The Start of the Epstein Era

Theo Epstein will be formally introduced as the President of Baseball Operations for the Chicago Cubs at an 11:00am CDT press conference … in what is anticipated as being the largest press conference ever held at Wrigley Field.

Epstein officially resigned his post as the GM of the Boston Red Sox last Friday and showed up at Wrigley on Monday to take care of business prior to meeting the media and officially taking his new position.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011 is all about Theo Epstein and hearing how he plans on turning the Chicago National League Ball Club, Inc. into perennial contenders.

Here is a quick update on the latest from the North Side of Chicago …

  • And last but not least … according to a report from the Sun-Times, Mike Quade is expected to travel to Chicago to meet with the new upper management this week, and while sources suggest a decision hasn’t been made on his fate as manager, that may be primarily a matter of waiting until Jed Hoyer is officially in place as GM. Even sources close to Quade don’t expect him to return as manager despite another year left on his contract. As for Ryne Sandberg? Don’t rule out Sandberg managing the Cubs next season according to the Sun-Times … Sandberg could at least end up on the Cubs’ big league coaching staff.

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

Feel free to comment below on the Theo Epstein press conference. The CCO will post notes, links and tweet during the presser.

Follow the CCO on Twitter: @TheCCO

Quote of the Day

"You try to get that game out of your mind, but it never leaves you." - Cool Papa Bell
Share on Fancred
  • gocubs

    I wonder if Theo has the power to fire/hire people on the business side.  If Kenny starts to rub him the wrong way, does he have to power to get rid of him?

    • studio179

      Believe me, I am not a fan. I wish I could expand on it here. Today is all about Epstein, soon Hoyer and the new Cub regime. Let’s focus on the baseball side of the Cubs. Not because I believe Theo is a God or the end all, but because it moves this organization in a different and much better direction. Maybe the Cubs do or do not finally win it all under Epstein. One thing is for sure. At least we will see a blue print of a direction that resembles a prominent and top self organization. One that is current, progressive and falls in line of what the Ricketts ownership said they would do at their initial press conference, when the sale was finalized.

      I know I did not answer your question and I am not being down on you.  But just knowing Crane Kenney is no longer involved in baseball decisions is exciting enough for me right now. Forget him!. Today is a new direction!

      • Ripsnorter1

        FACT: during the official press conference, Theo called Crane Kennedy an excellent and knowledgeable baseball man.

        Scary, ain’t it?

  • Anonymous47701

    Lineup/Bench idea

    B.Jackson-CF
    S.Castro-SS
    L.Morrison-LF
    B.LaHair-1B
    M.Cuddyer-RF
    P.Sandoval-3B
    D.LeMahieu-2B
    W.Castillo-C
    Pitcher

    E.Hinske-INF
    D.Barney-INF
    J.Molina-C
    T.Campana-OF
    T.Wright-OF

    • Eric

      Are we seriously already making lineups?  Can we wait for the offseason to get under way under Epstein first?  Half of those guys aren’t ready to play.

      • Tony_Hall

        He throws out lineups and rotations, etc constantly, It has nothing to do with Theo, just his way of constantly suggesting many things, that will never happen.

        • Anonymous47701

          Well, You Never Know. Somebody from the Cubs Front Office may be looking into this website, Theo or Not, reading our comments and taking them under advisement, I mean ya never know.

          • Tony_Hall

            Nothing we think of, they haven’t thought of (at least the new regime, JH, could have learned alot from all of us).  

            We spend a fraction of our time, thinking about the Cubs (hopefully that is all we spend), they think about it all day long.

          • Demitri

            I’ll admit Anonymous47701, that was a great response. But as intelligent as the fans on this site are, we are just fans overall and most of our opinions over the years haven’t happen so I doubt anyone is looking at our post. But I feel if we got everyone here on CCO to take care of GM responsibilities, we could do better than Jim Hendry. 

