Boston Herald Reporting that Theo Will Join The Cubs

The headline , 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 have talked to other GM candidates.


Taking on Lackey (maybe not straight up, but with some kind of cash adjustments or similarly bad contract going the other way--maybe Z?) makes the most sense to me. The Cubs need starting pitching anyway.

Or Soriano for Crawford. That would save Boston tons of cash in the long run, but they probably got the memo that Soriano is fucking terrible.

Fucking terrible (Soriano) for an NL team. For an AL team, as a DH, just mediocre to bad. But still better than Dunn.

I was thinking along these same lines. Soriano can hide at DH some. Crawford can hold up in the field much better than Sori.

I doubt it's going to be anything that favorable for the Cubs...more like Lackey for McNutt and Vitters. That's assuming the Red Sox have actually soured on Lackey. They need starting pitching and there are signs that Lackey isn't totally shot. I wouldn't be so quick to say Jackson and Cashner won't be gettable either.

he's got the most hittable 92-95mph fastball on the planet. it's awesome to watch something so nice be so ineffective...really awesome.

any idea what's changed sine his LA days? Fangraphs says his slider is good and all his other pitches are crap.

Well, he threw his fastball less this year. But his fastball was also significantly less useful.

Fenway Park? AL East? innings, wife going through breast cancer and then divorcing wife? ~shrug~

It could happen, but reports are far ahead of decisions

Other than Garza or Castro, they can have any prospect as far as I am concerned. If they want us to take on Lackey's contract, that's probably fine too as long as we can send them Z. I don't know if Lackey lost anything stuff-wise this year, but going through a divorce could have just made him depressed and unfocused, and one would think that will eventually change. And we have so little starting pitching.

So the question then becomes, what did Epstein say about his plan for the next couple of years, and what kind of request did Ricketts make, if any, about trying to field a contending team in the next year or two? I think this off-season's free agent class is mostly weak, and we have so many positions to fill or upgrade. If Pujols and Fielder leave the division, even if we don't sign either, we might be able to scrap together a team to contend, but that would probably also take a few trades, especially for a pitcher or two, and would cost more prospects. I'm curious what the plan of action is going to be in the near term.

SP, RF, 1st, 3rd...and a lot of not-so-ideal options to fill them. would theo actually try to bring jd drew to the cubs? can drew still play RF? 1st or SP to splash loot? is there even going to be a splash or a slew of cheap options? there's a lot of work to be done...

aren't we all? I imagine if it happens, he'll be rather coy about the near term plan. They always have been in Boston. if he's getting the President title, that means he'll have full authority on all decisions and likely hire a very powerful assistant GM or possibly a GM down the road. at the very least, we know the Cubs will have a plan going forward and have a long term vision.

I think they already have a long term vision, just not the people in place to execute it. bottom quotes a source saying Boston Herald story is "not accurate".

from Buster... Worth mentioning amid reports that BOS ownership wants to convince Theo to stay: Henry/Werner have had power to stop this. And they haven't. from Heyman if theo does go to cubs (boston herald reporting chicago deal could be "on the cusp''), he will not be hiring tito there

Damn it, I want the manager's job!

Source tells Espn that their is not a deal in place with Theo Epstein yet. Cubs checking with MLB on compensation. that sounds like there is a deal in place, doesn't it? just looking for approval and parameters...

Sounds like a deal with Theo, but not with the Red Sox.

The Cubs have not won a World Series since 1908. Who knew? But the same baseball official said compensation was not the sticking point, while refusing to elaborate. "It's a little more complicated than that," said the official of what was holding up finalization. ...there's also the matter of the dead bodies.

Tim Brown of Yahoo Hearing Red Sox owners are making play to keep Theo in town, but won't ask him to continue in job he doesn't want. and Kapman Okay, two impeccable sources tell me that Theo is wrestling with personal decision to leave his home in Boston. Has Red Sox in his heart.

While all this with Epstein and cubs is going on, the current cubs manager Mike Quade out of the loop, unaware that any of this going on

Quade is somewhere thinking about whose ass he will slap first when he gets to Arizona in February. Cassie? Rammy? Woody? Wellsey? Marsh? Hilly? Bake? Garz? Cash?

Good, and following that, I believe he may be thinking up useless nicknames for the 25-man team, the 40-man, and the entire minor leagues. That should keep him busy!

Quade can't slap any asses if he's not in Arizona in February.

Quade can't ... --- Gone Fishin', he'll be slapping bass.


just getting started B. Jackson leads off with a lineout to SS.

down 3-1 in 3rd Jackson singles in his 2nd AB to lead off 3rd

says deal is all but done, and no I don't particularly trust it. [Theo Epstein]...has been engaged for two days in "serious and comprehensive" negotiations with Cubs owner Tom Ricketts. According to one source, final contract details were in the process of being worked out Tuesday night and the only other detail, albeit an important one, was the compensation the Red Sox would receive from the Cubs.

