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Torey LovulloIt was widely expected upon the conclusion of the Boston Red Sox’s playoff run, but today it’s finally being reported as a thing that will happen: Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo will interview this week for the Cubs’ managerial vacancy, per Ken Rosenthal.

Lovullo, 48, has been mentioned in connection with the Cubs’ gig for weeks now, but the doggoned Red Sox success streak kept him out of the picture (rude!). He’s become famous round these and other parts for a FanGraphs interview that makes him look like the kind of sabermetric darling manager this front office would theoretically gravitate to (and makes me swoon), but we should all be cautious before putting too much stock in a single, short interview in which Lovullo was responding to questions about advanced statistics for a web site that carries the banner of advanced statistics.

If the interview happens – at least one report out of Boston says no actual request for permission to interview has come yet – Lovullo will join Rick Renteria, A.J. Hinch, Manny Acta, Brad Ausmus, Dave Martinez, and Eric Wedge as dudes who’ve interviewed for the job vacated by Dale Sveum shortly after the season ended. Ausmus has since been hired by the Tigers, and Manny Acta’s candidacy has been called into question. The other four theoretically remain in the mix, though Renteria is described by all corners as the favorite.

Lovullo’s presence could change that, but we’ll have to see when we get there.

  • Die hard

    No mgr candidate will be the panacea for a team without a leader among the players weak up the muddle lacking in power and no will to win given the FO saber rattling antics drains all the life out of them… Which is why only one can do the job with this mess- Ozzie if Kess not available

    • Brains

      yeah die hard is right. this is a losing proposition for whatever *second interim coach we bring in. we’ll never bring in talent if we, well, refuse to bring in talent. this is a downward spiral that began as a religious vision of purity in victory, now bogged down by the logistics of realism and upper management.

    • MichiganGoat

      BULLSHIT… you’ve listed 10 different can’t miss managers and not a single one will even get an interview but continue to troll with all this useless tiresome mutha farking word vomit.

      • http://odu Greenroom

        +1… it is really getting old.

      • DarthHater

        Goat needs a sedative. Is there a vet in the house?

        • MichiganGoat

          Nah just need a site without tiresome baiting trolls mudding up the site with thier worthless garbage.

          • DarthHater

            [img]http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3822/10660894954_5c7ca02802_n.jpg[/img]

            • josh ruiter

              Darth hater, with this pic of a goat posted on bleacher nation, the cubs number 1 blog site, you have officially reversed the curse!!!

      • cavemencubbie

        I love rational old goats!

      • Chef Brian

        Well Die Hard and Brains could break open their lil piggy banks and see if amongst the lint, buttons, foreign coins and pennies, they may have the 800 million or so it will take to buy the Cubs. Then they could run the team their way. Instead of Theo Jed we will have Die Brains. Hmmm.

    • DarthHater

      “weak up the muddle”

      Die hard comes through with the ultimate self-description.

      • Brains

        what’s my self-description, Darth?

  • Mike F

    Wow and I hadn’t hear LSD was back.

  • Die hard

    We will learn to love Luvullo

    • MichiganGoat

      Oh flipping awesome joy now, NOW die hard will claim that Lovullo was his idea! How amazing your dipshit clairvoyance can be so accurate. I guess Bud Black wasnt the answer

      • Die hard

        If hired he will be known as Dr Strangelove or how I learned to love to see the Cubs bomb

      • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

        With the Goat on this one. Its bad enough he makes 162 days of the year miserable. Now it has spilled over into the offseason. Worst part is it is not just him. Hell, some guy randomly yells at Brett wondering why it matters if he essentially gets what he needs to verify the claims. Of course Arguello had his little mishap today, and people take that to the bank that we are adding $25 million in payroll which isn’t even close. Now, we will have to listen to another year of people saying the FO isn’t doing what they said, cause Arguello reported they were spending more. Man, it sucks being a fan of a losing team.

        • Brains

          They could just try to win…. you guys get mad at the wrong people. It’s like you never read Freud in Psychology 101. Be mad at the reason that you’re mad. The rest is transference.

        • Mike F

          I am with you on the negative ones for the sake of negative, but you lost me when seem to conglomerate it all with adding to the payroll. No where are the two connected. Seems to me, that who they hire and what they set the payroll are completely disconnected.

          And if you are saying there are negative so called fans and media types that will be making fun at whatever they do, then I agree. But assuming there is truth to them adding payroll, something that could easily be true, to draw the conclusion you seem to be, is to me jumping the gun…..

          • Brains

            am i the only one who thinks that die hard makes good points sometimes? he speculates a lot, but so do you guys. to me, you’re all exactly the same. cubs fans with more hope than reason.

