New General Manager Jed Hoyer and Scouting/Development Chief (that’s a title I’m using, not his actual title – the actual title is too long and abstract) Jason McLeod will be introduced at a press conference today at 3pm CT. I’ll be covering the press conference live here, but if you’d like to watch, it should be on CSN and CSNChicago.com, at a minimum. It won’t be quite the national media event that the Theo Epstein press conference was, but it should be revealing nonetheless.
- According to Bruce Levine, when Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer met with Mike Quade about his past and future with the Chicago Cubs last week, they met for seven hours. Yes, there’s something to be said for being thorough and polite, but seven hours ain’t just thorough and polite. It suggests minds had not yet been made up. It suggests things are genuinely being considered. Scary things.
- Ok, and now I’ll back myself – and you – down from the ledge. Keep in mind, even if Epstein and Hoyer had already decided to can Quade, they’d want to talk to him about what went right/wrong, certain players, etc. for quite a while. Exit interviews exist for a reason, and sometimes they’re quite long. Jim Hendry stayed on to help the Cubs for a month after he’d been told he was being let go. Seven hours, in that context, is nothing. Perhaps the second meeting with Quade this week will be a five minute “thanks for the service and last week’s chat. Farewell.”
- Former Cubs manager Lou Piniella, the man who retired mid-season, giving Quade the chance to prove his mettal as an interim manager, says he hopes the new Cubs’ brass gives Quade a chance.
- Today is the Theo Epstein compensation talks deadline, as set by Commissioner Bud Selig. Red Sox GM Ben Cherington says he and Epstein have had a hard time coming to an agreement on just what the latter is worth. That’s gotta be a fun conversation for Epstein with his former lieutenant (“No, seriously, dude – it turns out, I’m pretty awful at what I do. Sucks for you that I taught you everything I know.”). The two sides will talk again today, but the matter is expected to be turned over to Selig by the end of the day. The two sides will, at some undetermined point thereafter, make their case before Selig.
- Cherington added that the issue of Red Sox personnel following Epstein to Chicago remains undecided. He did, however, say, “If there’s an opportunity for one person [to go to] Chicago that’s clearly a better opportunity, then that’s good, we don’t want to stand in anyone’s way. There’s an understanding the Cubs won’t raid the Red Sox and the Red Sox aren’t going to raid the Cubs. It should be a good relationship going forward.” The fact that he explicitly said “one person,” to me, means that “one person” will be coming over from the Red Sox. The leading candidates are special assistant Dave Finley, director of baseball operations Brian O’Halloran, trainer Mike Reinold, or executive VP of business affairs Jonathan Gilula.
- The Cubs will continue to grow their front office over the offseason, but even if it doubles from its previously-scant 10 (full-time, Chicago-based, front office personnel with evaluation or decision-making authority), it will still be outpaced by most large market clubs. We’re truly learning just how behind the times the Cubs had become.
- Carlos Zambrano is in Venezuela to pitch in the Venezuela Winter League, but, before he does, he’s filming a Pepsi commercial with Bobby Abreu and Ozzie Guillen. But, as usual, I’m sure the subject of the Marlins never comes up. Ever.