Well, when I woke up this morning, I was not a multi-hundred-millionaire. Bummer. I guess I’ll have to settle for remaining a measly multi-dozen-millionaire. Bullets…

  • Dale Sveum says the final decision on the bullpen might not be made until the day before the season opens. “It will probably go down possibly to the workout on Wednesday,” Sveum said. Shawn Camp, Lendy Castillo, Manny Corpas and Rodrigo Lopez are fighting for the final three spots in the pen (though Lopez is close to a lock at this point, according to, well, me).
  • One reliever no longer in the race is Frankie De La Cruz, whom the Cubs picked up off waivers from the Brewers. He’s currently in Minor League camp, and, since he’s out of options, it suggests that he’s been waived by the Cubs (as reported a couple days ago by John Arguello, and noted here). It would be interesting if the Cubs choose to keep him on the 40-man roster if he clears waivers, given that they’re going to need to open at least a few more spots by next week (it stands at 39, but Blake DeWitt, Joe Mather, and Rodrigo Lopez, among others, will have to be added. Marcos Mateo could be put on the 60-day DL to open up one extra spot).
  • As for the rotation, Sveum is over the moon. “As far as stuff-wise, command, the inability to walk people, it’s huge when you’re talking about a pitching staff, throwing strikes and keeping the ball on the ground, making quality pitches,” Sveum said. “We have five guys who can do that. We have five guys who can move the ball, make the ball go sideways. It’s a nice, rounded-out starting staff that everybody on it is a completely different pitcher too.” I think the rotation could be surprisingly above average – not great, mind you, but maybe top 6 in the NL, if a number of things break right. If they don’t, this is an average rotation with a really good sixth man.
  • Tony Campana is bummed about not making the big club, but he vows to be back soon. “You’re disappointed but the way Joe [Mather] played this Spring, you can’t ignore that,” Campana said. “[Dale Sveum and Jed Hoyer] said I’d be up [to the big leagues at some point]. They said I’m a weapon that a manager likes to have. I’ll get back up there.” Speaking of Mather: he’s excited to make the team. We figured.
  • I swear to you, I don’t want to write another word about what follows. But, it … it keeps f*%king coming back. Red Sox President and all around swell guy Larry Lucchino is clearly hinting that, despite the fact that the transaction was conducted fairly by all sides in the open, despite the fact that the player at issue passed physicals by both teams, despite the fact that his own medical staff gave the green light to the deal, despite the fact that his GM hand-picked the player at issue knowing full well that he’d had a history of arm issues, he’d like the Red Sox to get a little more for Theo Epstein now that Chris Carpenter is going under the knife. “Ben Cherington has had some discussions with the Cubs exploring this issue, but there is nothing to comment on beyond that right now,” Lucchino said. In other words: I directed Ben to ask them for more, and he’s working on it.
  • When asked if there would be a restructured deal, Jed Hoyer said simply, “No.”
  • Work has started at the Cubs’ new Spring Training complex at Riverview Park in Mesa. I really, really can’t wait for the 2014 Spring Training. You must all join me there. Start planning today.
  • Speaking of planning today, my first trip to Wrigley Field this year will be Thursday, April 12 against the Brewers, and I’ll soon be throwing out a number of opportunities for you to win tickets to that game. Even if you can’t make the game, I plan to hang at a local bar before the game (with the above-mentioned John Arguello from Cubs Den), probably after the game, and then to watch the Cardinals game the next day (Friday the 13th). Don’t make me sit at a bar alone. Start planning today.
  • Neither new Cubs coach Dave McKay isn’t concerned about his connection to noted juicers Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco (McKay ran Tony LaRussa’s strength and conditioning program in his Oakland days), and neither are the Cubs. I’m not really worried about it, either, so I guess it’s a non-story.
  • Brace yourself. Passed on by BN’er Bacboris, it’s a guy who clearly doesn’t appreciate the magnitude of the cat’s pajamas:

  • Cliffy

    Levine now speculating Cubs will provide an additional Cash payment to Boston. Sounds like Bull Shit to me.

    • http://www.casualcubsfan.com hansman1982

      It is interesting to see the power dynamic in Boston. It appears that Lucchino either always has or has grabbed a lot of (since the departure of Theo) the decision making power. Looking at the past 6 months, he has been the driving force behind the compensation issue and Valentine was clearly his hire. Makes me wonder about Theo.