  • Mike F

    Does howling at the moon really work?

    • DocPeterWimsey

      That depends on what you are trying to accomplish while howling.

      • Mike F

        how true….

  • Crazyhorse

    “Jo-dee, Jo-dee”.

  • Die hard

    To be fair Buddy Bailey deserves a shot before Lovullo or others on short list

  • Crazyhorse

    Wont happen . Nobody wants to give Buddy a chance. He is a solid instructor that knows the Cubs organization and talking out his ass nor kissing any -would be a step in the wrong direction for this front office.

    • Die hard

      So the logical choice is the wrong one which about sums up this FO… My apologies to Goat Darth and the other BN shills

  • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

    Put together a low-cost plan for 2014 competitiveness:
    two parts: Pitching adds and Hitters to look at. Accounting for agency connections also.

    http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com/2013/11/cubs-2014-plan-b-pitching-if-at-first.html
    Link at bottom to hitting part or the sidebar.

    Input and insights ( not critics and flames) welcome!

    • Professor Snarks

      Hi Jason,
      I have no idea about what salaries guys would be worth, but everyoe on your list is a realistic pick-up. I disagree with you that these acquisitions would make the Cubs competitive, as in fight for a playoff spot competitive, but I would love to see a comparison in your 2014 Cubs team, with the 2013 Cubs team, using WAR. We would need to pick up about 25 WAR.

      Do you have contact info on your blog? I would love to send you something you would appreciate.

      • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers
      • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

        Again, its all lightening in a bottle. Low-risk. You hit on 3-4 of the pick ups, and improve with others (Rizzo, Castro, even Barney) and luck might change. Never met a sure thing.

        • MichiganGoat

          Jason thank you for bringing back good discussion to the site, and I think you are right on the money with your suggestions. The Cubs have too many spots that need to show improvement that we can’t blow a budget on one or two albatross contracts instead looking for undervalued players that could out perform thier contracts, hope & trust that a couple prospects make a splash, and some trades is the best way to get toward .500 next year. I know the majority of loud voices want a Cano like splash but not tying ourselves to long suffocating contracts is not the way to build toward sustainable success.

          • Caryatid62

            Once again, the specter of false choice rears it’s ugly head.

            • MichiganGoat

              Can you expand on that further?

              • Turn Two

                Goat i totally agree, my only area of contention is that when we find ourselves nearing.500, i think we are at a point where we can’t sell it off this year. With Rizzo Castro maybe Baez Bryant by then, we need to stay the course with a.500 team that sees the front office committed to them. While i see the point in it, i think the recent trade deadline sell offs have seriously hurt some of the young big leaguers left here to lose so that we could get a higher draft pick the next year. They are being asked to do far too much and being criticized for the struggles of the entire team.
                Of course the flip side is that this pressure is nothing compared to October in Wrigley so maybe its just Theos way of preparing them, but now I’m just babbling so…

              • Caryatid62

                The options are far more nuanced than “the plan” versus “albatross contracts.” There are about a thousand variations that might involve spending good money this offseason, including some longer length contracts. Furthermore, given the Cubs current payroll, it is highly unlikely that any contract would constitute an “albatross,” considering that the ownership has contended that a large payroll increase would come when renovations have been completed. Given the optimism with which everyone sees the big four, the cubs will be getting under market contributions from numerous places in the coming years, meaning that they can afford multiple contracts in which players are not going providing the exact WAR for which they’re being paid.

                • MichiganGoat

                  I’m not saying there isn’t a price where giving a player a long contract is a valuable move. Choo and Ellsbury and two players I’m undecided about and for the right contract they could be valuable additions. But for those who want to give Cano a 200M contract are not seeing a deeper vision of what this team needs.

                  • Caryatid62

                    I don’t think the “majority of loud voices” want cano. There are selected loud voices that want him, but they are only recognized because of their loudness.

                  • Mike F

                    I am not one that feels they should get anywhere near Cano, but they seem to be one of the teams that is consistently rumored to be involved. I guess in the sense of war I get it, he’s a metric darling, I get it, but wouldn’t touch him. Don’t be surprised if they are involved.

                    The place I think they will be serious though is Ellsbury. Dierkes has them in on more than there share of top 5 and top 50 FA’s.

          • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

            Thanks Goat. I tried to be a reasonable dude on the plan.

            If it helps, I think their can be 2-3 plans to success. The Risk, Time Frame & Cash Flow implications affect which one of those plans is most doable.

            Will see.

