- Chris Bosio, as expected, has been hired as the Cubs’ new pitching coach, news he broke himself (much like bench coach, Jamie Quirk). Bosio, 48, was the AAA Nashville pitching coach. After his playing days, Bosio was a pitching instructor around the minors, and was the pitching coach for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2003 (under Lou Piniella). He soon after left that position for family/health reasons, and has been working his way back up the chain in the last few years – including a brief, interim stint as the Brewers’ pitching coach in late 2009. An official announcement on Bosio, and the rest of Dale Sveum’s staff, is expected next week.
- The biggest piece of the coaching puzzle still missing? Sveum really wants to hire Craig Counsell on as a coach, but Counsell isn’t sure he’s done playing baseball quite yet. Counsell, 41, had a .503 OPS last year in 187 plate appearances. It’s time to coach, Craig.
- You gotta love the hot stove season: not two hours after Troy Renck reported that the Rockies were hoping to land Blake DeWitt from the Cubs in exchange for Ian Stewart, Renck reported that the Rockies didn’t feel like DeWitt was enough (I’d say the odds are good that his report circulated, Rockies officials saw the reactions (yes, of course the Cubs would make that trade (in isolation)), and made sure Mr. Renck had a new story to tell. That story? The Rockies want Tyler Colvin or a minor league pitching prospect of comparable value. Whether or not the Cubs would/should make that deal (probably/probably), the thing on Stewart is this: he’s going to make a fair bit of money next year (~$2.5 to $3M), is surplusage for the Rockies, and might be non-tendered in a week and a half anyway. There isn’t going to be a haul to be had for Stewart from any team. The Cubs would be wise to continue to seek out other 3B options first before potentially settling on Stewart.
- Various Cubs’ prospects/marginal players continue their Winter league marches, and Bryan LaHair is really struggling since his return to the VWL from a November break – he’s just 2 for his last 15. Among others, lefty reliever Scott Maine – who occasionally made an appearance with the Cubs last year, usually in order to give up a home run (four in just seven innings last year) – is tearing up the DWL: 0.90 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, and nine Ks in 10 innings of work.
- Tom Ricketts on Crane Kenney, whom Ricketts is expected to extend: “I don’t know why the media seems to think that talking about Crane is relevant. He runs the business side of baseball .… I look at it as hey I’ve got I guy here who works very hard, executes well, has built a good team around him, so I’m very comfortable with Crane .… I figure I got him on the business side and Theo on the baseball side and that’s a pretty good darn team.” Shrug. For what it’s worth, that’s always been my attitude about Kenney: unless we’re talking about the business ops, I’m not sure why I’m supposed to care about him.
- Red Sox GM Ben Cherington is being a good soldier, and telling folks he didn’t really think Dale Sveum was a fit. “I don’t think [Sveum would have been hired at the end of the process],” said Cherington. “I think the way this evolved, as we got deeper into the process, this was a learning experience for me.” I genuinely feel bad for Cherington – well, as bad as you can feel for the GM of a major market team.
- In the same article, Cherington described the never-ending Theo compensation issue thusly: “It’s like cleaning the garage. You know it’s out there and you’ve got to do it, but you’re going to do everything else first. It’s that thing that you know you have to do at some point, but you’re sort of working on other stuff.” He doesn’t expect MLB to have to become involved.
- For those who remain unclear on why the CBA changes bother me so much, here’s an anecdote from Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman, which helps demonstrate why:
“I saw what Theo was doing in Boston,” Cashman said. “I had a heart-to-heart with George and I had told ‘The Boss’ I wasn’t going to stay because I didn’t like how we were going about our business.
“I said: ‘Listen, they’re over-slotting in the draft. They’re going to have a great farm system. They’re spending money like we are in free agency. (They’re) going to pass us up.’
“(Steinbrenner) said, ‘Go ahead, man, and you take it over and you do what you think you have to do.’ I basically tried to match everything they were doing to get us back on line.”