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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  • Kershaw uses his 132nd pitch for his 15th K (Marlon Juice Byrd, with the tying run at 2nd), and the Dodgers sweep the Giants. Also, Pirates lose to the Brewers for the 5th straight time. So...with 30 to play, we are 6.5 up on SF (7 in loss column) and 8 up on the Nats, and still in contact (4.5 back) of the Pirates. Man, what a roller coaster the last 2 days -- fantastic stuff.
  • Schlitter still pitching for Iowa? Guess nobody wanted him?
  • JOHN B: Pierce Johnson and Rob Zastryzny were likely 2015 AFL candidates (I mentioned them as likely candidates to get assigned to the AFL in an article about the AFL last month) because they are starting pitchers who missed part of the season due to injuries and they need to accrue more innings.
  • Also - what did Bosio say when we went to talk to Rondon? "OK, Hector, tie game, 9th inning, 2 outs, 2-0 count on the hottest hitter in the game. Let's try the ol' fastball right down the middle and see how that works, hmmm?" Terrible pitch. I've never been a fan of using closers in non-save situations -- they are used to pitching with adrenaline pumping and celebrating the last out of the inning. I realize it was a a swinging bunt and an error that caused the problem, but that may have been the worst pitch I have seen Rondon throw in a long time.
  • Ugly series save a few clutch Homeruns. 2 first inning Homeruns allowed. 2 complete innings (out of 27) with a lead (8th and 9th game 2). 6 Leads/Ties given up top half of the inning after scoring. 9 9th inning unearned runs. Brutal roadtrip coming up while SF plays 22 straight against teams with losing records. Like the Cubs odds, obviously, but long way to go.
  • No more f'n Pajama Parties, Joe! Losing a series at home to the Reds (who have a worse record than the Brewers) in September is not what we are looking for, gentlemen. 3 series losses in a row -- let's get that fixed immediately. Bad error by KB as Crunch describes -- almost like he was surprised the ball was hit to him. I think if he makes that play we win the game.
  • solid smack to him...right through his legs. he wasn't even in motion, totally stationary. no bad bounce, either. it was hit very hard, but also squarely wiffed...not even any glove contact. it happens...not a good time for it to happen with 2 outs, though. that was the inning ender, easy.
  • Can someone tell me about Bryant's error who saw the play? You cannot give the Reds (or most teams) 4 outs. In this case with Joey Votto coming up.
  • un...fucking...believable... tie a game in the bottom 8th, give up 3 runs in the top 9th...why the hell not. awesome.
  • DAT TIE THO.
  • Ugh Hammel...the new Haren. The 3-5 starters have imploded and killed yet another series.
  • Just about to type the same thing.....Augh!
  • 5 times in the last 3 games, Cubs have taken the lead or tied the game in the bottom half, only to give up runs in the top half.
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  • Tony Four Sacks # 27