- Bruce Levine guesses that the managerial candidates rank this way in the minds of the Cubs: (1) Sandy Alomar, Jr., (1a) Mike Maddux, (3) Pete Mackanin, (4) Dale Sveum. I’d flip Maddux and Alomar, and then flip Sveum and Mackanin. Guesses are just guesses, after all.
- Most people are guessing we won’t have a resolution on the manager search until the end of next week, or the week after. The primary reason: interviews just concluded, and there are GM meetings next week for the first part of the week.
- Speaking of those meetings, Theo and Jed will be meeting with other front office members in Milwaukee starting on Monday. “We’ve had a number of conversations about free agents and about trade targets,” Hoyer said. “I think for both Theo and for me, it’s exciting to go up to Milwaukee and start having face-to-face conversations with different teams about our guys. I’ve been trying to make as many GM phone calls as I can so I can have some pre-GM meeting discussions. It’ll be interesting to see what idea the other teams have, what players they have interest in, because we haven’t had this as members of the Cubs yet.”
- At those meetings, Theo will probably talk to Red Sox GM Ben Cherington about the outstanding compensation issue.
- Theo has had a quick phone chat with Carlos Zambrano, who is pitching in Venezuela this Winter (and is scheduled to make his second start today), but the two are planning to meet in person at some point soon.
- Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos, 24, has been rescued in Venezuela. He is safe and healthy, and we’re all relieved. To his kidnappers: you’re worthless pieces of crap, and I hope you rest uncomfortably in prison for decades.
- Given how well Bryan LaHair is hitting in Venezuela, interest in him from Japanese teams is only going to increase. The Cubs hold LaHair’s rights, so they don’t have to do anything until after Spring Training, but they may feel compelled on a personal level to make a decision about his likelihood of being on the roster next year sooner rather than later.
- Commensurate with the release of their new logo and uniforms, word leaked that the Miami Marlins have made “substantial” offers to free agents Albert Pujols and Jose Reyes. They’ve also reportedly made offers to pitchers Mark Buehrle and Ryan Madson. Did I mention that Fish released their ridiculous new logo and uniforms yesterday? Timing is everything.
Cubs Prospect Notes: Smokies Win, Horn and Martin Cruise, Herz Working on the Wildness, Instructs Underway, Wesneski Special Stuff, More