Theo Watch - Day 10

This is starting to feel a lot like the Brian Roberts and Jake Peavy negotiations. Of course missing out on both of them ended up turning out pretty well for the Cubs. Hmmm...

The latest foolishness...

- The Tribune has a little profile on Jed Hoyer.  Scott Miller at CBS contradicts previous reports and says two low level minor leaguers would head the Padres way for him and Jason McLeod.

- Speaking of McLeod, a rundown of the drafts he ran with the Red Sox, be curious how he works with Wilken as he allegedly would be assistant GM and not the head of the scouting department.

- Bud Selig mentions during a radio interview that he may need to get involved in the negotiations.

"Guys, let's take care of this, I think in all fairness and to make the World Series even more interesting for the country, whichever league wins the Series determines who gets their way in the trade. If the Cardinals win, the Red Sox have to take the package the Cubs are offering, if the Rangers win, the Cubs have to give up what the Red Sox want. This is my second best idea since making the All-Star game the determining factor in home field advantage for the World Series."

- Wittenmyer takes a shot at Kaplan and Levine by saying they jumped the gun yesterday reporting the deal was done.  And some articles (mostly coming out of Boston) suggest the premature reports irked the Red Sox enough for them to dig in even more. Wittenmyer also says that the Cubs have gotten the Red Sox to move off of Trey McNutt.

Comments

If the Boston owners are digging in because of a premature news story, it's just another sign that they're petulant cry babies. If I was the Cubs, at this point I'd just sign Hoyer and move on.

If an actual deal was signed that somehow supercedes the compensation issue, walking away will not be easy.

Although, I can't imagine that would be the case.

I don't imagine that's possible. If anything, if there was a contract signed, it probably had some legal out that said if compensation between Boston and Chicago can be worked out. Henry and Luccino or whatever his name is are really digging in about Cubs prospects? I guess the Cubs should be flattered, but I can't remember a time that's happened. I guess they need to do something in between trying to dig more dirt up on the manager that presided over a couple WS wins.

Time for the Cubs to leak some scandalous info about John Henry and Larry Lucchino. And if nothing exists, then send a few naked hookers into their offices and snap pictures, then sell them to TMZ.

The "Lawrence Taylor Method" of defeating your opponent.

This is getting stupid. They need to finish this thing up today.

How is the ASG deciding the home-field in the WS any more arbitrary or capricious than alternating home teams again?

I know I'm in a huge minority, but I sort of like the ASG winner gets that league home field advantage thing.

"Huge minority"?

I've always assumed Old and Blue was very large Samoan.

Lol. Why not have the team with the best record have the home field advantage? Nah, that's crazy!!??

How about, whichever team is closest to the east coast gets home field advantage?

I don't recall pining to go back to that either.

Meanwhile, Olin Kreutz has left the Saints.

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

I mentioned the other day, but it bears repeating when reviewing a scouting director's drafts.

Drafting guys that you don't sign isn't a good thing. Everyone knows about those guys, and part of the scouting process is to know what it's going to take to sign them.

Often you'll draft one thinking if you can't sign some guys in higher rounds, you may wind up having more money to sign them - which is fine, but still dont' give brownie ponts to a scouting director for it.

Contender for worst article ever written about the Cubs

http://www.suntimes.com/news/otherviews/83234...

"Root for Theo if you want, but I want my Cubs back "
Several years ago, I was at a game with a few buddies. The Cubs had already started to change. Instead of trying to win through a solid farm system, scouting, and patience (see Texas, Tampa Bay, and Epstein’s Red Sox), they started going after high-priced free agents like Alfonso Soriano and big-name managers like Lou Piniella. The team had one of the top payrolls in the league, but it wasn’t translating into victories.

That’s when I heard it. I’ve been to literally hundreds of games at Wrigley Field, but never heard this sound before.

“What is that?” I asked my friend.

“Boos,” he answered.

Lee Elia must have gotten pissed about the wave I guess.

We might not have been rewarded by World Series victories, but what we got was more valuable. We got optimism. And perseverance.

Jump.Off.A.Cliff.

