John Henry is mad about premature media reports?


So it's come to this.
Apparently Boston Red Sox owner John Henry got mad and is further delaying the Theo Epstein to the Cubs deal because of ?

Sit back and put yourself in the shoes of a Boston Red Sox owner.
Your team gags at the end of the season and doesn't even get in the playoffs - the biggest slow motion choke in the history of baseball.
Your manager leaves amid rumors of pill popping and perhaps a lack of leadership.
You hear rumors your team was ordering Popeye's and drinking in the clubhouse during games.
And your general manager wants to leave what was just a couple years ago a world championship team and organization to go to the most famous loser franchise in baseball.

John Henry's not mad about any stupid premature media reports.
He's mad because his toy broke and he's lashing out.

I heard that Bud Selig may go try to be the adult at the negotiations and save the day.

Honestly, I can't wait to hear what the hangup turns out to be, and surely the Cubs won't be portrayed very nicely, either.
My guess is it will be something silly.



Rob, hope I didn't step on the previous post. Is there like, a 2 or 3 hour rule or something?

sometimes, but not today what I wrote were just some links to keep the conversation going as the comments were filling up in the previous post. carry on...

This might actually mean something... The Associated Press is reporting the deal is done and will be officially announced today. Looking for confirmation, but unlike Kaplan and others, the AP usually doesn't speculate, that I'm aware of. --- It's been updated, they're just regurgitating ESPN Chicago news from Bruce Levine. Bastards.

Double Bastards.

As Rob and I argue about the value of getting Theo into the office as soon as humanly possible, it made me wonder what the guys on staff are doing. Do you suppose Ari Kaplan has suddenly become the most popular guy in the office? Knock, knock: "Hey Ari, have you got some time to show me about this Sabermorphics this week?" From Ari's website: Ari combines technology, statistical analysis and business acumen for a fresh look at evaluating players for maximum return on a baseball club’s investment both on and off the field. He has worked with some of the top-tier baseball Managers, coaches, and players to understand strengths, weaknesses, and habits of players. It sounds like a good part of his work may be in evaluating the kinds of returns a free agent will bring, both on the field and in marginal revenue.

someone joked on twitter to the effect, "Hey Ari, you can move your office out of the bathroom stall now."

Nothing preventing the Cubs from doing the (probably easy) deal with Moorad for Hoyer and installing him as GM, except that Epstein might prefer they wait a little longer. (He wants to get on with his life, too.) Once the Cubs have Hoyer, it's an untenable situation for the Bosox. The Cubs have a new GM, they're still waiting.

Cafardo update: Sox-Cubs working hard this afternoon to get a deal done on Theo Epstein compensation. There appears to be some progress.

I jumped another 1800 spots on the season ticket waiting list this year, after jumping about 2700 the year before that. I moved up a total of 65 spots the three years prior to that.

Where are you at now? A few years ago there were supposedly 10,000 people on the waiting list. I wonder what that total number is, pre-Theo.

Your current place on the Wait List is 66851. I want to say I was in the mid 70,000's when I started

Yikes. I guess 10,000 was way off. Maybe 100,000?

BTW, what's a person in L.A. doing on a Cubs season ticket waiting list? :)

for the fun of it... maybe my kids will have moved there by the time I can buy some.

Or grandkids. That'd be a fun Christmas present.

I moved up 4k last year and got them. Surprisingly made 80-85% of my money back and went to about 10 games. Now I have to come up with another $11k by January. Ugh.

Surprised it was so much you got back. It was definitely a buyer's market for Cubs tickets this summer. Can't wait until I'm competing with your seats in the marketplace.

That's awesome, congrats. It makes me wonder if you can get a loan against them. I would also think that the new front office signing will generate enough fan interest that it will be another slow year on the list, even if they don't sign Fielder (or Wilson or Sabathia).


I'm guessing the big rush was after the 2007 and 2008 playoff appearances--I managed to beat the rush somewhat by signing up in February 2007. I was number 39,321 at the time and I remember only moving up less than 200 spots or so for a couple of years. As of this month, I'm up to 34,740.