          • Ripsnorter1

            I believe that they do read this site, Anonymous 47701. And I think you should continue to post your ideas if you wish to do so. You always post in a kind, respectful manner, and I think your opinions are valid (though I do not always agree with them, or always expect everything you suggest to come to pass). The good part is that you are thinking. And what is wrong with thinking?  :)

        • Eric

          Yeah, I knew it wasn’t Theo.  But Cubs fans kind of erk me sometimes.  Things like that.  Things like thinking our prospects are really great, when many times they aren’t.  Things like wanting to trade for a superstar player and expecting to only giving up bench players thinking that will get a deal done.  

          • daverj

            Well said Eric.  I don’t think it’s limited to Cub fans though.  If you read pages from other teams, posters always through out the classic “Let’s package 2-3 marginal prospects plus a couple borderline major leaguers with “potential” or overpaid vets that “might” turns things around in exchange for a quality player from another team”.

            Everyone wants to deal the Zambranos, Barneys, Jay Jacksons, etc .. and come back with a quality player like Logan Morrison.  The Marlins may deal Morrison, but it will be for close to equivalent value.  For example, Morrison plus a couple top prospects for James Shields is something that could happen.

            The other classic annoying fan thing to do is to push for big dollar free agent signings (that require long term contracts and then complain about the signings a few years later.

      • J Daniel

        And half of them won’t even be on the team!!!!!

  • Ryan7

    What Chanel will the press conference be on. MLB NETWORK, ESPN, WGN or COMCAST?

    • J Daniel

      Comcast is starting coverage at 10:30

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Ryan, Comcast SportsNet’s coverage begins at 10:30am and WGN Radio is supposed to air the audio.

      • Agustinrexach

        Do you know if I can catch it on the score?

        • Agustinrexach

          Or does Comcast have a radio station?

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          Should be on the Score and WGN

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      ESPN is carrying the presser

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      XM and MLB Network are also carrying the press conference. The Score is as well.

  • Shelbymenge

    bring a whole new coaching staff theo.

  • Shelbymenge

    is pena coming back guys next season?

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

      Excellent article by Theo.

      The more I read about Theo, and see the way he conducts business, the more I am glad we hired him, and not one of his underlings (some who will follow, which is the true sign of a leader).  Now, were there other qualified guys…YES.  But I’ll take the guy with the plan and the rings from that plan.

      Today, we welcome Theo…tomorrow, we all hope to be celebrating with him.

    • J Daniel

      Fantastic article.  If it doesn’t give you a few goose bumps you didn’t enjoy the game that much when you were 12.  

      I again applaud Ricketts for having a plan, stealing the guy HE felt best suited to bring the Cubs a title, and starting a new era.  This will be fantastic to watch!

    • John G

      “May we meet again in an October not too many years from now.”

      Now THAT would be pretty special, wouldn’t it?

      I am truly amped up right now.

  • Jay from sandwich

    I can live with mike Madrid as manager but would prefer ryno the rest I have no intrest in as cubs managers

  • joejoed

    There’s an milb.com article that mentions Junior Lake playing some solid 3B. Here’s to hoping he hits the fast track a la Castro to the majors. His last year and a half has been pretty hot. Plus he has an awesome name.

    • Aaron

      not likely…he’s a big time hacker without a true position. His defense if very erratic, which is why he’s not highly desirable in the system, otherwise, at 21 (will be 22 years old), he’d make an excellent prospect in my opinion, provided he was good with at least one element in his game–defense or offense–which he needs a LOT of work with both categories. If he can somehow develop plate discipline, he’d rocket through the system, but he lacks the contact ability that Castro had, and even Vitters has (despite his low OBP) as they came up through the system.

