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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  • First time I saw Herrera was yesterday. He took like 100 pitches, fouled off a ton off Lester.

    Very nice young player and perfect leadoff guy.

    The E-Man 52 min 46 sec ago view
  • Obviously not Phil. But he mentioned this on Wednesday.

    "Dominican Summer League (DSL) Opening Day is Saturday June 4th, so probably about 8-10 pitchers and position players presently at EXST in Mesa will be sent to the Cubs Dominican Academy (probably sometime this week) and be assigned to either DSL Cubs #1 or DSL Cubs #2."

    In the comments here: http://www.thecubreporter.com/05242016/cub-power-d...

    QuietMan 1 hour 31 min ago view
  • Per FanGraphs, Cubs have a 72.5% chance of winning today. Jinx! Next highest percentage on today's games is D-backs with a 64.7% chance (Greinke vs. Cesar Vargas, in Arizona.)

    Transmission 1 hour 32 min ago view
  • Phil, when will the Cubs start moving international players from EST to the Dominican for the start of the DSL season?

    diamondjaxx 2 hours 9 min ago view
  • It was a nice barehand pick-up but he was close enough to 1st where he could underhand the ball to Bryant. The trouble he's had has been with the overhand throw. He's definitely working on it, but I don't know if that play was a good example of progress made.

    K Dub 5 hours 21 min ago view
  • Phil, have you heard anything about the condition of Oscar De La Cruz's elbow? Has there been talk of a time table? Is he throwing?

    K Dub 11 hours 10 min ago view
  • i was distracted for most of the game and also missed the first few innings.

    but yeah, any time he makes a good fielding+throwing play on D it's worthy of praise and a trip to pizza hut for a personal pan pizza and $1 worth of songs on the juke box.

    seriously, i'll take it.

    crunch 13 hours 14 min ago view
  • BTW, CRUNCH, Lester made a nice bh pick-up and toss to Bryant. Did you catch it?

    He's been workin' on the D!

    The E-Man 15 hours 10 min ago view
  • j.urias didn't have a good debut...

    2.2ip 5h 4bb 3k...3 r/er...1 wp

    81 pitches. yow.

    crunch 17 hours 54 min ago view
  • Ach - I really only saw it quickly and thought that's where it it. No matter - he crushed it and the video board people did not have to repair the panels from what I saw!

    The E-Man 18 hours 7 min ago view
  • Totally agree with that re Soler, whereas Bryant seems to get the close call (so far) this year.

    Good to see Baez get a couple knocks today - been awhile

    Eric S 18 hours 13 min ago view
  • that works too...there wasnt a good CSN replay...was going off whatever len or jd (dont remember) said.

    crunch 18 hours 18 min ago view
  • I was there. From what I saw it was upper third of the scoreboard

    The E-Man 18 hours 22 min ago view
  • No I have been thinking actually that he seems to lead the Cubs with balls called strikes all year. He really shouldn't be expanding his zone to swing at many of those either because it wouldn't lead to anything good. He's seeing the ball well though so hopefully it'll even out.

    johann 19 hours 19 min ago view
  • So why don't the umps like Soler, or am I just imagining it?

    Rob Richardson 19 hours 31 min ago view
  • Yeah, but he kills lefties.

    billybucks 21 hours 35 min ago view