It's Firing Day

A bit of an old news at this point, but the previous thread is overloaded with yet another should the Cubs spend or wait to develop some talent first argument. A good 2-3 years more of that discussion...I'm excited.

The big news is that the Cubs fired Oneri Fleita, VP Of player personnel. Of course, last September, Fleita was about to jump ship to the Detroit Tigers and Ricketts gave him a 4-year deal before hiring Theo Epstein. Some thought such a move before hiring a GM would scare off potential top candidates and that was obviously proved wrong. Ricketts did his homework, knowing Fleita was well-respected in the business, while certainly assuring any prospective candidates that if they decided otherwise, he'd eat the contract...better to whiff on a 4-year management contract than a 4-year player contract. 10 months later, that seems to be happening. Epstein had nothing but nice things to say about Fleita and Fleita will certainly catch on somewhere else, which probably means Ricketts will only on the hook for the difference in salaries.

Besides Fleita, the Cubs manager of Baseball Information was also fired, Chuck Wasserstrom. I'm guessing his Excel spreadsheets running on Windows 3.1 weren't sophisticated enough for the TheJedi. Ari Kaplan's job title (Manager of Statistical Information) was also eliminated, but Kaplan will remain within the organization as a consultant.

Cubs are laying a 6-1 ass-whooping through 5 on the Astros behind 2 DeJesus home runs and 1 by Castro along with the pitching of Justin Germano.

Return to Homepage

Comments

with the Melky news, wonder if Giants would be interested in a DeJesus waiver deal?

or maybe Soriano changes his mind.

nope, he won't

https://twitter.com/CSNMooney/status/23585650...

Sori on possibility of changing his mind about SF Giants with Melky suspended: "I don't think so."

quote leaves a little wiggle room actually

"I’ve never played on the West Coast, but we’ll see what happens, see if they call, and talk with my family.”

https://twitter.com/CSNMooney/status/23586308...

Navin (Pasadena, CA): What are your thoughts on the dismissal of Oneri Fleita?
John Manuel: Jim and Will Lingo will remember my rant about Oneri during the 2007 Prospect Handbook book tour. It was inevitable; he played at Creighton and was clearly part of Jim Hendry's posse in Chicago. Being in a baseball front office is like being in Congress in a way, there's a long voting record to go through and pick over and see hits and misses. Oneri has hits and misses too.I'm sure he has his fans, friends and allies in the industry; I just don't know any of them.

How impressive are Dan Vogelbach's numbers -- .326/.391/.691 in 181 AB in Rookie Ball and Short Season -- given that he turns 20 in December? How high do you see his ceiling?
John Manuel: Another guy who can flat-out hit, like Winker. Ceiling is definitely as a first-division starter at 1b, or as a Travis Hafner-ish DH. No one really questioned the hitting ability out of HS; some scouts even tried to throw a Prince Fielder comp on Vogelbach. One problem is all the value is in the bat, but that's a huge start to a pro career. The feel for hitting is what everyone underestimated about Prince Fielder back in 2002; his feel for hitting allowed him to get to his power. Vogelbach has some of that, but let's see him cut down on the K's next year when he goes to full-season ball before he gets Fielder comps as a pro.

Former Kent State slugger and 2008 BA Freshman AA Ben Klafczynski, after a very short stint with the Cubs, is now pitching for Lake Erie in the Frontier League. The plus/plus armed former RF has been working 92-94 touching 96 with developing secondary pitches, smooth delivery, effortless, and is currently riding a 14 inning streak of NO hits allowed.(0-42) Is this profile something an affiliate desires for Fall Instructional, maybe some winter ball to further the development? Thanks
John Manuel: Funny, we were just talking about Klafczynski in the office today. Klafczynski was a solid college hitter for four seasons with the Golden Flashes but was released in spring training by the Cubs; JJ Cooper will have the story in our next issue of how he latched on in indy ball as a pitcher after not pitching at all in four college seasons, and it's an interesting one. He apparently hit 94 with his first pitch in a workout, so the velocity should attract a pro club sooner than later.
http://www.baseballamerica.com/chat/?1345042821

ITs a bit of a head-scratcher to me because I thought that Oneri was "The (Latin) MAN". They invested a LOT on the Dominican campus, and they sure need someone with pedigree/respect enough to run the place full-time.