I'm been on the list since sometime around 2004-05. The only way I seem to make decent progress toward the top is following a hopeless season. But even after 2006 I didn't really move up much. So if this franchise can put together any kind of reasonable streak of success under Epstein, I may not even get a call for a few decades yet.

@CSNMooney There is optimism on #Cubs side that several issues have been resolved in Epstein talks, though deal is not yet complete.

BREAKING: Cubs and Red Sox have just released a joint statement: Other sites now reporting the same thing: Theo Epstein has resigned from the Boston Red Sox in order to become the new president of baseball operations of the Chicago Cubs, the teams said in a joint news release Friday night. The Red Sox and Cubs will both hold press conferences on Tuesday -- the Red Sox to announce their new general manager and the Cubs to introduce Epstein. The teams said they would forego further comment until Tuesday out of respect for the World Series.

Awesome! Now we just need some players and we've got a team.

Interesting that the press release includes this: "...The Clubs also have reached an agreement regarding a process by which appropriate compensation will be determined for the Red Sox and that issue will be resolved in the near term." --- So what, they narrowed down the list of players, or agreed to the actual players, and need to wait until A) players pass physicals and B) the next WS off day, OR, Selig stepped in and uncharacteristically got involved in actually making a decision? I highly doubt Bud did anything.

Why would Selig step in? This has nothing to do with the Brewers or the World Series.

It's been speculated for a few days that Selig might get involved and decide the compensation or prod the two sides into an agreement, which Selig himself said today in an interview that he might have to do. -- Other news, Boston's Pete Abraham tweets: Just to be clear on this: compensation has not been decided yet.

I just read the beginning of this article on Cubsdotcom: "McNutt surprised by inclusion..." Got scared, then read the rest... ..."in Epstein talk". Stoopid Cubsdotcom, don't scare me with your wording.

ESPN bottom scroler says that Epstein resigned and is the president of the Cubs eddective immediately.

Its official... Epstein will be the President of Baseball operations for the Chicago Cubs:

Or what TRN and Paul Noce said while I let the page sit for 20 minutes.

They've finally announced it, Jason Schmidt is the new Cubs President. Reportedly he'll be receiving $44M over the next 3 years.

Awesome! I hope we bring in Darren Dreifort as the pitching coach.

Ahahhaaahahahahaa!!!! CLASSIC!!

Schmidt and 3/44 - Never. Gets. Old.

A look at the drafts Jason McCleod had when running Boston's scouting dept (from a few days ago): -- That said, he was an Asst. GM in SD and is expected to come to the Cubs with Jed Hoyer. Will he be Asst. GM here or in the scouting dept. or what? I don't even know if that article is accurate and McCleod was in charge of SD's drafts. He does seem to have more productive drafts than Wilkens has had.

Ok, McLeod (misspelled above) did run the Padres scouting dept. This is from when he was brought to SD by Hoyer 2 years ago: "Jason is an outstanding evaluator and an excellent leader," said Hoyer. "He built a top-notch scouting staff in Boston and the results of his draft picks have been a significant part of the Red Sox success. The Padres are very fortunate to bring him back to his hometown to oversee scouting and player development." So if he does come to the Cubs, will he replace Wilken?

this was part of the previous post

In my best Steve Martin impression... well excuuuuuuuse meeeeeeee :)

PTBNL - I guess this is it afterall. Some of you may enjoy this pretty nice Theo Vid. Primer by Tim Kurdjian of ESPN:

I told you all yesterday....PTBNL.

believe Red Sox wanted Theo to negotiate his own compensation anyway, so probably why they agreed to it.

Twitter says... Padres have a pre-agreed list to choose from for compensation for Hoyer and McLeod.

Under Epstein's guidance, Boston went 839-619 (.575) in the regular season and 34-23 in the playoffs, winning more than 90 games in all but two seasons.

It will take a few years but Cubs finally on right track.

