This is in no way intended to upstage a World Series in which the Cardinals are leading 1-0…

  • Today was, perhaps, the most frustrating in the entire Theo Epstein saga. It started off well enough, with multiple reports that the compensation deal for Theo would be completed today (primarily originating with Bruce Levine and Dave Kaplan), and he would be announced as the Cubs’ President of Baseball Operations tomorrow. Moreover, Jed Hoyer would be joining Epstein as the Cubs’ new GM. Squeal Watch was as close to a full-on squeal as its yet been (I even prepared the post). And then all hell broke loose. I spent the entire day tracking rumors, counter-rumors, reports, thoughts, speculation, and utter bullshit.
  • Multiple Boston sources got chippy when their Chicago counterparts reported that the deal was done this morning. They’d heard no such thing from Red Sox sources, and one even went so far as to say there remained a “fundamental divide” between the two sides on compensation. Red Sox owner John Henry said the two sides were “not close.” Paul Sullivan went so far as to suggest that Henry was affirmatively upset by the “premature” reports, and postulated that the Red Sox might try to “punish” the Cubs for the reports.
  • So where do things stand now? The deal could still be done today or early tomorrow, and then announced tomorrow. Gordon Edes says the deal has been pretty much completed, but the Red Sox still have to review the medical information of the prospects involved. Nick Cafardo, who’s become quite the mouthpiece for the Red Sox, says both sides are still “dug in” over compensation.
  • I asked Dave Kaplan what changed between his original report and the revelation that the Sox weren’t quite yet on board, and he called the turnabout “last minute posturing,” but no reason for concern.
  • Bruce Levine stands by his original report that a deal will get done, but is no longer convinced a press conference will happen tomorrow. If the deal is finalized, though, Levine says the Cubs and Sox have permission from MLB to announce the deal. In a radio interview mid-day, Levine made it pretty clear that he believes the problem lies with the Red Sox, who he says aren’t acting reasonably or professionally. Call it confirmation bias, but I believe him. (I mean, heck, just look at how smoothly the Cubs’ apparent discussions are going with the Padres with respect to Jed Hoyer – a guy who would be coming over in a lateral move.)
  • As I suggested earlier today in various places, including Facebook and Twitter (eh hem), it remains possible that the Red Sox are denying the reports publicly because MLB didn’t want the news to leak today, a World Series game day. We never heard official word from the Cubs, so it’s possible they would have said the same.
  • Speaking of MLB, on the radio today, Bud Selig apparently conceded that he may have to get involved to get the deal done. “It is a possibility. No question, it is a possibility.”
  • As for compensation, no one yet seems to know whom the Red Sox are getting. Bruce Levine still says Brett Jackson, Matt Szczur and Trey McNutt are off the table, but Dave Kaplan says only Jackson is off the table.
  • The good news is that no one is backing off the report that Jed Hoyer will be the Cubs’ new GM. Even better, it looks like scouting/drafting guru Jason McLeod – another former Epstein underling – will be coming to the Cubs with Hoyer.
  • Most sources still believe that the Padres will not require compensation for Hoyer’s (and McLeod’s) hire, but at least one report, from CBSSports, says the Padres will receive “one or two low level minor leaguers” for Hoyer and McLeod. It seemed a bit generous that the Cubs would get both for nothing, so we’ll see what happens.
  • The only teeny, tiny disconcerting part of the prospective Hoyer hire is a report by Bruce Levine that Epstein originally preferred Josh Byrnes to be his GM, and Byrnes declined. Thereafter, Epstein turned to Hoyer, who didn’t immediately jump on the opportunity. Instead, he asked for a five-year extension from the Padres, who said it wouldn’t happen, and gently encouraged him to move on to the Cubs. Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled to get Hoyer. But, I guess there’s a part of me that wishes he was jumping and screaming (squealing?) at the prospect of joining the Chicago Cubs as GM, rather than seeing it as something of an excellent back-up plan.
  • Then again, I’m not so sure I can blame him. Have you ever been to San Diego? There’s a reason people go there and never come back – it’s the best city in the USA, hands down. Chicago is a close second, naturally.
  • KB

    Castro can’t hit enough to be a RFer on a championship-calibre team. His value lies in his being able to play a position at the tough side of the defensive spectrum, SS.
    A good-hitting/mediocre fielding SS is basically what Derek Jeter is, so it’d be crazy to screw with Castro’s positioning. Castro had a 111 OPS+ last year, at age 21.
    It took Jeter until he was 24 to put up that high of an OPS+, so I’d say that Castro is on the right track.

    • Joe Cartwright

      Where’d that come from?

