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.

Comments

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 saying...you'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.

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  • If Travis' back-to-back-to-back walks cost Hendricks the ERA title, that would really suck.

    billybucks 2 hours 47 min ago view
  • Edit: "A lifeless loss to a lousy Sox team."

    billybucks 3 hours 29 min ago view
  • This place is a real downer after a loss to the Sox.

    Charlie 3 hours 40 min ago view
  • I expect they will go 5-9 games above .500 the rest of the year. 96-98 wins will win the Division.

    They should have one more 2-3 week hot streak in them.

    However, several players are just "average" for the last month: Zobrist, Ross, Russell, Ceasar. Montero is terrible, plus he cannot throw anyone out. -WAR. Heyward is abysmal at the plate, but a plus in the OF. Still with RISP he has been terrible. KB has not been driving in runs as of late. But Apparently the team is still above average with RISP according to S Sahadev.

    The E-Man 3 hours 47 min ago view
  • I came to that realization tonight. I kept expecting them to play better, but now I realize they aren't going to. They are a .500 team now.
    - They have one reliable starting pitcher. Jake's magic is gone, and it doesn't look like it's coming back. Lester has been lousy recently. Lackey's ERA goes up every time he pitches.
    - Heyward has been dead weight all year. I can't remember a single series where he was a significant offensive contributor. Not one. Great defense, but but if he were hitting .270 with 10 HR and played average defense, the Cubs would be better off.

    billybucks 3 hours 50 min ago view
  • new rule...no one's allowed to throw k.bryant a changeup

    crunch 4 hours 1 min ago view
  • Team is .500 since early May and is playing like a .500 team. Lack of offense seems to be putting a lot of pressure on the pitchers...and they aren't handling it terribly well.

    .500 the rest of the way still may win the division though.

    blockhead25 4 hours 7 min ago view
  • ...i hate espn.

    nothing like settling into a cubs game to get a few minutes cutaway for an ortiz AB in the 6th inning of the det/bos game.

    oh, at least they're doing split screen now...i guess.

    crunch 4 hours 23 min ago view
  • I'm liking this rookie Nathan.

    CTSteve 4 hours 24 min ago view
  • Richard DFA'd. Meh...

    The E-Man 7 hours 15 min ago view
  • Throwbacks with fashionable cutouts would be a nice touch.

    Charlie 9 hours 47 min ago view
  • The next 2 games are nationally televised. I think we dominate tonight, hitting 3 HRs off Shields. Great night for KB to end HR drought facing HR prone pitcher in one of the most hitter friendly parks in the league.

    chitownmvp01 10 hours 20 min ago view
  • If the ball didn't deflect off the pitcher's mound, the game wouldn't have ended. Montgomery did miss his location though, but if that same contact was made and went in any of direction, good chance of ground out if it doesn't get through.

    If it was 1 night later, Chapman would be out there and we probably would be going to extras.

    Also, If KB wasn't robbed of a HR, perhaps we would have won. We will never know. Nice play by Melky though.

    chitownmvp01 10 hours 22 min ago view
  • The comparison isn't Chapman replacing Rondon. It's Chapman replacing Richard (hopefully) in the pen. Chapman's better.

    billybucks 12 hours 19 min ago view
  • I'm with you, Rob. You pretty much summed up how I feel about it.

    JoePepitone 14 hours 38 min ago view
  • Been quite the roller-coaster the past two days -- both games, plus the Chapman kerfuffel. How about a couple of nice, comfortable wins before facing Sale? Cubs should definitely wear throwbacks for that game.

    billybucks 15 hours 34 min ago view