn!

You mean Freddie Prinze.

He's got a point there. JD didn't touch his team this year.

But Freddie Prinze touched as many people as possible.

Gotta wonder what was going through his head?

Phil Rogers tweets a funny...

This is an interesting World Series game, and all, but somehow I feel I should be writing news about Theo eyeing a new cross-checker.

http://twitter.com/ChiTribRogers

pro-tip (for everyone): if you take out the /#!

from the twitter link it will auto-link in the comment and still work

Wittenmyer gets snippy

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/...

Amid breathless tweeting and over-reaching blog posts by some Chicago media, the Cubs finished Thursday a lot like they started it: waiting for a compensation deal that has been inevitable for more than a week to get done in time to announce Theo Epstein’s hiring as the team’s baseball boss Friday.

~snip~

Meanwhile, the Cubs’ late-week optimism may have sprung from success in getting the Red Sox to back off demands for top pitching prospect Trey McNutt, who sources said Thursday night was off the table.

3/44 here...

Are any of you guys familiar with Red Jacket Clothing? I've run into a couple of their baseball t-shirts in person now and they are SPECTACULAR! Their website shows they have a ton of cool retro Cubs shirts (and neat hockey stuff). The drawback is their prices are insane. T-shirts start at $35. Some of their long-sleeve shirts are $68, I think. Insane. I don't know who buys them at those prices (but if money were no object I would be buying some of them, they are way too cool).

http://redjacketclothing.com/collections/base...

A) They do look great.
B) Are you on commission?

No, hence the bitching about the ridiculous prices. The two I've seen in person are also tight fitting, which doesn't look good on an old out of shape slob like me.

Just joshing you. Your praise sounded like those guys who post "Hey, I love the Cubs and this site is great. By the way, have you checked out this other site that I'm in no way affiliated with?"...which I knew wasn't the case.

Also, I'm sure you're just being modest. EVERYONE likes seeing the contours of moobs.

The Tribune's comments section is overrun with that crap.

They are at a couple of the stores around Wrigley.
Same beef- size and price.

yeah, let's get selig involved...why not...awesome...rad...

http://www.weei.com/sports/boston/this-just-i...

this whole thing is getting silly and i hope it doesn't end up with cashner or carpenter going anywhere...both have hit 100+mph in the AFL recently. yeah, they're not sure things, but that's something hard to give up...even if the mph's are dialed back if they're starters. i'd rather see mcnutt walk rather than either of them, but supposedly mcnutt isn't on the table so whatever...who knows how much all of this (including getting SD's GM which is all but 100% at this point) is gonna cost.

i hope it comes out better than expected rather than a crew of kids that could have replaced SP/3rd/RF/1st in a trade.

Cubs sign Theo's twin brother Paul.

TRicketty: "He was much less expensive and we didn't have to give up our left McNutt."

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball...

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