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As usual, there will be plenty of Theo Epstein-related content later this morning, but, to break up the string of purple shirt-related rumors, how about some non-GM bullets?

  • MLBTradeRumors reverse-engineered the Elias Rankings from which Type A/B free agency status is determined, and have concluded that both Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Pena will be Type B free agents – the latter just squeaking in, and the former falling just short of Type A (which is a bummer). What that means is that, if the Cubs offer the two arbitration and they decline, opting instead to sign elsewhere, the Cubs will get a draft pick as compensation, which pick would fall in the supplemental first round (between first and second rounds). Ramirez has said he won’t come back to the Cubs on his $16 million option, so he won’t accept arbitration, either. Thus, the Cubs can offer him arbitration with no risk. Pena is a sightly different story, as he’s said he wants to return to the Cubs, and might not have the option of a multiyear deal elsewhere. If the Cubs don’t want to risk Pena accepting arbitration (and getting $10 or $11 million next year), they might have to forego compensation. On the other hand, the Cubs might want Pena to return next year anyway.
  • Speaking of first base next year, according to multiple sources, the Reds are willing to listen to offers on Joey Votto, presumably because of his increasing salary and the prense of Yonder Alonso. Votto, 28, is scheduled to make $9.5 million in 2012 and $17 million in 2013 (and we thought Jim Hendry was all about backloading contracts – yowsa), and is one of the premier first baseman in baseball. Obviously the Cubs would be interested, but (1) I question whether the Cubs have sufficient high-level prospects to land a guy like Votto right now, and (2) I question whether the Reds would even consider dealing Votto within the NL Central.
  • Zack Greinke says Chris Carpenter is “phony,” and says a lot of players on the Brewers don’t like him. In related news, Zack Greine recently purchased a target-shaped tattoo for his back. Just above the butterfly.
  • Josh Vitters had another big game this weekend in the AFL, and his OPS is over 1.000. But, while it’s nice to see him hitting well, we’ll have to keep in mind that offense is always elevated in Arizona, and the sample sizes are extremely small. Andrew Cashner made his debut on Saturday, and threw a scoreless inning … in relief.
  • Former Cub Doug Glanville with a nice read on what it’s like to be eliminated from the playoffs.
  • CubFan Paul

    ..i’ve been on the Votto thing for a while, ..i think the Cubs could swing that deal for him

  • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

    The price for Votto will be huge (will require more prospects than Garza), but I wonder if the Reds would also listen to offers for Yonder Alonso.

    • CubFan Paul

      no way they trade Alonso!, he’s the leverage that’s batting .300 w/ power & will cost less in an extension ..Votto is gone, they Reds have no choice but to trade him *if* they want to stay competitive

      Votto would have to take a serious paycut to stay there. Cincy is a AAA team and i doubt if they could afford a 5yr/$75million deal for any one player let alone votto

      • Wilbur

        If Cincinnati is a AAA team does that make us AA?

        • CubFan Paul

          they’re AAA as in, small market, small budget, fireworks after homeruns AAA ..the cubs are the exact opposite ..a built in advantage that allows us to trade for small market superstars that can no longer be afforded

  • Sayueri

    I’ll take Votto over Pujols or Fielder. I already traded for him in MLB The Show 2K11 and he looks damn good in a Cubs uniform.

  • Fishin Phil

    I agree that we probably do not have enough prospect that would interest the Reds enough for a Votto trade to happen.

    • CubFan Paul

      i think jay jackson is gone this winter, trade fodder ..a six guy trade, jay jackson & three Low A guys, and Votto and a 26th man AAAer coming from Cincy

      • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

        It’s going to take more than that, think Garza with more or better prospects.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        They would chuckle at that kind of offer, and pat us on the head.

        A Votto trade would start with the Reds asking for Brett Jackson, Andrew Cashner and Trey McNutt. And I’m not convinced they couldn’t get that type of return from *some* team. That’s also why I doubt it would work with the Cubs.

