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Tom Ricketts is a savvy businessman, and he’s not sitting still in the face of Red Sox intransigence.

From Jon Heyman (who, yes, I know, has hardly been a model of accuracy throughout this process):

In a possible surprise twist, the Chicago Cubs and Theo Epstein are said to have interest in Padres general manager Jed Hoyer to join a baseball operations department they hope is headed soon by Epstein, who is waiting in limbo while the Cubs and Red Sox resolve the compensation issue to complete the trade that would put Epstein in charge of Chicago’s beloved North Side team.

It’s uncertain how the Padres would react to the Cubs interest in Hoyer but if he is able to go to Chicago, Byrnes would be elevated to GM.

A move by Hoyer, 37, would be seen as fairly shocking since he’s already a GM, but perhaps the Cubs could give him the same title, while making Epstein a president. Nothing is known to be finalized yet, and it could still be Byrnes going to Chicago, but the possibility that it could be Hoyer instead was raised by several people familiar with the talks.

Hoyer’s is a name that was a surprising omission in the first round of GM rumors. After all, he is a young, sabermetrics-and-development-inclined GM, cut from the same cloth as Theo Epstein (indeed, the two worked together in Boston (with Josh Byrnes, whose name has come up frequently)). San Diego is a wonderful city, but few would argue that the GM job in Chicago is a slightly better gig than heading up the Padres. It probably pays better, too.

You don’t need me to tell you that inking Hoyer (or Byrnes) soon would be tremendously beneficial to the Cubs in their compensation discussions with the Red Sox. With someone like Hoyer (or Byrnes (before you ask, it seems highly unlikely that the Padres would let both Hoyer and Byrnes go (is that enough embedded parentheticals for you?))) already in place, the Cubs could comfortably wait the Red Sox out.

Not to mention the fact that the Cubs would then be headed towards one of the best front offices (on paper) in baseball, with Hoyer/Byrnes as GM and Epstein as President of Baseball Operations.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least suggest that this is an intentional leak coming from the Cubs, designed to put pressure on the Red Sox. “See, Red Sox? We don’t need Theo immediately. We’d be fine waiting a year for him if we had to. We’ve got a stud GM in place. Enjoy your $7 million mail delivery boy.” Also, keep in mind that there could be a compensation issue involved in bringing Hoyer over to a lateral position – but let’s keep our heads wrapped around one compensation battle at a time.

I would also be remiss if I didn’t point out that these machinations align almost perfectly with the suggestion I made on Saturday – namely, that the Cubs try to line up a “back-up” GM now, someone who wants to work in a Theo-led front office regardless of his precise role. The Cubs would be hard pressed to find a better option in that role than someone like Hoyer, or someone like Byrnes.

  • packman711

    So, could this all work out to be a case of too many chiefs, and too few worker bees?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Unlikely – we’ve grown accustomed to a small front office. Most clubs now have this kind of hierarchy, with the more big-time brains, the better.

      • JulioZuleta

        It has worked well for a couple of Chicago teams–the Bulls and especially the Blackhawks.

  • Fishin Phil

    I think this probably a case of Heyman slinging poop at the walls and seeing if anything sticks.  The further this thing goes, the less I believe anybody.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      You’re catching on.

    • hansman1982

      Hoyer under contract next year with an option for 2013 – I HIGHLY doubt Ricketts wants to get into a second compensation debate and be left empty handed on all fronts

      My money is him making a play on Byrnes WELL before Hoyer

  • Mike Foster

    Depends on who you’re counting to be in the kitchen. Brett, might be a nice post to explain to us less than edumacated folks the different iterations of “front offices” around MLB.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Not a bad idea, once the dust has settled.

      • Wilbur

        Would love to see that analysis. I saw one article three or four weeks ago that said the Yankees had a statistical analysis division of 20. Seems high, but gotta love them number crunchers …

  • cubsklm

    Whew! I am getting hot! We’re bi-coastal front office raiders!

    Keep in mind Red Sox, while we don’t have many rings, HARDBALL is still played at Wrigley.

    I absolutely love this battle of the egos and the potential for the best front office in baseball.
    This is the kind of ownership, I/We wanted!

    • EQ76

      I agree..it’s awesome that we’re going after the cream of the crop out there to run the organization.. maybe the same will be true with the players we start getting over the next few years.

      • http://TheoWaiting Cheryl

        It could be great but the juggler has to keep his eye on the ball. There’s a lot of cross winds out there.

