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.

Pages

Recent comments

Subscribe to Recent comments
The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • Thank goodness for Jansen's 2 WP on Friday -- otherwise this would have been a sweep.

    billybucks 11 min 36 sec ago view
  • There seems to be a direct correlation with overconfidence in the Cubs offense against mediocre/young pitchers and really poor offense against mediocre/young pitchers. So, let's fear the Pirate pitchers!

    billybucks 12 min 25 sec ago view
  • Rizzo due for a power surge -- one HR in August so far. He truly does hit them in bunches.

    billybucks 13 min 46 sec ago view
  • Sometimes I'm not as supportive of Cahill as maybe I should be. There, I said it.

    Jackstraw 17 min 9 sec ago view
  • Rough 8th inning all around -- HBP, Cahill error, Javy's poor decision.

    Oh well - given that the Cubs didn't look like they were going to score, it's better to lose in 9 innings, save the bullpen and get changed for the PJ trip home.

    billybucks 17 min 32 sec ago view
  • Baez still learning

    jacos 45 min 22 sec ago view
  • heyward with his 3rd multi-hit game since the all-star break (all in august)...2nd in the past 3 games during his 7 game hitting streak.

    he's gone from flirting with a sub-.300 ob% to nearing .310 ob% in 3 games (1 game was just a 1 for 1 pinch hit appearance). all 5 hits in the past 3 games have come in a row...neat.

    crunch 1 hour 49 min ago view
  • stewart with 7Ks through 3ip...of course.

    that 10-13 mph difference in his fastball/change is working today...and they're swinging at his crappy slider.

    crunch 2 hours 55 min ago view
  • brock stewart...steven brault...fun times for the cubs hitters vs allegedly competitive teams...maybe.

    crunch 3 hours 44 min ago view
  • Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.

    VirginiaPhil 8 hours 14 min ago view
  • video of Maddon.

    http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0561343809737202839-4

    always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.

    Rob G. 23 hours 25 min ago view
  • from Muskat:

    #Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs

    Rob G. 23 hours 30 min ago view
  • http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0561339391889382475-4

    Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.

    Rob G. 23 hours 35 min ago view
  • great defense

    Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.

    Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.

    I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.

    Rob G. 23 hours 47 min ago view
  • If all the starters have FIP > ERA, is that luck or good defense?

    Craig A. 23 hours 58 min ago view
  • #Cubs plummet to 19-5 in August.

    Fun with FIP

    • J. Hammel   3.07 ERA/4.27 FIP (3.68 FIP last year)
    • J. Arrieta     2.62 ERA/3.05 FIP (2.35 FIP last year)
    • J. Lester     2.81 ERA/3.67 FIP (2.92 FIP last year)
    • K. Hendricks  2.19 ERA/3.37 FIP (3.36 FIP last year)
    • J. Lackey     3.41 ERA/3.72 FIP (3.57 FIP last year with Cards)
    Rob G. 1 day 23 min ago view