  • Aaron

    Just wanted to back up my comments regarding the type of player Epstein is looking for from his own mouth:

    ********************************************************************************************
    Beyond the results on the field, I believe the Red Sox came to stand for certain things over the last decade. Pride in the uniform. Appreciation of our history.
    Controlling the strike zone. Grinding at-bats. Having each other’s
    backs. Rising to the moment. Never backing down. Connection to the fans.
    Hard work. Playing with passion and urgency. These concepts were taught
    in the minor leagues and reinforced at the big-league level by our
    homegrown players and by Tito, a selfless leader who always put the Red
    Sox first. These principles united the organization and came to define
    us.
    ********************************************************************************************

    You can tell that OBP is at the center of his comments with strike zone and grinding AB’s.

    As for the rest of it, you can tell that he will be a no-nonsense GM, and would’ve have allowed Zambrano to last this long. Hendry enabled him, because he “grew up in the system”, even giving him an extension after he punched a teammate (Barrett) in the dugout. And enabled him further by trading Barrett.

    As for the strike zone judgment and grinding AB’s, I mentioned last night a handful of players that fit that description, but they were NOT what you’d normally consider Top Prospects…at least in the previous regime’s minds. My guess is he will start by overhauling the Cubs’ minor league coaching staffs, and put people in place that teach those principles.

    If you look at the minor league and MLB levels for the Cubs, hackers are prevalent. The Soriano types are everywhere in the system, and Hendry kept acquiring and his team of scouts kept drafting them like they were going out of style.

    This previous draft was the first in memory where they had at least a few guys (Vogelbach and DeVoss come to mind) that knew how to take pitches.

    The connection to fans, playing with passion and urgency (ESPECIALLY that last element) have been completely void at the MLB level since guys like DeRosa and Edmonds were jettisoned after the 2008 season.

    Unfortunately, even team leaders like Dempster and Wood didn’t know what that meant, as they weren’t with successful organizations that taught those principles like DeRosa was with the Braves and Edmonds was with the Cardinals. ARAM sure as hell wasn’t, after coming over from the Pirates. Soriano was the closest thing they had after coming up with the Yankees, but he really wasn’t their type of player to begin with. He lacked plate discipline which is why he was dealt to the Rangers, who then dealt him to the Nationals, who didn’t even resign him after he came off a 40-40 campaign. Additionally, his salary makes him a polarizing figure in the clubhouse and lack of hustle is NOT setting a good example for younger players. The Cubs just traded for Garza last year, who is a VERY good teammate and comes from two winning organizations (Twins and Rays). Outside of him, who do they really have that can set a winning example, and show others how it’s done?!?!?

    Again, that’s why the Cubs need someone like a Pujols, Fielder (whose Brewers have brought a lot of their own along through the system), Oswalt, Papelbon, Lidge, Swisher, etc., to come in and teach the young guys how to play winning baseball. But the key is, they MUST sign productive players like that. Nobody is going to listen if they try signing a Miguel Cairo type of player.

    I really hope Epstein sets some goals in the announcement today, and we get a look into his philosophy going forward. But if you look at the Red Sox rosters in 2004 and 2007, and really all the years between and after, you’d see the Red Sox pretty much followed the description he outlined above in that quote, so optimism reigns supreme with me right now.

    • John G

      Excellent Aaron! All those attributes that Epstein mentions also are posessed by someone we all want to see (again) in Cubbie Blue. Soeone who WILL set that winning example. Ryne Sandberg. Here’s hoping Theo sees it that way as well.

    • Anthony

      Hackers may be a bit severe as a label. Do you really think the organization sent out a memo to all the minor league instructors to teach the players to “swing away”?

      The new 2011 players did not have enough sample to include, good or bad as far as results. As far as the players who returned for full season, maybe the reality is that all players are different, some are better, some worse, some entrenched with swing mechanics that can’t be changed, some hitting according to their profile, i.e power/slap/gap, whichever?

      Not every player will have that .350OBP so you have to look at what else they offer toward winning, meaning scoring or saving runs with defense, speed, arm.

      Now, do think Theo will send a memo that all hitters must take the first pitch? OBP and grinding out at bats are NOT synonymous terms. Grinding out an at bat is having the talent and ability to reverse the fortunes of the pitcher when he has the advantage, and even then, regardless of talent, approach, the hitter will still make at least 6 outs for every 10 at bats.