No doubt HoyStein must have had someone allied with their philosophy in-mind before this move was made. We will have to see who this is, and how they do.

Basically, Castro is the one player Fleita can promote as his baby, right?

So, the Hendry house-cleaning is pretty much complete - which is another reason why I am curious how Wilken made the cuts?

fwiw, Jose Serra is staying, he's the actual scout that signed Castro.

check the twitter box...

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2011/04/2013-ml...

FA's for next season

Cubs will certainly sign a pitcher or two, and I'm guessing they'll look for smaller contracts (1-2 years) and ones they can trade if possible. Some names with the caveat that I have no idea what these guys will ultimately get, but they shouldn't be too expensive (something like $10M max per yer/1-3 year deals).

E. Jackson
F. Liriano
S. Baker
C. Lewis
S. Marcum
B. McCarthy
Dice-K

I also wouldn't be shocked if Dempster came back, but without the NTC this time (2/20 range).

Jackson may cost a draft pick fwiw, not sure if Nats would offer him that much (1/13M or so)...but they might.

Jackson, McCarthy, and/or Marcum would be fine with me in 2-3/yr contracts at reasonable $$$. For a team that doesn't project to have a productive core (i.e. Rizzo, Soler, Almora, Baez, with Castillo and maybe Castro) for 3 -4 years, I just don't get get a 5-yr Sanchez/Grienke contract unless you're into putting Mercedes hood ornaments on a Yugo.

Is the plan really to wait out Soler,Baez, Almora etc. to get here from A ball? We might be setting ourselves up for 2016 or 2017 before we even realize those guys are busts.

I hope the plan is MUCH more aggressive than that.

Haven't McCarthy and Marcum each had shoulder issues this season? That's a giant red flag for me.

if they didn't have issues, they wouldn't be available on short-term deals.

Marcum might get a 1 year qualifying offer from Brewers too since they traded, they have some money to burn.

King Felix perfect through 6.2 vs. Rays.

through 8.

1 out to go...

perfect...12 K's.

34 years...go SEA.

My wife and I took our daughter to our first game of the season. This morning, thinking about the Seattle lineup, I thought to myself, the only way this'll be interesting is if Felix pitches a NH. He did me one better!

This was the first NH I've seen live, so I'm pretty stoked. Felix was nasty.

hell yeah...lucky.

Lucky is right! :)

good job setting up unrealistic expectations for all her future games :)

That's awesome. How old is she? Was she able to appreciate it?

@Rob & John:

She's five and she asked quite often what was happening during the game...why are people cheering? I explained to her that this was a very good game (at about the 7th or 8th) and then she took credit for choosing this game, but she was mostly interested in her cotton candy.

Then the final strike was called, the crowd erupted and she freaked out and started crying. She had no idea how big of an event it was, but at least she'll have pictures and a ticket stub for when she's older:) As far as expectations, she knows we're Cub fans, but I've decided to let her discover for herself what a hopeless enterprise that is.

my girls are in it for the ice cream usually, one of them likes to dance a lot between innings.

They get into it a bit when the crowd starts going though, but that's just been Angels games so far. The Cubs games have been road games so I spend a lot of time trying to explain what's happening and they spend a lot of time asking me when are we getting ice cream.

The sounds about right.

I have two daughters -- you guys are bringing up some nice memories for me!

The first game my parents took me to was a Cubs game. I can't recall at the moment what I was being punished for.

My girl is 10. She goes to the games basically for the Dipping Dots. And I guess to placate her father.

Be proud. She was plenty more aware than the Dodgers fans when I saw Jared Weaver's not-quite-no-no there.

Good stuff Joe!

Awesome first game experience, even if she has no clue what she just watched.

I took my 3-year old to her first game at Wrigley last month. She watched some of it. Kind of. But she had fun.

Sometimes I feel bad about teaching her to be a Cubs fan. Oh well...