  • JulioZuleta

    Brett, why do you think focus has shifted from Byrnes to Hoyer (on the off chance that a Heyman-related post has any legs)?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I don’t really think that it has shifted – to the extent there’s any truth to it, my guess is Ricketts kicked the tires and let it be leaked that he kicked the tires (because it’s a sexy story, sure to be reported, and sure to get the Red Sox thinking). I would guess – just a guess – that Byrnes is more likely to be the guy than Hoyer (and it could always be someone else – or no one).

  • BD

    Brett- I am fairly new to the site, but it has been an awesome experience to have all of the info/articles in one place. You have been quick and accurate in covering this saga, and I salute you! (By the by, how much do you think one salute from me is worth? Just don’t ask Lucchino…)

    Now my question for the Cubs front office- would we need to give up any compensation to bring Hoyer or Byrnes to the North Side?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Thanks, BD – I figure if there are Cubs fans out there as obsessive as I am about this stuff, they’d probably like to have all of the info as quickly gathered into one place (hopefully with insight). So that’s what I try to do at times like this.

      To your question, if Hoyer was coming in a lateral move, yes, there would be a compensation issue (he is, I believe, under contract for at least another year). As for Byrnes, he would presumably be getting a clear promotion, so I don’t think compensation would be an issue (and he might be a “free agent” anyway).

      • Hawkeye

        I don’t know if I can handle another player for front office negotiation?   Any chance that we are potentially hurting out abilities down the road to trade with other teams?  Basically, who does the rest of the baseball world think is in the right on this whole negotiation issue for Theo?   I don’t want to get through all this just to have teams not want to work with us because it is percieved we are so hard headed?

        • Katie

          Respectfully, who cares if other teams think that? :) It’s better than being mocked, pitied or ignored! It’s time for a change!

          • Hawkeye

            How dare you contradict me.  I was about to come at you like a spider monkey…until I remembered that you did make the comment, “Respectfully”.   I guess its okay then.   I do see your point.  I would just hate to see us get the guy that has all the moves, but has no dance partner when the music starts.

            • Katie

              Hey, I love spider monkeys! And I know what you mean. I guess I’m just so tired of being the butt of everyone’s jokes, yanno?

              • Wilbur

                What’s so scary about Spider Monkeys and if being liked correlated with MLB success the Yankees wouldn’t have 26 World Championships.

                Brett, sure glad you have a spell checker on this thign …

              • Hawkeye

                We have been the butt of millions of jokes over the past century, I can be patient enough to wait a couple of days or weeks if it means it will soon be coming to an end.

                • Katie

                  I meant after the deal is done Theo And The Gang should do much for changing the perception of the Cubs being everything from hapless losers to be pitied to a cursed franchise to be ridiculed. I’m tired of it, is all. I want the Cubs to garner some respect. Of course it would be nice if the players would play better, hustle and not admire their long singles.

        • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

          The “us” the other teams would be working with is basically Theo Epstein. Ricketts would probably have to sign off on major deals, but that’s Theo’s problem. Other team’s GMs wouldn’t be affected, so the Cubs’ ability to trade with other teams would depend primarily on those team’s opinions of Theo.

          And as far as other teams being willing to work with Theo: absolutely they would be. This guy is the architect behind two of the more creative and complex trades in recent history (Nomar and Manny). If he can keep other GMs at the table long enough to pull together deals at that level of difficulty, he won’t have any trouble overcoming any lingering skepticism about the Cubs’ ownership that may exist (but probably won’t) in the minds of other teams.

  • die hard

    my take is Ricketts using him to plant story to shake up Red Sox……if this is how Ricketts runs his hedge fund, his clients should consider cashing in and not looking back…

    • Wilbur

      Seriously, just between you and me. I won’t tell a soul. How much did you lose in the market because of Ricketts?

  • Lou

    Cookies again, die hard. If this actually comes to fruition, then the Cubs will have INDEED called the Red Sox bluff. If not, good media spin and good for the Cubs. That being said, I still don’t think that the Red Sox care. Their focus is on their own internal matters.

    • http://Bleachernation Bric

      This cookies thing is really starting to get stupid.

      • Wilbur

        I like chocolate chip …

      • Kansas Cubs Fan

        Alright then Homer how about some donut’s?

        • http://Bleachernation Bric

          Again- please tell me that your use of an apostrophe in the word “donut’s” is jst a grammatical error and not some weird gay internet code for your request.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            I agree on the cookie thing – but we could probably do without the “gay” tag-on. Let’s leave well enough alone.