        • Caryatid62

          The idea that the Cubs will hit on up to four free agents, coupled with improvement from Castro, Rizzo, AND Samardzija, seems really far fetched.

          Right now, this team is in the rest type of holding pattern: no prospects on the immediate horizon (I.e. early to mid-2014 call ups), and nothing sustaining them in the meantime. It seems to me that 2014 will be a virtual carbon copy of 2013, only without the assets to sell at the deadline. September May be the most interesting month, if Baez or Bryant get a cup of coffee. Otherwise, it will likely be another waste of a season.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

            They have an offseason in which to pick up another crop of potentially flippable assets, and I suspect they’ll sign a handful.

            I also suspect Baez will be up well before September. But I agree September could be a very interesting month. Before the season is over the Cubs could call up as many as five current or former Top 100 guys (Baez, Olt, Alcantara, Bryant, Soler). Six if Vizcaino is healthy.

            • Caryatid62

              When I cited “flippable assets,” I specifically meant ones that would garner multiple high-end prospects (i.e. Guys like Garza).

              I think you highly overestimate the speed of the likely timetable for most of those prospects.

              • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

                Really?

                Baez is likely to start in Iowa. Once he goes through his high K% cycle and makes his adjustments, I think he’ll be in Chicago sometime in midseason.

                Alcantara – starting in Iowa, no reason not to bring him up in September.

                Soler – tougher to peg, but he’s already on the 40 man. If he has success in Double A (and he should), then a Sept call up just makes sense.

                Olt – Why not? There is virtually no downside here. At worst he’ll probably out-hit Darwin Barney.

                Bryant – This one is probably the least likely call up of the five, but like Soler if he has success in Double A I think a trip up in September makes sense. That said, I’d not be surprised to see him finish the year in Iowa which would make a September trip all but certain (unless the 40 man is still tight, in which case the equation changes).

                Vizcaino – If he’s healthy why wouldn’t he reach the majors this year? I don’t see the Cubs playing it that safe with him. He already has major league success, after all.

                Other than possibly (and admittedly) Bryant, who am I highly overestimating the timetable on?

                • Caryatid62

                  I don’t think Bryant or soler have any chance whatsoever of being up in 2014. Baez and Alcantara could potentially see the field in September, but Baez is certainly onto a sure thing.

                  Olt and Vizcaino are afterthoughts until they prove healthy, so trumpeting their top 100 status is only slightly less irrelevant than saying the same about josh vitters.

                  • MichiganGoat

                    Bryant is the wildcard in all this and he has a real chance of seeing the show if he continues to perform like he has in the AFL. Baez will be up or possibly traded this year and the rest of the list Luke mentioned are close to being called up. If we find another Feldman and more stable bullpen we are already looking better than we did in 2013. I’m not expecting playoffs but we are better prepared going into next season than we were last winter.

                    • YourResidentJag

                      I’m guessing that other Feldman might be Chad Gaudin.

                  • Mike F

                    I don’t know. Any of them can surprise you. I think Vizcaino is likely, Bryant more likely than either of you think. Olt may well be or out of baseball. Bryant though is the future at 3rd and Baez is either going to be a SS or traded. I think they will trade Castro, think they have to trade one this winter and will.

                    For what it is worth, even though I like him Shark will be gone this winter.

                  • ssckelley

                    Why do you feel there is “any chance” of seeing Bryant in Chicago next season? You do realize that top high school hitters have moved through minor league systems faster than what you are suggesting?

                    If Bryant continues to dominate the minors there is no reason to keep him in the minors other than to make sure they do not lose a year of control. He is older than Baez and teams tend to push college players faster than high school players.

                    Soler I can agree with, the injuries this past season has set him back. But with his contract and age they will push him as much as his hitting allows, which you can say the same thing about Baez and Bryant.

                    • Kyle

                      “If Bryant continues to dominate the minors there is no reason to keep him in the minors other than to make sure they do not lose a year of control. ”

                      At this point, Bryant’s domination includes rookie league, a very short stint in A+ and a glorified fall version of spring training. Let’s not get crazy.

                      I like the scouting reports that seem to love Bryant and project him as a capable upper minors hitter immediately, but his resume is impressive but very thin.

                    • ssckelley

                      Not sure what this has to do with anything. Small sample size or not Bryant has been dominating the minors, IF he continues next season I see no reason to hold him back other than player control. From the 2012 draft 3 first rounders have already reached the majors along with 2 second rounders. College players can move faster through the system, other teams are doing it why not the Cubs?

                    • Kyle

                      It’s worth noting that of those five players from the 2012 draft to have already debuted, four are pitchers. The fifth flopped in the majors and had to be sent back down before reappearing in September.

