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The Rangers pulled out a big win last night, coming back in the 9th inning to even the World Series at 1-1 with the Cardinals. Today’s an off-day, on which we could finally hear about the Theo Epstein deal (though we’re still very much in waiting mode)…

  • Cubs’ Manager Mike Quade is still waiting to hear about his future – he hasn’t heard from anyone in the Cubs’ front office since the season ended, which he understands. Quade hopes to have a chance to talk to his new boss about next season, and has a chance to stick around. But, despite his previous optimism, he’s finally acknowledging there’s a chance he’ll be dismissed. “Once it happens, you look forward to the opportunity to talk to the new boss and see where we’re going with this,” Quade said. “I could have all the ideas in the world, and the new GM could say we’re going in a different direction.”
  • The same article notes that Quade and hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo aren’t the only coaches under contract for next season – bench coach Pat Listach and bullpen coach Lester Strode are also signed through next season. While most coaches will be turned over when the new manager comes in, you do hope that at least a couple coaches stick around – primarily because you need to preserve some institutional memory in the clubhouse, and relationships between the players and coaching staff. Coaches who’ve been around for a few years can help bridge that gap between the players and the new manager.
  • Speaking of the new manager, for those hoping Ryne Sandberg will get a look (and there’s still no indication that Theo Epstein is going to pursue Sandberg), it looks like he won’t have a spot on the Phillies’ bench, as previously expected. Odds are good, then, that he’ll wind up in a big league bench job somewhere else next year, assuming he doesn’t get a managerial gig.
  • On possible free agent target, Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish, MLBTradeRumors’ Tim Dierkes talked to an agent who told him he expects Darvish’s posting fee to reach $50 million (which is where Daisuke Matsuzaka’s posting fee went), and then his contract to reach $75 million (over just five years) on top of that. Obviously that goes far beyond the bounds of what I’d be willing to risk on player with a ton of mileage on his arm switching continents, but you have to consider the source: agents tend to pump up the volume of expected contracts. It’s kind of their job. If the posting fee tops $30 million, I’ll be shocked.
  • Poor Marlon Byrd. He left the Phillies just before they became a powerhouse. And then he left the Rangers just before they became a powerhouse. Now he’s spent the last two years on crappy Cubs teams, and is set to leave just before the Cubs become a powerhouse in 2013 and beyond (sorry, homer alert). He writes about what it takes to make a winner, speaking of a “culture change” at the top, and it’s pretty clear what he’s talking about. It’s a shame that Byrd is unlikely to be around for much of the Cubs’ culture change, because he’s one of the good ones.
  • Bryan LaHair is still destroying universes. This, the Venezuelan Winter League universe. He’s leading the league with an obscene 1.526 OPS, and six homers in just seven games. In case you’re wondering, the offensive numbers in the VWL tend to be a little closer to “normal” than the skewed-high numbers from the Arizona Fall League. It varies year to year, though, based on the pitching quality, so it may take some time to determine just how impressive LaHair’s numbers are.
  • The Astros’ sale – and commensurate move to the American League – is getting simultaneously ugly and productive (some of the reports read like a Theo Epstein compensation fight). On the productive side, prospective new owner Jim Crane has reportedly agreed to move the Astros to the AL if he’s compensated to the tune of $50 million for the move. On a $680 million purchase price, that compensation request is not terribly unreasonable, given the reduced television value of a Texas team playing a number of Pacific Time Zone games. On the ugly side, there’s a bit of a fight about where that $50 million will come from. Will current Astros owner Drayton McLane discount the purchase price? Will MLB chip in? Indeed, Crane may be using the discussion as an opportunity to try and get $50 million from MLB, and get McLane to reduce the purchase price. For its own part, there are reports that MLB has been using charges that Crane is a racist, sexist, war profiteer as leverage in its discussions with Crane about moving the Astros to the AL. Like I said: ugly.
  • What happens to Hohokam Park when the Cubs take to their new Spring Training facility in 2014? Well, that’s being decided right now. Other teams are checking it out, and the city is considering making it a big soccer facility.
  • http://justinjabs.com/blog Justin Jabs

    Wouldn’t we have heard by now if there was going to be an announcement today?

