Theo Epstein, the Commissioner, and the World Series


Never thought I'd see a general manager elevated to rock star status.
Or "President of Baseball Operations" or whatever Theo Epstein's new title is with the Chicago Cubs.
Either way, oh MAN!
I could not be more excited, more happy, more re-energized about our favorite team than right now.
Well, a World Series title would be nice.

No pressure there, Theo.

Okay, back to the Series.
Never has Tony LaRussa been so personally on the ropes.
The Hangmen were out in St. Louis just yesterday, and damage control is attempting to fix things, but I don't think they can recover from all the incredible blunders from the other night.
Remember Playoff Lou pulling Zambrano?
That was NOTHIN compared to Tony's 8th Inning of Disaster.
I'm so watching. 


The Tony LaRussa meltdown was a lot like watching your worst enemy date the girl you always wanted, and get an STD.

LOL that's an awesome analogy.

How about this--> "The Boston Globe and Chicago Tribune skipped coverage of Game 5, opting not to replace news reporters dispatched to cover news conferences involving the Red Sox's and Cubs' new general managers." Which brings up a recurring nightmare of mine should I manage to live long enough to see the Cubs in a World Series, and that is NO ONE WILL CARE ANYMORE. All the Chicago papers will be long gone and the games will only be available on Univision in Spanish*. *on tape delay after midnight because of conflicts with regional soccer games

Complaining about ratings? I just assumed I would be blacked out or something. Fuck Bud Selig. He's out of touch and aloof.

know why javascript no longer works on the site? the tabs on the sidebars and the comments mostly. I did do a small upgrade of the software, but as far as I recall it was still working after that, but shortly thereafter. this seems to be the error I'm getting using the firefox error console. $ is not a function any thoughts, let me know. you can email me here.

The site's been completely nonfunctional on Chrome/Mac for a few weeks. Firefox/Mac, just fine aside from the Javascript problems.

good quotes from the press conference...

Epstein comments on Soriano and Castro (from Waddle and Silvy via the Trib).

Both of those comments seem very candid to me. I would bet one of his priorities will be to lock up Castro for five years at a club favorish rate.

Re: Castro "This kid is 21 years old. Most 21-year-olds are maybe getting into high-A ball ... When (Yankees shortstop) Derek Jeter was just about the same age, he made 56 errors in the low minor leagues. So there is, with defense especially, there's a maturation that comes only with time and experience. Offensively, the things he's done at the big-league level at his age are the things that guys who go on to be 10-time All-Stars, guys who actually go on to be Hall of Famers do. ... His ceiling is immense." This can't be true. I read all the time on TCR that Castro's defense is intolerable and that he'll never be a .350 OBP guy.

castro is too young to project...he could go big or linger around where he's at. either way he should be working for a long time baring injury or sudden suckage. some people think he's capable of 20+hr regularly...some people think that's laughable and he's a 10-15 guy at best. he's a hell of a talent and he's learning on the job. derek jeter...or edgar renteria? check back in 5-10 years. either works...

Castro seems to have a body type like Cano did a few years ago. I think he'll no doubt develop into 20+hr with a ton of doubles. If Theo decides to pass on Pujols and Fielder, I wouldn't mind seeing him slide Castro over to 2B and sign Reyes to play SS and hit lead off with castro in the 2spot. Ryno, at least from under my rock, seems to be fond of the small-ball approach and that could be a nice 1-2 punch should he get the gig...

I see the Renteria. I sometimes also think Tony Fernandez. I think Castro will hit better than either of them, but that's really just speculation on my part. Both Renteria and Fernandez could run better than Castro when they were younger, and probably had better overall athleticism. Fernandez won 4 gold gloves, which I don't see Castro doing at this point. Hard to see how Castro will develop; he may or may not develop power or patience or get better defensively. If he returns comparable value to Renteria or Fernandez, we could do a lot worse. Interestingly, the Baseball Reference similarity score for a 21-year-old season closest to Castro's is Garry Templeton. That would be be a lot less exciting.

Not many 21 year olds have hit that much over two big league seasons. There's no vast pool of comps and I think Templeton was one - I might be remembering the wrong group of course

Templeton was pretty good, tore up his knees though. BP comps are E. Renteria, J. Arias, J. Reyes. R. Alomar, R. Sierra, A. Blanco, R. Santo, C. Washington, Adam Jones, Rennie Stinnett hard to see him not putting up some .850 - .900 OPS seasons when he hits his prime years, shame he'll be expensive by that point.

There's 9 SS's with sub .350 OBP's in the Hall of Fame.

but three of those are truly awful selections: Maranville, Jackson, Tinker

Theo is probably talking up Castro to shop him. Maybe trade him to TB for the 4 prospects we gave up just to quiet the complainers.

Weren't the complaints about having the prospects after Garza was gone, when the Cubs are likely to be competitive? Theo wouldn't have made the Garza trade, and had Hendry not made it, he may still be around.

Ok...picture the 2011 Cubs without Garza in the rotation. Who out of who was traded would've helped the Cubs in 2011? I know the Cubs gave up too much, but Hendry would've been gone anyway yeah?

We had zero chance of winning in 2011 with or with out Garza. If we had not made the trade we would have more money, a better draft pick and retained the prospects. The Garza trade was made for the future not 2011, with an eye towards the poor free agent class after the 2011 season. In my opinion it was misguided, and is another example of the former management teams reactionary style. It is my hope the the new management team will put an end to this type of thinking.

When Garza leaves as a free agent we will have a chance to pick up superior prospects with the comp picks. Only Lee and Archer are any kind of legitimate prospect from that deal anyway.

When Garza leaves as a free agent we will have a chance to pick up superior prospects with the comp picks... who we will have to pay $4 million to sign and we should expect to see around 2018 to 2020. Corrected.