                      A college bat debuting with barely more than a season in the minors is doable but unusual.

                    • ssckelley

                      Of course it is unusual but it happens. Almost every year players reach the majors the following season after they were drafted. In this years draft I believe Appel and Bryant have the best chance to reach the majors next season. Again IF (notice emphasis on if) Bryant continues to dominate the minors.

                  • Kyle

                    I do think that the longer the offseason goes, the crazier the promotion schedules get. In September, it’s “Is it theoretically possible in the most extreme circumstances that player X could be up in 2014? I guess so” and then by December player X is penciled into the Opening Day lineup. Prospect creep.

                    But I’d put Bryant as more likely to debut in 2014 than Alcantara.

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                      Alcantara’s presence on the 40-man makes a difference, though. The analogy there is Watkins, who “made his debut” in 2013, even if he wasn’t a starter or anything close to it. It would be an upset if Alcantara isn’t at least a September call-up. 51/49.

                    • Kyle

                      True. I’m not saying Alcantara is objectively unlikely to make a 2014 debut. I’m actually just pretty bullish on Bryant’s chances for a September call-up.

                      I could see Alcantara just flat-out not earning it at AAA. He’s not the sure-fire talent our higher-end guys are.

                    • ETS

                      Does alcantara have trade value? He seemed to be getting alot of love from scouts by the end fo the season. I say sell high.

                • TOOT

                  Yes, I believe you are overestimating Luke.

            • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

              Good thoughts Luke.

              I have a feeling it can sort itself out with performance. ;)

            • Die hard

              Then if true wouldn’t Bailey be logical choice to greet them off the bus and guide them over next 5 yrs?

              • college_of_coaches

                The bus-greeter job is already taken.

          • MichiganGoat

            Yeah it’s all about risk that can’t hurt beyond the short term, hope to find a Liriano but don’t strangle hold the payroll for 8-10 years. We might see Baez and Bryant in the show this year and with a few surprises and no sell off .500 is possible and that’s always been in line with the plan. Dance around .500 in 2014 and have a playoff discussed team in 2015 going forward. Somewhere people got the idea that two years of a Theo led rebuild would result in a playoff caliber team and we are seeing the frustration from people that couldn’t see beyond a couple years.

            • Caryatid62

              I think there are some that upset for the wrong reasons, but there are others, myself included, who feel like numerous opportunities have emerged throughout the last two years that would have dramatically sped up the timeline for the rebuild, and either because of mistake by the front office or limitations placed on the FO by ownership (I lean this way), the timetable has been slowed significantly. I see 2016 as the first real opportunity to be competitive, and it didn’t have to be that way.

    • YourResidentJag

      So what about SP Jason Vargas? How does he compare to Kazmir?

      • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

        Jason Vargas:
        K/9: 6.54 in 2013.
        FB velocity: declining to below 88MPH. (if graph loads)
        His years in Seattle helped by BABIP below .285.
        Healthier, eats innings, but he’s more likely to want guaranteed money – no incentive deals, I suspect. But those other things are not good indications.

        Plus Vargas was coming off a 8.5M contract. I wonder what he’s in the market for. 3 YRs at 28M is pretty much Kazmir with a year extra according to MLB Trade Rumors thinking – 2/16.5M.
        —–
        Their list of 50 FA signings does not inspire if you are a Cub fan. Chris Young and Benoit. Cubs don’t necessarily need relievers, as they acquired quite a few options in their trades.

        Put 15-20M into a 36 year old arm? Is that a wise acquisition? Didn’t we just get by with Kevin Gregg? The Strop?

        BP was bad, don’t get me wrong. But we turned over the roster there – and have some young arms, which is where BPs need them. Benoit has closed for 1 year…just one. Paying him 16M for his 2013 performance is a bad deal. He also gives up HRs 107 in just 850 IP lifetime (including his starts).

        Can pick up a reliever for half this price range, in my opinion.
        Young is an option. Misses alot (77% contact rate). Good non-strike swinging (24%) rate. So we will see.

        [img]http://www.brooksbaseball.net/cache/6872cfff76a77231763fa3ac80648b03.gif[/img]

        • YourResidentJag

          Thanks.

          • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

            No problem. JMO.

    • ssckelley

      JP, good read. I love your starting pitching suggestions along with potential outfield and catcher signings. Youkilis is the one I have a hard time seeing happen, I think he would rather retire than mentor young 3rd baseman on a non contending team. The guy I would like to see the Cubs go after is Eric Chavez, he is a former gold glove award winner that can still hit on a part time or pinch hitter basis. He signed with Arizona last off season for only 3 million, he will be 36 years old and still hits right handed pitching fairly well (combined OPS .810 last season).