Source: Epstein would be restricted, through agreement of parties, from taking employees to CHC with him, except in cases BOS green lights. follow-up joke... @dustinparkes BOS just painted Lackey green

Muskat Sources say #Cubs made offer & sticking point is whether Theo wants to leave #RedSox. Tough call, personal vs professional Kapman Just learned that Epstein would be among 3 highest paid GM's if he takes the gig. He makes 1.5 in Boston. Want nothing to do w/business side

Peter Abraham tweeting that compensation not the issue, but who Theo can take with him. Also stressing that Theo's mind is not made up and could still stay with Boston.

Theo would be nuts not to accept the Cubs offer. He has the chance to go down in history as the greatest GM evah if he can bring a title to the Northside after bringing two to Boston. Everyone knows there is no pinnacle in American sports that goes higher than the people that FINALLY end the Cubs misery. Theo can't pass up that chance. Hell, I know I wouldn't if I were a hotshot GM.

It is tough to leave family, friends, and a team you love. I get it. I almost moved to Boston for a job once, and I hemmed and hawed finally turning it down. Of course it wasn't to run a storied baseball franchise, but personally I couldn't pull the trigger on the deal when I felt I was moving to a smaller city, and still cold, and what I had in Chi was as good if not much better.

Why not Zambrano to the Red Sox with the Cubs paying his salary.

Gordon Edes tweet:
If Theo goes to Chi, Sandberg will be favorite to be named manager. Theo tried to hire Sandberg for Pawtucket last winter.

Yes! And, I might add, Theo is a huge Pearl Jam fan and very friendly with Eddie and the gang. Might we see Pearl Jam play a couple of summer shows at Wrigley? Why the hell not? Far more interesting than some of the other guys they've had, at least for me. I would actually want to go see that.

Why, when Eddie will sing for next to nothing solo at Harry Carey's? Yeah, I could see a Pearl Jam show at Wrigley. Frankly, if Epstein were to be hired - I hope they would gut the place and rebuild it. What a shit-hole (but it is SO CHARMING).

Just don't look up at the netting holding the falling concrete from crushing your head. That aspect of Wrigley reminds me of what Tiger Stadium looked like at the end.

New Sun-Times article up has a few remarks about Crane Kenney: "A key for the Cubs to land Epstein is a title that represents a higher rank, presumably of comparable standing to ‘‘president,’’ in part to assure he’s not making a lateral move, as baseball protocol dictates. In practice, sources said, it’s to assure that Epstein would have the authority to keep meddlesome Cubs president Crane Kenney out of baseball business. Multiple high-level executives from other organizations said they viewed Kenney as an interfering, credit-seeking suit with little baseball acumen and an impediment to landing a top general manager. Despite chairman Tom Ricketts’ vow that Kenney operates independent of baseball operations — and that Kenney wouldn’t be involved in selecting the new GM — a Cubs source said Kenney remains involved in the process. Ricketts recently lauded Kenney’s efforts in that process to members of the organization, the source said."

unpossible /crunch'd

you're having a moment. go read it all again if you need to. in fact i used some of that same language. that said...what's he done? who he sign? who did he champion and campaign for? all that's missing is a list of stuff he's done from this discussion. the list of stuff he has done goes from ARZ to Chicago and none of it has to do with him signing players, putting pressure on roster decisions, telling people they can't have what they want, or otherwise playing God with the roster. being an annoying jerk isn't running a team.

I knew that would start some Crane Kenney discussions again. None of us actually know what he's done or not done, as far as sticking his nose into the baseball side, but we have heard this before from people who are in a better position to get more accurate info. I don't like him just because of his personality when interviewed and the whole holy water exorcism nonsense.

i know what he's done...and that's a lot of revenue stretching, city/government wrangling from AZ to IL...and talking to anyone under the sun about "the team" and "what we're doing" since his tribune days 3 owners ago. hell, he'll be out as president soon enough and back in some other role doing pretty much exactly what he's doing now...only without having to sign off on payroll or go lobby for more from the purse strings. he's a powerhouse civic/sports negotiator who's a pesky little brother...not a dice rolling pimp calling shots.

okay dude... you made it pretty clear that you thought he was harmless. Yet here's another report saying that he wasn't.

what harm? he's a loud mouth tell-all who has issues with his own role in the organization and his importance to it. he'll take information from other parts of the organization and talk about it others as if everything is "we"...that got old and he never quit doing it. being meddlesome and annoying doesn't put anyone in a position of power over the roster even if some communication is required to do some things...what shots is he supposedly calling or blocking? there's a very short list of specific harm he's done while chairman/president/etc...somewhere around 0...there's a longer list of dumbass incidents (blessing-gate), credit-stealing, questionable statements, ego exercising, etc...a bit too many to count. if anything, he's gone around for far too long putting the "we" and "us" tag on stuff he couldn't have been heavily involved with while forgetting some of the truths he stretches. he's been busted claiming to be at games he wasn't at...he can "stretch" some weird truths while trying to prove his cubs-importance and love. hell, he's a redsox fan anyway...theo will love replacing him and kenney will love getting some other token title to go do fundraising and b/s'ing politicians and city business leaders.