      The game is simple, but also complex in the fact that 9 hitters with an OBP over .350 in the same lineup does not guarantee runs scored. it is all about WHEN they are on base and capitalizing at that moment, which usually includes actually hitting the ball.

      I agree with most of your comments, but you also have to realize that most hitters “are, what they are”, and no magic pill can transform them into the shape you desire.

      It is OK to have a few power guys in the lineup that drive in runs, strike out too much. It is called Balance.

      • Tony_Hall

        The organization didn’t send out a memo…that’s the point.  They never have had a plan.  They just liked hackers, and have filled a lot of spots in the minors, with that type of player.

        • Ripsnorter1

          You should mention this, Tony: 

          “The organization likes hackers, and have filled a lot of spots in the minors with hackers who have no power whatsoever, and can’t hit for average either.Moreover, their defense is suspect.” 

          That would have been an even more accurate statement. 

      • Bobby P

        “I agree with most of your comments, but you also have to realize that
        most hitters “are, what they are”, and no magic pill can transform them
        into the shape you desire.”

        Spot on, man. Having a good eye at the plate is more of an innate thing than something that you can learn. Sure, you can get better, but take a guy like Miguel Tejada for example, who with the A’s were taught to take more pitches and he couldn’t do it despite all the brainwashing by Beane and DePodesta. Billy Beane called him “Mr. Swing-At-Everything,” remember?

        Most hitters are what they are, some might have a switch go off, but it’s not common. Especially Caribbean hitters because they have always been taught “You can’t walk your way off the Island.”

        I do believe Theo wants balance. Moneyball (which Theo still follows to some degree) is all about odds. The odds of scoring a run with a runner on first is twice as likely as scoring with nobody on. The odds of scoring a run with two runners on improves the odds further, and so on.

        Hitters will hit. If you hit under .250, you better hit bombs, otherwise you’ll be out of a job quickly. However, isn’t hitting .275 with a .360 OBP more valuable than a guy hitting… oh, I don’t know… .307 with a .341 OBP?

        Just food for thought…

      • Tom U

        There’s an old phrase that Dominican players use – “you don’t walk your way off the island”. This was the philosophy of many minor leaguers of the previous regime. They thought that the way to get any attention was to try and put up gaudy numbers.

        Here’s hoping for a change in culture.

        • cubtex

          Exactly! And really it is the same way here in High School and college to impress scouts. Do you think if a scout goes out to see a kid play in High School and he walks 4 times he goes home saying we got to draft this kid? It takes time to mature in the minors to get that. Take Vitters for example. Here is a kid in High School who knew he had to swing at the first good strike he sees because he might not get another. He takes that with him to the minors until the light bulb goes off and he starts to realize how his OBP will increase if he lays off certain pitches and works the count more. Very few players come into the minors already doing that. Very few! 

    • Bobby P

      Aaron, good stuff. I absolutely agree with you about the hackers in the system. We’ve drafted athletes, not ball players, both mentally as well as physically, in my opinion. You have guys who just do not spend much time thinking about their ABs and how to adjust, how to shrink the zone and look for your pitch, how to focus on making solid contact and not swinging at things close to the zone (it’s okay to take a strike if it’s a pitcher’s pitch), etc. These guys want to put a bat on the ball and run, and that’s just not what Epstein preaches, not at all.

      I think you’re spot on in that it’ll lead to an overhaul in the lower levels, and it should.

      • paulcatanese

        So in essence what you are saying the Cubs need contact hitters with some power( not just power) that can go to all fields with the ball and concentrate on the situation and do what is called for with the bat.

        I agree with that, and believe that is what Epstein would be looking for
        in the system, and if he has his way will build from there.

        • cubtex

          There has to be a balance. You cannot just field a team with high OBP guys who can’t run or drive the ball. Look at a guy like the NL MVP this year….Matt Kemp. Would you not like to have a guy like that on the Cubs? He was very raw starting out but you can’t teach speed and athletic ability like that.