      • Jason Powers

        I could see chavez. But he too may be wanton of a contender. He may also prefer the southwest…id be happy if he’d come for a reasonable price.

        • http://deleted cub2014

          I cant see Chavez, you have waves of players
          coming at 3rd. They brought in Olt to give him
          a try if he fails you have Baez in the wings by
          June or July. You still have Villanueva who
          will need a chance soon and if they all fail you
          have Bryant. We still have Murphy and Valbuena
          as a platoon which wouldnt be much worse than
          Chavez. So I say that is one area they wont be
          looking at this winter.

  • YourResidentJag

    So, MLBTR thinks the Cubs will sign Joaquin Benoit. Really???

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      I think they handed the Cubs Benoit because they had the Cubs down as needing bullpen help, hit Benoit, and didn’t have the Cubs signing a reliever yet.

      I suspect the Cubs will be calling the agent for nearly every reliever on the market if only to check for asking prices. That bullpen has some talent in it, but a veteran or two wouldn’t hurt things at all.

      • YourResidentJag

        His price is too steep, though as @Jason Powers has stated. They have to give Strop a chance to close this year. Adding Benoit just seems to be a waste. I get what you’re saying about relievers. Please not Benoit. I could see them going after Jesse Crain or Matt Albers but Benoit???

      • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

        BP is the area you solve through trade or late spring acquisition to me.

        Lets see who is doing what in spring training before plunk money into that area.

  • daveyrosello

    When is Don Kessinger getting his interview for the Cubs’ manager job? I heard somewhere he’d be really great at it. Also, I think Dick Tidrow and Turk Wendell deserve interviews, because shut up.

  • cub2014

    mlb trade rumors has us likely signing:
    young & vargas. Going in heavy on
    Choo Tanaka and Infante but probably
    loosing out to the Tigers Dodgers and
    Tigers.

  • Rizzo1684

    MLBTR has Vargas to the Angels.

  • Die hard

    Bailey has 1500 wins old fashioned way

  • Blackhawks1963

    So we wait patiently to see whether Renteria or Lovullo is the hire. Like watching paint dry. I personally hope the hire is Renteria, but regardless I’ll get behind the decision.

  • Fastball

    I think as of now the Redsux still have not given Theo permission to talk to their boy Lovullo. I think they are going to give the Cubs the good ole FU boys. If my memory serves me correctly the Sr. Leadership in Boston didn’t exactly finish the last round of negotiations with the Cubs on the friendliest of terms. The league office was stepping in and out just to make sure there weren’t an knives or guns at the negotiating table. So maybe those guys tell Theo to FO and find a manager elsewhere your not free to interview our guy. Then what? I have to say. If I own the Redsox I might send Theo a letter telling him to stay the hell out of my organization when it comes to recruiting. Okay to fleeced me of some of my top managers. No More or I will sue your ass. If I’m the Padres owner I gotta start thinking the same way. Every year we gotta go out and hire new people cuz the Cubs can’t find people anywhere else in baseball. Well F That. Pretty soon you got a lot of people pissed at you and nobody wants to play nice anymore. You reach in the box full of snakes one too many times your going to get bit.

  • Fastball

    Anybody watch the AFL AllStar game. Our boy didn’ look good at 3B. I was hoping for a better showing than that. I saw Almora’s name on the back of his jersey watching dingers sail over his head. Missed the 1st 5 innings doing something else before I remembered it was on. Never got to see Soler play. Bummer.

    • LWeb23

      I saw the game. I’m guessing you saw the one error Bryant had that just went right under his glove. He had a nice play the inning before (I think it was the 4th or 5th). Jonathon Mayo was actually praising his defense so some extent, saying he could be servicable there and he is quicker than people give him credit for. Soler ripped a ball extremely hard to the opposite field, it was quite impressive. It was something to see…

  • Kramden

    Agree…now I see why he’s projected as a corner outfielder. Also didn’t look like All-World against better pitching than he’s seen up til now.

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  • Bsteady

    When LaRussa retired, I really thought he’d replace Sveum. I knew Sveum wasn’t the long-term answer. Sandberg is going to come back to haunt us. But we need to sign Tony LaRussa to a 4 year deal. And we’ll have a chance in years 2, 3, and 4.

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  • http://what? brygo

    Do any of you care that the indications are that Chris Bosio will be the pitching coach no matter who is named manager. Take it from the 2012 Red Sox: hiring a manager and not letting him pick the coaches is a disaster waiting to happen. Theo should reconsider that

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