Hopefully they turn it around before you get the "why do they always lose?" question I got from my then 6 year old in 2006.

recent conversation at my house

Gracie: Did the Cubs win today?
Me: No, they lost.
Gracie: Man, they never win.
Me: Not often this year.
Gracie: Have they won any games this year?
Me: They've won about 40 games, the Angels about 60
Gracie: They have to do better.
Me: They sure do.

Just got a phone alert that Soriano cleared waivers. Siri knows everything.

The alert would be if he didn't clear waivers, otherwise it's just a foregone conclusion.

Shakes phone. Fairy dust about a trade with the Giants comes sprinkling out.

so ricketts/cubs-co has fired 2 of the first guys ricketts hired...neat.

the o.f. move is weird given less than a year ago he was worth a 4 year deal.

Can he fire his dad?

scott nelson is (most likely) the next to go.

evidently after a season it's time to re-design the entire paper-pushing part of the team.

so ricketts/cubs-co has fired 2 of the first guys ricketts hired...neat.

Fleita and Wasserstrom date back 10-12 years I believe.

Maybe you mean Kaplan, but he's still with them in a different role.

o.f. and ari were his 1st contracts...that's all.

"He was a tremendous contributor to the Cubs for a long, long time and helped get the organization to the point where it's at now. "

That's a compliment?

perfect felix, think he will be better then humber

http://deadspin.com/5934255/is-this-the-worst...

somehow this didn't involve the Cubs

Buehrle 10 victories for 12 straight years. Nice accomplishment.

Here's one for you stats guys - how many seasons in modern era have the Cubs gone through the whole season without being in 1st at all, including opening day and obviously, this year...?

not much worth mentioning from last night's milb games...

Almora went 2-5 with a solo HR

that is all.

Bring him up!

.

That's better than the 300 he was when he came up. Quite a bit better, actually.

So rare to hear Rogers NOT kissing ass.

Intriguing ...

I love it!

I disabled Javascript to avoid the register pop up, fwiw.

"Accounting by CSN Chicago finds that with Fleita the Cubs now will have paid about $49 million to players, managers, coaches and executives who no longer work for them. That sounds to me like a crazy way to run the business."

A lot of that has nothing to do with Kenney. He's mixing up the money paid to guys like Soriano with front office staff. I don't disagree with the article - I don't really know the first thing about Kenney other than the fact he's a TCR punching bag, but that's fuzzy math if I ever saw it.

if you reload the page and press "stop" on your browser once the story loads it keeps the script from completing and popping up the pop-up page because they can't sling code worth a fuuuu....

http://io9.com/5935391/remember-when-baseball...

I've seen this one before, but some of you may not have. The 1889 White Stockings and Albert Spalding posing on the Sphinx in Egypt. Cap Anson is probably in there too.

Didn't know the story of them trying to hit the eye with baseballs though.

Anson is the one with the mustache

Say what you will about Soriano and his right like all of us to choose where to work/play, and to choose elements of work that effect his quality of life, and his family - but I think it is absolutely incontrovertible that he doesn't prioritize winning very high. It really is quite amazing that we all care about winning more than most of these superstars. He honestly looks so out of place on this current team, but oh well.

Sigh...we have discussed this issue at length. Players EARN the right to veto a trade. Period. And they have to right to excersize that right for whatever reason they would like.

Sigh. Did you read my post?

I did. And I disagree with it.

Maybe he also cares about other things. Or maybe he cares about winning, in Chicago, and still hopes that they can win here during the life of his contract. Or maybe he cares about winning, but just really doesn't want to go go SF for 2.5 years.

Thanks. That is a far more compelling response than your first one which basically missed the point while sounding unnecessarily dismissive and arrogant.

And for the record I TOTALLY think this is different than the Dempster fiasco because as you stated, Soriano is looking at a more permanent relocation. Not 2.5 months . . .

You mentioned superstars, yet have failed to mention any superstars.

Haha! Well that makes it even worse.

winning?

ask adam dunn about that. keep the paychecks coming while asking...

having a few million to your name to recreate with changes some people's priorities even if they "do all the right things" to keep in playing shape.