Far point, but my concern is that even if we received fair value of Garza the trade demonstrated that the management team didn't under where the Cubs were in the success cycle. Instead of looking to add players like Garza they should have been looking to rid themselves of poor contacts, while adding or developing prospects.

That's a valid point. I am still wondering how Guyer would've looked platooning in Yeah...2011 was a costly lesson for Hendry.

That's a far more accurate argument than we gave up too much or we gave up 4 top prospects. I think Hendry thought we could somehow contend in 2011, and taking a look at the 2011-12 off-season saw that the SP pool available was blah at best. So he moved on Garza. I don't fault him for trying to make the team better. I think in the long run this will be one of the best trades the Cubs have made since the ARam/DLee trades. In effect we traded an injured kid pitcher and Kaz Matsui for Garza. The other 3 will most certainly never do anything significant in the majors, and Archer/Lee might not either. Even if they do become MLB regulars they'll have to have pretty damn good careers to be better than Garza.

I would say the Garza trade was made in reaction to Milwaukee bringing in Marcum and Greinke... I am pretty sure that Hendry thought the Cubs were going to compete in 2011.

I don't think the Cubs would have won in in winning the division, no. I didn't think 71-91 was on it's way either. I liked getting Garza...I don't mind giving up prospects for him. But Chirinos, Archer, and Fuld...or Archer, Lee, and Fuld....should have been enough...something like that. The Cubs shouldn't have loaded up the offer like that.

The Cubs were allegedly bidding against Texas for Garza, and their farm system is very deep. I don't think there's any way the Cubs get him without all 4 guys.

Well we know that the Cubs offered more than the Rangers, and that the Rangers were in the World Series in 2010, so the value of Garza for them in 2011 was greater than the value for the Cubs. A good way to maintain a deep farm system is to... not trade four of your top prospects for one guy. The Rangers themselves loaded up on prospects for Teixiera, and it's served them pretty well.

4? more like 2...and 1 of them took such a step backwards that he wouldn't break the cubs top 10 this year, much less TB's. the rest were/are filler. guyer's a nice guy, but he's a 4th OF type...chinrinornionros was/is busy showing why he needs to move to 1st with his glove, yet showing he can't move to 1st with his bat.

Agree Lee and lesser McNutt really wasn't much of a haul. Especially if the Cubs are planning on trying to compete this year.

What makes Guyer a 4th OF type? He's put up goood numbers in back to back seasons in AA and AAA... 2010 Tenn (AA) 410 PA's, 13 HR, 58 RBI, 30/33 SB's, .344/.398/.588 2011 Durham (AAA) 443 PA's, 14 HR, 61 RBI, 16/22 SB's, .312/.384/.521 Is he bad defensively? Do we expect every starting OF to put up .320/.400/.550 with 35 HR and 110 RBI?

he's just lacking power...he's a decent hitter for a fastball-heavy line drive hitter. fwiw, he can hit lefties and righties for contact, but he doesn't drive the ball. that's a tool that will get him to the majors. his attitude is really great, too. he could start for someone, i guess...not ideally...especially since he relies a lot on the fastball and doesn't punish it when he gets it.

Regardless of your "expertise" on the subject, the real experts labled them as four of our top 13 to 22 or so prospects.

4 of OUR top 13 to 22 prospects. Not 4 of the top 100 MLB prospects. There's a huge difference, unless the Cubs farm system has secretly been producing MLB all-star players every year that I am not aware of.

Here's some things you're not currently aware of. Matt Garza was never a top 100 prospect, until after he had piched 50 innings in the major leagues. Matt Garza has never been an All-Star. In 2010, Carlos Zambrano, of the suspension and bullpen demotion was a more valuable player (in WAR) than Matt Garza.

matt garza is also not a young low-power SS or a wild single-breakout-season SP who has a hard time putting in 5 innings. matt garza is a sub-4.00 era, sub 1.30 whip SP capable of putting in 200ip without his arm falling off who cost $6m last year and is under club control this year. i wasn't thrilled to see archer go, but i wasn't impressed by him...he was all ceiling and stuff when he left and did nothing much to move up the projection ladder this year. low-power-SS or not, that's the one i'm not happy to see go.

So let's get this straight. You're complaining that we traded 4 guys who might one day come out of nowhere and be decent (but have no track record to think they'll be more than average at best big leaguers - 2 of which will never be anything and the other 2 are huge question marks) to get a very good starting pitcher, who, despite being the only good SP on our team, you insist is still a piece of shit. Makes perfect sense, very strong argument. Hey, Hak Ju Lee might be the next Babe Ruth if he takes enough steroids, so we should never have traded him! Fangraphs says Matt Garza was worth $22.7 million this year. That's good for 13th best among all SP's in MLB. So despite being on a crap team, and desperately needing to improve his own fielding, Garza pitched like an ace, the number 1 you claim he isn't.

Really? That's awesome what place did the Cubs finish? Garza isn't any more talented than Archer or Lee.

The 2011 season wasn't a referendum on Garza, my friend. It was the result of shitty veterans surrounded by shitty AAAA players that were overmatched in the bigs. If you want to see the Cubs perform better, they're simply going to have to have better players.

"Garza isn't any more talented than Archer or Lee." i know you don't like the trade, but that is insane. put garza on the market right now as a FA who can leverage club bidding for him and he's fetching 15-20 million a year 3-5-7 years from someone. hating a guy, hating a trade, whatever...can't rewrite history on what the guy was expected to do, what he did, and what he is. garza is head over heels more talented than archer in pretty much every evaluation you can lay on either of them...from stuff to results. i don't know how to compare garza to a SS that's barely old enough to drink in most countries so i won't.