      • Joe Cartwright

        Nevermind. Second commenting page. Duh.

        • Fishin Phil

          That is my only complaint about the site.  I don’t like going to the last page unless I ask to go to the last page.  I prefer to start at the beginning.

          • CubFan Paul

            theres been a purple pop up ad thats been harassing me lately, i forget what its for..

            • Fishin Phil

              It’s some survey thing.  I understand Brett has to feed the baby, so I’m OK with that.

              • juliozuleta

                Doesnt bother me at all, wouldn’t bother me if he filled up the white area to the left either

            • Brett

              It’s a survey thing – they come only every now and again, but they come in spurts when they do come. Unfortunately, I don’t have any control over it unless I remove all of the ads – which, like, I can’t. Thanks for putting up with it.

          • Brett

            Having multiple pages is a relatively recent phenomenon – we never used to have enough comments to pass the threshold. I view comments on the back-end, so it’s a bit different for me – are you say that, when you click on “comments,” it takes you to page 2, rather than page 1 of the comments, and you’d prefer it took you to page 1?

            If so, and you want to go to the beginning of the comments instead of page two, click on the article title, rather than the “comments” link.

            If I’m totally missing your point, just let me know.

            • Fishin Phil

              Brett, even if I click on the article title it takes me to the second page of comments.  I’d like something like the message board: if you click on the title, you start at the beginning; if you click on the button to the left of the title it takes you to the last comment you read.


              Not a big deal, just a minor annoyance.

              • Brett

                Now I understand. Ok, hmm. That is a default setting that I can change – I can make it so it defaults to the first page of comments instead of the last. That seems to make more sense than what it is now. I think I’ll change it, until someone like you complains, and then I’ll change it back. I flap in the breeze.

                (as for the sending you to the last one you read, that’s not a function I can implement at this time on the blog … sorry)

                • Fishin Phil

                  No problem.

                  I like it this way better, but if others want to change I’ll go along with it if I get an unreasonable amount of compensation.


                  John Henry

                • Hawkeye


                   Only one issue with the change.   I used to be able to click on the name hyperlink from the front page if I wanted to see somebodies entire comment.  Now it seems to just take me to the article you wrote, as opposed to the posting?   Am I the only one noticing this change since Brett made the adjustment?

                  Update:  It actually appears that if the comment that I click on happens to be on the “second page” of posts, I can go write to it.   If the comment I go to is on the first page of the postings, it just takes me to the top of the page, and not the post.   Again, this could be a browser problem on my end.

                  • Fishin Phil

                    You are right Hawkeye.  Of course previously if you clicked on that same hyperlink it took you to the second page of comments regardless of where the comment was. 

                    OK , put it back and send me 3 of your top 5 prospects.

                    • Hawkeye

                      Well since I am in Iowa, you can have three of the all-time top I-Cubs prospects.   I will be sending Scales, Cedeno, and Hoffpauir.

                    • TWC

                      That’s the thing that’s frustrating with the way the comments are arranged. There seems to be no logic to where the page 1/page 2 split happens. Sometimes we have 50-ish comments per page, sometimes there can be 70. If you clck on a “recent comment” that happens to be on the first page, you end up at the top of the second page of comments, but if the comment is on the second page, you’re directed right to it. It just seems like it should always send you to the comment you clicked on, no?

                    • Brett

                      Now I see – if the comment is on the first page, it sends you to that one (if first page is set as the default), but if it’s on the second page, it doesn’t (because first page is set to the default). This is a limitation of the current iteration of the site. I can have it the way it was, but the default will be the most recent page of comments, or I can have it like this, but it f’s up when you click on the person’s name. I’m changing it back – that way, the only goof will be if you click on someone’s name when they’ve commented on another comment on the first page of a post with at least two pages of comments. Best I can do right now.

                      As for the way it splits comments among pages, it isn’t logic-less – it puts 30 first-level comments per page. That means there could be a total of 50 or 100 comments on a page, if a number of them are threaded. 30 is the default, and I think it works pretty well – much more, and the pages get overwhelming, and much less, and there are too many pages.

                    • TWC

                      After I wrote what I did, it occurred to me that the page split may indeed happen after a certain number of top-level comments.  Thanks for confirming.

                      And, honestly, my “frustration” over clicking twice and scrolling down, as opposed to clicking once, shouldn’t be something that you worry about.  This place has been pretty darn successful as it is.

                    • Brett

                      Thanks, but you know how I am – I want things to be seamless for everyone, and I can totally understand that it would be annoying. Hopefully with the current setup, it won’t happen too frequently. I always appreciate the head’s ups – and the understanding when I can’t do much about it.