Insiders are talking about him enough to scare off potential gm's. Gillick was one , this is just not idle lockeroom gossip. The asshole has his own uniform! Btw , will Theo get a new uniform number or would he get Kenney's.

I' m truly resisting the urge to go all Real Neal on you, so I'll simply say you were wrong on this and now just arguing to argue. I'm done.

FWIW, I'm with crunch on this one. I don't see any legs under this story, just the usual Sullivan-Wittenmyer-Rogers BS. These guys are getting scooped every day by the Boston Herald and the Globe. After we fix the baseball team, can we fix the newspapers?

the newspapers can't be fixed until they agree to print the truth and nothing but the truth

also stories from Ringolsby and the radio, David Haugh... and the story has been going on for 5 years now. when there's this much smoke, there's been a fire.

I realize that Kenney was out of control a few years ago. I would be interested in evidence (or even a plausible anecdote) to suggest that Ricketts has not reined him in.

I'm sure he has reigned him in and that was finalized at Hendry's dismissal when he said Kenney will no longer be a part of the baseball side of things. Him sticking to wrestling money out of people is fine, never argued otherwise. He clearly inserted himself in the baseball side of things too much though (clear that is if your name isn't crunch) and that certainly rubbed a lot of people the wrong way and certainly contributed somewhat to some of the Cubs problems the last 3 years.

it's so clear that i'm waiting for a list of things he did to effect the roster and who comes/goes. being annoying isn't making policy.

and im still waiting for a list...or even a list of "one" thing he's done besides being an annoying, credit taking, blame deflecting, talk-to-everyone-under-the-sun egomaniac who likes to talk about the club as if he's running it. what has he done besides being an annoying credit-wrangling asshat in the negative department? some people must believe the guy works 20 hours a day... we got faith in elevating something to an unproven area vs. faith he's not running things as intensely as he's just being annoyingly meddlesome

btw...check out some of the interviews he's done with blogs. that will give a lot of insight into his own ego and attachment to the club. everything is "we're going"..."we are"...and glowing helm-riding putting himself right in the middle of everything. he's just not that damn involved. hell, when he was still a board guy with the trib he was talking to BCB about how things were being run and you could assume he was right there on every single decision the club was making...which is really really really unrealistic. he was also busted in the same BCB interview stretching the truth about his involvement in the fan base and catching games. the guy wants to be the organization...or wanted...either way, a heightened view of his own role from his own mouth.

hopefully you've realized that you answered your own question in why he was a detriment to the Cubs the last 5 years. (look up the defintion to detriment btw, hint, does not mean the only reason)

im not arguing about a arguing about his role in the organization and shaping the product we see on the field. i see nothing pointing to how he's interfered with what's on the field...not even a single thing. not he's annoying...he's a credit whore...he's an egomaniac...he's been over his head, called on it, and badly lied to get out. i'm yet to see him shaping what we see on the field aside from wrangling money from what others have asked him. him being "involved" in the next GM hunt...a guy who is probably going to take HIS you really think he's shot calling or just involved? his entire role in the organization has been overblown with the assumptions of shot calling rather than just being there and talking to much about what he's seen or gleened off of others. meanwhile, he's out there doing his civic/government and fundraising stuff...his main job beyond being a cog in the money chain. this is why he's on owner 3 and still has a job...he's very good at making government bend for a private company as well as stretching revenue in every area he can...well, aside from selling wrigley naming rights which for some reason is off the table for him...for now.

here's an awesome c.kenney interview...notorious one with BCB where he got into trouble for basically saying "too much" about other people's business and how the cubs are running things. one thing you'll notice is how he inserts himself into almost everything, even stuff he has no control over. you'll notice some stuff is a little fishy (like his commitment to being an uber-fan of the cubs vs. his own out-of-place observations that should be obvious, like beer). he even makes projections (some opinion, and some of it best unsaid even when true) about where the club is going and how it's going to handle a very wide variety of things. this is the type of personality you're dealing with here...well, here's a slice of it from his Tribune/Zell days.

Seems like Theo as GM and Sandberg as manager would be very appealing to the fans and very easy to package for the media. I'm sure many fans would still like to see Greg Maddux involved somehow, but talk about his interest in a front office job seems to have dwindled, and I don't know what his role would be. You'd have to think he could be a hell of a pitching coach or manager someday, if he wanted to.

i'd like to see prince fielder involved somehow...cj wilson would be nice... seriously, though...meh...there's so much to address in 2012 (RF/3rd/1st/SP) it's going to be interesting whoever has the job to do it.