What pitch does Garza have that is better than Archer's? Put Archer on the FA market right now and he gets $5 million, without having pitched in the major leagues. Do you not know what the word "talent" means? It's not a synonym for "command."

only $5million?

regardless...there were only 2 guys considered prospects in that lot. guyer is neat, but he just doesn't have enough power to play a corner slot full he's a heavy fastball hitter. no matter what anyone thinks of chinrinoriorioros, he's a known bleh defender and did nothing to help his cause in 2011. it's not my's a general/common consensus.

Ok...picture the 2011 Cubs without Garza in the rotation. Who out of who was traded would've helped the Cubs in 2011? I know the Cubs gave up too much, but Hendry would've been gone anyway yeah? ----- I disagree that we gave up too much. TB has 2 borderline 5th OF'ers, a possible backup catcher, an injured kid SP who might have to move to the bullpen, and a good field, no power SS. How is that overpaying for a number 1 or 2 SP? Who also happens to be in his prime and at a relatively dirt cheap salary for now.

If Cyarza had won 30 games this year, would we have been in the playoffs? No, right? So the trade for this season was no good. It did the big league club no good. Now, say you were Ricketts and you were deciding whether to fire your GM, coming off a 71 win season (with whatever the payroll was, $125 million?). Would you be more or less prone to give your GM the benefit of the doubt if your farm system looked pretty good? You know why it doesn't look very good? Probably because he traded two of his top four prospects, and two other guys who ranged from 7 to 22 in a go for broke trade.

....A no power SS who is just about to turn 21....who put up a .318/.389/.443 in Hi-A ball. It's not that we gave up players that might not pan's that we gave up that many highly rated prospects for 1 pitcher. I love Garza as a pitcher, but hindsight is 20/20. What if Archer's year is a minor speed bump, and Lee tears up AA next season? Then this trade looks a lot worse. Fuld and Chirinos? Meh.... BTW..Garza is not a #1 yet.

archer has been very consistent about being wild with heavy concerns about whether he can put in more than 5-6 innings before hitting 100+ pitches. TB will probably keep with him as a starter, but he might be in the pen soon if he continues struggling to put in 5 innings.

So perhaps a less crappy Samardzija?

archer might have more mph if he works out the pen...some guys throw harder as relievers (max s. from DET can dial it up to 97-100 in short work, though works below 97 when he's starting most of the time). archer's control was/is just least he keeps the ball in the park.

His groundball tendencies also dried up last year. Poor control and good groundball rate = OK. Poor command and poor groundball rate = bad.

game 6 postponed.

Yuck... at least it's not for snow. Does that mean it's Carpenter vs Wilson in Game 7?

I presume Holland on 4 days rest vs. Carpenter on 3 days rest. -edit- presumed wrong, Washington insisting he'll stick with Harrison for some dumbass reason.

I will say that saying you have full confidence in Harrison for Game 7 when all you have to do is win game 6, is probably the smart thing to do. No reason to doubt Harrison before you may actually need him. Holland is suppose to be available in game 6 and Washington can always change his mind before game 7 if he wants. Levine says Cubs would have to pay up to half his salary to move him.

Drinking at work must be fun. If the Cubs are going to trade him, the major stumbling block will not only be the almost $18 million owed for 2012 but a $19.4 million vesting option that would guarantee a contract for 2013 if Zambrano finishes in the top four of the 2012 CY Young voting. That clause alone could cause teams to hesitate before acquiring Zambrano.

If he can be a top 3 Cy Young guy, the 19.4 one year deal wouldn't be a problem.

LeMahieu batting cleanup today for Mesa. 2 for 4, nudges his BA up to .300. Has 9 SBs, second in the league to Lake's 11. That's as many SBs as he had in 108 games at Tenn and Iowa.

Need more LSU guys.

Both stats come with sample size and AFL asterisks, but I find his 10BB:12K more impressive than his current SB numbers.

I never noticed before that LeMahieu has a very high fielding percentage in the minors, .980, which includes .985 at second and .980 at third. In 2011, he played 61 games at third at Tennessee and Iowa without an error. Flaherty's FPct at third is .904, while Vitters' is .906.

Submitted by VirginiaPhil on Thu, 10/27/2011 - 11:51am. I never noticed before that LeMahieu has a very high fielding percentage in the minors, .980, which includes .985 at second and .980 at third. In 2011, he played 61 games at third at Tennessee and Iowa without an error. Flaherty's FPct at third is .904, while Vitters' is .906. ====================================== VA PHIL: D. J. LeMahieu has looked very good at 3B so far in the AFL. He has made some really outstanding stops & throws. LeMahieu is also showing excellent patience at the plate and has been running the bases very well, too. He already was the Cubs best pure hitting prospect (albeit without HR power), but his stock is definitely on the rise. With Jeff Baker eligible for salary arbitration again, I suspect the Cubs will be looking to move Baker, with LeMahieu taking Baker's slot on th 25-man roster in 2012. Whether LeMahieu will hit with enough HR power to be the starting 3B (presuming Aramis Ramirez does not return) is still TBD. The Chicago Cubs and San Diego Padres jointly announce today that Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod will leave the Padres, effective immediately, to accept positions with the Cubs. The Cubs have agreed to send the Padres a player to be named later as compensation.

Muskat says Wilken and Fleita will report to McLeod.

The Cubs intend to announce Hoyer as Executive Vice President/General Manager and McLeod as Senior Vice President/Scouting and Player Development.

that's Neat/Interesting

Isn't one of those jobs already occupied? What will the Tigers trade us for Fielta?

theo is going to act as a hybrid GM anyway...kenney is going to be a partial sub-president doing president things (got the rubber stamp on players taken away)...hoyer and theo shouldn't butt heads over the loss of hoyer's power, so that shouldn't be an issue. it looks like there's more role bleeding beyond all that, too...neat...*shrug* some teams have presidents that are more figureheads than workers (TEX)...some teams have managers who are almost as powerful as the GM (LAA) philosophy is in an era of wild experimentation in some organizations. the cubs joined that experimental era in style this week.

theo is going to act as a hybrid GM anyway --- I heard Theo gets 50 mpg city.