Signed,
Rest of the Cubs fan

I read that a few minutes ago. Terrible.

"Bill Cower"

somebody put this in the comments, the perfect response.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hfYJsQAhl0

Kind of cool, try to use it more next year

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/win-...

a non-update from Kaplan

http://www.csnchicago.com/blog/cubs-talk/post...

There have been no concrete sources who will confirm who the Cubs are sending to Boston but several reports say that no one from the 40-man roster will be in the compensation package.

that would mean no Cub Carpenter, could be McNutt though.

Kaplan told a Boston radio station--he's their "inside source"-- that he thinks McNutt is part of the deal.

I think you really have to wonder what the Red Sox want to accomplish here. I mean I can see aiming high like the time Marissa Miller and I had a 4 1/2 hour flight delay. I suggested we get a hotel room and sleep together. She said, 'no thank you' and I was probably aiming a little high.

So, the BoSox start with Castro, then Garza, then BJax, then McNutt, etc., etc.

It sounds to me like unless the Cubs want to say 'just screw it', here you go, this could go on until February.

I think you really have to wonder what the Red Sox want to accomplish here.

stick it to Theo and get something they feel is valuable is my guess.

If it's true that The List does not include CF Brett Jackson, RHP Trey McNutt, or OF Matt Szczur, or any player presently on the 40-man roster, then the list of players available as potential compensation to the Red Sox and the Padres for the Cubs signing Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer would include (among others):

INF Gioskar Amaya, LHP Jeffry Antigua, RHP Jose Arias, RHP Frank Batista, RHP Dallas Beeler, LHP Jeff Beliveau, 1B Justin Bour, LHP (ex-OF) Kyler Burke, 3B Jeimer Candelario, 3B Matt Cerda, CF Pin-Chieh Chen, OF Evan Crawford, LHP Willengton Cruz, INF Ryan Flaherty, 3B Dustin Geiger, C Micah Gibbs, IF-OF Marwin Gonzalez, RF Reggie Golden, OF Jae-Hoon Ha, SS Marco Hernandez, RHP Jay Jackson, LHP Eric Jokisch, RHP Jin-Young Kim, LHP Austin Kirk, RHP Aaron Kurcz, SS Junior Lake, RHP Starling Peralta, LHP Brooks Raley, RHP Austin Reed, RHP Dae-Eun Rhee, RHP Kevin Rhoderick, 1B Rebel Ridling, LHP Chris Rusin, RHP Ryan Searle, RHP Nick Struck, RHP (ex-3B) Charles Thomas, 3B-1B Josh Vitters, RHP Yao-Lin Wang, 2B Logan Watkins, RHP Ben Wells, and RHP Rob Whitenack.

Players can't be traded until they reach the one-year anniversary of signing their first contract with an MLB organization, so 2011 draft picks and recently-signed International Free-Agents can't be compensation.

I guess the only one I'd wince a little on, and not enough to write nasty FU posts, would be Candelario, and only based on the fact that it seemed like his name came up a lot on your Instructional league reports in a positive way.

That being the case, then either the BoSox are still holding out for one of the top 3, or they just don't want to let Epstein go, in which case they're assholes for letting the Cubs talk to him in the first place.

Why couldn't this situation be solved with the GMs' venerable standby, the player to be named later??

PTBNL are typically "take a month and choose one of these guys". Boston seems to have a pretty good idea about the guys they want from the Cubs. They're arguing about basic value, not about the names.

I suppose we'd be sending along two of those guys.

I'd like to keep Vitters, Whitenack and Golden for their upside and Wang and Watkins because my guess is that they are on the rise in terms of value (which is to say I think their value to any organization will be higher next year or after, so trading them now doesn't seem like a good idea). I imagine that I wouldn't be too upset about losing any of the other guys.

"If it's true that The List does not include CF Brett Jackson, RHP Trey McNutt, or OF Matt Szczur, or any player presently on the 40-man roster"

if it's true that the cubs aren't going to lose the top-3 kids or carpenter/cashner then i can live with it...

actually, i don't want to lose wellington...and i'd rather hold onto vitters a while, too. i'd much rather have those other 5 guys, though i'd hate to lose welly.

