October 2011

The best thing MLB Trade Rumors ever did was buy the rights to Eddie Bajek's reverse-engineered Elias rankings. This year he nailed all but two free agents before the official list came out (Kelly Johnson and Joel Zumaya).

As for the Cubs, Ryan Dempster exercised his $14M option for next year, so his Type A status is a moot point. But the Cubs did exercise their $16M option on Aramis Ramirez last night and it seems to be a mere formality at this point that Ramirez will decline it to seek a multi-year deal. That saves the Cubs $2M on the buyout and the Cubs will likely get a supplemental draft pick if and when Ramirez signs somewhere else as he just missed Type A status and is a Type B free agent. Carlos Pena also qualified at Type B status and his situation is a bit trickier as he could potentially accept the Cubs arbitration offer.

 

You were wondering too.
"What's the matter with Napoli?" 
He's rolling around on the ground for no reason whatso...
Then they showed the replay.
DID YOU SEE HOW FAR HIS ANKLE BENT?
Oh my GOD!
I fell off the couch making dog noises.
Just get a freaking stretcher and have a surgeon re-attach his foot.

Late Friday night, Bud Selig apparently had enough of the Cubs and Red Sox distracting from what now appears to be a real good World Series and the two teams sent out press releases saying Theo to the Cubs is official. The issue of compensation still needs to be resolved, with talks picking up after Tuesday's press conference and they have until November 1st before big bad Bud has to settle it for them through a game of RBI baseball.

- Theo stopped by the Cubs' offices today and the press conference is Tuesday at 11AM. On his way out, he fired everyone (well I'm sure he really wanted to).

- Boston Herald has a nice rundown of the Theo years. Here's a good one of Jed Hoyer by Tom Krasovic.

- The Sun-Times has some nice things to say about Randy Bush (and more bad things to say about Crane Kenney). One of those, "thanks for all the info over the years, hope this helps your future job search" articles.

- I wonder how the Theo jerseys will sell.

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...

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...

Here are the final statistics for the Cubs 2011 AZ Instructional League team.


There is no official scorer at AZIL games so the stats are “unofficial.”


Trey Martin blooped an opposite-field single over the second-baseman's head to score Rubi Silva from 3rd base and cap a furious comeback, as the Cubs rallied to score seven runs over the last four innings to tie the Rockies 7-7 in AZ Instructional League action this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa.

Carter Jurica tripled and scored to key a two-run 1st inning, and blasted a solo HR leading off the bottom of the 6th to provide what proved to be the game-winning run, as the Giants edged the Cubs 3-2 in AZ Instructional League action this afternoon at Indian School Park Field #2 in Scottsdale.

Jeimer Candelario singled and doubled and knocked-in a run, helping the Cubs defeat the Angels 3-1 in AZ Instructional League action this afternoon at Diablo Park Field #3 in Tempe.  


Travis Witherspoon ripped an RBI double and Randal Grichuk slammed an RBI triple to highlight a four-run 3rd, and Trevor Hairgrove doubled twice and drove-in a run, leading the Angels to a 9-3 victory over the Cubs in AZ Instructional League action this afternoon at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa.  


This appears just about close to being finalized. Here's the latest and to open up a new set of comments.

- Epstein and family are apparently house hunting already in Chicago.

- Heyman tweets that there is a bit of discussion whether #cubs send cash or minor leaguers to #redsox for theo. so far boston prefers the $.

- A WEEI report said the deal would be 5/$15M, ESPN is saying it's 5/$20M. There's some confusion over a $3.5M transfer bonus that Epstein would receive,  so that could be part of the difference.

- Same article says ...an industry source said Tuesday that Cubs owner Tom Ricketts spoke with Epstein last week and that Epstein met with Cubs president Crane Kenney in Chicago last weekend (I presume to settle how much of Kenney's salary would be going to Epstein).

- Kaplan with a pretty thorough rundown of how the events transpired. I can't find it now, but I think it was Kaplan reporting that Epstein's very comfortable with Wilken and Fleita.

- Kevin Goldstein at BP and ESPN Insider (subscriptions required) goes over the state of the organization that Theo will inherit. 

- George Ofman tweets: Word from sources close to situation: Ryne Sandberg not on Theo's short list to be manager at this time

Theo did try and hire Ryno to manage Pawtucket though last year, so even if he doesn't quite think he's big league ready, possibility as a major league coach could loom. 

- Red Sox pull a page out of the Cubs playbook and start the smear campaign on Francona, Epstein and some of the players. 

Some video of Epstein discussing player evaluation after the jump...

The headline says it all, but let me blockquote for you.