          • Kansas Cubs Fan

            To Bric,

            Dude get your panties out of a bunch.

             

  • pfk

    The Cubs will have the best front office in history – but due to the fact they had to give most of the players away in compensation, the 2012 season will be played with only 15 players! In fact, other teams will be so upset that their GM was not taken, they will make Bud Selig have the Cubs give them compensation for begin omitted. Hmmmm, lets see…30 teams and each gets 2 players..that’s 60 players the Cubs will have to give up.

    • TWC

      pfk, where you been, kid?  Why so upset?  Life in the Eye-talian countryside getting you down?  Merlot not quite chilled?  Try the Peroni.

      • pfk

        I’ve been on the road alot lately….a week in Bermuda, a week on Martha’s Vineyard, a week in La Jolla, a week in Napa Valley. Now I’m back in Florence, Italy. Tough places to visit huh? I’ve been keeping my mouth shut because I’m so excited about what is happening to the Cubs I can hardly stand it. Superstar owner, superstar front office, new spring training facility, new Dominican Republic facility, paying big time for draft choices, talks with the mayor about the renovation of Wrigley, etc. I’m in shock! That this is REALLY happening blows me away. I hope I never hear the term “Cubbies” again. Its sounds so soft. I want them to be known as being Cub Tough.

        • TWC

          You were in Napa and didn’t give me a call?  What the hell?!  I’m just down the road, baby!

          BTW, you need an assistant?  My passport’s all up to date.

        • Jeff

          I hope you’ve been enjoying your vacation, pfk.  It sounds ridiculous and awesome at the same time while I sit here and study with most of the time that I’m not working.  I’m kind of in the same boat, this is really exciting, and I can’t wait for the press conference to come so we can get to talking about how this team is going to look next year and in the future.  I comment every once in a while, but most of the time I’ve just been reading others opinions and feelings on the whole deal.  I’m not sure how subjective I can be in the whole matter.  In July, I thought nothing was going to change and now we are possibly looking at best case scenario for the Cubs.  I’m starting to wish it would go away and I’ve convinced myself over the last two days that McNutt and Szczur are expendable, when those are two of the guys I thought they should hold onto no matter what beforehand.

  • deej

    I would be happy with Hoyer or Byrnes at GM… Especially if Theo is manning the ship. And if this got leaked to light a fire under the BoSox.. I like that too… And is anyone surprised die hard doesn’t think it….? Go figure…

  • Alex

    Intransigence??

    I’m getting a headache. I gotta go lay down.

  • die hard

    buy the rumor and sell the news……may apply here too…..one mega deal rumor that wont go away is Dempster, Marshall, Barney, Castro and Soriano with couple of minor leaguers to Boston for Crawford, Morales, Tejada, and some minor leaguers

    • Fishin Phil

      Apparently someone has been lacing the cookies with crack.

    • Hawkeye

      die hard, you leave me speechless sometimes…

    • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

      Can you source that rumor? The sheer volume of prospects that would have to come from Boston for that deal to make any kind of sense boggles the mind and makes me strongly suspect this ‘rumor’ is probably coming from some guy badly in need of a designated driver.

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

        The source is one of die hard’s dark overlord voices inside his head

  • Deer

    Take Castro out of that deal and its believable

  • die hard

    Castro balances Tejada is my take

    • TWC

      Balance?  No way, man.  No way.  Tejeda is listed at 170lbs.  Castro is 190.  You’re gonna have to throw in some peanuts AND some Cracker Jack to get those to balance.  Maybe even an Old Style, too.

    • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

      I assume you mean Oscar Tejada.

      Tejeda had an OPS of .639 in the Eastern League (Double A).
      Castro had an OPS of .773 in the National League.

      I’m curious what you are looking at when you say Castro is balancing Tejada.

  • die hard

    deal makes sense considering dumping salaries of Soriano and Dempster while taking chance Crawford reverts to old form

    • jfish1219

      Please put the pipe down and step away…this is just outlandish.

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

    Alright BN community it’s time to completely ignore the irrational posts of die hard. The cookie comments only made it stronger and it’s obvious its only purpose is to troll around, say insane things, and distract us from maintaining BN as the best community in the Cubs-blogverse.

    So I urge everyone to ignore the Pink Elephant Troll that keeps appearing. We have a great thing here at BN, a community of intelligent thoughtful posters and die hard was an amusing distraction for a while but now it’s just flat out annoying and we must stop feeding it.