    My guess is we’ll be waiting until Tuesday…

  • http://www.frenchrocks.net Ian Afterbirth

    What’s ugly about racism, sexism, and war profiteering?

    Oh, sex-IST…….

  • Fishin Phil

    Poor Marlon Byrd.  You know when the same thing happens with three different teams, maybe it is you!

    I like Marlon and all, but I think it is time for him to move on.

  • Raymond Robert Koenig

    What do we take from the fact that Epstein is still doing his job for Boston throughout this process?

    • Fishin Phil

      I take it that he is honoring his contract until his contract is no longer in force.

    • Kansas Cubs Fan

      I bet he’s doing crossword puzzles!

      • Fishin Phil

        Theo is way too high tech for that.  He is currently playing “Words with Friends” with me.  The last word he played was “asshat”.

        • Kansas Cubs Fan

          That or hes reading Moneyball again!

  • http://TheoWaiting Cheryl

    He has no choice. If he doesn’t work than he’s probably on breach of his contract. Am I the only one that is so sick of this circus that I’d just as soon look elsewhere than Boston or even Selig? Go with Hoyer and call it a day.

    • Fishin Phil

      Cheryl, I said the same thing yesterday.

      We have operated without a President of Baseball Operations for years, one more year won’t kill us.

      Let Hoyer run with GM for one year reporting directly to Ricketts.

      Let Boston pay Theo for a year to sit on the beach.

      Tell Boston to stick their compensation up their collective butts.

      • Internet Random

        I’m starting to lean this way too. Just save the budget for Epstein in 2013.

        Don’t get me wrong, I still want Epstein… badly… just not at *any* cost.

      • Larry

        I’ve been thinking that too. Boston has already appointed his successor and have come out and said that they don’t want to pay him to stick around next season. Let them keep Theo for a year, if the compensation packages aren’t to their liking. How much compensation are they entitled to, when they have already announced that they are moving on, that they don’t want him next year? Let them get stuck paying the price tag next year, then he can come and honor his commitment with the Cubs.

        What Boston fails to realize, with this compensation package and all the negative press, is that the only image being hurt is their own. The whole baseball world, except for maybe Peter Gammons, is seeing Boston as the greedy, selfish, spiteful, vindictive people that they are. First they say that they won’t stand Theo’s way if he is getting a promotion, then when it is offered, they run and pout like a group of petulant children. All they care about is getting everything out of the negotiations that they can, while making Theo the scapegoat of a disappointing season. Wasn’t there originally a rumor that they wanted some form of compensation just to let Ricketts talk to Theo in the first place? Their stance is unrealistic, it is remarkable selfish, and it is a stance that they wouldn’t tolerate from anyone else. If the Sox were trying to hire Beane from Oakland and they A’s asked for half of what Boston has demanded from the Cubs, Boston would have cut negotiations right there.

        I say call them on it. Let them pay Theo his 7 million to basically sit on the sidelines and be a lame duck GM, then see how many players and front office personnel, choose destinations other than Boston in the future.

  • Mike

    That’s another problem, clearly if they were to try to walk away, Boston as personal as they have made this would likely try to make the charge of the entire Hoyer leak and blow it into tampering. Brett is correct, they want to have Theo do it, but this whole timing thing of getting that out, whether purposeful or just back ass-words is leaving a lot of loose ends that could come back to haunt them. There’s a part of me, that thinks this is one of several parting shots which include trashing him for Theo from Boston. And there’s still enough out there, that I hope the source is honest, whether I’m skeptical or not and that sometime around noon word of a late-afternoon press conference comes out. We’ll see, but this is one lame chapter in the legacy of Bud Selig.