Till Theo comes in and says, "Just kidding, I've decided I really like toolsy guys, so we're going to sign five more guys who can play 2B and SS. We're also going to go hard after high upside/high injury risk pitchers."

"Oh, and by the way, I like to hand out NTCs like they were Halloween candy and I feel it is important to set the bar on contracts for mediocre middle relievers too..." DOH!

"Don't worry about payroll, I'm gonna back load these motherfuckers."

"I'm looking to keep up the legacy and great work Jim Hendry did here in the last decade." "Now let's welcome the Cubs new hitting coach Milton Bradley; pitching coach Koyie Hill and manager Neifi Perez!"

If Koyie Hill makes pitchers throw 5mph faster as a catcher, imagine how much harder they'll throw with him as the pitching coach!

Milton will be doubling as team counselor.

minus neifi, plus alex cora.

Theo's first order of business should be to keep Hendry's fabulous banjo-hitting mediocre defensive pipeline from LSU open. Then wrap up a couple of flame throwers with bad mechanics and we're set.

Hopefully they all play football as well. compensation expected to be settled within 10 days Muskat says Cubs officially granted permission to speak to Hoyer and McLeod.

Theo's first move? Bob Howry signed as pitching coach, Stevie Eyre signed as pitching coach for left handers. Howry: "My philosophy is to throw only fastballs." Eyre: "We need more guys like John Grabow. I saw a flaw in his mechanics and he should be fine now."

Theo's first move? Manager change? Free agent signing? Salary dump? Nope, it' for Theo!

He will trade only top-level prospects for himself to make his new organization as strong as possible...

I don't remember who posted this URL, but there's a funny bit in it:
With Gonzalez entering his walk year and determined to test free agency unless he got a deal he couldn't refuse, Hoyer dealt him to the Red Sox for three prospects and utility man Eric Patterson, who for the Padres did more harm than good, both on the field and for team chemistry.

I think Epstein out-negotiated his former protege in the Gonzalez talks. For the Padres, the trade will be defined by how prospects Antony Rizzo, Casey Kelly and Reymond Fuentes perform. None, at present, is viewed by non-Padres scouts as a good bet for stardom. Among some scouts, Fuentes needs a bounceback year to regain prospect status.. tough crowd... Rizzo in a half season at age 21, put up a OPS over 1.000 in AAA with 26 HR's in 413 PA's, near a 10% walk rate and about a 20% K rate for his minor league career. Kelly wasn't his normally dominating self in AA, but certainly not a bad season.

casey kelly is a f'n pimp...years away without tweaking/refinement, though. he's got more upside than mcnutty, that's head over heels for sure.

Edgar Renteria, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Carl Crawford, and John Lackey. Crawford is especially disturbing. It's Boston's Soriano, maybe worse because Crawford's assets are built around speed and defense, and he's 30. You guys out there know better than I but I seem to remember that being a 7 year contract - too lazy to look it up. Levine on espn.chicago was trying to suggest the Cubs need to go after CJ Wilson, who wants a ton of money and surely a long term contract. I really don't know much about the guy, other than what I see in the stats, and he's had 2 good seasons of 200+ inning baseball. Prior to that, no more than 74 innings. I assume he was a reliever before. I don't like long term contracts to any pitcher, really, and it's one area where it's important to develop the farm system. Something Hendry actually did well for a little while. I'm not going to be one of those who gets excited about a CJ Wilson signing. Theo has his work cut out for him if he wants this team to turn it around any time soon. I hope he (and we) show a little patience and doesn't make any dumb ass long term signings.

Crawford was 28 when he signed a 7-year deal (through his 35 season). Soriano was 30 when he signed an 8 year deal (through his 38 season). To make a rough comparison, how much more would you have liked the Soriano deal if it just expired? Wilson is going to get ace money, but he's really a #2 starter (and yes, he was a reliever prior to 2010). Sabathia who is old (30) and probably will get a six year ($150 million) deal if he opts out and Darvish, who may not get posted but will probably cost something approximating Daiske's contract ($110 million) are the only ace caliber starters on the market. The Cardinals may not re-up Wainwright, but I expect they will. That being said, there's no ace pitching in the world series. How fun would it be if the Cubs signed Sabathia (.627 OPS) and got Dontrelle Willis (.665) to go along with Carlos Zambrano (.646), though?