Ever get the impression that Maddux doesn't like to work? (Not to confuse work with competing on a ball field.) I think of him as just another Hendry retainer like Gary Hughes.

I get the impression that he's got $50 million in the bank, and wants to do what he wants to do...

Fine, but don't join Hendry's entourage and pretend to be working.

Am watching CSN right now (10:05) Steve Buckley from the Bos Herald stated that barring a personal decision to just stay in Bean Town, Epstein will be coming here. Compensation was mentioned, but the "building blocks" of the top prospects apparently will not be going anywhere. All of this shit is speculation, of course, but the inside reporter was pretty convincing. In any event, I am more confident than ever finally we will get a good GM on the North Side. Maybe.

I know I'm in the minority here, but I think Hendry sucked balls and I'm excited about a new GM.

Agreed Joe, I was the other Anti-Hendry voice around here the last couple of years.

Actually, I was on his Lt. Dangle after the Aramis, Lee and Nomar acquisition.

It would be interesting to see when each of us lost faith in Hendry. My "he's totally fucking incompetent" moment was the Maddux trade.

Probably the Milton Bradley contract for me. Or, more likely, the gradual process of reading and coming to understand AZ Phil's recommendations on how to handle the 40-man and then seeing Hendry's incompetence there time and time again.

Mine was the offseason where he jumped out and overpayed for Neifi,Rusch,Howry and Eyre to "set the market", then complained that Raffy Furcal wanted 13 million dollars.

Jose Fucking Macias.

Me too. When he got rid of Macias, I knew he didn't know what he was doing.

I know one of you is being sarcastic...I'm not sure both of you know that though.

Which one of us?

I was being VERY sarcastic.

Wait... then or now?

I read it as Joe being sarcastic that he was the only one happy to see Hendry gone for Epstein and then you seemed serious that were one of the few anti-Hendry people. Could have interpreted it wrong...

I've been on this board a few times over the years. I was well aware of the anti-Hendry tone. I was trying to be a smart ass in saying I was the other anti-Hendry voice. Carry on......

Ok, we were both being sarcastic. I love internet sarcasm. It's the best!

I haven't been this excited about the Cubs acquiring someone from Boston since the Nomar trade and we all know how that ended. #justsayin

With Matt Murton leading the team in batting average in 2006?


Ed Lynch says hello.

Ed McMahon says heyoooo!

Jim McMahon says "I motivate the cats, I like to tease."

Jeff Valdez says, "Cats are smarter than dogs. You can't get eight cats to pull a sled through snow."

Wrong place! You broke the pattern!

Jim McMahon talked about cats.

I'm so sorry. I was looking at the Valdez and didn't even make the connection. I'm so stupid. I love you. Please forgive me.

David Lynch says "Damn, fine coffee!"

Juan Valdez says "My Coffee is the best"

Joe Esposito says "You're the best...around."

Joe Estavez says "I'm the best Estavez."

Emelio Estavez says, "No, I ain't no commie!"

From ESPN: "A source with knowledge of the talks told ESPN's Karl Ravech that the compensation would involve prospects and/or cash, but no major league players would be part of the deal, following traditional precedent."

Hey Crunch, Did you finally go see Moneyball?

no plans to see it. also, ha. i am waiting for Deadball to come to the US, though. Japanese flick...lots of CGI gore...and prisons...and nazis...and baseball.

Heyman compensation from cubs to red sox may only be cash. there may be another hurdle, but deal still has decent shot.

Wasn't it trading their best asset for cash that started the last Red Sox curse?

Wasn't it trading their best asset for cash that started the last Red Sox curse? --- Let's hope if there is a Curse of the Theo that it's aimed towards Boston and not Chicago.

from Cubs and start the bad press on Epstein (and others)... While Epstein has accepted blame for signing subpar performers such as Lackey and Jenks, the owners share the responsibility of unanimously approving their signings. But Carl Crawford was a different story. Ownership was divided over Epstein’s push to acquire Crawford as a free agent, sources said. At least one top executive believed Crawford’s skills as a speedy lefthanded-hitting outfielder seemed to duplicate Ellsbury’s. But the owners ultimately agreed to gamble $142 million over seven years on Crawford - a lost wager to date.

why would the owners take blame for approving something their GM wanted? ...besides, it goes through a president before it even gets to the owners if you want to line up some blame. owners have the ultimate say, but you got to let your GM do his thing. btw...yes, i understand that for stuff like mega-year/money contracts owners will be informed of and players discussed. unless you're a hard line "the buck stops here, and it stops at the top" or you're into shared blame then what i'm seeing probably won't make much sense.

Send them Zambrano and Soriano for Crawford's contract?

Why on Earth are you looking at a game preview from 2005? Also, Hairston and Neifi! Batting 1-2?!?!