"Isn't one of those jobs already occupied? What will the Tigers trade us for Fielta?" The Red Sox would start by asking for Cabrera and Verlander.

"Isn't one of those jobs already occupied?" Why just one of the jobs? I read that Fleita and Wilken will both report to McLeod. That's two levels below where they reported when Hendry was head of "baseball operations." It will be interesting to see who runs the draft in June, but the answer is pretty obvious today. Wilken won't like it, and will likely leave when his contract is up.

I understand that when we raid other organizations for management we have to compensate in some way, but doing it twice in the span of a few weeks is kind of painful. This had better be a front office super group.

This had better be a front office super group. They are the front office equivalent of Cream and Theo = Clapton.

They are the front office equivalent of the Minutemen, and Theo is D. Boon. /post-punk'd Wait, that ends in tragedy! They are the front office equivalent of Husker Du, and Theo is Bob Mould. Wait, no, they hated each other! Ummm... How about they're not my favorite punk rockers, just great execs. I'll take that.

I always liked Mould's solo stuff better than Husker I'd be cool if the dream team falls apart as long as we get to keep Mould over Hart.

If I can't change your mind, then no one will.

Nothing sweeter than a little Sugar.

he was a writer for WCW wrestling for a few months...why, i have no idea. they didn't use his ideas and he quit soon after hiring...odd marriage of talent with that one.

I understand that when we raid other organizations for management we have to compensate in some way, but doing it twice in the span of a few weeks is kind of painful. This had better be a front office super group. --- Dude, we're giving up Cubs prospects, which means they will never amount to squat.

Here's a real gem from Phil Rogers:
It's possible Friedman could step in and give Maddon a chance to talk to Epstein, although in that scenario the Cubs better be prepared to give up one of their biggest assets — Starlin Castro? — to get Maddon out of the remaining year on his deal. I don't even have any words for that kind of idiotic speculation.

I have two words for it. Phil Rogers.

Haha, yup

Sox fan.

@NCTPadres Dan Hayes Team source said #Padres aren't likely to acquire PTBNL until after Rule 5 draft (Dec. 8), though no date is set.

Submitted by QuietMan on Wed, 10/26/2011 - 9:12pm. @NCTPadres Dan Hayes Team source said #Padres aren't likely to acquire PTBNL until after Rule 5 draft (Dec. 8), though no date is set. ============================================ Q-MAN Which means the Padres compensation will probably be a player who was eligible for selection in the December 2011 Rule 5 Draft but wasn't selected, meaning the Padres would get a Rule 5 player without the accompanying roster restrictions associated with a player who are actually selected in the draft. (That is, the Padres won't have to add the player to their 40-man roster or keep the player on their 25-man roster throughout the 2012 season). The Cubs have until 11/20 to decide which players to add to their 40-man roster (protecting them from selection in the Rule 5 Draft and thus also presumably protecting them from being potential compensation available to the Padres). CUBS MINOR LEAGUERS ELIGIBLE FOR DECEMBER 2011 RULE 5 DRAFT: Abner Abreu, OF Jeffry Antigua, LHP Jeffrey Beliveau, LHP Smaily Borges, OF Michael Brenly, C Justin Bristow, RHP Michael Burgess, OF Kyler Burke, LHP (ex-OF) David Cales, RHP Matt Camp, IF-OF Hung-Wen Chen, RHP Manolin DeLeon, RHP Eduardo Figueroa, RHP Ryan Flaherty, INF Luis Flores, C Marwin Gonzalez, INF Yohan Gonzalez, RHP Gian Guzman, INF-RHP Marcus Hatley, RHP Jay Jackson, RHP Junior Lake, INF Blake Lalli, 1B-C Jordan Latham, RHP David Macias, IF-OF Oswaldo Martinez, RHP Craig Muschko, RHP Jon Nagel, RHP Jake Opitz, INF Blake Parker, RHP Nelson Perez, OF Ramon Reyes, RHP Dae-Eun Rhee, RHP Rebel Ridling, 1B Carlos Romero, C Nate Samson, INF Brian Schlitter, RHP Ryan Searle, RHP Marquez Smith, INF Matt Spencer, LHP (ex-OF) Larry Suarez, RHP Matt Szczur, OF Jose Tineo, RHP Josh Vitters, 3B Ty Wright, OF With Beliveau, Flaherty, Lake, Szczur, and Vitters virtual locks to get added to the Cubs 40-man roster by the 11/20 deadline, the player most-likely to go to the Padres as compensation after the Rule 5 Draft will probably be from this group (presuming they are not added to the Cubs 40-man roster by 11/20, and that they are not selected in the Rule 5 Draft by another club): LHP Jeffry Antigua LHP Kyler Burke INF Marwin Gonzalez RHP Jay Jackson RHP Dae-Eun Rhee RHP Ryan Searle I don't know if compensation involving the Red Sox will be be handled the same way, though, since Theo Epstein is presumably a bigger prize than Hoyer/McLeod and might require a player or players of greater value.

Hopefully cooler heads will prevail and Lake will not be named to the 40 man. I'd take the first four guys you listed there over Lake, and have a hard think about the last two.