...as long as they show up in playing shape *shrug*

Totally agree.

I can't say that I value winning more highly than Soriano. I don't even have to move to enjoy winning--I just have to follow another team--and I don't do it.

Bottom line is he is 36 years old and I don't believe he has a world series ring. I think he went twice with the Yanks and lost both times. If I am wrong that would change things. But assuming I am correct, he apparently has no qualms with being a 38 year old with no world series rings. And that is not hyperbole: the Cubs will not win the world series in the next two years. So draw your own conclusions. Say what you will about the NBA but those dudes at least want to get a ring.

Actually they want a ring AND to play in a major market with good weather. So I take it back! :D

He seems obsessed with being the best player he personally can be, to the point at his age he radically improved his defense and has very much improved his bat. That to me is more commendable than any vague hope he can win a World Series title by riding on the coat tails of another team like a lot of players are doing with the Miami Heat.

Kevin Goldstein info based on "A minor league update consisting solely of players from the game I attended last night in Beloit, Wisconsin":

Jorge Soler, OF, Cubs (Low-A Peoria): 2-for-3, 2B, R.
You don't want to judge any player on just one look, but especially a guy like Soler. A few months ago he was a Cuban refugee, and now he's a guy with millions of dollars in his pocket playing baseball in Wisconsin. That's a big adjustment, mentally, but Peoria is a great fit for him, as Soler is being guided along by Chiefs batting coach Barbaro Garbey, a fellow Cuban. On just one game, I certainly get it. He's a big, athletic outfielder who catches your eye the second he takes the field. He he tremendous hands and wrists, with a remarkably short swing for a power hitter, and a swing that helps explain his excellent contact rate. He wasn't challenged in the field and he put up a middling 4.4 time to first on a double-play ball, and he's a bit of a strange runner who stays on the balls of his feet. Not enough data to really make a call here, but again, I get it.

Austin Reed, RHP, Cubs (Low-A Peoria): 2 IP, 3 H, 1 R (0 ER), 2 BB, 2 K.
A 12th round pick in 2010, Reed doesn't have great numbers this year out of the bullpen, with a 3.60 ERA and 45 strikeouts in 55 innings, but you do sit up a bit when he touches 96 mph while generally sitting at 92-94. Command/control is an issue.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php...

Bring 'em up!

@thekapman: Jed Hoyer says he "kicks himself" for bringing up Anthony Rizzo too early in San Diego and "won't make that mistake again" #rightnow

Yet Brett Jackson and Vitters are in the majors

That might tell you how (little?) they think about Jackson/Vitters?

Could very well be...

i dunno what the hell they're doing with b.jackson, but at this point vitters is as good of an option as anyone on the FA market unless D.Wright hits it and Theocorp loses their minds signing him (soooooo unlikely). might as well see if he can handle big league pitching.

mark tehan/ian stewart + j.vitters 2013...woo...alright...sigh.

Baez piece with some Wilkin quotes as well as some from a non-Cubs scout.

http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/cubs/post/_/i...

great stuff...another scout in the 3b camp

"He's got some instincts for the position," said the scout on Baez's ability to play shortstop. "But I feel like as he gets older, as he gets bigger and loses a step, he's gonna have to move to third base. With his current range and hands, he's playing as good a defensive shortstop as he ever will."

IMO Hoyer is mouthpiece, Theo calling all the shots.

I'm sure Jed left San Diego to just be a P.R. person.

Totally makes sense...

But yes, Theo is the ultimate decision maker (obviously), but I think there's a lot of cooks in this kitchen now.

Didn't the owner want to promote Bynes?

I know everything's a conspiracy theory in your view of the baseball world, but sometimes there are genuine people behind all of this who care for the people they work with.

....from a radio interview with Moorad

Moorad let Hoyer go even though he was under contract with the Padres because he wants to let Hoyer map his own career forward. "There is a bit of a human side to this equation." The Chicago job made the most sense for Hoyer and his career. He leaves the Padres organization in a better spot than when he got here. If Byrnes wasn't already working with the Padres he absolutely would not have let Chicago talk to Hoyer.