          • Bobby P

            The 2002 A’s proved that you could. Just saying…

            But I do get where you’re coming from. I want the Cubs to develop the NEXT Matt Kemp though.

        • Bobby P

          Well, the more power, the more walks, generally speaking…

          We just need better HITTERS. That includes a bevy of things, from taking more walks to better situational hitting, for example.

          Scott Hatteberg, for example, was a guy that had a great eye at the plate naturally, but he also studied opposing pitchers like his life depended on it (which it pretty much did, at least his baseball life). It starts there with getting young guys to start thinking about hitting differently instead of relying on their God-given ability. If Castro actually studied the game like he relies on his talent, he wouldn’t make as many mental errors (and actual errors), he wouldn’t go 10-for-14 in one series and 0-for-12 the next series.

          It has to start somewhere. Someone has to enforce this, and frankly, it’s easier to get minor league guys to buy into it because their baseball life depends on how well the coaches and especially the Cubs front office like them.

    • Ripsnorter1

      How in the Sam Hill does Sorry-oh-no fit into all of that???????
      “Controlling the strike zone. Grinding ABs?”

      Man alive, are we going to see some changes!

  • Agustinrexach

    Welcome Thesus Christ!

  • Calicub

    for those of us who don’t live in the midwest and don’t subscribe to MLB TV,
    cubs.com will be broadcasting the conference via internet.

    • John G

      I’m watching it on csnchicago.com right now.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Epstein: “We will define, find and implement a Cubs Way.”

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Epstein: Thanked Jim Hendry for sticking around this summer under difficult
    circumstances to sign draft class and commitment to Cubs

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Epstein: Looking for to sitting down with Quade and
    hearing his vision of the team and finding out a few things that went on over
    the last year.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Epstein has spoken with Quade a few times over the phone
    and is looking forward to meeting with him next week.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Epstein: There are no shortcuts in baseball.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Epstein: Can’t fake culture change. Winning is the most important thing.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Epstein:
    Goal … build the best organization possible and build foundation to be playing
    consistently in October

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Epstein: There is a gap between where we are and where
    we want to be.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    On building a Cubs way … Epstein:
    Will be a player development manual covering fundamentals of game both offense
    and defense. Will be distributed up and down the organization

  • joejoed

    Yu Darvish, anyone?

    • cc002600

      no, please, no

      I’ve seen enough of the overpaid, over-hyped Japanese imports.

      • daverj

        Not for the $100 million it will cost to get him.  This is going to be a slow process.  No more signing high price free agents until the team is a piece or two away from winning.

        The Cubs will likely be competing with the Pirates and Astros for the cellar in 2012 … and that is probably best for the long haul.

        • Ripsnorter1

          I don’t think either statement is true. It is not the best to finish last in 2012, and I don’t think it will profit the team in 2013 and beyond to stink up the joint in 2012.

      • cubtex

        I don’t want CJ Wilson for a record contract either.

    • brent carmona

      I like the idea. His stats are friggin’ sick over in Japan and when compared to Dice-K he simply beats him in every stat by a good margin. Epstein mentioned something about the prime years of baseball players being 26/27yrs old to 32yrs so I would think he might be intrigued at a player like Darvish. There are problems, obviously the high posting fee and bidding against the yankees, his high inning total (a few 200+ years already in his career) plus the higher level of difficulty here in the US

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Ricketts: After 10-15 minutes talking to Epstein knew he
    was the guy he wanted running the Cubs

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Epstein: Will never comment on amount of player payroll. Enough resources here, his job to allocate between majors, minors, scouting and player development.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Epstein: Key is to pay for future performance not past
    performance in regards to free agents

    Also, that was Theo at Starbucks

    • paulcatanese

      Neil, just watched the conference and was very impressed. The point he made as you said, the key is to pay for future performance and not the past really rang a bell with me, have not understood why the increase for the past at all, liked him.

