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It may be a rare offseason two-post Saturday, with a Yoenis Obsesspedes update to share. Until then, Bullets…

  • Jim Bowden interviewed Red Sox President Larry Lucchino yesterday, and the talk led off with the Theo Epstein compensation issue. Lucchino didn’t say much, offering only that the matter is in Commissioner Bud Selig’s hands now, after the two sides couldn’t come to a resolution. Selig knows the parameters of the two sides’ discussions, and is taking things from there. Lucchino believes it should have been settled by now (by the two sides), but believes it will be resolved soon.
  • Ozzie Guillen is, as you’d expect, very excited to have his friend, Carlos Zambrano, on the staff in Miami. Guillen says that Zambrano is “on a mission” this year, and Guillen believes Zambrano will have a great deal of success. Shrug. Fine. I’m glad the Cubs can move on, but I’ve simultaneously resigned myself to the fact that Zambrano probably will have a huge bounce-back year. Not because of a retooled delivery or a rededicated effort, mind you. But because it’s the lot of Cubs fans to suffer.
  • Tim Sheridan at Boys of Spring offers another Spring Training update. It looks like Ryan Dempster, James Russell, Chris Volstad, and Travis Wood have all arrived in Mesa. Dempster looks like he’s in pretty good shape, judging by a couple pictures, anyway.
  • A fluffy Spring Training preview from FoxSports.
  • A fluffy Spring Training preview from CSN.
  • A fluffy story on Dillon Maples. It’s actual unfair to include this one in a series with the previous two, because this is a pretty interesting piece. It gives you a little more background on the Cubs’ $2.5 million 14th round pick in 2011, and on what he’s been doing all Winter.
  • The February issue of Vine Line is out, and it’s the Minor League Prospectus issue, featuring in-depth looks at prospects like Maples, Tony Zych, Brett Jackson and Javier Baez. There’s also an interview with Scouting Chief Jason McLeod.
  • florida Al

    wow lets get this theo thing settled….why hasnt the “commish” settled it by now?

  • Dougy D

    I usually don’t care for much of what Muskat writes, but I did enjoy that article. Looks like your self promoting got you some nominations for BOS-BCS awards.

    I still refuse to pay a cent for Vine Line. However, it is the best overpriced source for really old Cubs news out there though. Talk about a fleecing of the fan.

    Any updates from your sources that might have an idea of who the compensation is?

    • rocky8263

      I don’t see how Vine Line is fleecing of the fan.My morning Sun Times is all old news but I like to read the paper. Vine Line is tangible. It comes with the season tickets and I keep some issues like some people keep moron quarterly.

      • Dougy D

        When I had VineLine, I think in the early 2000’s, I thought that It would provide me with some sort of inside info that would be worth the subscription. I don’t recall ever finding anything like that in there. That is why I disliked the magazine. I see it as just another way to sucker fans into paying for something they don’t need. If you like it, that is great. Maybe the magazine has improved since then as well.

  • Brian Myers

    Well, I have a feeling the Cubs (and Zambrano himself) would have suffered more had he stayed on the team. So good luck to him and may he find a level of stability he hasn’t had over the years in a new environment.

    • BetterNews

      Brian-Come on man. The Cubs aren’t suffering because Zambrano is gone as Zambrano is not suffering!(Multimillion dollar man) Why don’t you wish the unemployed in the country good luck? Your comment is quite “ridiculous”.

  • Bren

    Brett Jackson looks like he belongs in Kings of Leon

  • OlderStyle

    LL thinks comp issue should have been settled by now…(eyes roll) That’s rich.
    I’d bet dollars to donuts it would have settled if he’d kept his ego out of it. Theo and Cherington seemed to be making fine progress til Larry butted in and is most likely fanning media and fan flames over “significant” compensation.

  • Roughriider

    Because it’s taken so long, I’m guessing that Cubs fans will be saying the compensation was too much and the Sox fans will say it wasn’t enough and in the long run it won’t really matter.

  • Elwood

    Read the Vineline issue, and I have to say that I am really excited about Junior Lake. By all accounts, the kid has every tool to be a great player, minus the average defense. All said, if he gets time in the minors and hones his skills, I could see a star coming to Chicago.

  • Ivy Walls

    Compensation: It came to me watching “Moneyball” that Lucchino’s real issue is that he does not want Epstein & Co. to make history bigger than what they did in Boston. That exporting the knowledge of applied sabermetrics, which is what Moneyball is all about, the idea that player behavior (performance) is established over the sample size in HS/College/Minor leagues against the team’s overall composite WAR. With Epstein & Hoyer joining with Ricketts who are math people with money would/could eclipse Boston’s moments in history.

    Thus Lucchino is both emotionally dead set against this and also set to find ways to disrupt this at even the cost of a pragmatic move for his own club. I think Selig and Co. are aware of this and are trying to reduce the heat where by letting spring training approach so teams and organizations can concentrate on the daily grind.

    As far as compensation, it will come down to the conversations beforehand and what in both minds was meant as “significant” against the precedence. My guess now is that it will be a prospect like Vitters, a number one, someone with true promise and still young but diminishing plus a usual player like Jay Jackson and cash.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      You think it will be a Vitters-level prospect, a Jay Jackson-level prospect, and cash? Can I bet the under?