      It is interesting to me when you look at the Red Sox operating model 2004-2007 and then 2008-present. Not sure how much of this has to do with Jed’s departure (maybe a “sum of the parts” situation) or if Theo got blinded by the success or if Larry decided he wanted to be the next Jerry Jones.

  • http://Www.weareworkers.com Skooter

    Uh. I like to pretend that guys ryan theriot.

  • DocWimsey

    Bad day for your stocks?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Mega Millions fever. Come on, Doc.

      • http://www.casualcubsfan.com hansman1982

        Why didn’t you just buy every combination possible? Then again, with the t-shirt revenues I am sure you probably spend too much of your day just counting the “Benjamins”

        • Frank

          I heard that it would take the computers years to print up tickets for every combination possible–you would’ve missed the drawing . . .

      • Spencer

        Last night, after consuming a couple brews, I took to facebook and twitter to notify the world (aka my friends) that I had won the jackpot. A surprising number of people were mad when they found out that I was joking. I think they wanted some coin.

        • Katie

          I saw that and contemplated how I could get you to marry me without a prenup. I’m fixin to become the best gold digger ever.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          That would obviously be the downside – your life would be very, very different, and not just the money.

  • Sam

    “I cannot be da room with da cat pajama”

  • Cubbie Blues

    Maybe we should send Lucchino da cat’s pajamas. That should solve the issue.

  • Dougy D

    “Da pajama don’t know it is killing me very good.”

  • Ivy Walls

    Regarding what Larry Lucchino said and directed his current Toadie (Ben) to do reminds me what a current Chairman/CEO when he was a lowly EVP to do about a deal that he had fully negotiated and concluded to do as it went south from unexpected but not unusual circumstances—-“Go back and get a better deal.”. When I approached the client company’s exec with all the BS about future relationship and fairness I got the blank look like WTF this is not nursery school or back yard sandlot baseball, there are no do overs. I then explained I was instructed to do this. Their CEO then laughed and asked for my EVP’s direct cell number, and called, told him “tough toe nails and don’t embarrass your staff this way and waste his time,” end of Voice mail.

    Get over it, Larry Lucchino, there is no crying in baseball.

    • DocWimsey

      That is never fun in a world where messengers are commonly shot……

  • Ryan

    Am I the only one who would be shocked if the Cubs don’t make some sort of trade before opening day?

    • Brady

      First off, I’m not suprised because of how infrequently it happens and the wealth of people we had trying out for positions until recently. Second, we still have a couple days til the season technically starts so it theoretically could happen. (I am not really counting the Oak/Sea series in Japan as the start of the season since the rest of the league was still playing ST).

  • Andrewmoore4isu

    Was that MichiganGoat?!?!?

    • MichiganGoat

      Nah notice the lack of beer

  • Bric

    I can see why Svuem has made a decision yet. Corpas and Castillo are basically the same pitcher. Ace, Any chance any of these guys still have a minor league option? If not, whoever gets cut will probably sign with another team given the chances of an injury are much greater across the league rather than just on the Cubs.

  • Ryan

    Well Castillo would have to be offered back to philly then clear waivers for Cubs to keep him.

    • Bric

      That might be the deciding point then between Castillo and Corpas without an injuries in the next couple of days. For what it’s worth, Castillo is listed on the Cubs website as part of the bullpen and Corpas isn’t listed at all.

  • Mrp

    If Carpenter passed the physical that Boston gave him then why in the hell is this still being brought up. Seriously, FU Boston! I really hate those a$$holes at this point.

  • Jay Anderson Jr

    I can’t see why people are mad at lucchino, he’s doing his job. His job is to get the most for his team as possible. It’s Theo’s and co’s job to say hell no. I don’t dislike him for that, I actually respect him for that. He’s telling 29 other teams and their fans, F*ck you, I only care about the sox. It’s the same exact way I feel about the Cubs.

    That being said, this is a done deal. No more compensation. PERIOD.

    • MichiganGoat

      Really? You don’t see how the constant complaining, whining, and crying over all this is annoying and frustrating. He made this deal, his doctors okayed the deal, and now he is acting like he deserves more. I can’t think of a single trade or players move where the president continued to complain after a deal was made. That is why there is anger with the Red Sox and Larry Lou in particular, the behavior is unprofessional and childish. Let the fans throw the tantrums but the president of a team should not behave this way.