That being said, there's no ace pitching in the world series. Carpenter is an Ace and pitches like one. See 2011 Philles v. Cards, Game 7, a 1.26 whip + 191 K's this season and Cy Young under his belt, for further info.

Carpenter finished 26th in SIERA (Wilson 22nd, Sabathia 7th). That's not an ace. It was a nice start against the Phillies (game five, by the way), but one start doesn't make an ace, any more than a nice World Series makes Craig Counsel an All-Star.

He's an ace and recognized by myriad baseball writers and managers as such. I guess that "Ace" is somewhat subjective b/c there is no definitive, absolutely agreed upon definition by every person, connected with the sport. He performs on the big stage, like other "Aces" have done throughout baseball history - not like Ryan Dempster. Many evaluators and armchair GM's like yourself (well, not like you) will go by Whip, K/BB, and era. AND, the intangibles of how tough the pitcher is under duress. Zach Grienke is an "Ace" and imploded when the team needed him the most. Give me Carpenter any day. CY + 2nd in CY 2009. Here is his Post-Season resume: 4 Seasons (9 Series) 8 2 .800 3.10 Including a .643 WHIP in 2 WS starts. We'll have to agree to disagree.

I'd agree that he used to be an ace, but at this point he's a pretty good #2 starter. Time catches up to everyone. FWIW, of those stats you listed Carpenter didn't finish in the top 10 two of them, and finished 9th in the third.

I guess the bottom line is that I'd be a crummy GM these days. Free agency is such a huge risk. I'd be nervous at almost any signing, even Albert. Who I consider an amazing player. At some point, you just have to take the plunge, and yeah, I'd like the Soriano deal ok if it just expired. I even really actually liked it at the time, but I did think it was a huge roll of the dice. Hendry gambled that they could win it all and he lost.

Both Crawford and Lackey had excellent stats before the signing. Sure the deal for Crawford was too long but there was no reason to expect he would fall off this fast. If he had continued to perform even close to what he had before coming to Boston the Red Sox would be in the playoffs and if they won another World Series no one would care if he wasn't that good in 3 or 4 years. Trying to blame Theo for these players completely falling off is some major revisionism in my opinion. While 2007 was certainly an outlier for Lackey, he had nothing lower than a 115 ERA+ before going to Boston. He dipped a tiny bit in 2009 but I don't like using one year to judge someone good or bad (Cubs seem to think if someone has one good year, you should sign them for lots of money). Carl Crawford, outside of 2008, consistently had an OPS+ of over 110. Very good batting average, not great OBP but not bad. I would have supported both signings for the Cubs if we had a team where a couple signings like that would get us to the World Series because you already have so many other pieces. Red Sox had that.

I'm a lot more forgiving on the Crawford deal. It seems like Lackey was one of those where everyone who was not a Boston fan was just glad it wasn't their team. See Howard, Ryan.

I'm not slamming the whole Theo thing, I'm just aware that he's not God, and fixing the Cubs is gonna be a tough nut for him to crack. I'm glad about what the Cubs are doing right now. I feel strongly that Ricketts is putting together a good team of professionals to fix a very bad organization. I'm pretty hopeful that the team will get some better teachers into the minor leagues, that kind of thing. I'm also a realist when it comes to modern free agency. Crawford was not a good signing IMO, but Boston was pretty stacked, and they can actually afford a signing like that. Last year's drop off may have also been an aberration. He may bounce back. It would have sucked if the Theo deal had fallen through. Now all the guy has to do during his 5 year contract is bring a World Series to the Cubs. Piece of cake.

Lackey deal seemed a little odd, if only because he seemed to always get shelled at Fenway maybe they were just trying to keep pace with Yanks signing AJ Burnett. his LOB% the last 2 years have been something awful...