Jed Hoyer -- Executive Vice President/General Manager Jason McLeod -- Senior Vice President/Scouting and Player Development The Cubs website should get another dose of updating... -------------- under Baseball Operations: Theo Epstein -- President of Baseball Operations Randy Bush -- Interim GM Scott Nelson -- Director, Baseball Operations and... under Minor League Department: Oneri Fleita -- Vice President, Player Personnel and... under Scouting Department: Tim Wilken -- Director, Amateur & Professional Scouting so if Wilken and Fleita now report to McLeod...anyone have a better understanding of what the new organizational chart will look like?

Does Randy Bush end up with a chair when the music stops?

Don't know much about Randy, so should I care?

Does Randy Bush end up with a chair when the music stops? ----- When the music's over Turn out the lights

They are the front office equivalent of Cream... --- I'm So Glad

Cream sort of sucked. At least he didn't invoke Blind Faith.

If we'd ended up trading Brett Jackson and Trey McNutt, I would want this front office to be the equivalent of the Traveling Wilburys and Theo is Bob Dylan.

White Room? Sunshine of Your Love? Crossroads? They sort of sucked? You set a high bar there, Neal.

Well, they were no Toto.

If you look at the expectations, and what Clapton did afterwords, yeah, they sort of sucked.

We're talking about Mean Maching, the Japanese female supergroup's album "Cream", right? I don't think Clapton was in that, but I thought it was pretty good.

Yeah but Bob Dylan not singing Christmas music thank you

Oh sweet god.

Il tax payers pay for Sox park restaurant where Sox fans rarely go to,let alone afford to pay for a Gibson steak

Interesting article a few years ago in one of the two Chicago papers comparing Cubs and Sox fans. Average annual income was only separated by a couple of thousand bucks. What I liked most about the article was the comments. People stunned that public money is being used to benefit a private business. Where have these people been for the past 30 years?

Sox fans just look poor.

Yao-Lin Wang will starting and face with MLB ALL-STAR Team in Taiwan >:-p Poor guy...

Randy Bush is reportedly been fired by the Score.

cst_cubs cst_cubs Love my guys M&H but impeccable saources say Randy Bush is staying on under Theo, contrary to reports this AM ------ Suntimes tweet saying the Score(Mully & Hanley)report is wrong.

Well then of course another report that their earlier report was wrong.

Gary Karton is so last week. Submitted for your upchucking: the new two worst articles ever written about the Cubs. Telander actually does "where did [Epstein] play his pro ball?" Swear to God.

Telander's idea was sort of good, the analogy was off, though. Hendry and Epstein are both like mutual Fund managers. Given the same resources, Hendry's fund fluxuated widely like the market in the last few years. Theo's kept returning 5 to 20%.

I believe the word is "fluctuated."

Thanks. Too much pop culture ruins spelling.

Well the first thing you know ol Jed's a millionaire, Kinfolk said "Jed move away from there" source:

BTW, both Chris Carpenter and Andrew Cashner have been throwing 98-100 MPH in the AFL. If the Cubs are so inclined, they could put together a pretty good in-house bullpen in 2012, with some combo of Marmol, Cashner, Samardzija, Carpenter, Dolis, and Coello (presuming he is added back to the 40-man roster) from the right-side, and Russell, Gaub, Beliveau, and/or Maine from the left-side (presuming Marshall is moved to the starting rotation in 2012). First test of Team Epstein is to see if they will sign veteran MLB middle-relievers (such as Eyre, Howry, Grabow, Mercker, Remlinger, et al) to multi-year deals like Hendry used to do, or build the bullpen from within and allocate that money elsewhere. The Cubs right now have the best collection of young MLB-ready relievers since I don't know when. Remember, while the bullpen is VERY important, it does NOT have to cost a lot.

Hasn't Cashner sealed up a rotation spot, barring injury? Seems like Carp would make the bullpen, if he's still with the Cubs by the time the season rolls around.

Submitted by Charlie on Thu, 10/27/2011 - 4:12pm. Hasn't Cashner sealed up a rotation spot, barring injury? Seems like Carp would make the bullpen, if he's still with the Cubs by the time the season rolls around. ------------------------------------ CHARLIE: First of all, I think Chris Carpenter is going to Boston. Too bad, too, because with his high-90's fastball and sharp breaking ball combo, Carpenter has been the most-dominant reliever in the AFL so far. As for Andrew Cashner, while he may eventually end up in the starting rotation, it won't be next season. The Cubs are priming him for a return to the bullpen in 2012.

i've been saying all through theo-fest that if carp/cashner go it's not worth it to me...i hope this whole process sticks to the rhee and vitters of the cubs' system...guys that still have legit upside, but aren't the 2 guys we can definitely use in 2012.

Submitted by crunch on Thu, 10/27/2011 - 4:21pm. i've been saying all through theo-fest that if carp/cashner go it's not worth it to me...i hope this whole process sticks to the rhee and vitters of the cubs' system...guys that still have legit upside, but aren't the 2 guys we can definitely use in 2012. ================================= CRUNCH: If Theo can find a way to keep both Carpenter and Cashner, that would be great. It will be interesting to see if Bud Selig becomes involved in the compensation process (presumning the Cubs and Red Sox don't come to an agreement by next Tuesday). The one method MLB has used to move players from one club to another is the expansion draft, and that usually means a club gets to protect 15 players on its 40-man roster(including all players with "no trade" rights, such as Zambrano, Soriano, and Dempster), and then the expansion team gets to pick one. Then you can pull back three players, and the expansion team gets another pick. If Selig uses that method (and its the only one he knows), and if the entire Cubs system is made available (with the exception of players who were signed within the last year, who cannot be traded or otherwise assigned), that would really make it tough for the Cubs, because otherwise Brett Jackson, Trey McNutt, and Jae-Hoon Ha would not qualify for selection in a traditional expansion draft. If the Cubs were allowed to protect 15 players (but not just limited to players on the 40-man roster), I would think they would be: Darwin Barney Chris Carpenter Andrew Cashner Starlin Castro Ryan Dempster Matt Garza Brett Jackson D. J. LeMahieu Carlos Marmol Sean Marshall Trey McNutt Alfonso Soriano Geovany Soto Matt Szczur Carlos Zambrano Which would leave guys like Jeff Baker, Marlon Byrd, Welington Castillo, Casey Coleman, Tyler Colvin, Blake DeWitt, Rafael Dolis, Ryan Flaherty, Jae-Hoon Ha, Jay Jackson, Bryan LaHair, Junior Lake, Jeff Samardzija, Nick Struck, Josh Vitters, and Randy Wells (to name a few) available for selection, with some combination of W. Castillo, Dolis, JH Ha, Lake, Samardzija, and Vitters pulled back after the first pick. BTW, Jeff Samardzija would have to be included in the "List of 15" if the Cubs do not decline their 2012 $3M club option, because he has "no trade" rights. If the Cubs do decline the option before players are selected, Samardzija would revert to being an "auto-renewal" player, the Cubs could unilaterally cut him up to 20% for 2012 (taking his salary down to $2.4M), and he would lose his "no trade" rights and could be left off the list. While Hendry probably would not do that, Team Epstein might.