                  • Brett

                    I’m not seeing that issue – when I click on someone’s name, it takes me to that person’s comment, regardless of what page it’s on. When you click on the person’s name, look up at the URL – does it have “commentXXXX” at the end of the URL? That’s what takes you to that specific comment, and it’s working fine for me.

  • ACS

    Even though in the case of Prince you robbing from one of your foes you should become stronger and leave a large part of their lineup to be close 280 lbs. of it. Or in the case for D.Lee you allow him and Lahair to platoon.

  • ACS

    Is Barney a starting second baseman or utility infielder? I agree Castros value is at shortstop if he can make the routine plays.

    • Frat Rat

      Barney is utility at best, imho

  • Mike

    Fascinating thing. Chicago writers, CSN and ESPN Chicago peg as close, near complete, almost done, done, and generally agree it awaits medical reviews. Seems consistent story Henry is upset that the leaked info is public apparently. I guess it would be interesting to know who the Chicago suspect of leaks is. Edes ESPN Boston, well respected is pretty similar to Levine, except more definitive, SD part done and Theo waiting for medicals and Boston to sign off.

    Here’s what is so fascinating, both the Herald and Globe seems of be indicating all of what I said is a fabrication from the cub’s side. The two sides they contend are far apart and there is no deal in sight. In fact Boston is in their sources words not agreed to anything or close with a fundamental disagreement on the quality and quantity of prospects.

    All of which brings me to Selig, me personally I wouldn’t want him arbitrating. He’s a squirrel in my view and squirrels always do nutty things. I would think if this going to get done without a lot more drama and this isn’t someone in the cubs current front office playing some kind of game, it should be just more last minute posturing to up the ante and make one last attempt to jack things up to get the last drop of blood but pond scum people in the Red Sox organization. If that’s the case, I think if the medicals are fine as rumored this ends quickly tomorrow. But if the most recent rumors are true, and Boston is still asking for ridiculous compensation, then someone is lying to some pretty prominent media and we can all fill in the blanks as to who in the cubs organization is most likely threatened. That would set off more problems that one, not the least of which is the prospect of Selig mediating this thing and I would think, that could end very badly for the Cubs. This could be an elaborate staging to rape the Cub organization by Boston, these are really nasty people. I would agree with Brett’s earlier assessment in that it’s one thing when CSN reports it CSNNE, but when both ESPN market outlets and respected writers are getting it, then it’s something to keep an eye on.

  • Oswego Chris

    At least it was nice to see Tony and his 1979 glasses over manage in the 9th last night and bring in Arthur Rhodes to throw a cookie fastball to Josh Hamilton….

    I am torn, I usually root for the NL but my hatred for Tony has me changing my stance…..

    I blame him for ruining baseball with the 6 or 7 pitchers that he uses each game




    • MichiganGoat

      You can’t be torn, it’s the f’in Cardinals. Last night was awesome eventhough Feliz had to channel his inner Marmol and ould barely throw a strike.

      • Fishin Phil

        Agreed, it is no contest.  I have to pull for the Rangers.

      • Internet Random

        Ultimately, I’m for the Rangers… but it hurts like hell to pull for them whenever I see GWB’s goofy face in the stands… and that whole DH thing makes me physically ill.

        I really, really wish that they could both lose.  I guess the best thing to hope for is that the Rangers barely win on a kicked call, leaving them knowing that they didn’t deserve it, and leaving the Cardinals feeling like they’ve been cheated… so that we can listen to them bitch and moan about that for a few years.

        • hardtop

          I’m with you on this. I’m usually not a fan of Texas, not the ball club, the State and everything in (save Austin). But in this case, I’m all for the Rangers.
          (6) not so quality reasons I’m pulling for the Rangers:
          1. their manager seems cool. maybe a bit of a doofus, but a fun guy to watch, tells it like it is, and his team loves him.
          2. I doubt Nolan Ryan and I could carry on a conversation about anything other than baseball, but I respect the shit out of him as a player.
          3. they appear to have some stand up dudes on the team. Josh Hamilton maybe takes it too far, but his story is still pretty endearing to me.
          4. Texas BBQ is way better than Missouri BBQ.
          5. Getting there 2 years in a row is a hard thing to do. I would like to see that accomplishment be rewarded.
          6. they are not the fucking cardinals!

  • Joe Cartwright

    “Red Sox might try to “punish” the Cubs for the reports.” ….. Because getting petty over compensation for promoting your GM (Goodbye “club standards”) and forcing the talks to take over a week isn’t a punishment. ……. Right…… Anyway, goodbye Boston! If you ever need anything else, I hate you. Oh, and there’s no way we’d want to distract anyone from the incredibly interesting and amazing World Series that the f”cking Cardinals are in.