.339 BABIP speaks of some bad luck too. 4.50 SIERA isn't evil bad (better than Randy Wells, for example), but it's certainly not worth what he's being paid.

Edgar Renteria, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Carl Crawford, and John Lackey
The way I see it, Theo made his mistakes for another team, and will learn from them while operating on the Cubs dime.

I'm not sure people around here are going to know what to do if we can't have a front office that makes us slap our foreheads and drink heavily.

So @LynchieWCVB reports Cubs prez Crane Kenney was holding up Theo talks 'for his own interests' and is in hot water with Commish #redsox He atleast deserves a shoe to the sack.

He's the Dwight Schrute of the Cubs front office.


he deleted that almost as soon as he wrote it almost 20+ hours ago. no followup by anyone sportswriters have been trying, though. ABC-Boston seems confused even though they have their source and repeaters in-house. damn weekend.

Scott Miller at CBS sports gives more info on the "process" to resolve the compensation for Theo.
That process, sources with knowledge of the talks said Saturday, will involved Commissioner Bud Selig serving as the arbiter if the clubs cannot agree on compensation. Most likely, that would happen fairly quickly after the World Series.

Just to put in perspective the kind of player Theo was signing to Boston before he collapsed, here is Lackey before Boston vs Garza with ERA+: Lackey: 2006 129 2007 150 2008 119 2009 115 Garza 2006 78 2007 117 2008 119 2009 110 Lackey had been the better pitcher. Sure he's making a lot more money, but if you have the money to spend and know your team is good enough to win a World Series and spending all that money can help that happen how can you possibly say that's a bad move? The bad move is when you give a contract like that on a team that doesn't have much chance of winning a World Series. I would just like to know how Theo could have predicted such a fall off and how he can possibly be blamed. I can guarantee you if the Cubs were oh so close to winning a World Series and could sign a pitcher putting up those kind of numbers even if it were for too much money but with a very good chance they could help us win it all now and for the next couple years we would back it. Especially if the payroll and roster were such that it wasn't preventing us from filling real needs at other positions.

...and 2 seasons in a row of shoulder/elbow/back injuries with lingering issues. he was/is a slightly less broken jake peavy.

The same Jake Peavy our fired GM almost traded a third of our farm system for?

no, the one our fired GM walked away from when they wanted too much and they wouldn't take jason marquis in return. z/dumpster/harden/lilly/marquis were already on wasn't a pressure situation. COL took marquis eventually.

Could Carmine help in that decision? I'm not sure if it's designed for free agents or just player prediction in general...

im not sure anyone knows what "Carmine" actually does besides theo and his oldschool crew...well, and the current RSox front office. if any incarnation of it came to the cubs they'd have to rename it "Navy" or something anyway. pay no attention to the computer operator behind the green curtain. =p

There was one article that said... or maybe it was that radio interview... anyway it said Carmine had "a place at the draft table", which really makes me wonder what it does. You'd think you would run a draft with a spreadsheet.

since it spits out numbers it basically is a spreadsheet...even if it attempts to quantify things like self confidence of a player based on how ugly his girlfriend is (lulz, Moneyballs). btw, having met many scouts...the "ugly girlfriend thing" is something i can believe was actually said.

More on compensation speculation by Boston Globe's Peter Abraham...
In the end, the Red Sox will likely get two or three prospects. Or a prospect and a guy like Jeff Baker. That's what precedent suggests. The Red Sox will get some potentially helpful players, not a windfall of talent. "But I love playing in Chicago. I love being a Chicago Cub, and I want to be here for the rest of my career. I'm happy that Theo is going to be in charge now and really looking forward and excited and getting an opportunity talk with him. And hopefully it's not just picking up an option for this year, but I'll go out there and play the best I can and be here for a long time."

Well that's good. Three more years of Dempster for about $38 million wouldn't be the end of the world, if the Cubs aren't intending to blow things up.

These first few months under new management should be interesting.

