Weekend Update … A Big Week Ahead for the Cubs

The next several days and weeks figure to be anything but boring for the Chicago Cubs. After Theo Epstein is introduced as the Cubs President of Baseball Operations on Tuesday, Epstein is expected to name Jed Hoyer his GM. Hoyer figures to be officially announced after the conclusion of the World Series.

Along with Jed Hoyer, the Cubs are expected to bring in Jason McLeod and possibly Brian O’Halloran. A majority of the changes and additions to the Cubs front office should take place over the next seven days … then it is time to address the managerial position, the coaching staff, Major and Minor League free agents and the 40-man roster. To say Epstein has to hit the ground running would be an understatement.

Ryan Dempster on Talkin’ Baseball
Ryan Dempster joined Bruce Levine and Jonathan Hood at the top of the third and final hour of Saturday’s Talkin’ Baseball (ESPN 1000). Ryan Dempster was very frank during the entire interview and said it is not a given that he is just going to pick up his 2012 option.

Dempster began the interview by saying he was so glad that Theo Epstein is now the President of Baseball Operations for the Cubs that he went out and bought fried chicken and video games to celebrate. Dempster was obviously joking and after a quick laugh said he thought the Cubs could get better really fast.

When asked about what he would tell Epstein about being with the Cubs, Dempster thinks by now Theo knows plenty or he would not be taking the job.

Jonathan Hood asked what he thought of his performance last season. Dempster quickly answered, “Honest answer, I was terrible.” Dempster added that April was the worst month of his career and he took his share of the responsibility for the horrible season.

“For some reason or another, I just found a way to give up four or five runs every game. I scratched and clawed the whole way to try and make it respectable at the end of the year, but I think that was a big reason why we didn’t succeed the way we did. I mean, obviously, we had guys out, but your team starts with your starting pitching. I just had a subpar year and I’m gonna go out there and bust my tail this winter. And I’m gonna … do the best I can to go out there and have a better year next year. “

Dempster plans to meet with Theo Epstein to discuss the direction of the team before deciding to pick up his option. Dempster said he’s never played the game for money that it is just a byproduct of what he does. Dempster said the goal is to win and to win as a team. Dempster would like to see if the Cubs plan on going younger or in a different direction and that picking up his option is just not as easy as it seems. Dempster loves being a Cub, playing in Chicago and would like to finish his career with the Cubs.

Click Here for Podcast of Ryan Dempster on ESPN 1000

And last but not least … Theo Epstein has taken out a full-page ad in Sunday’s Boston Globe saluting Red Sox nation.

Well, there’s the update … and I’m sticking to it.

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO

Quote of the Day

"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. I hope someday you'll join us, and the world will be as one." - John Lennon

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  • paulcatanese

    Dempster seems very honest in his assesment  of his performance this year, and I agree with him, he was terrible. I know he will work hard over the winter to improve but how many games are left in his arm? I would say at best ,if he picks up his option and the Cubs are moving forward he would be looking at a 3-4 starter on the staff. I dont know if given a new pitching coach and manager if that would do it for him and I would not base it on giving 200 innings as a criteria to have him remain on the team. If those innings were at least 80% productive I would say yes, just dont know if its worth taking a spot to find that out. Then thats why Epstein is going to be paid the big bucks to figure things like that out.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Crane Kennedy: just give him a job somewhere operating a crane and be done with him. 

    Then he can righteously be called “CRANE” Kennedy…..

  • Ripsnorter1

    I will have to say that if Epstein is getting $20 million, and then he’s hiring Hoyer, and others, then P.K. Ricketts is throwing a whole lot of money at office personnel that do not play baseball. I just hope he keeps some money back to sign prospects and FA players that do play baseball. 

    • Coolpdxcubsfan

      Based on what Crane Kenney has brought to the club in the past, I think Mr. Rickets plans to make him the President of Lavatory Operations now at a vastly reduced pay scale, thus freeing up some big money for a free agent pitcher or two.

      • Coolpdxcubsfan

        Ooops, just in from the wire, Mike Quade has been reassigned to Assist Kenney in the above job and will have primary responsibilities regarding proper flushing relief work in the late innings.