Lucchino's Mum. Must be friends with Johan's Mum. things you can do for your mum when she's gone...

"It appears the compensation for Epstein is being discussed by Cubs assistant GM Randy Bush and Sox assistant GM Ben Cherington, with Lucchino and Cubs owner Tom Ricketts overseeing the process. " that can't be good...

There is absolutely no way that Epstein is not involved in those talks on the Cubs side. 5/15M announced by end of week.

Trib reporting this also: "something with his credentials"??

Trib just re-reporting the WEEI story... "something with his credentials" oh shit, dude's an android, secret solved.

As usual, the Trib is reporting a report out of Boston. Sullivan saw it on the internet, just like Rob.

this is gonna be quite the kick in the nuts if it falls through.

I don't know. I will be very happy with Theo, but I don't believe he is the only GM that can bring a winner to Chicago.

I agree with that. It doesn't take a genius, just someone who doesn't do a lot of stupid things. You get $40 million more in operating budget than your divisional rivals - it's not really that hard.

I like that he's been through it already with BoSox. I don't think Cashman would survive the bs that comes with working with Cubs. Theo deal not yet done but the contract terms were easy to reach agreement on. Epstein more focused Ricketts long term plan. Impeccable sources say Ricketts and Epstein found common ground quickly. Epstein wanted assurances of Ricketts long term vision for Cubs. Epstein was more focused on long term dollars and commitment than immediate spending. Wants to "build" organization.

dumbed down for a general audience

It certainly goes a bit to explain the Crawford deal. I wonder if everyone who is burying him for that gives him any credit for not re-signing Bay.

How 'bout dem Bears? Ricketts outlined his plan to build through the farm system while also spending wisely on the acquisition of veteran stars who can make an immediate impact on the Cubs. In fact, sources tell us that Ricketts is not opposed to spending big money on a star player, but for him to sign a mega contract the player must fit long-term with the organization. The acquisition of Adrian Gonzalez by the Red Sox is the type of player and commitment that Ricketts is willing to take on with the Cubs. He looks at Gonzalez as a star player, in the prime of his career and a player who is solid both offensively and defensively in addition to being a person of impeccable character. When opportunities like that come along he wants his Cubs to be in a position to make a move for a superstar. It was that willingness to spend when it makes sense in addition to the increased power and salary that will come with his contract that sold Epstein on Ricketts vision for the organization. hello Prince Fielder

Where's the LaHair love?

I was wondering about that as well. I certainly think you give the job to LaHair if you don't sign Fielder or Pujols (or take Teixiera off of the Yankees hands). If we do get one of those guys, did LaHair do enough in September to build some substantial trade value? I wouldn't think so. Not to be repetitive, but if we get a guy like Aubrey Huff for Zambrano (again assuming the new GM is convinced Zambrano is a toxic asset, not a given), keeping LaHair around may be the best plan.

No, he probably didn't do enough, and I pretty much meant that in sarcasm. Although I do worry about giving Fielder a long term -- simply because of his body type, although he has done pretty well with that body type so far. Surprisingly well. I really like LaHair's approach at the plate, but I thought Hee Seop Choi was a can't miss, so take it for what it's worth.

The acquisition of Adrian Gonzalez by the Red Sox is the type of player and commitment that Ricketts is willing to take on with the Cubs. Are there any owners/GMs that are not willing to make such a commitment? Obviously some teams can't afford Gonzalez (or can't fit it into their overall budget), but seriously, what teams with money wouldn't commit to him?

I think the distinction is signing Manny Ramirez and not Alfonso Soriano (Greg Maddux and not Jose Guzman etc etc). Not sure if you can put Gonzalez into the slam dunk "right call" category yet.

there was a bit of an uproar that Ricketts said he wouldn't commit to anymore long term deals and the payroll would get down to $100M. and also some folks saying they wouldn't go after Fielder or Pujols. They may not still, but I recall a brief discussion I was a part of where I said that the Cubs seemed to want to trade for Gonzalez and extend them and if that's the case, they'd certainly make a run at Fielder or Pujols.

His own words at the end of last year is that he thought "payroll would go down slightly" but that he "expected to stay in the top 4 of the NL". The 4th place payroll that season was San Fran at 97 Million. So people did have reason to be afraid.

I get $118M by Giants and the Mets as well. recent quote was that baseball operations budget would remain around $200M. If some of that goes toward the draft and amateur signings and the payroll lowers a bit, I hope everyone doesn't freak out.

He said it at the end of 2010. The Giants 2010 payroll was 97 million.

okay, helluva reach from "payroll would go down slightly" to 20-30% drop, but I guess I understand the "logic" behind it..