I'm hoping Theo moves Marmol. I don't care how filthy he is 2/3 of the time he takes the mound--and he is undeniably unhittable--the other third of the time he can't hit the broad side of a barn. It costs the Cubs ballgames and it's not acceptable. I'd be more than satisfied with the Cubs kiddie corps for a bullpen in 2012, minus Marmol, plus Wood back for the one veteran presence. Assuming Boston doesn't steal someone like Carpenter or Cashner, I have to think the Cubs have an enviable bullpen outlook for the near term. St Louis and Texas have shown that you don't need to spend a lot of money on the bullpen, just stock it with plenty of young, fresh, hard-throwing arms. Phil, I guess it's possible the Cubs just return Coello to Boston as part of the Theo compensation, no?

i imagine wood would pretty much become the defacto closer if marmol went away...dunno if that will happen, though. it takes a while to see what a GM thinks of the club he has (or has inherited) and what he plans to do with it. it should be an interesting offseason and an interesting next couple of offseasons.

It wouldn't break my heart to see Marmol moved. He's so nasty when he's on, but I prefer a finesse closer rather than the wild type.

Submitted by Jim Hickmans Bat on Thu, 10/27/2011 - 6:06pm. I'm hoping Theo moves Marmol. I don't care how filthy he is 2/3 of the time he takes the mound--and he is undeniably unhittable--the other third of the time he can't hit the broad side of a barn. It costs the Cubs ballgames and it's not acceptable. I'd be more than satisfied with the Cubs kiddie corps for a bullpen in 2012, minus Marmol, plus Wood back for the one veteran presence. Assuming Boston doesn't steal someone like Carpenter or Cashner, I have to think the Cubs have an enviable bullpen outlook for the near term. St Louis and Texas have shown that you don't need to spend a lot of money on the bullpen, just stock it with plenty of young, fresh, hard-throwing arms. Phil, I guess it's possible the Cubs just return Coello to Boston as part of the Theo compensation, no? ============================ JIM H: With the way he pitched out of the bullpen at Iowa the last two months of the season (he was absolutely unhittable), if Robert Coello is not added back to the Cubs 40-man roster by the deadline (4th day following the conclusion of the World Series) and becomes a minor league FA, he should be in high demand among a lot of the other MLB clubs. If the Cubs re-sign him to a minor league contract for 2012 but don't add him back to the 40-man roster, he becomes a good candidate to get selected in the December 2011 Rule 5 Draft. I would think the Red Sox would probably like to get Coello back (although the guy ultimately responsible for bringing him to the Red Sox as a minor league FA is now the Cubs President), but not if they can get somebody like Chris Carpenter instead. For those of you not familiar with Coello, he is a 26-year old ex-catcher who was drafted by Cincinnati out of a Florida JC in 2004 (20th round), but got released in 2006 before ever getting out of Extended Spring Training. He was then signed by the Angels and converted to a pitcher at AZ Instructs 2006 and he pitched for the AZL Angels in 2007 (I saw him pitch several times), but he opted for free-agency after the 2007 season as a previously-released minor league FA. He spent the 2008 season pitching in Indy ball, and was signed by the Red Sox to a minor league deal in 2009. He rocketed through the Sox system, getting brought up to Boston in September 2010. He was traded to the Cubs for 2B Tony Thomas at the start of Spring Training last February, was optioned to Iowa at the end of Spring Training, and then was outrighted to AA in May after getting shelled at Iowa as a starter. However, he was promoted back to Iowa after four quality starts at Tennessee and was moved back to the bullpen, and was an outstanding reliever for the I-Cubs over the last couple months of the season. He is presently pitching in Venezuela (VWL), and is doing very well down there, too. He has a dynamite splitter. The Cubs would be fools not to add Coello back to their 40-man roster.

He had some really good trade value up until Jim Hendry gave him that late spring/completely unnecessary contract extension. Now he's in a spot where you can't even offer him arbitration when his contract is up after 2013.

Bullpens are usually a crap shot. Guys can come out of nowhere, even guys that have failed in the past, and have good years. Guys who have had good years in the past can bomb any particular year. Very few are good every year. I have theory on Marmol. In the past he has always gone into funks for a few games every year, but came out of them fairly quickly. This year the funks were more often and for longer periods. I have never been particularly a Rotchild fan,but it seems now in hindsight, that he could pull Marmol out of his funks much better than whatever the current guys name is.

I have never been particularly a Rotchild fan,but it seems now in hindsight, that he could pull Marmol out of his funks much better than whatever the current guys name is. HERETIC!!! kidding of course, everyone but far too many Cubs fans seems to think he's one of the better ones in the game. Adduci and Jonathan Mota re-sign.

