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MLB’s GMs are meeting in Milwaukee, and that means hot stove goodness. Well, at least lukewarm goodness. So, there will be plenty of that later today, as well as thoughts on Aramis Ramirez, and Theo Epstein’s meeting with Carlos Zambrano yesterday. Until then, bullets…

  • I noted Sunday that the Cubs would soon be holding a private workout for Cuban star Yoenis Cespedes, and it looks like that workout will take place on Thursday in the Dominican Republic. And the Cubs aren’t kidding around: Scouting and Player Development Chief Jason McLeod will be in attendance with a handful of other Cubs’ scouts. The Cubs plan to check out some other players while they’re down there, too. The Cubs’ interest in Cespedes was first reported, eh hem, by me. Boom. Self-congratulated.
  • Theo Epstein is hopeful that he and Red Sox GM Ben Cherington can finally settle the outstanding compensation issue between the two sides, now that they’ll be “under the same roof” this week. Of the dispute, Epstein told a Boston radio station, “I know I’m right, because I know my own faults better than Ben does. I know my limitations. I’m just not worth that much. But I’m sure it will work out, one way or the other, in a way that satisfies all the parties involved. The talks are very amicable. That’s the most important thing.” If the two sides can’t work it out, Bud Selig’s office may have to settle the dispute this week.
  • The Players’ Association had planned to meet with agents this week as a part of the briefing process, but, since there is not presently a collective bargaining agreement on which to brief those agents, the meetings have been postponed. Many remain hopeful that a deal can be finalized this week – there are multiple reports that the hard slotting issue is close to a resolution, ditto for draft pick compensation – but it may take another week or two. The owners meet later this week, so settling it now sure would be convenient. The current agreement expires December 11, but don’t let the NBA nuclear option scare you: a deal will get done.
  • Super agent Scott Boras shared his thoughts on two clients of note, first basemen Prince Fielder and Carlos Pena: “Prince has hit well in Wrigley Field, that’s for sure, and he’s done OK in that division, too …. It’s power and defense [with Carlos Pena]. You’re always looking at that position for someone who can give you the production, the 85-100 RBIs and 25-30 home runs, and can give you good defense. There’s not a lot of first basemen in the league providing that.” Boras noted that he hasn’t yet spoken with Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer, but expects to speak to them this week. “You have a whole new regime there, so as to what they think or how they think, I haven’t had the opportunity to know,” Boras said. “Knowing Theo and how his regimes work, they’ll have a very decisive resume for what they want to do, and they’ll let me know.”
  • Brewers’ GM Doug Melvin offers his thoughts on hitting coach Dale Sveum and former pitching coach Mike Maddux, both of whom are candidates for the Cubs’ managerial job.
  • More details on Assistant to the GM Shiraz Rehman’s duties, from the Cubs’ official release: “Rehman will support the general manager on potential player acquisitions and will assist in providing scouting, financial and statistical information to support trade and player evaluation. He will also develop the club’s evaluation database and coordinate the department’s technological efforts.”
  • Cliffy

    A tip of the cap to Brett for being the first to reported the Cubs interest in Cespedes. Where were the beat writers ?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I think sometimes it’s just a matter of luck – they have sources, I have sources, and mine got to me first.

      • hansman1982

        just curious as to the process of getting sources – are these people that you have found and reached out to or people that have found you?

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          So far, they’ve found me. Which reminds me: to any readers with connections, I’m quiet, professional, and never reveal/report anything you don’t want me to.

          • CubFan Paul

            you also don’t share your soup

          • hansman1982

            Well Brett, you may want to post that the Cubs are reportedly looking for an Assistant to the Regional Assistant GM and rumors have it that hansman1982 is an early front-runner for the position.

  • college_of_coaches

    Question regarding Fielder: will the team that signs him as a FA have to relinquish their first round draft choice?

    • Kyle

      He is a Type A, so yes, unless the pick is in the top 15, in which case it goes to the next pick.

      The Cubs signing Fielder would give up the 6th pick in the 2nd round.

    • fearbobafett

      that all could change based on the new CBA, as the Type A stuff was suppose to change dramatically in exchange for the salary cap on the draft stuff. At least that is how i am taking all the posts on that topic

  • CubFan Paul

    Z is Free! Z is Free! Z is Free! Z is Free! Z is Free! Z is Free!

    i’m sharpening my “i told you so” sticks and pitchforks

    • Kyle

      I’m not celebrating just yet. With Zambrano, there’s always a chance he reports to camp out of shape or something and blows it.