  • Mike

    We’ll have to see how this all plays out, but if there’s something to be skeptical about and somehow the Cubs were the ones leaking some of this, especially to ESPN, and about Hoyer, then I think you’ll see Ricketts clamp down on the guilty individual and go very quiet until this is finished. It all could be crap that wraps up today, but while I wish we could walk away, there’s absolutely no way, Hoyer and McLeod would be coming without Theo instigating it. Thus the Theo first and he has to interview them. And that is clearly back ass-words and probably tampering. And I don’t for a minute believe Ricketts or anyone of the baseball people would do that for fear of being fired. Hope it’s all innocent and this ends today, but this really bothers me. There’s two distinct media stories here and too much of a gulf.

    • Fishin Phil

      Mike,  I don’t exactly agree with you on that.  SD owner had given Ricketts permission to speak to both Hoyer and Byrnes at the end of the regular season, long before the Epstein saga began.

      • EQ76

        True.. but doesn’t it seem like Rickett’s may have known Epstein was coming to Chicago for him to have talked to Hoyer & Byrnes?  I just have a sneaky suspicion that Ricketts knew he was probably going to get Epstein the whole time.. maybe that’s why he talked to the 2 San Diego guys and why he gave Oneri an extension.. maybe it was all with Epstein’s approval the whole time.

        • Fishin Phil

          That’s why the whole tampering thing is so hard to prove, lots of “maybes” and “perhaps” but no solid evidence.

    • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

      I really see no reason to assume that Epstein tampered on the San Diego hirings at all.

      Remember, Ricketts laid out his comprehensive plan to Epstein when the two interviewed. If one of the parts in that master plan read:
      – Make Theo Epstein President of Baseball Operations
      – Hire an Epstein guy as GM (candidates include Ben Cherington, Jen Hoyer, Josh Byrnes, Brett Taylor, etc.)…
      … and Epstein agreed with Ricketts that all of those are good candidates, then there is no tampering.

      Also, bosses routinely call up similar bosses at other companies and ask questions like “I need a new director of marketing. Who would you recommend?” I am sure that baseball owners call each other up all the time, and call up other GMs as well. If Rickets made one of those calls to Epstein in August when he was starting this search, and if Epstein recommended a few names like Hoyer, then again there is no tampering.

      If Boston wants jack up the amount of compensation they demand from the Cubs over tampering changes (something I regard as slightly less certain than the sun rising), then it will be on Boston to prove it. At this point, I say drop the whole mess in the lap of Bud Selig or just walk away. The Cubs have a GM; they can wait for Epstein.

      Ricketts should make one more call to Boston: Carpenter, Ridling, and Jeffry Antigua. Take it or leave it. If the Red Sox leave it, call Theo, wish him the best, and let him know his office is waiting on him in 2012. And then leak that offer to the Boston press and let the Red Sox front office explain why they turned down the Cubs #2 pitching prospect, a big right handed bat, and good young reliever who could pitch in the majors next season.

      • Pat

        Remember though, Ricketts went on record a couple of months ago stating emphatically that he “did not need a baseball guy to watch his baseball guy” in reference to having a president of baseball ops over the GM.

        That makes it kind of hard to say that his plan all along was to get Theo for president and hire a different GM.

  • Mike

    I’m hearing reports that the ” Chicago cubs will be holding a press conference this Afternoon to welcome there newest memeber, Theo Epstein.”
    it says it’ll be held around 2 or 3 a clock

    • Bleed Cubbie Blue

      Who is the source? I don’t see anything about this.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Source?

    • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

      Hearing from where? I’ve got nothing on this end.

  • Mike

    That’s not what I’m saying, I’m not explaining myself well. It wouldn’t be tampering from the Cubs to San Diego, rather it would be proof of what we all know. Namely that the Cubs are already working with Theo in violation of his contract and that the Cubs are indeed tampering with Theo prior an agreement being reached. It is likely technically tampering. Whether Bud would openly enforce it, if it comes to that, might be another thing. If as ESPN is apparently continuing to stand by, this is close and awaiting the ultimate medical approval it’s not really going to matter. If on the other hand the Boston Herald reports turn out to be true and the gulf is that wide, this could be more of a problem. I’m still hoping it’s ESPN and this is almost over.

    • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

      It would still be extremely tough to verify.

      I’m not saying it hasn’t happened… Ricketts is a Chicago guy after all. He’s got to have some back door dealings and corruption in the process just to represent his home town.

      But without evidence, the allegations won’t affect the compensation or signing process at all. And since Ricketts is a Chicago guy, any evidence that might have existed has no doubt been encased in concrete and sunk to the bottom of Lake Michigan.

    • Kyle

      Boston forfeited the right to a tampering charge when they gave the Cubs permission to speak to Epstein. Technically, that permission is still ongoing or the deal would be dead.

  • die hard

    Listach mgr and Quade bench coach next year as transition and avoid paying them to watch tv next year….Ryne should be brought into front office for one year to help Quade deal with vets…can buy lots of Sushi with $125 mil, so I say no way for overseas pitcher, tho Theo has poor history of dipping toes in those shark infested waters…Byrd could never find a niche cause not consistent power hitter and not fast enough to steal 75 bases….La Hair is AAAA player and has future as a Smokey Burgess supreme PH at best….if Astros looking for GM, we can help there and can take your pick of our left overs.

  • Mike F

    to the other Mike that’s an old story, and they have stepped back a little by saying Boston is now telling espy Boston, that the teams are no where close. Sounds like this going to drag out and be even more protracted. In other words the Chicago sources to both ESPN and CSN may have been either motivated wrongly or ill informed. But the guts of that story are 24 hours old.

    I understand where the thought that it would be difficult to prove comes from, but I don’t know if that’s difficult. Everyone involved would have no reason not to be forthcoming with the commissioner. Only the Cubs would have an issue. Hope it all goes away with, but it’s starting to look like it’s not.

    I just want to clear up I’m not the mike with any sources or knowledge of a press conference or time.

  • Mike

    ESPN is reporting that ” Bud Selig will come in and possibly help resolve the situation”.

  • Joe Cartwright

    Quade: “Yeah, I haven’t heard from the guys in the front office for a while now. I’m not worried though. Remember? Jim said that now was not the time for bold changes.”.

    Reporter: “Hendry was fired months ago.”

    Quade: “Oh, see, why don’t they tell me anything? Well, wait till the new guy hears about my plan to move Cassie to CF. Any idea who it’s going to be?”

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

    The Boston media continues to live into stereotypes.

    Nick Cafardo. Stereotype: Boston Red Sox Shill. This morning:

    The Red Sox have taken such a major public relations hit over the fallout from their September collapse that they can’t afford to get taken on this deal. They could always hold Epstein to the last year on his contract.

    A source close to Epstein said he is prepared for whatever the outcome is. If the sides can’t agree on compensation, he would return to Boston’s front office.

    From the Cubs’ perspective, it would be difficult to sell anyone other than Epstein as their savior after he has been built up so much.

     

    Pete Abraham. Stereotype: Shreds Favorite Sons on the Way Out of Town. This morning:

    You have to hand it to Theo Epstein. He has spent approximately $450 million over the last three seasons without a playoff win to show for it and got the Cubs to give him a five-year deal with $18.5 million. That’s impressive.

    • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

      Boston makes a lot of odd assumptions about Cub fans. We’re used to media proclaimed “saviors” failing miserably. So much so that I strongly suspect that most of us ignore media proclamations of “saviorism”.

      Given the level of outrage that came from a large percentage of Cub fans over the Garza trade, though, I think the Cubs would take more of a hit from the fans if they met Boston’s demands and sold off the cream of the farm system.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Everyone keeps spitting out that damn, lazy “savior” word. We don’t actually think that. We’re not looking for a “savior.” We’re looking for competent leadership.

        • Fishin Phil

          Absolutely right Brett.  Competent would be a big upgrade for us.

          • hansman1982

            what is this “competent” word you guys keep saying…

  • http://TheoWaiting Cheryl

    Just looked up Kaplan to see if anything was new. Says that Theo is officially cleared to work for the Cubs on Friday.

    • King

      Where is this? The last story I can find from Kaplan says the Red Sox are not signing off on the deal.