    Remember die hard was the poster that was offended by the beautiful ladies of the she-view only to return as this incomprehensible troll that has amused and distracted us during this Theo poker game. PLEASE IGNORE DIE HARD COMPLETELY!

    • hansman1982

      just came up with a new cookie idea – I call it the Theonater

      Ingredients: A peanut butter cookie, a sugar cookie, a chocolate chip cookie, an entire tub of cool quip and a bottle of hershey’s syrup.

      Peanut butter cookie on the bottom and dribble a little syrup on it and half the tub of cool quip then more chocolate syrup.
      Dunk the sugar cookie in the syrup and place on top. Use the other half of tub of cool quip with syrup on top of that and the chocolate cookie on top of all of that.
      Slather in deep frying batter, deep fry. Enjoy!

      • Wilbur

        entire tub of cool quip

        Freudian slip or finger didn’t make it all the way to the next key on the right …

    • http://Bleachernation Bric

      Agreed. And I’m not even sure this is the same guy. Whatever happened to his Cubs skull avatar? And as far as this being an intelligent website, this “cookies” thing is starting to sound like code for some homo-erotic internet meeting place that is ruining a once great Nation. Ace, please use your right to invoke Habbeus Corpus (or whatever other legal stance you can think of) to preserve the union.

      Update: Nevermind- the avatar’s there- it’s the same guy.

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

        Yup the cookie thing has run its course and now is being over used and nearing the absurd

      • King

        I think the cookie thing is kind of dumb, but why all the homophobia? That will ruin a community quicker than some dumb inside joke.

  • TWC

    mmmm… pink elephants:

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

      My favorite

      • Rancelot

        I prefer St. Bernardus Abt 12, but DT is quite delicious!

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

          Another quality brew

  • http://TheoWaiting Cheryl

    Does this circus have more than two rings – San Diego and Boston? Ricketts sounds like he may be prepared to go elsewhere if Boston doesn’t budge. Good for him! I think we have one smart owner!

  • hansman1982

    removed

  • EQ76

    I’m not sure the Cubs would even be willing to let Demp go.. we have virtually zero pitching and need all we can get… it’s hard to imagine that Die Hard is sober right now.. no way does Castro go unless we get a name like Elsbury or Lester back…  now if it was Soriano & Barney for Crawford?  I’d make that deal in a heartbeat.

    • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

      Not sure why Boston would want Barney, but a deal built around Soriano for Crawford might have legs. Depending on who else was involved, I’d do it.

      I’d also do something built around Zambrano for Lackey. There would need to be other parts added, but that would be the meat of the deal.

      I could understand Dempster opting to leave via free agency, but if he decides to stay I can’t see the Cubs moving him before the season. In a July deal to a contender, perhaps, but not before the start of the season. I think the Cubs will be fine on starting pitching depth next season, but it is hard to go wrong keeping a solid veteran like Dempster around, just in case.

  • ACS

    Get rid of sorry who will Q have to hit the bomb and stop kids from playing.

  • die hard

    When the facts are on your side, pound the facts. When the law is on your side, pound the law. When neither is on you side, pound the table…MG, go easy or you will break your hand

    • TWC

      MG’s just pounding beers.

      • Jeff

        ……….and when neither is on your side and there is no table around,  pull random stuff out of the air, and then pull as many facts from wikipedia and urban dictionary as you can to back it up, then proceed to insult anyone who disagrees.

  • curt

    brett please explain 2 me why the redsox are entitled 2 any compensation at all if they wanted to keep theo then extend him or tell us no we cant talk 2 him, if its a pres /promotion why do we give these bums bumpkus, just asking

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Because he is under contract for one more year. If the Cubs wanted Matt Cain, they would have to give the Giants compensation to take him. Basically the same deal.

      • Toosh

        Precedent has been set for non-lateral moves. Minimal, or no, compensation. Ricketts should Boston “Thanks, but no thanks”.

      • Cubs Realist

        Brett I am surprised at you, Theo is nothing like getting Cain or any player, an executive and player are completely not the same deal and have never been in the history of baseball. Precedent on executives is minimal compensation, we would trade McNutt and Jackson in a heartbeat for Matt Cain but what is your point?

        Curt you are right on! Its a promotion, and precedent on a promotion is no compensation, this is not like getting Matt Cain or a player at all.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          I think you missed the point. I’m not comparing Theo to Cain – I was making the VERY simple and limited point: if a guy is under contract and you want him, you have to trade for him. If the other team wants to allow you to have him for free because you’re offering a promotion, that’s a courtesy other teams frequently extend. But it’s not required.