    • cubs1967

      let’s remember this team was 20 games out all year and drew 3M fans; there is plenty of money for the front office and lots of free agents. that’s 6M fans the last 2 yrs the PK Ricketts family did NOT deserve.  time for payback.

  • Tony_Hall

    Talk about a classy guy!  Theo’s full page ad is a class act.  

    You have to love listening to Dempster…”went out and bought some fried chicken and video games” to “Honest answer, I was terrible”…he tells it like it is, and has a great sense of humor.  

    And, by new reports out of Boston, it seems even the scribes are coming down, from the lofty expectations for compensation.  I know many of you were impatient and wanted this done fast, but done fast would have cost someone we didn’t want to see leave. 

    Ricketts and whoever else was involved in the negotiations, did a great job of not giving in, to just get it over with fast.  When even the Boston writers have figured out that compensation, shouldn’t be huge since he is leaving for a  “better job so the compensation isn’t going to be something outrageous”, you know that they did a great job negotiating, and now, Theo gets to finish it going against his buddy and underling.

    • Brp921

      The type of players being mentioned now IS more realistic and if true will make this a big step in the right direction for the Cubs.

      • Tony_Hall

        There is still a chance that a player may be going to Boston, that we may wish wasn’t, but the overall package will be no where near where Boston was thinking initially.  That is why time is one of the best strategies in negotiations. 

        • Brp921

          As long as we don’t give up our top guys then it will be reasonable compensation. It’s also good that Epstein gets to do the negotiating. That way he can deal who he’s comfortable dealing and if he’s wrong it’s on him.

  • Aorcappy01

    I have heard and read alot in the past few weeks about people being happy Theo is coming, mad Theo is coming (and who we should have gotten) and those on the fence. Well I for one am ecstatic. What some people in my opinion are missing is that Theo isn’t being brought in this season to win 90 games, but for what I have read, to build a foundation for which success can be built upon. First and foremost Theo needs to get rid of, the “loveable losers” moniker. I’m sick of hearing about durhams error in 84, the black cat in 69 and yes even the billy goat. We accept and expect doom because that’s the cubs history and its a national joke. Instant winning obviously changes that for a moment, but a lasting culture changes that forever. No one really talks about the curse of the bambino anymore because the sox continue to put winning teams on the field. Second take the heart out of player moves. Play prospects who deserve it and bench or cut dead weight when possible. Theo dealt a very popular ss, to much fan outrage, but by selling while nomar still had value, the sox got valuable pieces that helped them win. When is the last real time the cubs dealt a vet while is value was high? Maybe derosa? Certainly not d. lee and certainly not a ram. The sox have also let free agents walk for the compensation. Let a ram and dempster walk away and take a pick who might help down the road.

    I’m sure the cubbies will still make bad draft picks and bad free agent signings, but hopefully it will balance out. The problem now is the cubs try and band aid a team by throwing money at a problem. When you build from within and give those players a chance, you can afford to swing and miss on occasion.

    We are in for 5 years of mediocrity, but I can live with that…..

    • Demitri

      Man you just reminded me that we should’ve recieved better prospects for DeRosa. We might have been able to take a number five rated prospect from a good team. That trade jim hendry did was bad. Maybe Gaub might turn out. I wasn’t too happy about that trade

      • gocubs

        Hugh?  We got Chis Archer who was the main piece in the Garza trade and at the time #1 or #2 prospect in our system.  The DeRosa trade was a very good trade.  

        • Tony_Hall

          We got lucky with Archer, he was not that highly ranked when we received him.  The Cardinals traded Chris Perez and others for Derosa, months later.  JH did not make a good trade moving Derosa.  Aaron has done a complete evaluation of both of Derosa’s trades and it is just sad how little JH received for Derosa versus how much the Indians received for him.

        • J Daniel

          Maybe in the sense of prospects it was a good trade but at the time it was TERRIBLE!  Trying to win a WS and trade a key guy so that you can open money for Milton Bradley?  WOW!  And the kicker is Bradley’s numbers were not as good from the left side which was one of the reasons they were signing him – he was left handed.

          If they were getting guys that could help immediately it would be a different story.

          • Ripsnorter1

            J Daniel: YOU’RE RIGHT ON THE MONEY!