It would suck if Ha or Lake were taken, both seem to have some genuine upside potential, and we need position player prospects desperately. I think I'd be happier if Vitters were chosen than either of those two.

Didn't we get Crawford from Boston originally, for Coelho? Maybe the Cubs can send him back :-)

Submitted by Jim Hickmans Bat on Fri, 10/21/2011 - 8:29pm.
It would suck if Ha or Lake were taken, both seem to have some genuine upside potential, and we need position player prospects desperately. I think I'd be happier if Vitters were chosen than either of those two.

Didn't we get Crawford from Boston originally, for Coelho? Maybe the Cubs can send him back :-)

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

JIM H: The Cubs got Evan Crawford from SF for Mike Fontenot, and traded 2B-OF Tony Thomas to BOS for Robert Coello.

Hard to see Lake or Ha being better big leaguers than Vitters. They're all flawed prospects (none of them know how to take a base on balls) but Vitters probably still has the highest upside of those three.

The advantage that Ha has is that he might be an elite defensive center fielder and probably would be an elite defensive right fielder. The advantage Lake has is that he seems more likely to stick on the infield.

But any one of them is going to have to demonstrate significant power and a high contact rate to stick in the majors as an everyday player, and Vitters is projected to do that by more scouts than either Lake or Ha is (up to this point at least).

If I had to give up one of those three to get Epstein, I'd probably make it Lake, and I'd wish Boston good luck converting him to the mound.

Ha seems like he could easily approximate Reed Johnson's value to a club, so he's smack in the middle (I think) in terms of his value. He'll probably never walk enough or hit for enough power to be an impact bat, but he might be a #6 or #7 hitter in his peak years, and he will probably play great defense. More likely he'll be a good 4th outfielder.

Vitters seems like an everyday player or nothing kind of deal. And there don't seem to be that many everyday players coming through the farm system, so I would like to continue to gamble on him.

I haven't heard anything about Ha being an elite defensive center fielder. More like a guy who could play center but is more suited to right.

All three of them are still young, so there's a wide range of what they may wind up doing, but I'd probably rank them like you did. There's been very little evidence so far that Lake is going to be able to hit at all in the majors.

Submitted by The Real Neal on Sat, 10/22/2011 - 1:57pm.

I haven't heard anything about Ha being an elite defensive center fielder. More like a guy who could play center but is more suited to right.

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

TRN: Jae-Hoon Ha is a Gold Glove caliber CF with the arm to play RF should a B. Jackson-Szczur-Ha configuration develop at some point.

OK, I have now seen two things.

I will reserve the right for my official opinion until I see him play the position. In case Dunston Jr is reading, did he come up as a best tool for FSL or SL outfielder this year according to BA?

"haven't heard anything about Ha being an elite defensive center fielder"

Smokies manager Brian Harper speaking about Ha:

"He's amazing," Harper said. "He's one of the best center fielders that I've ever seen."

Well that's good, so maybe he profiles as a 2nd divisional starter. He was signed as a catcher if I recall correctly.

Hmm..I see that Ha was only 20 years old this season. I will hope that he, like many Cub prospects before him, will develop his knowledge of the strike zone, and take more walks as he matures.

Also, stop stealing bases..lmao.

I have to say that over this past week my general feeling towards the Red Sox organization has gone from no dislike to "I hope a giant sinkhole swallows the entire organization."

back-handed compliments

#Cubs SS Junior Lake swipes his league-leading 10th base. Lake is on pace to match Rick Holifield's AFL record of 24 SB set in 1994.

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  • This might be old news but Hammel was on ESPN 1000 and said that he changed his diet and workout routine over the off season and tweaked his delivery so it'd be more repeatable so he'd have a better second half. So...some cause for optimism anyway.

    johann 9 sec ago view
  • CHILDERS: RHSP Dylan Cease and LHSP Bryan Hudson are probably the top two SP prospects in the organization right now. 

    LHSP Jose Paulino has electric stuff (91-94 MPH fastball with sinking action and a mid-80's slider), but he also has trouble commanding it.  