  • Spencer

    I might be late on this, but just read a report that the Sox originally asked for Castro, and then went to Garza. What a ridiculous organization.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      That’s not negotiating in good faith. I think I’ve decided that I believe the negative reports.

  • http://TheoWaiting Cheryl

    Look under David Kaplan on
    M&M. Also gives Yahoo as a tag. It may have come out late Thursday.

    • CubFan Paul

      ?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I believe that’s his radio interview early yesterday. Things have changed, unfortunately. We’re back to waiting.

  • http://TheoWaiting Cheryl

    I found it by looking at Kaplan Baseball and followed the News section under that.

  • Montelle

    WEEI says this: As far as the compensation goes, is there any word as to what it could end up being?
    It’s not going to be our top prospect Brett Jackson. It’s not going to be Matt Garza. I do not believe it will be anyone of substance off the major league roster. I do believe it will be multiple prospects not just one. I think Trey McNutt will be in the deal although I haven’t confirmed it. And if you get him, he was the No. 48 ranked minor league player in Major League Baseball a year ago.

  • Curt

    One word describes this crap “unbelievable” who the hell do the redsox think they are come on emperor selig send vader on to clean this crap up

    • mac

      yes, please. this story is like a brett favre retirement story…never ending.

  • King

    I am beginning to think, again, that this deal is not going to get done. Now that it has gotten close and the Sox moved the goalposts, I wonder if it is time to start looking at other options. I don’t know if that involves Jed Hoyer or not, but the team needs to move on. Free agency starts, what, five days after the World Series ends this year? There is not enough time to put together a front office and make an organizational plan and a plan to implement it if the Red Sox keep this going much longer.

    • jim

      im in agreement with that…this is BS…tell boston to f-off and lets move on

  • mac

    i bet when this is done part of the agreement is that the cubs will have to commend the red sox for their professionalism or something like that during theo’s presser. some sort of lame attempt for those assbags to save face.

  • http://TheoWaiting Cheryl

    Is Yahoo Sports blog just repeating Kaplan’s ealier interview? They mention that compensation has been agreed to but also mention Thursday night for Kaplan. That’s what made me think it was new.

    • King

      Can you link the story?

    • jim

      thats old news…there doesnt seem to be anything new coming out today that i can find…quite remarkable is it not? NOT

  • http://TheoWaiting Cheryl

    I finally found a time and date on it (about 12:30 p.m. yesterday) and it does now look like old news. It was under the Yahoo Sports Blog’s Big League Stew. It looks now as if they combined two different reports and then added Thursday night which is probably when they put out their own blog.

  • die hard

    If leadership is the criteria why is Ricketts wasting all his time and money?….he could hire a couple of computer programmers at $75,000 a year to do what Theo and Hoyer do…

    • Bails17

      Chicken soup is nice, but not for mice!

  • Hawkeye

    I mentioned before that we don’t want to back away from the table and wait for Theo until next year for a couple of reasons.  First of all, alot can change in a year.   Theo may find some other greener pastures or decide he enjoyed his year off and be done.   He probably doesn’t need the money.

    My questions become what if Theo doesn’t happen this year, do we still move forward with Hoyer?   Was he the guy we wanted for our second choice if we couldn’t get Theo?   I would hate to get on board with Hoyer, then not have things follow through with Theo and be stuck with a GM that wasn’t in our top three in the first place?

    • Lou

      Hoyer’s still a solid guy though. Think of it this way. Josh Byrnes, who could have been candidate #2, is staying in SD. Friedman and Cashman, seemed to have expressed interest in staying in their respective places–so they very likely may not have been interviewed. Hahn is a candidate for the Angels job, a team higher up on the competitiveness list than the current incarnation of the Cubs. If those are the scenarios, and they likely are (in the case of Byrnes and Hahn) or could be (in the case of Friedman and Cashman), Hoyer seems like a solid selection.

