Tom Ricketts is just a game away from possibly having all of his favorite GM candidates available to interview. That’s because both the Rays and Yankees lost yesterday, leaving each team one game away from playoff elimination, which would open the door to theoretical interviews with Andrew Friedman and Brian Cashman. I suggest you adjust your rooting interests accordingly. (And, as usual, much more on the GM search is coming later this morning.)

  • Juan Rodriguez of the Florida Sun Sentinel says the rumored plan to restructure Carlos Zambrano’s contract so that he would accept deferred payments on the $18 million he’s owed for 2012 before getting his release makes no sense for Zambrano. If the Cubs can’t trade Zambrano, they’ll just release him, Rodriguez reasons, and then Z will be free to sign with the Marlins and get all of his money up front. This ignores the fact that the Cubs might be able to trade Zambrano for less in savings than they’d get by deferring payments, so if he balked at that plan, they could dump him on any number of teams – not his preferred destination.
  • Matt Szczur was named the 8th best prospect in the Florida State League (High A), which is impressive given his fading performance in that league after he was promoted from Peoria (A ball). Of Szczur, Baseball America said, “Though he often looked worn out after his mid-July promotion, his athleticism was obvious and he rallied to bat .368 in the playoffs.” Because of his odd contract, Szczur will be added to the 40-man roster this Winter, so the Cubs will be hoping he can have an accelerated development, possibly reaching Wrigley by early 2013 (if not late next year). Former Cubs prospect Hak-Ju Lee, who was traded as part of the package for Matt Garza this past Winter, ranked third on the list.
  • WEEI lists Ryne Sandberg among a list of possible candidates for the Red Sox’s open managerial position. I doubt it, but I did read elsewhere that current Red Sox GM Theo Epstein is considering candidates without ML experience.
  • Aramis Ramirez is the Cubs’ nominee for the Hank Aaron Award (best offensive player in the NL), which makes sense.
  • Barry Rozner offers his typical angry fare. Something marginally coherent about the next GM not being a “savior.” The Daily Herald really expects people to pay for this content?
  • CubFan Paul

    “they could dump him on any number of teams – not his preferred destination”

    brett, how can the Cubs do this with El Torro’s no-trade & 10/5 rights? he has to agree to a trade and probably won’t accept a trade to a non-contender

    • Brett

      People close to Zambrano have said for months that he wouldn’t stand in the way of a trade. A contender might be preferred (query whether Miami is a “contender”), but not necessarily required.

      • CubFan Paul

        i bet el Torro is pissed enough to not accept any trade that’ll help the Cubs. His excuse will be “I wanna honor my contract/final year” ..basically forcing his release, payment in full and hurting the cubs because that $18mill will be on the 2012 payroll

        It would be nice to see a new Manager with big enough “Cojones” to tell Z “Shut up & take the damn ball”. And we’d have a $18million fifth starter next year, that’s pitching in his contract year and hopefully on good behavior if he wants ‘market rate’ as a free agent in 2013. i’d accept that. I know Ricketts wants ‘new leadership’ & a ‘culture change’ but some ‘cancers’ can be cured with the right medicine (or kick in the ass). Quade, Piniella, & Baker all have small cojones and coddled the players and enabled bad behavior.

        i don’t know, we’ll see..

  • Brian

    I can just hear the reasoning for Ramirez getting the award:
    “Never has a player been so great when his team needed him the least, and never has a player been so awful when they needed him the most”

  • Toosh

    DeMarlo Hale.

  • Cubbies4Life

    Very succinctly put, Brian.

  • Jason

    Pretty much irrelevant that Ramirez was nominated because 1) Kemp or Braun will win the award and 2) the Cubs had to nominate somebody. Other than Castro, who else from this sorry outfit would be worthy of nominating?

    • andrew


      • Jason




        2 HRs, .078 ISOP


  • die hard

    Could GM and manager be from team about to lose series to Detroit?…

    • Brett

      Not impossible. Not likely – but not impossible.

  • Mikey

    Brett, or someone please explain this, why don’t the cubs just send zambrano down to the minor leagues? and if he somehow finds a groove call him to the major, but if that doesn’t happen just let him rot in the minors? good idea?

    • TWC

      It’s a great idea, but it can’t happen.  Zambrano’s well out of his ‘option years’, and can only be sent down to the minors if he accepts the assignment.

    • CubFan Paul

      Veteran players Can Not be sent to the minor leagues without their consent. that includes rehab assignments also. Veterans can’t be force to go

  • Mikey

    oh! well thanks for answering my question. i just found out about bleachernation, and i’ve been wondering about that for sometime now.

  • Mike Foster

    Stick around Mikey, it’s an education every day….

  • DaveB23

    Love that picture of Z. Maybe one of my faves (outside of the one where Z got ejected and then he pointed back at the ump and gave the ump the ejection signal, while you could see Lou standing behind both of them trying to conceal a laugh, that one has to be the all time greatest).

  • cccubfan

    All this talk about Z and Ozzie talking about him joining the Marlins, is that not tampering on Ozzie’s part? Looks to me like he couldn’t be doing that. I have heard of folks getting in more trouble for alot less. I say the Cubs file a tampering grievance and then make the Marlins take on his entire 2012 salary and send us LoMo…..LOL…That’ll shut Oz up for a few minutes anyway….