That was why people were all up in arms about him at the end of last year. Then Berkman saying that Ricketts wanted him to defer half his one year deal at the beginning of the winter kinda fed that fear. Hopefully that 200 figure is going to be a real figure. And not a figure that has to pay the team debt service along with the MLB payroll and the Minor league costs.

well a lot of people are stupid, but sure. any sane fan must have realized the issue with long term contracts and them coming off the books the next 2 years and why deferred money would make sense. Hopefully that 200 figure is going to be a real figure. how would any of us know, unless you have a good understanding of the cost of everything else besides the major league payroll that goes into that. also, hopefully Epstein will have the power to save money one year and put it towards another season. The Red Sox did that the previous 2 years where their payroll went down cause they had so many of their own pre-FA players and saved it up for this year. and blew it...but the money strategy was sound. execution not so much.. random note, people were saying all the poor FA signings of recent years by Epstein, but they seemed to have missed Beltre. I guess it wasn't a multi-year deal.

A BA article giving a few more details about the deal between ASU, the Cubs, and the City of Mesa. link. The article also mentions that the University of Arizona will be moving from their old long-time campus ballpark (Jerry Kindall Field at Frank Sancet Stadium) into venerable Hi Corbett Field (ex-Spring Training home & Minor League HQ for the Colorado Rockies 1993-2010 and before that the long-time Spring Training home of the Cleveland Indians). Hi Corbett is located about 2-3 miles east of the U of A campus, about the same distance the Cubs new facility is from the ASU campus. BTW, the San Diego Padres PCL AAA team (Tucson Padres) plays in the larger and much newer Kino Memorial Stadium (ex-Tucson Electric Park), which is the facility that was built for and used by the White Sox 1998-2008 and the Arizona Diamondbacks 1998-2010 for Spring Training & their respective Minor League HQ, up until the D'backs moved to Salt River Fields at Talking Stick east of Scottsdale this year. Kino is located more on the outskirts of Tucson, about a mile or two west of Davis-Monthan AFB just off I-10.

KeithOlbermann Keith Olbermann by BruceMiles2112 Multiple sources confirming Globe's Fenwayapocalypse article was upper #RedSox management smear of Francona, Epstein on way out #Dicks Hmm, I thought only the Cubs smeared people on the way out.

Cubs like to smear them before they start getting rid of them.

oh yeah, that totally felt like a play out of the Cubs playbook.

Feels a bit more like damage control. The Cubs would have suspended him once they lost that game 162.

"Hmm, I thought only the Cubs smeared people on the way out." Funny how the last person fired by Cubs did not get smeared at all. also on ESPN Incumbent: Darwin Barney (2011 salary: $417,000). Barney hit .276/.313/.353 as a rookie and played excellent defense, but that's not enough production for an everyday player. Every team wants a player like this on the roster, but in a utility role. Barney was miscast on the right side of the infield; he's a better defender at shortstop than Starlin Castro. What's Coming: The Cubs are loaded with second-base prospects (also known as failed shortstops). The problem is, none of them are very good. D.J. LeMahieu got some time in the big leagues last year, and Ryan Flaherty is also close, but both are subpar defenders who have hit for power in the minors but need to cheat for it, which won't work at the highest level. More likely to help in the majors, albeit in a utility role, is Marwin Gonzalez, who could deserve a look at some point in the upcoming season. interesting stuff on Flaherty bullet point time - Castro: defensive issues are very real, as is his body, which is getting thicker and slower. It's hard to say if Castro will slide over to third base or second, but he'll likely be off of shortstop as he nears free agency. -Lake: made some notable improvements this year with the bat, but he still can't hit a breaking ball, and plenty of scouts would love to see what his plus-plus arm could accomplish on the mound. - praise for Marco Hernandez - OF: With solid tools across the board but nothing in the star-level category, [Jackson]'s a potential 20-20 center fielder... Outfield is a position of weakness in the system, and scouts are extremely mixed on speedster Matt Szczur; some see him as an everyday player, and others view him as a Reed Johnson clone. Korean import Jae-Hoon Ha profiles as a future fourth outfielder. -SP: "glaring weakness"

"The Cubs are loaded with second-base prospects (also known as failed shortstops)" lulz.

"D.J. LeMahieu got some time in the big leagues last year, and Ryan Flaherty is also close, but both are subpar defenders who have hit for power in the minors but need to cheat for it, which won't work at the highest level." Three problems with the above. 1) subpar defenders. 2) why does he say that LeMahieu hit for power in the minors? 3) cheating to hit for power: what's it mean? "His body . . . is getting thicker and slower. It's hard to say if Castro will slide over to third base or second" A shortstop has to be lean? Hanley Ramirez is listed at 230. "some see [Szczur] as an everyday player, and others view him as a Reed Johnson clone." That's too glibly dismissive of Szczur after his first full year as a pro. Just days ago (as Rob reported here), Baseball America named Szczur the #8 prospect in the Florida State League, where he struggled initially. Tim Wilken reminded an interviewer recently that Szczur was in football camp last January. For the record, Reed Johnson had three consecutive years (2004-06, age 27-29) where he averaged over 500 PAs. That's pretty good for an outfielder trying to secure a left-field gig with an average output of 10 HRs and 6 SBs over those three seasons. Szczur plays center, and the Cubs probably figure him for more power and speed than that.

yes Kevin Goldstein didn't glowingly praise the prospects you like, so he must be wrong. A shortstop has to be lean? Hanley Ramirez is listed at 230. most folks think Ramirez needs to move off SS. LeMahieu power thing was off a bit, maybe he just looked at his SLG in AA and didn't get farther than that. maybe he was clumsily trying to imply that he hit power at times...