  • Lou

    Blog provides an interesting take on the Padres side of things, for those interested. http://www.gaslampball.com/2011/10/21/2504881/padres-fans-are-angry-heres-what-they-should-and-shouldnt-be-angry

    • TWC

      Thanks for the link, Lou.  It’s an interesting read.

      But I gots ta say… that blog makes me awfully happy that Ace has kept things Mom & Pop around here.  Who knows what will happen in the future when SB Nation or Yahoo or whomever comes calling with their dolla-dolla-bills y’all, but for now this place rocks.

      • Lou

        Kinda like ESPN radio infiltrating local markets??? That being said, yeah the Mom and Pop local perspective thing does rock.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Thanks. The hope remains to stay the independent route. It’s a tough go (and I’ve got a bit of a financial timeline (wife says I’ve got at least through 2012 to be pulling in a modest salary (not nearly there yet))), but the freedom and upside are nice.

        • TWC

          Meh, world’s supposed to end on 12/21/2012, right?  Sounds like you’re gonna stay independent right to the end.  Nice to hear.

          The activity around this place over the last couple months — really since about the time that Hendry announced his firing — has been incredible.  Seems like every other post ends up ~100 comments, which is a far cry from where we were at the beginning of this season, and lightyears ahead of last season.  Hope all those new page views turn into BMWs in the driveway for you.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            It’s been a good few months, that’s for sure. But you might be surprised at how many page views it takes to get an Aveo, let alone a Beemer…

            • Hawkeye

              If the wife starts to crack down on you about making an “income”, you just let us know.  I am sure we can pass the hat and buy you some time if needs be.

        • TWC

          Wait a minute… did you say “upside”?

    • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

      From Lou’s link:

      “This is not yet proven and the latest reports are that we will be getting draft picks. If we don’t get compensation, then I call shenanigans.”

      Draft picks? How? Baseball doesn’t allow draft picks to be moved via trades of any kind. I suppose MLB could step in an rule that losing a GM is the same as losing a Type A or Type B free agent and award compensation picks, but I’ve heard nothing to that effect. I’m not sure I’d be comfortable with MLB making that kind of a ruling anyway.

      Or is there an exception to the rules that I’m not aware of that allows draft picks to be swapped in non-player transactions?

      • TWC

        That caught my eye, too, Luke.  I just dismissed it as some other blogger’s incomplete grasp of their craft.

        • Lou

          Yeah, in another SB Nation blog, I believe by Tim Sullivan, he says that one of the challenges for the Angels is that Friedman is still under contract. If the Rays are doing the year-to-year contract deal with Friedman, how is he still under contract? One has to indeed wondering about the craft of these SB Nation bloggers.

      • Jim

        Actually, that would be a ruling I could live with. Giving the Red Sox a type B compensation pick would not be taking away from the Cubs allotment, though if he gave the Red Sox a type A, the Cubs would lose their 2nd round pick (the first pick being protected since it is in the top 15) plus a sandwich pick. The Cubs don’t lose any prospects, they lose out on a 2nd but use that saved money for overslotting in later rounds.

  • Montelle

    if not theo, I’d want friedman, but I think way too many folks here are too quick to freak out and say cut bait…..let’s wait till the end of the world series and see where we are then. If we can get him and we wait till the end of the WS, I can be patient that long. Nothing good ever came from rushing. Think about the guy who keeps jumping lines at the grocery store to get out faster and every line he jumps to ends up slowing down……

    • Hawkeye

      I 100% agree with you!

      Didn’t Brett post at one time that Friendman wasn’t interested?  I could very well be wrong.

      • hansman1982

        I read that here as well that Friedmann was asked by Tom and Friedmann declined.

        • TWC

          Was there ever a source for that?  I remember reading that, too, but it was never linked to a source (I think).

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            I don’t know if he was the originator, but Kevin Goldstein (Baseball Prospectus) said it a few times on Twitter.

  • die hard

    Ricketts would be making better use of his time to go after the computer programmers who got Texas and St. Louis into WS. What, they didnt use any?!! Surprise surprise

  • Lou

    Looks like multiple reports have Andrew Friedman interviewing for Angels GM job….Hmm….

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