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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  • has some interesting stats/graphs on pitch and strike zones and you can dial up individual games/pitchers. I'd love to see some comments from readers who can interpret this better than I can. I thought the Ump was really inconsistent with a very wide zone. Does this info seem to match up with my eyeball perception?

    Here is Lackey/Lester from last night. It seems their box is a bit different than the K-Zone TBS was using.

    Here is Lester's data:

  • AZ Phil: Agree, this must have been a really fun game to watch. There was a lot of base stealing going on. Are the pitchers not holding runners or is the catching still a work in progress?

  • Cuzzi has long been known as having the biggest strike zone among all umpires.

  • AZ Phil, give me a scouting report on Chris Pieters since he has become a 1B/OF.

  • I think it's probably hard to adjust to an ump's zone mid-game, as least for hitters. Pitchers can locate to an ump's zone, but hitters have minimal time to react.

    But, whatever. Umps are going to miss calls. Let's beat up on the non-Lackey starters.

  • Watched a little of Mets-Dodgers.

    Jason deGrom -- oh, my.

  • Cubs 3-4-5 hitters are 0-21 so far in the post-season.

    Let's change that in a big effin' way tomorrow, boys.

  • Considering how players reacted it seemed pretty accurate high and wide (to righties), but not so accurate low and in. I thought the strike zone by the ump was awful, but it was consistent and the Cubs never adjusted.

    Rizzo and Bryant need to have good at bats. They are really looking outclassed in these two games.

  • that game sounds fun as hell.

  • I was just wondering the same thing. I'd rather not see it at all. If it's inaccurate, it's a bad viewer experience. If it's accurate, it shows some shitty calling by the umpire.

  • TBS' K Zone seems to be more harsh than the others.

    I wonder if MLB will ask the networks to stop using them. They just make the umps, and the game, look bad, and it only pisses off the fans.

  • ...joe.

  • "Strop vs. Cardinals." Seen the movie. Hated it.

    Not all that disappointed -- I didn't think they would beat Lackey in Game 1. Need to get the bats going against the guys with less experience -- and they hit Wacha pretty good.

  • Rizzo has been slumping the last couple weeks of the season. Very disappointed it has continued during his penultimate moment of his career to date.

  • Really doesn't matter, but I was surprised to see Lester pulled and Strop pulled in. Should of left Lester in. oy.

  • Sweet merciful fuck, I hate the Cardinals.