He's been banging on the Castro is too thick to play shortstop for a couple of years. Unless next year is 2018, he's still wrong. His range factor/9 was the same as the league average this year, and better than Andrus's, to take a guy he's compared to. I don't know about "most folks"... most folks think Jeter was a better shortstop than A-Rod... must folks is pretty stupid. The Reed Johnson comp makes about as much sense as comparing Overbay to Fielder.

while I get your larger point, I don't think most baseball folks felt that Jeter was the better SS than A-Rod (Yankee fans sure), it was just the obvious move to placate the team captain and try to keep harmony among the team. Castro will get moved off SS, because he can't make the fucking throws consistently or a better SS shows itself in the organization. as for Szczur, it seemed clear he was just pointing out that there's a bit of a division on Szczur right now among the scouting community. Reed Johnson's career isn't really a bad thing.

"Castro will get moved off SS, because," etc. It depends how he hits. Tejada was 36 when he moved part-time to 3rd.

Of course, Miguel Tejada had one season that maybe came close to as poor as Castro's defense has been over the last two years, but sure, they're comparable.

well...Castro may never be Tejada, but at age 21, Tejada was batting .245 in A ball with 8 HR's and 26 errors in 72 games.

Sure... and that was in the low-minors. But Tejada's defense got better, and I would argue that his defense was better than Castro has shown so far. That is my only point. So VA Phil's comparison, saying that Tejada was able to stay at SS, isn' very relevant.

I don't think it's some sort of fait accompli or anything, but by the time he hits his FA years, it could manifest itself...or it could not.

Agreed. Reed Johnson's A and A+ production FAR AND AWAY outpaces what Szczur has managed. Ced Landrum or Endy Chavez are more appropriate comps to Szczur at this point.

Wow....Ced Landrum. Oof. Of course, Landrum never hit 22 doubles or 10 HR's in a season. I'm hoping that Szczur will build off his first full season of pro ball, and have a strong 2012 in Daytona/Tenn.

Johnson was older--two league years, one-and-a-half calendar years--when, like Szczur, he split his season between low and high A.

3) cheating to hit for power: what's it mean? It means guessing fastball and trying to pull it.

Isn't that what most/all power hitters do? Goldstein implies that you can't do it in the majors. NOT doing that is what is screwing up Tyler Colvin, in my view. Good luck starting to think about a pitch when it is on its way.

Isn't that what most/all power hitters do? no? Sammy Sosa was accused of it his later years. Also involves starting your swing early...probably get eaten alive by offspeed stuff.

"Also involves starting your swing early" You have to start your swing early on a fastball, because it arrives at the plate early. "probably get eaten alive by offspeed stuff" If you're trying to drive the ball, I don't think you can do much with an offspeed pitch when you have a hitter's count and you're looking fastball. The best you might be able to do is check your swing. If you can do that, you're not getting eaten alive, at worst you're taking an offspeed pitch for a strike, which is not a bad thing to do in a hitter's count.

You have to start your swing early on a fastball, because it arrives at the plate early. thanks Walt Hriniak, what do you think happens when they throw you a changeup though and you've already committed your front foot and started your hands? a) swing and miss b) check swing c) maybe foul it off d) you look bad and people know you're guessing on pitches e) any of the above If you're trying to drive the ball, I don't think you can do much with an offspeed pitch when you have a hitter's count and you're looking fastball. The best you might be able to do is check your swing. If you can do that, you're not getting eaten alive, at worst you're taking an offspeed pitch for a strike, which is not a bad thing to do in a hitter's count. I mean, sure, okay...nothing to do with the previous discussion, but sure. what happens on 3-2 counts, 2-2 counts, 2-1 counts?

Good luck starting to think about a pitch when it is on its way. true, you're suppose to react, not think about it. That's why scouts rate tools and look at bat speed.

I don't think cheating for power necessarily only means starting the bat early in an effort to pull a fastball, which a hitter can do when ahead in the count and be successful, as long as they lay off (or swing and miss) once it turns out they get a breaking ball or a pitch out of the zone. I think for many hitters it also means looping the swing to create bat speed, but which unfortunately also reduces bat control and slows the swing (not the bat speed). This is also news to me in regards to these two players. LeMahieu doesn't seem to do that, and he hasn't shown any power anyway. And the reports I remember hearing on Flaherty at midseason was that the one thing scouts had faith in was that his power, especially to the middle of the ballpark, was real.

