It's day 8 of Theo Hostage Watch...I hear he's doing as well as can be expected. The Red Sox have taken his cell phone away and all other lines of communication and they have him bordered up in his office on Yawkey Way. He is allowed to speak to his wife and children through closely monitored Skype chats. Once the Red Sox receive their terrorist demands, he's been assured of being released. Stay tuned...
Most of this has been covered in the comments, but time for a new thread.
- Peter Gammons reminds us he's a Red Sox fan by going on WEEI radio and regurgutating this line of B.S.
“This thing with the Cubs, they don’t actually have anyone negotiating that actually has been in development, so they don’t know the players the Red Sox talk about,” Gammons said. “They have the CEO of business, and the assistant general mnager, who wasn’t actually involved in the farm system. So, it’s been a difficult negotiation. And frankly, I think everyone involved knows the Cubs are a bottom-three farm system. Trey McNutt would be Red Sox prospect [No.] 25. For the Cubs to act like they’re giving up the next Billy Williams is kind of absurd."
If that's the way McNutt is thought of by the Red Sox, they should be happy not to get him. Anyway, Baseball America's Jim Callis says the Cubs organization is closer to the middle of the pack and Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus "respectfully disagrees" with Gammons assessment regarding McNutt's ranking if he was traded.
- Speaking of McNutt, nice article at fangraphs with video on him and saying he'd instantly become the Red Sox highest upside pitcher in the upper levels.
- Paul Sullivan name dropped Trey McNutt and Chris Carpenter as players of interest for the Red Sox. It's a steep price and I certainly hope they can get away with a lesser prospect for one of them. I also hope Prince Fielder or Albert Pujols signs with the Cubs for 5/75M, but normally you got to pay something to get something. And I'm certainly in the camp that bringing Theo Epstein and his pals is worth that price for a couple of arm injuries waiting to happen.
- Growing consensus seems to be that Theo will be named president of baseball operations and will ultimately hire a GM to deal with the day-to-day grind, with Padres GM Jed Hoyer or his assistant Josh Byrnes (both former Red Sox employees) as the frontrunners. Levine says the relationship between Padres owner Jeff Moorad and Ricketts is pretty good and compensation for Hoyer would be less of an issue than with the Red Sox if that comes to fruition.
I will say that little nugget makes me think that the Cubs could indeed walk away from the negotiations with the Red Sox (yes, this is a change of opinions from what I originally argued in the comments). While I still believe not sealing the deal for Theo would look bad for the Cubs and the press would have a field day with it. If he's just going to take the president title and hire a GM anyway, the Cubs can just go about the process of hiring Josh Byrnes and Jed Hoyer as the GM and hire Theo next offseason when his contract runs out. At least they wouldn't waste a year rebuilding that way as presumably Hoyer or Byrnes run similar organizations and would make similar decisions. Hell they can call Theo up and use morse code to see if he agrees. Not like the Red Sox would want him working for them next year, they'd probably pay him $7M to sit on his ass for a season to make a point. There is the substantial risk that Theo changes his mind over the next year and doesn't take the president's job, so it's not something I advise, but it's a card the Cubs can try and play. Although the tampering accusations on that whole scenario would probably be a mess.
crunch 8 hours 5 min ago (view)
without fail, at the end of every minor league spring training period (which is extremely poorly paid, not at all for the most part) there comes some retirements that seem to be a bit "early" in their development when players slog through weeks of low/no pay only to find out they're being assigned to a low level that barely pays them. it's a real morale crasher after going through weeks of poverty that breaks some guys. that's no way to run things...
JustSayin' 9 hours 24 min ago (view)
So true. The minors these days is an odd mix of the few who get big bonuses with Hispanic guys for whom $1,200/month might be good money and college guys being partly subsidized by middle or upper-middle class families. You don't hear much about minor league economics when the discussion turns to lower participation by black players but I believe it's a big factor. If you need to use sports to get ahead, would you rather have your "internship" involve a free college education, or $6,000 a year?
crunch 9 hours 54 min ago (view)
there are more than a few minor league players that have to "retire" from minor league ball in order to start making real money in the real world for their real lives while those from more wealthy families get to follow their dreams a bit longer.
that's a real shame.