      • Jason

        Quick math to determine Votto’s value

        7 WAR * $4 million/win = $56 million over 2 years
        less remaining contract = $26.5 million
        plus: Type A FA compensation = $5 million

        Votto is a $34.5 million contract. That’s worth a top 10 hitting prospect. We’d have to trade Jackson plus to land him

        No thanks – if we like him that much, why don’t we just get him in FA in two years or plug the hole until his value drops in a year? We aren’t winning anything next year anyway…

  • Bails17

    I would rather sign Fielder to a big deal then give up the type of prospects it would take to get JV.

    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

      I agree if we can sign Fielder to something like 6yrs 125M MAX, it may be a better investment than trading 5+ quality prospects for a couple years of Votto (there is no guarentee thatbhe will sign an extension).

      • Bails17

        Agreed!  We are all forgetting that the next GM might just lay low this next year and have an in house option for 1B.  Looking back at the trade deadline…how bad was it not to deal Marmol?  Man…we could have landed a few nice prospects and freed up some serious bucks for the new GM to work with.

        • Wilbur

          You might have been able to move Marmol at the end of July, but as he is severely over paid the concept of prospects was remote at best.

          Resigning Marmol for three years was not Hendry’s sin, resigning him for the amount was. A familiar theme …

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            Eh, the years were a problem, too. There was no need to buy out Marmol’s first free agent year, nor was there a need not to go year-to-year in arbitration. He’d be going into his walk year.

            • Bails17

              Bottom line is we had the chance to field offers and we passed.  Big mistake.  Someone might have fallen over and bumped there head ( a very Jim Hendry-esk thing to do!) and offered the moon.  Why we didn’t at least field offers is beyond me.

              • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                It’s the single most frustrating thing about the entire season, in my opinion, in terms of what the Cubs failed to accomplish. Worse even than Aramis Ramirez’s continual waffling. I understand the explanation (not wanting to trade guys the next GM may want to keep), but … ugh. I didn’t like the deal when it was signed, so the thought that the Cubs could have moved him (and, so I heard, for decent prospects) just drives me crazy. Even if he rebounds next year, it will still annoy me until/unless they move him.

    • sox104

      agree, this way you only pay once and keep your kids.

  • CUB5

    But would Votto come to the North Side? He’s said repeatedly that he hates us. I know money talks, but the guy seemed genuine. I say low-ball him. Also – really enjoyed Glanville’s blog post. He has a good, casual writing style. Nice read.

  • Dumpman

    I favor a ton of options at 1B before I favor a trade for votto. Culling the farm for a bat like Votto is only a good idea when your that “one piece” away. IE the Red Sox with A-Gon. I’d MUCH rather see us play even LaHair there before anything. Lets face it guys, we have a lot of work to do with this roster before its even close to playoff caliber. I predict Pena, Aramis, Z and maybe even Dempster could all be gone. Best to suit up for a couple rough years and hope half the international and amatuer draftees pan out. If thats happens, with good free agent signings, we could have something going for the 2013 season.

  • die hard

    dream on…if going anywhere Votto likely to go back home to Toronto which has a deep farm system

    • Dumpman

      I agree Toronto would be ideal for both sides IMO. Toronto has some good pieces that wouldnt kill them if they dealt away.

  • cccubfan

    Everyone is talking about the Votto thing so I want to weigh in on what Zach said about Chris Carpenter….It’s not just the Brewers that don’t like him, it’s everybody outside the Cardinal dugout don’t like him….

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I hadn’t heard that Carpenter was not well-liked, but that would help explain the Brandon Phillips/Reds problems over the last two years.

  • kingdomusa

    Ricketts should have met with Friedman before he offers epstien…..he has operated on a cheaper budget with nearly the same success as the Bo-Sox. Quade should have been released earlier. The Bo-Sox are holding the cubs hostage because of Ricketts lovefest with the Beantown concept. The Cubs are holding quade hostage too and there will be no worries that any team will be knocking on Mike’s door unless they think the Q-less nicknames are cool for their team unity. It didn’t work here. Who wants a Manager who thinks he did a good job finishing 20 games below .500 & 25 games out of 1st place.