Theo Epstein called and asked Moorad if there was any chance he could hire Hoyer. Moorad answered on the spot saying it was Hoyer's choice and allowed the two to talk.

Moorad told Hoyer privately that he could be General Manager of the Padres for as long as he liked but he didn't want to stand in the way of his career. Byrnes was not hired 10 months ago to replace Hoyer. Moorad and Hoyer were trying to help Byrnes get a GM job elsewhere.

http://www.gaslampball.com/2011/11/2/2533033/...

ultimately Hoyer loses some control and great weather for a more stable organization with greater resources(Padres were being sold), a longer contract and I'm guessing the promise that Ricketts will stay out of the way and let Theo and his chums build the organization as they see fit.

what was the compensation for hoyer, anyway?

i'm blanking on it and can't find anything about it online except they "agreed" on something.

Once Moorad was out, so was compensation. At least that's the story I've heard.

Not conspiracy. Just pretty widely reported at the time.

I also have a feeling that Theo would be in serious trouble in Boston right now. And he realized that and jumped to Chicago while he still had a chance.

Not too much of a leap IMHO.

Reported or conjectured?

The fact that it takes any sort of leap means it's anything but a fact.

Theo got what he always wanted, full control over baseball operations.

Enjoy the ride...it'll make the destination that much sweeter.

today's appetizer, Horatio Ramirez! This kitchen's really cookin'!

Jesus Christ! Any of you who have MLB.com or access to the braves game. Watch the highlight called Chipper's Outstanding Play . . . Chipper Jones does make a great play but the 2nd baseman CLEARLY drops the ball all the way out of his glove RIGHT IN THE UMPS FACE and they call him out and nobody talks about it. WTF? Umpiring is so bizarre these days. There was no transfer to another hand ... Just bounces it out of his glove and back into it. I know the argument is he had possession (for what - a millisecond?) but I have never seen that call before. Damn

Wow, pretty damn blatant.

I put that in the same category as the one where Todd Helton was three feet off first base but still got the "out" call. Horrible call. In my mind, I see Bob Uecker sitting way up in the nosebleed section of the right field stands yelling, "He dropped the ball!" (Lite Beer from Miller commercial reference, for you youngsters out there).

Totally...I guess there are just freak plays where no one sees what happened, but with all the cameras out there it's getting pretty ridiculous. Still, like Selig says, no one wants expanded replay.

one of the things i find "rough" on the umps is the newish super-slo-mo cameras that have such a high frame capture rate that playing back 1 second of footage over 15-20 seconds looks so smooth that you can easily forget it's a bang-bang play.

this play in question, though...*shrug*

Right, it looks so obvious for us...but maybe not for them on the field, which is kinda my point. It's silly to be relying solely on the eyes on the field when we have so many other tools available.

and the announcers mention nothing...

unless it's on the transfer or well after the fact, but like you I've never seen that call before.

Jaye Chapman (Maholm/Johnson trade) to Iowa DL with an elbow strain.

Baez figuring out High-A, Daytona with 4-1 lead over Lakeland in 7th, Baez double, 2 run HR, 3 RBI

he's certainly figuring out Luis Angel Sanz, the Lakeland pitcher...he was having a decent year(3.45 ERA in 99 IP) before tonight, although he's 24 in Hi-A.

Castro and Cubs working on long term deal, allegedly up through his age 28 season, would knock out 2 years of free agency (I believe that's through 2018 then, someone can look it up).

Check the twitter box too

http://www.csnchicago.com/baseball-chicago-cu...

Kaplan smugly states that he wouldn't put Castro at short . . . but that Cubs will. I know Starlin has his moments, but I think he is a fine shortstop . . . And that's where his value is at. I think he's a great investment. When the Cubs have something to play for he'll sharpen his concentration, and have better players around him ..., age experience and human nature. But I like him at short.

On the right deal it should be great value. He's going to get better. At least power wise, though his 2B totals make we want to look at how much his 2012 power surge may continue. But his floor is pretty solid, to me, he doesn't seem like a guy who's just going to crash.