          I picked Cain because he’s the first guy I knew off the top of my head who is a free agent after 2012. Come on, now. Give me a little credit.

  • Mike

    Brett I understand where you are coming from and the Red Sox can go even more off the wall. It’s hard to imagine how much worse it can go in terms of nuclear especially with the Cubs starting to leak, but here’s a little taste just in from WEEI:

    “According to a report from WHDH.com, Josh Beckett, Jon Lester and John Lackey drank beer in the Red Sox dugout several times during games last season.

    “Beckett would come down the stairs from the dugout, walking through the corridor to the clubhouse and say ‘it’s about that time’”, a Sox employee told WHDH. “Beckett was the instigator but Lester and Lackey were right behind him. It was blatant and hard not to notice what was going on with all three guys leaving at once.”

    This thing is such a circus and freaking disaster not only for Boston but baseball, that it’s really obvious they have to change the subject. Theo to the Cubs, Boston and Cubs new managers, WS are good to take the subject of Boston Pond scum scandal out of the dialogue. Boston is not as much nuclear as a melt down and now at some point someone has to contain this or it becomes the cliché integrity of the game. I think if Boston doesn’t change the subject and contain this within the next 24 hours, the Grand Ostrich will start to get nervous. Bluntly no matter how off the wall and vicious the ownership is, at some point very soon, they will have to change the subject and punishing the Cubs and Theo is not helping them with their fan base. Their strategy and not putting all of this behind them, not Theo, not the Cubs is really damaging this organization.

    But yes, the positions could be so insane as to force Theo to sit, but I really believe Kaplan is right and you have to bring this to head. Good moves by Ricketts to foreshadow with harmless leaks and reminders and start adding to the problems for ownership. If Boston wants to make a point you’re correct they can, but I don’t think anything can impact that if they are determined to do something that irrational other than the Grand ostrich himself. But the sooner you know whether you’re going to have Theo in 2012 the better. And in fact, we have to confront the fact, why are we paying for an asset that Boston is in the process of destroying by not getting this behind them. If you have players drinking in the dugout, there’s a lack of institutional control. Hard to argue you should back up the truck to the Cubs farm system when this garbage is coming fast and furious and you’re allowing this to occur and damage Theo. Boston is becoming a Harvard Case study in how not to run an organization and manage a crisis. In short they are quickly becoming a joke. And i firmly believe as long as the Cubs are interested buyer, but not married to Theo they can end this at any time they please and win in both the short and long run.

  • http://TheoWaiting Cheryl

    Well, at this point I don’t see anything happening until after the World Series. The Grand ostrich will concentrate on that for now.

  • die hard

    why would we want to pursue a GM who allowed players to drink during game?…He shouldve been fired!!!….what if same was true with Cubs?….Ricketts wouldve canned Hendry and Quade,,,,and not have to pay them for violating contract…at least wouldve been arguable violated clauses on best interest of game etc….as for mega deal proposed by me….was similar musing on sports radio about which players first to go from both teams….connecting dots was easy…if going to trade, go big or not at all…and by the way, havent heard any better mega trade ideas yet and lord knows our team needs a huge makeover and fast if to field a major league team this year….whats wikipedia, a centipede?…urban dictionary sounds like street slang for know it all…and I certainly dont know it all…only some…

    • Toosh

      Epstein should bring those pitchers along. As well as anyone else that knew about it.

  • die hard

    If anyone thinks Castro is the next Jeter and thus the cant trade franchise player, then you have not been watching many Cub games……hes the best trade bait we have and we should do it now before anyone else pays attention…hes reached his ceiling and can only go down from here…Tejada has more upside

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      When Derek Jeter was 21, he was playing mostly in the minors, and hitting .250/.294/.375 in 15 games in the bigs with a .962 fielding percentage. Castro was leading the NL in hits, playing a full season – his second – and had a .961 fielding percentage. I’m not saying Castro is the next Jeter, but to dismiss it out of hand based on Castro’s career thus far belies historical fact.

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

        Don’t encourage it

      • JulioZuleta

        Agreed. It’s a joke. I have hereby retired the short-lived alter ego of “die hard 2, the airplane one, somtimes known as die harder”

        There is no way he believes this. No 21 year old stud has reached his ceiling.