Two baseball sources have confirmed that Theo Epstein is on the cusp of leaving his job as general manager of the Red Sox [team stats] to accept a position with the Chicago Cubs that is believed to include powers greater than he has in Boston, with an announcement expected to be made “within the next 24 to 48 hours.”

Now MLB generally doesn't like major announcements right during the playoffs, so I can foresee this stretching until the break between the LCS and World Series. Also, there's still a bit of a hangup.

The hangup in the negotiations has been twofold. One of them is that Red Sox ownership was still hoping to have Epstein remain with the team. The other is compensation: If Epstein is to leave Boston, said one source with knowledge of the negotiations, the Red Sox are going to want “something real.”

That compensation is going to be the real fun part, as I imagine quite a few fans are going to be upset over a quality prospect or player being traded for a "suit". On the other hand, not many "suits" out there with the Theo Epstein's resume. I presume Castro, Cashner and Brett Jackson are the untouchables, past that it's probably pretty fair game. Red Sox fans seem to be happy with the Cubs just taking on Lackey or Crawford's contract and while hardly ideal, neither would terribly upset me. You got to pay something to get something and Epstein is worth the sticker price.

In case that "hangup" becomes a roadblock, Wittenmyer tweets that the Cubs have talked to other GM candidates.

Yaniel Cabezas lined a walk-off bases-loaded RBI single into the LF corner with one out in the bottom of the 9th, as the Cubs rallied for two runs in the final frame to edge the Giants 3-2 in AZ Instructional League action this afternoon at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa.  


The Giants combined two doubles, three singles, five walks, and an error to score seven runs in the first two innings, cruising to a 7-1 victory over the Cubs in AZ Instructional League action this afternoon at Indian School Park Field #2 in Scottsdale.  


totally random trade thought if baseball was run on a PS3...

If you were the newly minted gonna-be-totally-awesome-and-do-everything-my-way GM, would you trade Starlin Castro for Jason Heyward? (Heyward is 7 months older than Castro).

I'm about 40/60 on that idea with a slight preference to keep Castro.

But what about Castro/McNutt for Heyward/Teheran?

the plot thickens...I'd have to say yes as Cub GM, although I imagine some romantic Cubs fans couldn't part ways with Darlin' Starlin.

Six pitchers combined to throw a two-hitter, and the Cubs scored once in the 6th to break a 1-1 tie and take the lead and two more insurance runs in the 7th to provide the final margin of victory, defeating the Angels 4-1 in AZ Instructional League action this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa.

LHP (ex-OF) Kyler Burke threw three innings of no run/no hit ball with five strikeouts and Jeimer Candelario and Dan Vogelbach cracked back-to-back RBI singles in the top of the 8th to tie the game at 3-3, but the Mariners pushed across a run in the bottom of the 8th to take back the lead and added three more in a tack-on 9th to defeat the Cubs 7-3 in AZ Instructional League action this afternoon at Mariners Field #2 at the Peoria Sports Complex in Peoria, AZ.


Reggie Golden and Jeimer Candelario ripped back-to-back doubles to score one run and Dustin Geiger clubbed a three-run HR onto 8th Street to plate three more, but the Diamondbacks took advantage of eight walks, a HBP, six wild pitches, and two errors to defeat the Cubs 7-4 in AZ Instructional League action this afternoon at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa.

Micah Gibbs tripled and singled, scored a run, and drove-in another, but the Rockies scored five unanswered runs to overcome an early 2-1 deficit and defeated the Cubs 6-2 in AZ Instructional League action this afternoon at Dust Storm Field at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick east of Scottsdale.

Reggie Golden smacked a bases-clearing three-run double into the LF corner with two outs in the bottom of the 3rd inning to turn a 2-1 deficit into a 4-2 lead, and Rubi Silva and Dustin Geiger collected three hits apiece, as the Cubs defeated the Rockies 8-4 in AZ Instructional League action this afternoon at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa 


Jeffrey Baez had three hits including a two-run triple that drove-in the go-ahead run in the top of the 6th, Micah Gibbs laced a two-run double, and Jeimer Candelario had two RBI doubles, as the Cubs outslugged the Athletics 12-8 in AZ Instructional League action this afternoon at Connie Mack Field at the Papago Park Baseball Complex in Phoenix.  


Danny Lockhart drilled an RBI single to right to drive-in Dustin Geiger from 3rd base with the tying run, and Shawon Dunston, Jr scored the go-ahead run (the eventually winning run) on an errant pickoff attempt at 3rd base, as the Cubs rallied for two in the 8th to edge the Angels 4-3 in AZ Instructional League action this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa.

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