      • Doug

        No doubt. That’s crazy talk!!

      • KB

        That deal would be absurd, although if Vitters alone was the compensation, I wouldn’t lose sleep. The Red Sox couldn’t bitch much because he was a 1st-round pick (#3 overall). And most Cub fans have already put him into the “Lou Montanez category” (who was also a #3 overall pick).

        Play ball.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          I’d be ok with losing Vitters, in a vacuum, but that doesn’t mean he’s fair compensation for one year of Epstein getting a promotion not available with his current org.

          • Pat

            It’s not one year of Theo though, it’s five. True, he only had one year left on his contact with Boston, but if the Cubs didn’t sign him this year it is more than likely they would not have been able to next year either.

            What were they going to do, sign a GM to a one year deal on the off chance Theo left Boston next year and wanted to sign with the club? Who would take that job? Remember, this is before they were able to talk to him so they couldn’t be sure he would even be interested.

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

              No, it’s one. If the Marlins sign Zambrano to an extension for four more years, would you say they traded for five years of Zambrano? No. It was one year of control. What you do from there is a separate issue.

              Even taking it another way, Epstein has roundly said he wasn’t returning to Boston. Thus, all Boston lost – regardless of what the Cubs gained – was one year of service.

              • Pat

                Boston lost one year of service. The Cubs gained five. Usually, you pay for what you receive.

                And who’s to say things wouldn’t have changed in the next year. In this case, the Cubs got an exclusive negotiating window. Something they would not have had a year from now.

                Taking Castro and Garza off the table, there isn’t a player in the organization I wouldn’t trade to get Theo in house. It was probably this year or never.

                Of course, I would have defined the compensation before proceeding with the deal. Both sides were unthinkably stupid in not doing so.

                • Quintz

                  Yea, I don’t understand where you are coming from. If the Cubs thought that the contract they signed with Theo would have anything to do with the compensation they owed Boston, then why not sign him to a one year deal (with a wink and a smile), then after the compensation issue is settled extend him.another four?

                  All that matters is that he was under the Red Sox control for one more year and to buy that year out the two sides agreed the Cubs would compensate them for that year. I’ve said all along it feels like it should be a cash settlement at the time would have made the most sense, but what do I know?

                  • Pat

                    Because I don’t think they wanted to take the chance of only having Theo for one year. Plus, GM contracts are always at least three years (the initial contracts anyway, extension are sometimes shorter).

                    • Quintz

                      That was my “wink and a nod” part. Tell him to sign for one and the second the compensation is settled (under your theory) they could him extend him w/o consequence and Theo loses less of a commodity.

                      My point is, it didn’t happen that way and they won’t compensate the Sawx more because he signed for 5 years as opposed to 3. What if he signed for 20 years, would the Cubs owe Boston “Wrigley Field” and Lucchino gets one night with Theo’s wife?

              • Pat

                And yes, it’s five. When Boston traded for A Gon ( for example) the deal was based on their belief they could resign him. Many trades of near FA players are actually contingent on an extension, and the value given is usually based on the total years the receiving team will be keeping the player. This isn’t a new concept.

                In any event, I’m not going to be upset by whatever the compensation is. Assuming it is a minor league player not named Jackson, Rizzo, or Baez, I don’ see this as anything but a major win for the Cubs. Considering how backwards this organization has been, Theo will add far more wins than any single player is likely to. Would it be better to get him cheaper, absolutely. But I don’t mind paying for value.

                • ferrets_bueller

                  Actually, I’m pretty sure that deal was contingent on signing an extension. Part of the deal was an extension- had the Bosox and AGonz not agreed, the deal would not have been done.

                  • Pat

                    I probably had that wrong. For some reason I remember thinking that Boston took the risk of trading for him pre-extension.

                    • Pat

                      Don’t know why there’s no reply option below, but in this scenario, the Cubs are the buyer. I don’t know what town you’re from, but in most of America the seller sets the price, not the buyer.

                      In what version of a free market system do you compensate the seller for their cost(loss)? You pay for what you gain. This is America, this isn’t Russia. This isn’t Russia, is it Danny?

                  • Quintz

                    If any part of this deal had to do with the contract that Theo signed with the Cubs. Lucchino would have been spraying such contingencies out to the media like a meth addict with a machine gun.

                    • Pat

                      I like the analogy. My point is, that by allowing the interview (contingent on “significant compensation”) the BoSox gave the Cubs the opportunity to retain Theo’s services for the next several years.

                      Yes, that was an offer they were only going to be able to make for the next year (and really just this offseason), but it still has value.

                      I’m pretty sure if the Cubs would not have gotten Theo at all if not this year. It would probably be Hoyer as GM/VP of baseball ops. I could live with that, but it’s better having them both.

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                      The point is, the Cubs are compensating Boston for what Boston lost: one year of Theo Epstein.