    • Fishin Phil

      The Red Sox brass has finally realized a life long dream:  they have surpassed the Yankees in douchebaggery.

      • mac

        couldn’t agree more!

    • Raymond Robert Koenig

      I echo the hatred for the f—ing Cardinals.

      • Brett

        So is Toosh officially dead?

  • Mike

    Just seems to me, there is that element and the Red Sox have personalized this. I think they have added an element to this that is very bad. And were it just we want McNutt to justify giving up Theo, this would be done. I believe they want this to hurt and have some sort of strategy to make it hurt. Look at this realistically, it’s everywhere that Hoyer is done and SD isn’t contradicting that. So the idea, 10 days in into this or more, at the 11 th hour they appear depending on who we believe to being on the verge of handing this Selig to arbitrate is very bad news.

    Depending on how this turns out today, someone in Chicago other than Ricketts has been leaking, and that person likely has bad intentions. More important is who is leaking to Edes. If indeed Edes is correct and getting it from Boston, maybe we are worried about nothing.

  • LouCub

    Why would the MLB grant permission to the Cubs and Red Sox to hold a press confernce on Friday if the deal wasn’t immenent ??? They would be in the know as well… John Henry and Larry Lucchino are assholes..The Cubs are giving Theo a HUGE promotion with total control, something that will never happen in Boston and they’re punishing him and the Cubs for it??? Why is that a problem with them?? You can’t blame Theo and Tito for wanting out of there, those guys got some real issues..Enough is enough already..If Theo couldn’t stand Lucchino before I wonder what he’s thinking of him and Mr Henry right about now??

  • Fishin Phil

    Cubs could go ahead and call a presser just to announce Hoyer.  I bet that would piss the Sawx off.

    • Brett

      Well, the problem is Hoyer is to be “interviewed” and “hired” by Theo.

  • jt

    was just reading this….

    Apparently it’s thought that Crane Kenney is the one running his mouth. If true, I hope it’s the death knell for any involvement Crane has on the baseball side of things.

  • LouCub

    Mike, why would someone leaking on the cubs part have bad intentions??? Everyone outside of Sean McAdam and Nick Cafardo have said this deal is done pending physicals..The mlb would not have gone out of their way to grant permission to the teams if a deal wasn’t immement..The RedSoxhave turned into one big contradiction all offseason, everything is secretive and downright despicable..Mr Ricketts has been on the up and up and gets this kind of treatment..Fuck them!!! Gordon Edes and Peter Abraham have all but said the same that it’s done, they just want us to squirm

  • http://TheoWaiting Cheryl

    Ricketts still has the ability to pull out of this thing if it goes further south. It would hurt Boston more than it woud hurt the cubs. Maybe he needs to steo back and take another look at the whole thing. Also, if the person doing the leaking, other than Ricketts and is who is suspected of doing it, I imagine he’ll be let go soon.

  • Mike

    The answer is it could be one party the Cubs asking for permission and as a blanket courtesy, they gave both permission to do it on an off day. Kaplan unintentionally likely revealed his source yesterday in a WEEI interview. Apparently the Boston hang up is this is being negotiated by Crane Kenney and Larry Lucchino. Kenny may be the problem here and is the leaker in Chicago. From accounts places Kenny is the one negotiating this not Ricketts.

    And clearly someone is misleading the press and media. There are two polar opposite takes on a current event. Could they merge quickly and end suddenly, lets hope so.

  • Mike

    absolutely he could name Hoyer and tell Boston to kiss his ass. Honestly I would go ahead today and name Hoyer and McLeod and tell the Red Sox to kiss my ass and pay Theo for a year and his exit bonus and give them nothing, absolutely nothing accept his last best offer and a noon deadline today.

    They if the boston print media and their source either Lucchino or Cherington, possibly Henry have personalized this. When dealing block heads, sometimes a 2 X 4 does more than talk.

  • LouCub

    There is no way Crane Kenney is leading this, that’s bull from Gordon Shittenmeyer’s column the other day or it’s an intentional leak from the BoSox to make it look like the Cubs are fumbling the ball and to blame…This is Tom Ricketts, Randy Bush, Tim Wilken and Oneri Fleita NOT Crane…

  • Dave

    This was reported by Levine. Think this might be an issue later on?
    In an email to late Wednesday night, though, Moorad said that the Cubs had not asked for official permission to interview Hoyer.

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