      • Dustin S

        I don’t think Boston will get too far with this. With Carpenter passing a physical there’s no way mlb will set a new precedent that teams can go back after the fact on trades after passing physicals and accepting a player. If they did, what if Ian Stewart has health problems this season? Can we go back on Colorado for more in return? From the Carpenter->Boston standpoint that was a completed transaction.

        It is a little disappointing though. Like others said I always admired the Red Sox as the AL sister team to the Cubs. So much in common. But the whole mess has made them (at least Larry) look weasel-y.

  • ferrets_bueller

    Whoa, that video was never posted here? I swear it had. It popped up first (’twas featured on Tosh.0’s site) right around the time the feline’s sleepwear was gaining steam around here. Can’t believe it took til now.

  • Spencer

    Still don’t understand why Castillo isn’t a lock for at least opening day.

  • ty

    A bone spur is just a “characteristic” “symptom” of an underlying problem sometimes serious for an athlete. How Bostons staff missed this is bewildering? It does not occur overnight. So be it–it is a done deal! The first morning that Chris stepped on Fitch Field after being drafted he was wearing a rehab shirt–gray shirt that all rehabbers have to wear–this tall thin youngster has had one ailment after another and everybody in baseball knows this. Boston got Aaron Kurcz and he alone was enough compensation for Theo whom they did not want around any longer. Between the 4th inning beer and fried chicken clubhouse breaks and Carl Crawford deal it was over for Theo anyhow.

  • Jason*Thundermug*

    Larry Lucchino wants more how about we send him a Year Supply of Tissues, 5 Boxes of Preparation H, and a Box of Toothpicks that was left behind from the Dusty Baker Era :)

    • BeyondFukudome

      Amen to that.

  • JL

    “It would be interesting if the Cubs choose to keep him on the 40-man roster if he clears waivers”

    I don’t get it. Isn’t it the reason why you put a player on waivers to take him off the 40-man roster? Why would he be kept on the roster after clearing waivers?

    • MichiganGoat

      I believe it is because he is out of options and cannot be assigned to AAA, he has to clear waivers and then accept a minor league assignment. This is the same thing that Dewitt went through (but now it appears he will be on the 25). If I’m confused someone please correct.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        You have it; ditto npnovak.

    • npnovak

      to take him off the 40-man you have to designate him for assignment. apparently the Cubs didn’t do that; they only sent him down to the minors, which they couldn’t do without exposing him to waivers since he had no options left

  • Ryan

    If your talking about the Rule 5 pitcher its because of the Rule 5 rules

  • Pat

    I’m pretty sure something similar happened when the White Sox traded Mike Sirotka to the Blue Jays and his arm blew out in spring training. If I remember right Gordon Ash protested to the commissioners office and anyone else who would listen. The good thing is that should be precedent that you can’t undo a trade based on future issues.

    Edit – this should have been a reply to MG above

    • Ryan

      But wasn’t that a situation where he was hurt when they traded him and not hurt after the fact?

      • Pat

        Pretty much the same situation. He passed the physical and had issues soon thereafter. Ash’s argument was that there was a pre-existing condition even if they didn’t diagnose it at the physical.

  • Ryan

    I know the 40 man is at 39 and with putting mateo on 60 day it will be 38 so how many more spots would the cubs have to open up with their projected 25 man roster

    • Bric

      It looks like they won’t have to open up any. Mateo goes to the DL and that gives 2 spots for DeWitt and Mather. The only question is does Castillo get the last spot that he already occupies or does it go to Corpas.

  • Iceman

    They also need a spot for Rodrigo Lopez if he makes the team.

    • Bric

      Yep, my bad. I forgot about Lopez/Camp. Looks like Campana gets bumped off the 40 man. Just kidding, Jay.

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  • TSB

    Newsflash, 2023: After ten seasons with the Boston Red Sox, pitcher Chris Carpenter announced his retirement today. The Boston Red Sox immediately demanded compension from the Chicago Cubs, hinting that they believe that the Cubs’ organization has prior knowledge of Carpenter’s plan to quit baseball. Larry Luchino, speaking from the porch of the retired baseball managers’ home, said he believes the Red Sox should review their options, to right this terrible wrong that has been done to them.

  • HeyaMan

    you don’t cut a college AA after 2 months of pro baseball