            GREAT POST!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil
  • diehardcubfan

    As others have noted it was time for change and a decision was reached that Theo Epstein was the choice to lead that change.  As Cubs fans whether we agreed or disagreed about that decision is no longer important.  What is important now is that we support the management and the team. 

    This will not be an immediate fix though Mr. Ricketts believes the Cubs could contend next year with the right moves but a long term overhaul of philosophy and culture.  It will take several years to change the culture and build the farm system into a continuous feeder of ML ready talent.

    The first major issues is addressing the manager and coaching staff positions.  I do not expect Quade back but anything is possible.  Of all the coaches the only two I see coming back are Jaramillo and Dernier. 

    I am open to any manager and not caught up in the Sandberg hype but if Epstein decides he is the best choice then so be it.  One cannot argue with Ryno’s track record in the minors.

    The most important hire on the staff will be the new pitching coach.  I just do not see Riggins coming back.  It would be great to see Maddux become the pitching coach but just do not see it.

    Speaking of Maddux it will be interesting to see what the Cubs offer him.  Given Epstein is bringing in his own staff doubt Maddux will be offered a position in the front office.  I would believe given Maddux lack of involvement in the team particularly after JHs firing that he may not be offered any position at all.

    I think a lot about direction Cubs management goes is what happens with the following players?

    1.  Dempster –  exercises his option or not?
    2.  Big Z – to trade or not to trade that is the question?  Trade him please.
    3.  ARAM – would he consider resigning after Epstein is onboard?  I think he will
         be an Angel instead.
    4   Soriano – can the Cubs find an AL team if the Cubs agree to absorb most of
         his contract?  I do not see a good fit for him as a DH on any AL team.

    The Cubs offseason will be like a novel filled with intrigue, suspense and subplots. 

    The question remains is how will the story end?    

    • J Daniel

      I hope thad Dempster does not exercise his option and becomes a free agent.  Aram is gone.  Difficult to trade Sori.

      • studio179

        Sorry to rain on your Dempster thoughts, but he will kick in his player option for 2012. He keeps talking to the media about how he loves playing  in Chicago. Plus, he has child medical issues and likes the set up. Here, take a look about what he said about sticking around.

        http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/ct-spt-1024-cubs-epstein-dempster–20111024,0,3092647.story 

        • Tony_Hall

          That is the interview he is talking about, where he actually states he wants to know what the plan is, for him, long term.  He states if they don’t want him for more than 2012, that’s fine.

          Dempster quote “Even if it’s not doing an extension, it’s just knowing that they want me around,” he said. “I want to play here forever, and if I stink, then go ahead and fire me. I’m a grown man. I just like playing here, and hopefully I can play here for a long time.”

          That tells me, that if Theo says, we don’t plan to extend you, it will be one and done if you pick up your option, that Dempster, will consider leaving. 

          • studio179

            Exactly. I read it the same way. But I just don’t think Dempster leaves this off season. I could be wrong as I don’t know what Theo might tell Dempster. All I know is if Dempster stays, he gets 14 MM. Ouch.   

    • Ripsnorter1

      DieHardCubsFan:

      To answer your questions…..

      1. DUMPSTER stays. 

      2. Big Z–not tradeable, imo. But Ricketts says he isn’t coming back. I can’t imagine Ricketts eating $18 million dollar contract so Z can stay home. I DON’T KNOW WHAT WILL HAPPEN.

      3. Aram is gone because Epstein doesn’t pitch or hit lefthanded with a lot of power. FORGETABOUTIT.

      4. Soriano is totally untradeable. Can’t run. Never could field. Doesn’t hit for average anymore. All he has left is power, and that could go at any time, baby. And don’t forget that his power is exclusively off of middle relief and AAA pitchers. And he’s only owed another $54 million dollars. Soriano is all risk, and very little to no reward. He stays a Cub, imo. Unless, of course, Jim Qlueless lands another GM gig somewhere, and pulls one of the dumbest trades in MLB history.

  • John_CC

    I do like Demp, but I find it ironic when the guys in their 30s and just starting to deal with their physical decline want assurance that the new team direction will be to get younger…for them to decide whether or not to come back!  Dempster isn’t the first “old” guy on the roster to make this type of statement.

