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- Patrick Mooney talks to Jeff Samardzija, reflecting back on those Theo Epstein compensation rumors* back in 2011 – remember when Samardzija’s name came up? at the time, he was but a promising young reliever – and he’s got a good memory about it, because he nails rumored players involved. The players mentioned at the time, in addition to Samardzija, were Trey McNutt, Brett Jackson, and Chris Carpenter. The latter was ultimately sent to the Red Sox (together with PTBNL Aaron Kurcz), almost immediately had bone spurs surgery, and now pitches overseas. McNutt, the clear top pitching prospect in the organization at the time, has struggled ever since then, has dealt with injury issues, and was long ago removed from the 40-man roster. Jackson, whom we discussed yesterday, hasn’t been able to overcome his swing issues yet. Remember how vehemently opposed to to idea of losing any of these guys for Epstein we were? How absurd we thought that price to be (setting aside the fact that holding an organization hostage for compensation when a guy is getting a promotion is just lame)? I think those feelings were justified, based on asset value at the time, but it’s a reminder about how quickly value can change when you’re talking about prospects – especially ones who’ve not yet reached, and performed well at, AAA.
- That’s all worth remembering as we (likely) watch the Cubs pick up some prospects in trade over the next month, and then we (possibly) see the Cubs trading away prospects in the offseason for big league pieces.
- *(Going back and reading old stuff is always fascinating. For example, that compensation rumor piece – which was one of dozens that offseason – mentions a Bruce Levine report that had Epstein first asking Josh Byrnes, then a VP with the Padres, to come to Chicago to be his GM. When Byrnes declined, according to the report, Epstein then asked San Diego GM Jed Hoyer, who first sought an extension from the Padres, but it wasn’t going to happen, so Hoyer moved on to the Cubs, and Byrnes was elevated to GM. Obviously we can’t know if any of this is true (I think it was all a little more collaborative than that, and wasn’t necessarily a “first choice, second choice” situation), and three years later, everyone’s probably very happy how things worked out. Well, maybe except Byrnes, who was fired by the Padres a couple weeks ago. Wonder whether, given their previous connections and this stuff right here, the Cubs will come calling to see if Byrnes would consider a different front office role.)
- More from Jesse Rogers on Junior Lake’s contact issues. Most notable are the “low ball” stats, which have Lake doing virtually nothing with anything in the lower third of the strike zone or lower.
- The Cubs are auctioning off “Favorite Things” baskets for charity, which contain some of the Cubs’ players’ favorite things. You get a little window into the guys as people. Jake Arrieta’s, for example, includes a Leatherman, because he’s a bro who can help you fix your broken cabinet. John Baker, however, wins my heart with, among other things, a coffee stout, a Lego Millennium Falcon, ‘Slaughterhouse Five’, and ‘A Game of Thrones’. Maybe the three of us can hang out some time, and John and I will have a great stout and build a Lego Mos Eisley cantina while Jake fixes a chair.
- This is genuinely apropos of nothing, and I’m not even sure how I landed on it, but I found this Gawker article on Twitter – and how everything you choose to put on there is public (because obviously) – quite funny and poignant. I do think sometimes folks forget that, and also forget that the Internet is likely to live on much longer than your lack of shame.
- MLB.com produced a video of Lou Gehrig’s famous Luckiest Man speech on its 75th anniversary, featuring a number of MLB players (mostly first basemen, including Anthony Rizzo) joining in with Gehrig in the speech. Very cool watch.
- Your BN Blogathon fundraiser for Make-A-Wish visual update – we’re doing really well through two days, but there’s still a long way to go:
— Brett Taylor (@BleacherNation) July 3, 2014