      But Epstein is, as always, approaching this the right way and I’m very happy to hear it.

      • CubFan Paul

        supposedly Z is in great shape and has been working out twice a day. He’s on a contract year mission that should make him a solid Starter for the 1st half of 2012

    • DRock

      It sounds to me like Theo is doing all of this to try to raise his value because he knows it is at an all time low right now and we would get nothing back in return for Z. My guess is (and my hope), Z will still be traded in spring training or before the trade deadline at the latest.

  • Edwin

    Where are they meeting in Milwaukee? I’m in that neck of the woods.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I *believe* they’re at the Pfister Hotel. Go with a recorder and see what you can get.

      • Edwin

        Thank goodness I’m wearing my purple shirt today!

  • Cliffy

    A question for Brett. What does it take to become a credentialed member of the media. With the importance of the internet one would think that it is in the best interest of the cubs to have a strong base there as well as “the mainstream media”. I don’t mean to be aged biased but the beat writers are not inclined to be user friendly with this new fangled thing called the internet. In the spirit of full disclosure I’m one of the GREY generation as well but I’m hip to most of the latest new fangled ways to gather and share info.

    • Kyle

      Getting credentialed is at the discretion of the organizer, and it really depends on what you want to get credentialed for.

      If you want to get a media credential for the local high school playoff football game, you just need to fill out a form.

      If you want to get a media credential for the Super Bowl, you have to submit exhaustive documentation to show that you’ve been actively covering one of the teams involved every day for the last 50 years, whether you are 50 years old or not, and then you still probably won’t get it.

      I’m not sure how it works for the Cubs. I imagine it depends on what you want. Field access for Extended Spring Training is probably a lot easier to get than clubhouse access to the big league club during the regular season.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I believe it’s a team-by-team process, but I’ll confess I’ve not looked into it too deeply because I don’t live in Chicago (Columbus, Ohio), and because BN wasn’t my full-time job until May of this year. My understanding is that there are two tiers of credentials – all events, and just non-game events. I’d like to think I could be credentialed for the latter category. I’d have to research (or, if someone already knows the answer, feel free to share).

      • Kyle

        Someday I’d love to see a blogger in the BN style really give it a go with the Cubs. It’d have to be someone who had the resources to support themselves for awhile, including flying to Arizona in the spring.

        I imagine you could get somewhere if you started out in the summer in extended spring training. If you spent a few months doing feature stories on prospects and giving daily reports, you’d have enough cache with the locals to get some MLB access the next spring. Once the Cubs’ media people know you as a serious and reliable reporter, you could probably get true clubhouse access.

        Once you have clubhouse access, I think a lot of hungry bloggers could absolutely kill the local media in terms of getting the information that us hardcore fans want. There’d be a huge niche market for the guy who can ask about 40-man roster moves rather than Darwin Barney’s favorite color.

        This is kind of a cheat because he had access from the beginning, but I love Mark Zuckerman’s Nats Insider. http://www.natsinsider.com/

        He was a very good beat writer who got laid off in the never-ending newspaper layoffs. Instead of looking for another newspaper job, he set up a blog and kept covering the team. He used reader donations to pay for his first trip to spring training. I haven’t been keeping close tabs on it, but it looks like his site has grown well.

        • Cliffy

          Yes Kyle that’s the direction that I was taking that. Now if Brett is doing this full time and making a living of this wouldn’t those out of pockets expenses be fully deductable with regard to the IRS.

          Brett I truelly hope you can make a good living from this blog there are many of us who appreciate your daily efforts here.

          Consider the regular contributors as just another set of eyes and ears to share what they have read, heard, seen or just speculating on the day’s events.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Thanks, gents. I wouldn’t be surprised to see bloggers – full-timers, anyway – having media access with the Cubs in the near-ish future. The question that remains: how much access do you really want, though? Part (just a part) of what makes sites like this different from the Trib/Sun-Times/Cubs.com traditional media sets is the “fan” perspective. I’m an unabashed Cubs fan, and I write from that perspective. If I had access, and therefore relationships, with the players I cover, it could get a little sticky. It’s a lot harder to express my true feelings on Darwin Barney as the Cubs’ starting 2B when I’ve got to talk to him the next day and hope he’ll actually speak with me.

          I’m not saying it’s not do-able, it is – it’s just a little stickier from the fan perspective.