  • KevininSandiego33

    Neil,

    Here in San Diego we are hearing no compensation for Hoyer and McLeod. I have called Local radio and tweeted local report and they all said no Compensation.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Kevin, I have heard the Padres will not receive compensation more than they will receive compensation. Thanks for the update.

  • JimBo_C

    Neil,
    Are you hearing anything about how Wilken and Fleita might fit into this new org structure?

    • waldo7239117

      Ricketts and Epstein talked about them both and Epstein was all for the Fleita extension and is on board to sign Wilken to an extension. They both will have the same role, or close.

      That’s what I heard a few weeks to a month ago.

      • Tony_Hall

        How could Epstein have discussed what he would do with Fleita and Wilken a few weeks to a month ago???  It hasn’t been that long, that he agreed to come here.

        • waldo7239117

          When him and Ricketts had the interview.

          • Tony_Hall

            ???? “him and Ricketts had the interview”…that wasn’t a few weeks to a month ago, plus, there hasn’t exactly been any leaks about what was discussed.  

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Nothing official at this point. I’ve heard rumblings that Fleita could be reassigned to another part of the system, but again nothing official.

      • JimBo_C

        Thanks for the feedback.

  • Demitri

    I just want the world series over with so we can see what the cubs do.. From what we have done already, its going to be a fun off season

  • paulcatanese

    Watching the World Series last night brought me back to Qua and his resume to present to Epstein. “I’m not afraid of Pujols, we will pitch to him”.

    • paulcatanese

      Another strange thing, how does Mitch Williams get the job on MLB, its a wonder that he could find his own chair. His comments are brutal along with Larry Bowa, and Kevin Millar? Who does his wardrobe?

      • Anonymous47701

        Maybe Quade did not realize at the how arrogant and stoooopid that move was that he should have just let them walk or get Pujols to Chase Outside.

        • paulcatanese

          Thats the ironic part about that, Qua did not think period, his game plan just was stupid, like many other moves he made.

          • Anonymous47701

            Not to mention Rodrigo Lopez, I mean where the h#ll did that come from?

          • studio179

            Yeah, I remember Bob & Len commenting how Pujols was 0-12 against Lopez. That same AB, Pujols launched the great Lopez deep.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From the Boston Globe: Nick
    Cafardo

    The Red Sox are comfortable with Selig’s
    Nov 1 deadline for working out compensation for Theo Epstein with the Cubs
    according to a Sox exec

  • gocubs

    What is Crane Kenny’s value to this organization?  We have added other key new business people, we are adding a new president of Baseball, new GM, lots of new and better people.  Why keep such a divisive character around?  What does Kenny do that is so great and valuable to the Cubs?  I have never heard a single positive attribute to this guy.  What is Rickets’ prerogative in keeping this Tribune holdover around?  Seriously, not looking for more Kenny bashing or anything like that, just some realistic opinions on this.    

    • Dorasaga

      The answer: Lying to Cubs fans so we drink more Kool Aid.

      That’s how they started a multi-million business with a game that involves 9 players on a surface with grass and dirt.

    • J Daniel

      It probably means that he is still under contract and they are going to send him to his room so that he stays out of the way until his contract is up.

      There is NO WAY he will have any impact on baseball or Theo would NOT have taken the job.

  • Ryan7

    Who cares about Crane Kenny at this point. I mean let’s get bald Susie Q and his blind and dumb coaching staff out from managing and bring in Ryno and his crew to run the field. Then find new minor leauge staffs. Then worry about kenny. Then the fun will start. What players to keep(imo only a hand full or so) and who to get ride of. Sign Fielder and find a 3rd basemen (Michael Young) and get two/three new starters. C.C , C.J Wilson, or Jackson or someone.

    • Dorasaga

      CJ and Edwin must be avoided with all cost (and the result is no cost, if not signed). There’s nothing in their career that tell us they are a fix to anything, especially when the Cubs need to revamp the whole organization and play more kids. I hope they will not complain about tying multi-millions to two inconsistent pitchers like Hendry did with Byrd and Bradley (mediocre bats). I’m tired of this management signing mediocre talents then scapegoating these signees.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Theo’s press conference Tues at 11am