    • CubFan Paul

      ‘Epstein’ could be a diversion. Friedman has been available for a ‘talk’ since the middle of last week. ricketts could be foolin us all

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Who’s to say Ricketts hasn’t already interviewed Friedman? No one knows for sure – even third party pundits are saying this is the most secretive search they’ve every been around.

      • Bails17

        Just as likely…Friedman might have declined interest and was asked to keep that on the down low as well.  This has been one of the best job of  keeping things under wraps in recent memory.

      • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

        Great point.  All this Theo talk is media driven, neither the Red Sox nor the Cubs have made any statements concerning his future and the only reason that Theo is all the talk is because the Sox didn’t make the playoffs and everyone assumes he is Ricketts top choice. Ricketts has never said anything about who he favors, he only outlined his “requirements” and Theo is the the big name that meets those “requirements”.  The only thing we know is that Ricketts said that the search would be quiet and that is exactly what has happened.  For all we know he has been speaking to Friedman or Cashman all week but with all this Theo-mania its been missed.

  • Montelle

    Makes you wonder if Ricketts learned about keeping secrets with sealed lips, and poker faces from his family’s stock market work LOL

  • Steve

    I always knew Greinke was a lower back tattoo knd of guy. It explains a lot.

  • Ron Swanson

    Wow, Brett. Takes a confident man to admit to knowing about Greinke’s tramp stamp.

  • Ryan

    First time posting here. Brett, you do a phenomenal job with this site. I found this in May and its my first destination i go to for Cubs news. I probably check this site 5+ times a day. Keep up the good work.

    Anywho…what are your guys’ thoughts on Paul Konerko? I keep hearing that the Sox will be listening on offers for him. Very reasonable contract. I think he’s getting 12 million next year and 13.5 million in 2013. He’d look great over here IMO.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Thanks, Ryan. That’s pretty much what I hope this place to be, so I appreciate it, and I’m glad it works for you.

      As for Konerko, the money is reasonable, but, at his age (36 in March), I don’t think he’d be what the Cubs are looking for. He could help a team in 2012, but I’m not sure the Cubs are going to be in a position to compete in 2012.

  • Ryan

    Although, now that I think about it, if Epstein does become the Cubs GM, I would guess that he’d consider getting Lars Anderson here and give that youngster a chance at becoming the first baseman.

  • cubsklm

    I may be alone here, but I want Friedman. All this Theo talk I hope isn’t just smoke and mirrors for a better deal in Boston. This needs a resolution this week.

    First time in my memory that a team needs a GM, Manager, and what I feel is extremely important for this team is a Pitching Coach. Any thoughts on a good pitching coach out there?

    I am assuming Sandbergs the manager.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Great question, and I’ve got nothing right now. I don’t even feel like I’m in a good position to speculate on the manager until the GM is in place, so the pitching coach is that much harder. Riggins came out of nowhere, so that’s to be considered when it comes to coaches. The manager will go a long way to determining who the pitching coach is (and hitting coach, if Rudy is a goner).

    • hardtop

      “I may be alone here, but I want Friedman. All this Theo talk I hope isn’t just smoke and mirrors for a better deal in Boston. This needs a resolution this week.”

      You are not alone….

      • Lou

        You’re not alone. Epstein, IMO, would cost too much. If the Cubs were closer to contention, then I could see it. We’re far away, even in our own division.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          If the Cubs were closer to contention, they wouldn’t need a new GM …

  • http://TheoWaiting Cheryl

    Friedman may still be under consideration. We won’t know until Ricketts makes an announcement. I can’t see this search going beond next week though.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Hard to see it dragging on too much longer, but if Epstein passes, I could see it lasting another couple weeks. We just don’t know where the process stands.

  • curt

    ricketts missed his calling he should hve worked for the cia or fbi no one keeps a secret like this, this well

    • Toosh

      If he’s spoken with the Red Sox about Epstein or Cherington, they’re keeping that as secret as he is.

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