          Ideally, someday, BN will have a “beat reporter” who can be on the scene in Chicago, and be a credentialed member of the media. But it’ll probably have to be someone I hire, because, for family reasons, I don’t see myself being able to move to Chicago any time soon. And, because of the … style … of this place, that’ll make for a difficult hire. And we’re still a ways from there revenue-wise, anyway. I’m getting all meta…

          • Kyle

            I’m terrible at filling out paperwork, and sometimes coverage plans change at the last minute, so I constantly used to find myself covering high school and college events for which I wasn’t technically credentialed. I found that if you look the part of a reporter, people won’t question you: Carry a notebook, look vaguely annoyed at having to be there, walk quickly like you are on deadline.

            I doubt that trick would work with the Cubs, though…

  • CubFan Paul

    supposedly Cespedes killed a pedestrian and decided to try to come to America instead of staying in Cuba til the issue was resolved

    “many rumors now surround the care wreck in Cespedes was apparently driving, an injured pedestrian subsequently died ..all that is clear is that cespedes indeed fled cuba before the matter was ever resolved..”

    http://www.baseballdecuba.com/EngnewsContainer.asp?id=2595

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I’ve been trying to decide what to do with that article since I first read it this weekend. Still thinking.

      • CubFan Paul

        so ignoring it and patting yourself on the back several days later for being the ‘1st to report the Cubs’ interest in him’ was the way to go??

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Is that a joke? The meat of that story is based on really, really incendiary rumors (ones the writer, himself, calls “likely unfounded”) that I’ve been mulling whether it’s appropriate for me to report them. You may not take these things seriously, but I do. I’m hoping you were joking, Paul.

          • CubFan Paul

            not a joke, just wondering since you said you read it over the weekend. passing along information & ‘reporting’ are two different things. BN does have a ‘rumor’ section

            • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

              There is a difference between reporting rumors (Marmol to be traded?) and repeating information based on extremely sketchy sources that could well move the website into that gray area that surrounds the border of defamation. When the rumors in question are of a nature that could potentially harm a potentially innocent person’s reputation for a very long time, the responsible thing is think very carefully about how to proceed. That’s exactly what Brett is doing, and he should be commended for it. There is no need to call for the mass media’s stupid obsession with rushing to judgement to spew its poisonous sludge here.

              • JulioZuleta

                Some people here don’t have the ability to think critically/filter information. They take everything that is put on the internet as fact, and proceed to make such adult claims as “I told you so” and the like.

                • CubFan Paul

                  which is why i started off my 9:46am post on this topic with ‘Supposedly’, and made no mention of me believing it or taking it as fact ..so eff off Julio and have a nice day please

                  • JulioZuleta

                    Wouldn’t have bothered me had it been an isolated case, but it’s a pattern. Then you jump on Brett for being a responsible reporter, it’s frustrating.

                    • CubFan Paul

                      a pattern? ..either way, you’re not Brett, making it not your business or place to attack someone verbally being an e-bully

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                      Let’s just drop it. Suffice it to say, I have my reasons for not posting everything I read, however on-point it may seem. I’m glad whenever anyone posts things in the comments, and we can go from there. On this particular item, I am concerned that there are enough reasons to doubt its veracity, that, given how serious and damning the rumor, I have been disinclined to post it over the last few days. I’m still mulling it (it’s been open in a tab on my computer since this weekend), but I’m unlikely to write it up.

                      We good.

      • TWC

        Do the facts that Céspedes has defected, and the articles come anonymously-sourced from the nationally-run Cuban media factor into your consideration?

        • Fishin Phil

          Cuba would never bend the truth in any way, you Yankee Imperialist Dog!

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Just saw this after I responded to Paul. You nailed it.

        • hansman1982

          WHAT? A communist country putting out lies about a defector whom is coming to America?  That NEVER happened…Mother Russia was a heavenly place with plenty of bread and water soup for EVERYONE (except Jews, gays, Christians, outspoken people, people who refused to fight in the army, and anyone whom we thought might be possibly entertaining the idea of creating the idea of saying something bad about Mother Russia, then we just send them to winter vacation in Siberia where they also get a complementary pickaxe)

          • JulioZuleta

            This article goes into the same category as the article when N Korea’s Kim Jong-II shot that 38 on 18 holes a couple of years back, but yeah, let’s pass off articles based on completely unfounded, uncited sources from a spurned communist country as fact.

  • Dumpman

    6/40 or whatever it will cost to get this guy seems to be a lot if hes going to start in AA.. I really trust McLeod’s judgement though. Wow.. its great to say that.

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