I like the line of thinking. So long as the numbers aren't crazy. Castro is a good player. Not a great one though.

6/88 ? Over or under?

Way under.

yeah, the next 3 years he should be "only" worth $25-35m tops, imo.

he gets arb next year, but it's not the "big payday" arb...though it'll be a hell of a raise from where he's at.

jose reyes's current "bar setting" SS contract is worth $17.5m a year.

plus, castro has the advantage of getting $$ security + being able to hit the FA market still in his prime if he signs a 5-6 year deal. he might be more receptive to taking a financial security contract more-so than a 26/28 year old who would normally be in this situation after 3 full seasons.

6/60 range is my guess

Starlin Castro with a huge amount of money makes me nervous. I don't know why, it just does. Nothing can be done about it, the deal should get done.

I also think he's a good shortstop who still has some rough edges that most players experience in the minors instead of for everybody to see.

It makes you nervous because worst case scenario a 6/60 to Castro easily becomes an albatross contract. Worst case scenario is that after 1,700 plate appearances, the league has figured out how to pitch him so his contact rate drops, he'll never be an elite defender, and he's actually a 25 year old named Juan Placencio.

The odds of this scenario happening is like 7% with a Cubbery factor of 56.2%.

How does one factor in Cubbery? It never is an exact stat. Just a consistent one.

That's the beauty of Cubbery. It's an art, not a science. A black art.

Snape would be proud.

If it's anywhere close to 6/60, I have no heartburn over that. When you consider Altcantara, Baez, M. Hernandez, and Amaya in the pipeline, Theo must feel one of them could replace Castro if he burns out on Chicago nightlife. And if he stays, he's as likely to play 2B as stay at SS.

Pierce Johnson tonight for Boise: 1ip 3 strikeouts (and a BB).

Baby steps!!

2 innings 5 K's and a BB . . . No hits . . . Pierce! Pierce! Pierce!

Saw this in the CCO posts by one of their writers (Neil)...

Ryan Searle promoted from Daytona to Iowa, Frankie De La Cruz released from Iowa. DLC supposedly will go to a Taiwan team.

Late-season milestones: Rohan drove in his 100th run last night; Bour has 105; Andreoli with 50 SBs.

dumpster on the restricted list for "personal reasons"

...what a crap deal it's turning out to be for TEX.

yikes, hopefully nothing with his daughter

You KNOW that Frank Wren in Atlanta is feeling like the luckiest man in the world. He should send Dempster a Christmas Basket every year for the rest of his life . . .

uhh...allegedly his issue is he's not being allowed in canada because of paperwork (TOR road series).

he's...umm...canadian.

Yeah twitter is alive with rumors he can't find his passport (and the irony being he is Canadian).

mark prior (AAA, BOS) released...

The Cubs should sign old' #22 to a one day contract so he can retire as a Cub in the same year as KW. Putting some serious finality to 2003.

Alex Brown, Chicago Bear...approved this message.

only problem is KW is a man while MP is still running around trying to find someone to blame his failures on besides himself.

supposedly this is his last comeback attempt, though.

So who cares at this point if it's Michael Barrett's fault.

I hope that next year at the park there's a day to mark the 10-year anniversary of that fun little run. I hope Prior chooses to attend. And I hope that it's the beginning of the team's eventual re-embrace of Sosa, which should have began a year or two ago anyways.

I dunno about ole' Sammy. I'm still feeling kind of icky inside when I think about him. It's not that I feel only one way about him -- I'm conflicted -- but still feel icky.

Hopefully he has a better financial adviser than Scott Eyre.

or eddie murray.

I am pretty sure his financial advisor was Lenny Dykstra.

Me liikee Rizzo the philosopher...

@ESPNChiCubs: Cubs blog: Rizzo's revelation could help young Cubs http://t.co/dkpvXwL0

i wonder how many times he heard that told to him last year while he was in over his head in the majors.

Rockies win, Cubs only 1/2 game behind in the chase for the #2, 2013 draft pick.

X
  • Sign in with Twitter