JustSayin' 15 hours 56 sec ago (view)
Theo got a good question at the conference on minor league salaries and went on record that they are unfair. That was followed by "keep your ear to the ground" or some similar cliche. I find this interesting. Fan dissatisfaction this offseason is maily focused on ownership being cheap but you have to admit there is a (slim?) chance that the baseball moves we want to see are not currently possible. It's hard to say the same about MiLB salaries. Those don't even factor in the luxury tax. You could raise every player in the system to middle class for the cos
Dolorous Jon Lester 15 hours 26 min ago (view)
As part of the 2019-2020 Cubs offseason dumpster diving extravaganza, I wonder if they will kick the tires on Zack Cozart. Can handle 2B SS 3B and isn't far removed from being a great defender and at least decent hitter. 2 years of injury is a concern, but he'd receive only ML minimum.
crunch 1 day 4 hours ago (view)
WAS is now floating c.kieboom as a 3rd base option...along with asdrubal cabrera backing him up there.
the bryant service issue delay may end up lessening his trade value as teams (especially his #1 rumored suitor, WAS) prepare their teams in the offseason.
it's unfortunate that the cubs major offseason team building is based on waiting to find out how much getting rid of bryant is worth because of service time concerns.
Arizona Phil 1 day 10 hours ago (view)
Another possible unintended consequence of the new restriction on September call-ups is that contending clubs will send MLB-ready pitchers and position-players who in previous seasons would have been called-up to MLB in September to the Arizona Fall League, just to keep them in game shape in case the pitcher or position player is needed as an injury replacement in September or in the post-season.
Arizona Phil 1 day 12 hours ago (view)
One thing about Josh Phegley is that not only is he out of minor league options but he also has Article XIX-A rights (he has accrued at least five years of MLB Service Time), so he can't even be outrighted to the minors without his consent if he were to be added to the 40.
Arizona Phil 1 day 13 hours ago (view)
The Cubs have reportedly signed veteran MLB catcher Josh Phegley (ex-OAK and ex-CHW) to a minor league contract and an NRI to Spring Training (contract is pending because it has not yet been filed with MLB).
CubbyBlue 1 day 16 hours ago (view)
Yeah but that person figured out a way to make a profit off of it, so... hey WAIT!
crunch 2 days 2 hours ago (view)
"Cubs' pitching coach Tommy Hottovy said Friday that Brandon Morrow (elbow) will be on the same schedule as the rest of the Cubs' pitchers during spring training."
that's cool. no restrictions unless the team chooses to be cautious, evidently.
Arizona Phil 2 days 8 hours ago (view)
The Danny Hultzen and Carlos Asuaje minor league contracts have been filed with MLB, but no Jason Adam or Tyler Olson contract filings (yet).
cubbies.4ever 2 days 9 hours ago (view)
My son's name is Tyler Olsen (obviously spelled different, and only 6 but a future Cub), so I am rooting for Tyler to make the team.
Arizona Phil 2 days 9 hours ago (view)
And Tyler Olson has a similar profile as Casey Sadler (out of minor league options and has Article XX-D rights if he is added to the 40), the only difference being (unlike Sadler) Olson will come to Spring Training not on the 40 so he can be sent to Iowa without restrictions, but if & when he's added to the 40 he isn't a Des Moines - Chicago shuttle-rider candidate.
Arizona Phil 2 days 9 hours ago (view)
Unfortunately (for the Cubs) Casey Sadler doesn't fit as a Des Moines - Chicago shuttle-rider because he is out of minor league options and he can elect free-agency if he is outrighted (he has Article XX-D rights because he been outrighted previously in his career).
cubbies.4ever 2 days 9 hours ago (view)
I agree, this offseason has been a disgrace. If I'm Theo I'm thinking I am in OAK or CHI? This ownership has given him nothing this year. Even the cheap Twins are willing to sign Josh Donaldson and the Cubs biggest transaction this offseason may be adding Miguel Amaya to the 40 man.