I'd welcome Dempster back on a 2- or 3-year deal. This club is pitching starved, and nobody (not even McNutt) seems to be on the way out of the minors until at least 2013 or so.

Dempster blows and is declining. Signing him for 2-3 years would be a mistake. Better to get rid of him one year early than guarantee multiple years at 10 mil+ when he's going to be just another albatross of a contract. I'd highly encourage him not to even pick up his option. Tell him he'll be the batboy if he picks it up.

He's a type A free agent. I'd go year to year with him at this point.

That makes some sense too. But let's say he picks up his option this year. He probably has to have a really good 2012 to get picked up by another team for more than what he could get in arbitration, especially if that teams risks losing its top draft pick. Either way, would any of us be furious to see him stay or to see him go?

I'd hate to see him get a 4/52 deal again.

I have a hard time imagining that would be on the table. It's not like he just had a career year. I would hate that too if it happened, though.

if he loves Chicago so much, he'll happily go on a year-to-year below market value deal

speaking of...i wonder how much or how many years k.wood is going to cost the cubs based on what he did last year for cutting the cubs a huge break. it'll be especially interesting since there's an entirely new regime and technically whatever hendry worked out with wood isn't on the table anymore. that said, i fully expect the guy to be back on a multi-year deal without ripping off the club.

believe Wood already said he's either a Cub or he'd retire...

Yep, he's just going to go year to year. He's made enough money that he doesn't need the security of a 3 year $10 million contract, or whatever he could get shopping around. Our version of Wakefield.

I really don't care if Dempster comes back in 2012 or not. I'm more interested in 2013 and beyond, and having Dempster signed through 2015 at $30+ million.......well, I would hope Theo and his posse are smarter than that.

Nick Calfardo of Boston globe tweets that Theo has a full page ad in the Boston paper Monday

World Series ruined. Baseball season over.

via rotowurld: "Jamie Moyer (elbow) still plans on playing in 2012." ... "The lefty has been throwing 60-pitch bullpen sessions and will soon contact teams that might want to watch him throw." via crunch: "VIVA MOYER! HELL YEAH, DUDE." he turns 49 next month, btw...julio franco, take that...satchel paige, you're next.

via rotowurld, via buster onley's for-pay-espn-insider blog... Z is not favored by the marlins because of a decline in his stuff, but they're expected to make a run at TB's j.shields.

I'd just assume we bring Z back for 2012. He will be dealing with a new manager, and pitching for his next contract. Probably the best comeback candidate in the NL.

unless they can save significant least 5+ million...i'm personally not interesting in moving Z, myself. dumpster and Z would have a little hugging it out to do, though...probably some others... when Z does blow up he's usually calm about "taking his medicine" at least. be nice if he didn't have to take so much f'n medicine, though.

He has the same perception issue that Soriano has. Their contracts reflect that they should be stars. However both guys are still useful parts. Z is still a really good NL 3rd/MLB 4th starter. Just figure the overpayment of his 2012 salary as a sunk cost.

Even then, what pitcher are we going to get for $5 million who's capable of 200 innings and a low 4's ERA? Fire Quade and keep, Zambrano, it's cheaper and it makes the team better.

I'd have to agree with that. Assuming Theo can hire a manager who wouldn't put up with Z's usual act, I don't see how the Cubs get a FA pitcher in the $5-7M range who would put up better numbers than Z over 175-180 innings. Also, Z would be pitching for his next multi-year contract so I would think even he would understand the importance of not being an ass for one season.

It's actually a pie in the sky scenario anyway. If there was a pitcher to be had for that who could replicate Z's numbers the Marlins (or whoever this trade partner is), would sign that pitcher, rather than paying $12 million for a year of Z.