    RHP Jose Albertos (2015 IFA - Mexico - $1.5M bonus) just turned 17 in November, and his fastball already sits at 95-96. He also throws a curve and a change-up, and is fairly advanced for a kid his age.   

    Arizona Phil 8 min 52 sec ago view
  • AZBOBBOP: Most of 2016 draft picks will get assigned to either Eugene or AZL Cubs, but the Opening Day Eugune roster will probably be almost 100% from the Extended Spring Training squad roster (pending the arrival of draft picks).

    I think I can probably tell you which pitchers and players at EXST are in contention for roster slots at Eugene and which are in contention for slots with the AZL Cubs - AS THINGS STAND RIGHT NOW - (listed alphabetically):  

    * bats or throws left 
    # bats both

    Arizona Phil 36 min 56 sec ago view
  • Eloy Jimenez atop the leader board for minor-league home runs in the Cub system, with seven. Tied with Balaguert and Vogelbach, two 24-year-olds. Jimenez won't be 20 until late November. Leads the Midwest League in SLG and OPS. Maybe he'll get promoted to the Myrtle Beach squad that visits Woodbridge, VA, in June or Frederick, MD, in August.

    Watched two Pelican games at Frederick the other week. Was most impressed by Stinnett and Happ. Happ may swing harder than Javier Baez, though more compactly. (Also got to see Brockmeyer hit a bomb.)

    VirginiaPhil 58 min 43 sec ago view
  • E-MAN: Jose Paniagua isn't a string-bean, but I wouldn't say he necessarily bulked-up during the 2015-16 off-season  either, He led the DSL Cubs in HR and doubles in 2014, and he showed XBH power when he arrived in Mesa last year, leading the AZL Cubs in HR, doubles, and RBI in 2015. It's just that he has taken his HR power to a new level this year.

    Paniagua displayed plus-HR power in Cactus League Minor League Spring Training games in March, and that got him a slot on the South Bend Opening Day roster. But he was sent to EXST after only six MWL games.  

    Arizona Phil 1 hour 4 min ago view
  • Rob Richardson 1 hour 34 min ago view
  • Martinez is one of my least favorite pitchers in baseball. I'd love to see a game like yesterday's against him.

    Send Soler down!

    Old and Blue 2 hours 27 min ago view
  • Awesome thanks AZ

    Old and Blue 2 hours 30 min ago view
  • Great report, Phil! This organization has so many hitters to be excited about.

    John Beasley 3 hours 19 min ago view
  • Ben Zobrist is very enjoyable to watch!!!!!!

    Hagsag 6 hours 7 min ago view
  • given that he seems to only be throwing low 90s these days rather than the 93-96mph he used to throw, along with his wildness issues this year, he may end up passing through.

    i dunno if something is wrong with him physically or his past shoulder issues has rendered him what he currently is, but he's been throwing a lot of sliders he can't control well and his fastball isn't as sharp. even when his slider wasn't working in a game he was still throwing a lot of them.

    crunch 7 hours 20 min ago view
  • Any scuttlebutt on where Neil Ramirez gets traded?

    He seems better than some of the relievers on competitive teams. He ought to bring more than the waiver fee.

    My guess? Toronto.

    tim815 7 hours 44 min ago view
  • PHIL: It seems as if Paniagua has always played 1B with the Cubs. At 6'2 and 180#, what is his frame like? String bean? Have you seen him bulk up? Where do you project him? Thanks.

    The E-Man 7 hours 49 min ago view
  • Phil, what's your thoughts on which position players are going to Eugene and who is staying in AZL?

    azbobbop 11 hours 49 min ago view
  • Ahhh...way to bring me down BB.

    Still - a win tomorrow will be an acheivement regardless.

    The E-Man 12 hours 36 min ago view
  • Don't mean to spoil your mood, but with tonight's win the are 3-5 on the trip with one to play.

    While I'm bringing the room down -- Richard comes in to pitch the 9th with a 12-1 lead...and can't finish the game. Woof.

    billybucks 13 hours 10 min ago view