  • LouCub

    Oh and Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle never drank during a game??/ I’d wager half the guys we idolized growing up ove rthe last 30 years partook and we just didn’t know about it…I’m with you Toosh, i’d take Lester and Beckett anyday!!! I’d drink heavily too and take mood altering drugs if I had to play for a douchebag like Larry Lucchino and an uptight wuss like John Henry…

  • ACS

    First off if the cubs want to win I would take matt cain over theo epstien and sign the tickett the prince and the king and young kids and it doesnt matter whos coaching it could be Brenly and eddie murphy.

  • die hard

    Brett, thats my point…Castro cant get much better….Corey Peterson syndrome

    • Poppypants Mcgee

      Corey Patterson syndrome? the only other player that has that syndrome is Eric Patterson. Castro is becoming the face of the cubs and is a budding superstar. But no, lets do whatever you wanna do.

    • T C

      Ok, I’ll bite, because this is on a whole different level of not understanding baseball here.

      die hard, if you watch the games as much as you claim, you will notice some very obvious things about Starlin Castro: he has tremendous range and a cannon with little accuracy. he has great contact skills and is able to drive pitches in the zone, but has simply horrendous plate discipline.

      Let’s first examine his ability to improve on defense: One of the main digs against Starlin is his lackadaisical approach to routine plays. If this is the case, simply focusing more will make him a better fielder, then of course he can improve. And his range will allow him to get to many more balls than the average shortstop, which will help him get better. Lets say you don’t believe any of that. Look at his arm. Surely, you’ve noticed he’s got a gun hanging off his right shoulder. Kid can fire the ball. But he doesnt know where its going all that often. This is something that can easily be taught. I just don’t see how he wouldn’t get better in the field.
      Now, his bat. Starlin had 10 homers this year to go with a .307 avg. But lets not worry about stats. Just going by the eye test, surely you’d have to agree to the fact that Starlin can make contact with damn near everything. (if you fancy stats, he makes contact with ~75% of pitches out of the zone, and ~93% of those in the zone. Absurd.) His problem is that he swings at a fucking shitload of pitches outside the zone. (pardon the language, but seriously, its the only appropriate measurement) die hard, I also assume you’ve noticed that Castro can pound the ball when it is in the zone, hitting a ton of liners, and 10 HR aint too shabby for a shortstop. Plate discipline is absolutely something a young hitter can improve upon, and if he were to lay off the non-strikes, he’s going to be seeing a TON more pitches in the zone. And he pounds balls in the zone. Just working a good count would massively improve his ability as a baseball player.

      He’s also only 21, but he’s 6-0 190 lbs, so he has a ton of room to add muscle. So, if he were to get stronger, and start seeing more strikes, his room for improvement is immense, and I just simply do not understand how anyone would think he has little ceiling left. He might not be a superstar, sure, but he can absolutely be a very good player for a decade to come.

      (Also, on the Derek Jeter comparison, I think you might be surprised by how UNFUCKINGBELIEVABLY AWFUL he was/is as a defensive shortstop. He’s been brutal his entire career, so if that’s where Starlin’s aiming (on defense, anyway), he’s already there and is only going to get better. the biggest difference between the two, really, is Castro’s inability to take a walk. If he were to boost his OBP by about .040 pts, the power would follow, and he’d be a superstar. without a doubt)

      • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

        If you take a look at Castro’s stats, he may have turned the plate discipline corner already. Small sample size skepticism applies, but look at his numbers in Sept compared to the rest of the season. Walks are up, OBP is up, strike outs are down, SLG stayed right in there with his season average.

        I want to see more of that before I buy into the idea that Castro has become a patient, disciplined hitter as well as an obscenely talented one, but I seem to remember the Cub broadcasters commenting on his unusual willingness to take a pitch late in the season. This kid might have taken a big step forward.

        Now, about that defense. If I were the Cubs front office, I would send Pierre LePage (2nd baseman for Peoria) to work with Castro this offseason. LePage is all of 5’8″. Maybe. Let’s just say he’s a small 5’8″. I figure if Castro can learn to make accurate throws to LePage (who we would have play at both first and second for these exercises), then he can probably make accurate throws to just about any 6′+ first baseman in the league. And for LePage, after spending a winter corralling Castro’s throws, he’ll probably have mastered the greatest defensive challenge in his career and will be primed to become a Gold Glove infielder.

        Maybe the Cubs could have Matt Cerda attend those practices as well.

    • jfish1219

      Die Hard once again put the crack pipe down and step away from your keyboard

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