Submitted by Rob G. on Thu, 10/27/2011 - 4:56pm. Adduci and Jonathan Mota re-sign. ========================================================== ROB G: With Jim Adduci and Jonathon Mota having re-signed, here is the updated list of Cubs minor leaguers eligible to be free-agents post-2011: ARTICLE XX-D MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENT (1): Brad Snyder, OF (has already filed) NOTE: A minor league player eligible to be an Article XX-D free-agent is not eligible to be a free-agent if the player is added back to an MLB 40-man roster by the end of the MLB regular season. A player eligible to be an Article XX-D minor league free-agent can file for free-agency beginning on the day after the conclusion of the MLB regular season up through October 15th. The player’s former club does not receive any compensation if the player signs with a new club. ======================================================================= MLB RULE 55 MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENT: NOTE: A minor league player eligible to be a Rule 55 free-agent is not eligible to be a FA if the player is added to his club’s 40-man roster by the 4th day following the conclusion of the World Series. SIX-YEAR MINOR LEAGUE FA (11): Justin Berg, RHP Marco Carrillo, RHP Angel Guzman, RHP Dylan Johnston, RHP (ex-OF) Mario Mercedes, C Scott Moore, INF Chris Robinson, C Carlton Smith, RHP Alvaro Sosa, RHP (ex-C) Jeff Stevens, RHP John Urick, 1B (player-coach) PREVIOUSLY RELEASED (5): Adrian Aviles, LHP (previously released by LAD) Dan Berlind, RHP (previously released by MIN) Austin Bibens-Dirkx, RHP (previously released by SEA) Robert Coello, RHP (previously released by CIN) Carlos Figueroa, INF (previously released by COL) =========================== BTW, the 4th day following the conclusion of the World Series is also the deadline for adding players back to the 40-man roster who were outrighted to the minors since the last Rule 5 Draft (Berg, Coello, and Stevens, plus Brian Schlitter).

Bruce Levine chat from today, not much newsworthy though.

The Cubs need to throw their money at pitching that can help them now and in the future. Not short-term fixes. so they apparently shouldn't sign anyone this offseason.

Theo Epstein's PTI interview (about 10 minutes) with Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon. Includes TK's last question about whether Epstein will consider bringing back Steve Bartman to the fold. (I can see opening day where Moises Alou throw out the first pitch to Bartman and they shake hands...)

Source indicates that the CBA holdup has moved OFF of hard slots for the draft, but capping draft and int'l spending is in play.

and Also discussed: scaled/weighted spending caps for teams based on standings/draft position.

...Fucking Cardinals. (LaRussa's the bird on the bottom)

I think his team is the bottom. Larussa's on top.

I long for the day when Cardinals fans will say, "Fucking Cubs...", as we win another Post-Season game.

sirguygrand @ @RockBigFly24 hows the knee? 27 minutes ago RockBigFly24 Rock Shoulders @ @sirguygrand great thanks for answering 23 minutes ago Knee good, English..not so much.

Me hit ball good.

How great would it have been if that thrown bat had killed Carpenter?

it would vindicate the vision of the directors of japanese baseball gore movies.

Local idiot, Rick Telander, tries to tie Theo, Ricketts and Wall Street protest together. Rick by the way is a graduate of Northwestern

those kids should just get off his lawn, already. what a horrible excuse for an attempt to debate/inflame multiple issues in print-form. 0 out of 10 for execution of the idea and final product.

Excuse me but I already posted this abomination upthread. It should not be inflicted on the TCR faithful multiple times, as it is known to cause brain damage if read twice. In other news, purple oatmeal fishmonger is a chuckle waistcoat!

Sorry Pell Mell

Nice to see Cardinal fans using a squirrel as a mascot rather than a main course.

Rangers better win, no way Napoli plays on the ankle tomorrow

that was an Ouch


He just picked Holliday off third

...from his knees. MVP.

Nelson Cruz is good too.

Holliday doing his Rodney from Caddyshack imitation after getting picked off "oooh it's broken "

sprained it pretty bad is my guess, but once he rests it overnight, it'll be 100 times worse.

he can pour ginger ale all over it in about 30-45 minutes

imagine the "chokers" and "lack of heart" comments if it was the Cubs with 3 errors in Game 6.


6 outs away from joyous schadenfreude

my head just exploded.

Soriano'd it

Fuckin' A. Well, McGuire had some nice talent to work with. Unbelievable down to the last strike, and Nelson Cruz out of position. That play should have been made and he was worried about the wall. The Rangers will not win a game seven in St. Louis. This was their World Series.

I just don't get it. How is this fucking team so charmed that this shit happens for them?

charm is dead. 9-7 TEX.

Mr Cracktober!


Yes! Come on Rangers, this is yours to take.

pitcher spot due up 3rd...bench is empty. wow...if they lose this season with a pitcher swinging for a last chance. mega-wow if they tie or win with a pitcher swinging. =p

2 on, 0 out...well, now that became easy. bunt-time.

what the hell call was that? ump and appeal drops the ball on that one. weird.

What happened? Gameday doesn't show:)

bunt attempt...missed while kinda bailing...held bat in the zone the entire time...ruled a ball...appealed...1st said it was a ball. the bat wasn't pulled back at all and it sat over the plate the entire time.


Anyone else rooting against the Cards?

Here comes Theriot

Feck! Butthols up with a walkoff chance.

Uh, ne'ermind.

Fucking Cards.

game 6 of the 1975 game 6 of the 2011 WS

There's not 5(6) hof'ers in this game. / just saying

Who wants to lose this more?

TEX evidently. holy hell...what a game.