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

Sorry if this is old news, but are the article says "confirmation: good!":

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  • jdrnym 17 min 29 sec ago (view)

    Brad Brach signs with the Mets for $850K but the Cubs are paying $500K, per Ken Rosenthal.


  • crunch 44 min 43 sec ago (view)

    Yeah, I've made myself familiar with a lot of the changes, but AZP's posts have both added more information and cleared up stuff I didn't fully grasp.  I appreciate the hell out of it.  Thanks Phil, thanks TCR.


  • bradsbeard 2 hours 27 min ago (view)

    Looks like Savant has his breaking pitch classified as a curve while Fangraphs calls it a slider. Suppose by ST he could have made everything over in the pitching lab, so who knows!


  • Arizona Phil 2 hours 43 min ago (view)

    Again, none of these rules (including the one that requires a pitcher to face a minimum of three batters or else record the final out of the inning) have been officially approved.  

    I think one possible caveat that might be added to the three-batter minimum rule would be that the pitcher can be replaced prior to facing three batters or recording the final out of the inning if the other team puts up a pinch-hitter. 


  • Arizona Phil 2 hours 47 min ago (view)

    Ptchers would also be treated differently under the new rules as far as the Injured list and Optional Assignment to the minors is concerned, with pitchers having to spend at least 15 days (up from 10 days) on the Injured List before being eligible to be reinstated and at least 15 days (up from 10 days) on Optional Assignment before being eligible to be recalled (inless the pitcher is being recalled to replace a pitcher on the 26-man roster who has been placed on an MLB inactive list).  


  • Arizona Phil 2 hours 47 min ago (view)

    SONICWIND: As the rule is proposed, prior to the start of each MLB regular season a club must designate all players on its Opening Day 26-man roster as either a "pitcher" or a "position player." A maximum of 13 can be designated as pitchers (14 pitchers max when rosters expand from 26 to 28 beginning on 9/1). 

    For players who come up during the season, the club must designate the player as either a pitcher or a position player when the player is placed on the MLB active list roster. 


  • Arizona Phil 3 hours 33 sec ago (view)

    BRADSBEARD: Fangraphs shows the CT as his primary pitch in 2018 with the SL & FB (and an occasional CH) as his secondary pitches, with no CV at all. I guess I'll find out for sure in Spring Training. 


  • Sonicwind75 4 hours 16 min ago (view)

    AZ Phil, thank you as always for the detailed information.  How is the "cannot be a pitcher" part of the rule to be enforced?  With a few two way players and the increasing amount of mop up innings being handled by position players it seems like there could be a gray area there.  What is preventing a team from stashing an athletic relief pitcher as a "5th outfielder" that could be a pinch runner and play a passable OF when needed but could also provide them with extra relief pitcher.  Anytime I hear of a new rule I always think of how Bill Billichek would circumvent it t


  • bradsbeard 4 hours 17 min ago (view)

    AZ Phil, looking around Baseball Savant, it looks like Winkler now primarily throws a low 90s cutter, a 4-seamer that he throws a little harder (but is less effective), a curve and a sinker. The slider and change haven't been a major part of his repertoir the last two years. The cutter has been really effective the last two years but it looks like he lost command/effectiveness of his 4-seemer and curve last year For whatever reason  


  • bradsbeard 7 hours 37 min ago (view)

    They just signed this guy:


  • Hagsag 8 hours 53 min ago (view)

    There seems to be a lot of player movement so far. Too bad the Cubs aren't involved.


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 51 min ago (view)

    Beginning in 2019, a club must wait a minimum of seven days before it can place a player who was claimed off Outtright Assignment Waivers during the off-season back onto waivers, so because he was claimed off waivers on Wednesday 11/27, yesterday (Wednesday 12/4) was the first day the Cubs could place LHRP C. D. Pelham back onto Outright Assignment Waivers, and so tomorrow (Friday 12/6) is the first day the Cubs can send Pelham outright to the minors (if he was placed back onto waivers yesterday).


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    A Competitive Balance draft slot can be traded only during a period of time starting on December 2nd and extending up until two hours prior to the MLB First-Year Player Draft (MLB Rule 4 Draft), so don't be surpised if these draft picks are traded during the off-season.

    Keep in mind that the slot cannot be traded for cash unless it is a financial adjustment made to offset the salary of one or more of the players involved in the trade.


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    The active list roster limit changes scheduled to go in effect in 2020 have not yet been officially approved. Same goes for the three-batter minimum (or else record the third out in the inning) for relief pitchers. 


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    And then the active list roster limit will expand from 26 to 28 on September 1st (max 14 pitchers in September). 


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    The "26th man" who was added for doubleheaders will now be the "27th man" and he can be a pitcher.