  • http://bleachernation loyal100more

    it seems that instead of releasing dewitt we could have at least fished him in the comp. conversation. kinda scary if you look at dewitt as someone who would not of qualified as just or significant comp. i mean that only addresses the floor for comp being greater than dewitt right?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Come on, now. (1) The Cubs haven’t released DeWitt yet (he’s been DFA’d, and the Cubs are sorting out what to do with him, which may include his release); and (2) don’t you think the Cubs would have explored that possibility before dumping DeWitt?

      • http://bleachernation loyal100more

        i just never heard his name mentioned. though any conversation on the subject thus far is speculation, i just never heard his name come out on the table… also do you think its a possible option they are exploring now, seeing as the red sox could use some options in the middle of they’re infield. you know when the subject of dewitt being dumped comes up, i cant help but think that sets the bar quite high for comp. ps i thought he was going to waivers, i guess that was the seed for that whole idea.

        • Jeff

          Loyal, why do refuse to use capital letters on here? As much as you post, it would help everyone read your comments if you could capital letters when you should… Especially after punctuation… Just trying to help man.

          • http://bleachernation loyal100more

            thank you jeff, i take your input with a dose of love. You know ill make an effort. I type really slow as it is, and have gotten a bit better sense. If it will help my fellows understand my posts better, than I promise to make an effort. Thank you for the ” tough love”.

            • Jeff

              No worries Loyal. I really wasn’t trying to be a d**k. But at least it would be helpful to me. Maybe everyone else loves the lower case letters, who knows… I love the Cubs passion though!

              • http://bleachernation loyal100more

                Thank you Jeff! Im down with it.

                • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                  That’s always one of those tough tips to give someone – you want to say it, but you don’t want to sound like a jerk. Ultimately, it really is about trying to help both the writer and the reader. Good stuff, gents.

                  • MichiganGoat

                    Indeed nice to see constructive critisim taken professionally.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          It’s definitely possible, but, since it’s in Selig’s hands, and the Cubs already DFA’d him (during which, if they ARE going to waive him, they have to do it within the first four days – in other words, he’d already be on waivers by now), I don’t think it’s going to involve DeWitt.

  • 2much2say

    For anyone to think Boston comp will be an impact player is ridiculous. my
    guess at this late date is it will be CASH, period,

  • Jeff

    I’m mainly a reader and don’t post much. But I was curious if any of the regulars have any input on Castro’s legal situation. Everything I read, basically assumes he is good to go for this year and future years. But isn’t there still a good chance he could have some major legal issues coming at some point? I obviously hope thats not the case…

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      No one knows anything on Castro. The alleged incident occurred in September, as did the initial report by the alleged victim. Police did not seek to bring Castro to the States from the DR, and waited to interview him when he came to the Convention in January. They interviewed him for several hours, and he was not arrested. That’s the end of what we know. There are a number of inferences we could draw from how things have played out, but I’m not crazy about doing so in this kind of situation. Various insiders have suggested that Castro is expected to avoid criminal repercussions.

      • Jeff

        I know all about that interview and the whole thing with him in the Dominican Republic. Is that all the info we have?? No one has heard from a source somewhere anything?? And I understand people hate to speculate. But come on, this is our best player… Am I the only one that wants to know what the hell is going on?? It’s like everyone is afraid to talk about it.. Last I heard is his fate is with a grand jury, to see if they want to go for prosecution. A little scary in my opinion. But thats just me…

        • Jeff

          I hope I don’t offend anyone with my straight forward comments. This site kicks ass in sooo many ways!! I have told a ton of other Cubs fans about it Brett, so don’t get pissed at me… I just want some Castro updates.

  • http://bleachernation loyal100more

    Well I havent heard much, for awhile. Brett probably has a tid bit for your Castro pallet. To my knowledge its not enough to arrest him on, and he has fully cooperated with the police. So with those bases covered all ears are to the grapevine.

    • Jeff

      Thanks, that’s what I figured. I just find it weird that something so big, has not been talked about at all recently. I would really love to hear any updates on this. Obviously Castro, is instrumental for the future of the team.

      • http://bleachernation loyal100more

        I agree… My hope is that the lack of headlines, is a good things.

        • Jeff

          True dat. Love the Caps buddy. You the man…

  • Kevin

    As a Cubs fan I have found it enjoyable to watch the Red Sox……..just 8 years ago they were the lovable losers of the American League. Now that the compensation issue is dragging out for such a long time I can honestly say my feelings for the Red Sox are not the same.

  • cubsin

    How’s this for compensation? Theo has to buy a dog, and name him Larry Lucchino?

    • DannyBallgame

      A Boson Terrier perhaps?

      • ferrets_bueller

        Some sort of yippy rat-dog.

    • Jeff

      Hopefully that dog shits all over Larry’s house. Larry sucks…

  • curt

    in my opinion L.L. and the john henry arent entitled to bumpkus as per douschebag rules of which they are high ranking members, this entire compensation issue is just absurd, if they didnt want to give him up they could have said no when we asked for permission, i say give them an ok guy at single a ball and be thankful we gave them that, pardon my language but f**k lucchino and the redsox.

  • SouthernCub

    Zambrano is a fat POS and I don’t care what kinda yr he has

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