Washington had Wilson warming up. Does he know he need a starter tomorrow?

Cashner's minor "tweak". Hmmmm.

heh, you trying to drive traffic to the Trib? Cashner, who missed five months because of a right rotator cuff strain, hasn't pitched since Oct. 14 because he said he "tweaked" an oblique muscle on his left side.

Welcome to the Chicago Paparazzi. Dining with Tom and Theo at The Fifty/50 and watching the WS...
Epstein's table drank Coronas and ordered the corn fried calamari, poutine, skirt steak sandwich and meatball sub. It was unclear who Epstein was cheering for during the game

I'm gonna write that down in my "Who Gives a Shit?" Diary.

This kind of reporting annoys me far more than it entertains me.

Poutine is fucking outstanding, but they should have ordered it from Small Bar next door.

Gary Oldman's Voice: Fire everyone!!!!!!

Granted he is the "nightlife" reporter, so it's kind of his job...but that doesn't take away from the fact that he's using his college degree as toilet paper and he's a waste of space.

Recent comments

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  • BobbyD 3 hours 6 min ago (view)

    Cubster: I agree with your comments, save one. That the president is "leading" America. He couldn't lead a pack of rats to a NYC dumpster on an August afternoon. The "man" is a f'ing disgrace. 


  • crunch 5 hours 24 min ago (view)

    though the team cheaped out on this offseason (still an overall top-tier payroll), i was at least looking forward to seeing the beginning of the david ross era...and who was going to win the 2nd base job...

    nothing about 2020 baseball feels legit anymore.  just hearing the players talk about it, you'd think they were organizing a casual pickup game for charity at an inconvient time and place...doesn't seem like they're really stoked about it.


  • Cubster 6 hours 34 min ago (view)

    June 1st is a week from tomorrow. Given 5 weeks of spring training before starting (July 4th?), the season is on the brink of going bye-bye. It's bad enough in 2020 to be losing prime career years for Javy Baez and Kris Bryant, let alone Anthony Rizzo, Kyle Schwarber, Kyle Hendricks, and Willson Contreras. If one of them gets coronavirus, loses lung capacity, and alters their career arc, Cub fans will for a long time have a bitter taste in their mouths. All for, at best,  a bizarre half-season without fans watching in the ballparks.


  • Alexander Dimm 11 hours 43 min ago (view)

    HAGSAG: I've been following this all spring and I fully agree.  Let's not risk the health of these ballplayers.  Let's plan for 2021 an be done with 2020.  I know that whole game will be changed next year but it's already morphing now.  Just start with a clean slate.  I don't want scientists watching baseball when they should be working on a vaccine.


  • Hagsag 16 hours 20 min ago (view)

    I love baseball as much as anyone, but I cant see this working. Put the 2020 season on the shelf and plan for 2021. 


  • crunch 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    i still don't understand how any of this retains momentum if a team has an outbreak...

    it seems like that would put a pause on things not only effecting the team with the outbreak, but the schedule and future opponents...and past opponents who recently played the team with an outbreak...

    if it gets started, hopefully it can roll to end without going off the rails.  it all seems so fragile with a lot of moving pieces.


  • CubbyBlue 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    I wish I felt better about the possibility of baseball this year. All those details - it just seems like something's not going to work. And to me the worst thing that could happen is they get started and 2 weeks later have to shut it down, then try to start it up again. 
    Baseball's role this summer is meant to uplift, and that scenario feels soul-crushing.


  • crunch 2 days 3 hours ago (view)

    add the bjays to the list...

    whatever works to get people paid.


  • crunch 2 days 5 hours ago (view)

    "Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Brewers will keep their baseball operations staff intact for all of 2020.

    There will be no furloughs and only top executives in the organization will take pay cuts."

    2020 has officially crossed the line now...making me like the brewers...

    seriously though, it's about time some of these 100s-millionaire to billionaire owners acted like this.

    brewers, wsox, cards, and twins have all promised full pay for employees through june+ (and maybe longer when revisited)


  • crunch 4 days 3 hours ago (view)

    the "slow opening" seems to be starting up this weekend and into next week for a variety of clubs...whether it's the ballpark or training facitlies.  most all of the player access seems to be limited to those on the 40-man and nothing mandatory.

    nothing for the cubs yet (that i've heard about).  chicago is still a bit "hot" but AZ is open for sports...


  • crunch 1 week 7 hours ago (view)

    i can't speak for this or all of the US, but my state govt level safety committee reports kinda shape up like this...and this aggregated view stated below is my own...

    we're still technically short for how all pieces of the testing scheme interact with each other on whole, but it's catching up and should be rolling smoothly for a task like this (seems to be a dedicated lab for all MLB) by the time the season is proposed to start.


  • Hagsag 1 week 15 hours ago (view)

    They plan on testing 10.000 per week? I thought we were short of tests. 


  • crunch 1 week 1 day ago (view)

    i would be surprised to see this go start-to-finish without some kind of stupid drama.  it's not that covid is gonna kill a gazillion people while they bleed from their eyes or's that it's so easy to pass it others.  if you find one guy positive, chances are pretty high he's taking down a handful of others with him even if they're all good to go in a couple weeks and feel fine during that downtime.


  • Craig A. 1 week 1 day ago (view)

    This is going to be full of surprises. Young players who don't feel that bad may be angry that they can't  play.  A team may loose several players at once. They'll need a taxi squad that doesn't practice with the main team. Even the best plan can't prepare teams for every possibility. 


  • crunch 1 week 1 day ago (view)

    "Jeff Passan of ESPN reports that MLB plans to process upward of 10,000 COVID-19 tests per week, according to a draft of the league's health-and-safety manual.


  • crunch 1 week 2 days ago (view)

    some audio from him describing his symptoms...