I don't think the solution to Z is to get a manager who won't put up with his act. The solution to Z is to minimize the effect of his act. Had the Cubs not made a gigantic issue of him leaving the clubhouse, or had just lied and said that he was given permission, they wouldn't have nearly the issue they had. Of course they went out and smeared him in addition, but other teams have this kind of things happen all the time and just keep it all in house. If the guy ever wants to pitch again he has to put it all out there next season. You have to keep him and let him be your #3 starter behind Garza and Dempster. You'll never get him to be more self motivated than in a contract year, even if he says he'll retire.

That's really the point I was trying to make - Z should perform and want to perform in 2012 to get his next multi-year contract. To see a 30-year old pitcher saying he's going to retire after this contract seems a lot disingenous to me.

Given the degradation of his pitching arm, this makes a whole lot more sense if Z is closer to 33 than 30 as rumored.

1,853 pro innings before you turn 28 will age an arm pretty fast. Especially the Don Baylor/Dusty Baker 130+ pitch count 210+ inning workload he faced in his early 20's.

The "capable of" and "performing consistently" gap has always been the problem for Zambrano. He reminds me a lot of Livan Hernandez.

I would also like the Cubs to make a run at Shields... Any opinions?

Is this sarcasm? What font are we supposed to use for that again?

You mean sarcasm about Shields? Well he puts up innings...he's a solid starter. 72-63 with a 3.96 ERA, 1.233 WHIP, 3.64 K/BB ratio in his career..and he's only 30 in December. self-edit Shields has a $7million team option...never mind.

Yeah, I thought you meant as a trade target. I don't think we'll be making any more Garza-type trades for a couple of years.

Agreed 100%.... Now if only some Cubs minor leaguers would stay healthy/develop a little quicker... Didn't Jay Jackson pitch pretty well his last 8-10 starts or so?

Kevin Slowey seems like a reasonable, low cost/risk pickup.

I'm okay with Slowey if they don't expect him to be a #1 or #2 pitcher in the rotation. He's a nice back-of-the-rotation option.

absolutely, I'd like a pony and Jedi powers as well. /these are not the prospects you're looking for (waves hand)

Yeah brilliant work on my part....oops. So he's not a Er..I mean Sabathia? Theo making a big splash?

I would guess it's Fielder or nothing on the big name free agents. Wilson may be appealing to Theo, but his ERA last year was a bit lucky, overstating his value to conventional GM's, and he's not going to live or work in Illinois because of the gun laws. Pujols and Sabathia are too old for the seven year deals they'll probably get. It may be that Fielder's body type is a red light to the new gang as well. We'll see.

Boston writers getting Theo news withdrawal? McAdams tweets: " more dialogue between #RedSox and Cubs on Theo compensation until after Tues. press conferences."

Cubs and Red Sox have until Nov.1 to settle or Uncle Bud will settle it for them.


SF writer with some early free agent frenzy thoughts...

MLB Trade Rumors mentioning us as a possible landing spot for Jackson. Not too far fetched. Longish article no how great Pujols is and how his 3 HR game may tip some more owners into the pursuit. It will be interesting to see if there's some gamemanship by Theo and Hoyer in trying to bid the price up on St Louis, just to make sure they finally have to pay something approximating fair value for Pujols.

Wittenmeyer article praising current acting GM (at least for one more day) Randy Bush

AKA as a "Thank for the Tips Over the Years" article, though I agree with the basic sentiment. As some point you're going to have to get rid of some entrenched Hendry guys just to implement change. If they leave too many of the top guys in place it will be a problem.

Epstein press conference is 11 a.m. Central on Tuesday.

Not a huge fan of the 'baseball management by spreadsheet' mentality, but I am stoked to see some fresh blood in the front office. In the small amount of video I've seen of Theo, it sounds like he gets it when it comes to defense- but I'm skeptical in the ability to quantify and predict defensive performance.

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  • crunch 6 hours 12 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' 7 hours 31 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 8 hours 2 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' 13 hours 8 min 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 13 hours 34 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 2 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 8 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 10 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 11 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 14 hours ago (view)

    Yeah but that person figured out a way to make a profit off of it, so... hey WAIT!


  • crunch 2 days 45 min 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 7 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 7 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 7 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 7 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 8 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.