    • Tony_Hall

      I love, that that, was confirmed.

    • J Daniel

      I am going to Starbucks now for an additional jolt of THEO!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Epstein: On final days in Boston, referenced Office
    Space said ended up in basement at Fenway with a stapler. Knew time to go to
    Cubs.

  • John G

    I am more optimistic now than ever before. If he can deliver on everthing that he said, we are in for a great ride. As Pat Hughes would say “Fasten those seat belts.”

    One striking comment about paying for future performance rather than past performance. I love it. Sounds like the anti-Jim Hendry approach.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Great Pat Hughes reference and you are right …

    • studio179

      Yes, also sounds like the anti-Theo approach as he admitted making mistakes in Boston. He learned and is moving on. 

      • j Daniel

        And if he has learned from mistakes he will be a GREAT gm and a GREAT hire.  But, he will still make mistakes – they all do.  It is the nature of the game.  But if he can minimize . . .

        • studio179

          Absolutely. I like that Theo didn’t sound like mistakes are a built in excuse, but as reality. Like you said, minimize the mistakes. 

          I like even more the phrases he said…’playing in October’ and ‘building the right way’ and ‘successes will happen’ and ‘not just words, but actions’.  

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Statement from Tom Ricketts:

    When my family introduced ourselves as the new owners of the Chicago Cubs almost two years ago, we stated our # 1 goal was winning a World Series Championship.

    Today, we took another big step toward that goal by announcing today that Theo Epstein has joined the Chicago Cubs as the new President of Baseball Operations reporting directly to me.

    In his new role, Theo will be given the resources and opportunity to build a
    strong foundation and the winning culture that our organization and fans
    deserve.

    We are energized about our future and hope you’re equally excited for the
    possibilities ahead.

    Thank you for your tremendous support this year and I look forward to seeing
    you in 2012.

    • cubtex

      Got to love what Ricketts has been saying!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Theo said if Francona hadn’t left, he would have stayed another year.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Epstein: “I don’t believe in curses. I guess I played a small part in proving they don’t exist, at least in baseball circles.”

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Epstein on Mike Quade’s future …

    “I’ve already had a couple nice
    phone conversations with Mike Quade. We have plans to meet in person at some
    time over the next week. … I look forward to sitting down with him in person
    as a first step. … Then we’ll get together, exchange information, and then get
    together as a group and see where we go from there.”

    • Tony_Hall

      Theo is extremely diplomatic.  By not giving any vote of confidence, it is obvious that we will have a new skipper in the dugout, next year.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Theo:

      I’ve already had a couple of nice phone conversations with Mike Quade….”

      They were about what size, shape and color of casket Quade wanted when he gets fired from the Cubs, and what he wanted his good-bye service to look like.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    For those that missed the press conference, here is a link to the audio

    http://www.wgnradio.com/sports/baseball/cubs/wgnam-cubs-theo-presser-102511,0,3109160.mp3file

    • J Daniel

      Thanks, Neil. 

  • Anthony

    So he referenced the 2011 Draft.

    Will not surprise me if several from that class end up as MLB contributors regardless of what round they were selected.

  • paulcatanese

    What was not to like about that press conference? Been a Cub fan for many a year I was very impressed. I believe he will do the right thing,and show’s leadership qualitys. I dont think for one second that he is afraid to step on toes to get what he wants. Win or lose with this guy, Ricketts made the surpreme choice, and if the Cubs dont suceed under this guy it will not be his fault, he’s got the process down, and its up to the players to impliment it.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    All player issues were asked by media
    members in side sessions – response – can’t talk about that now. Would’ve wasted
    ? time I’m presser

  • paulcatanese

    One point here, I know its been mentioned in todays posts about Feilder and Pujols as options for next year. I would be very careful about Pujols. Watching him a lot over the last week or so and in the Series, I have the indication that he pretty much plays the game for himself. He has done things( green light on 3-0) for one is not prudent last night. And no one can tell methat he is not calling plays when he is at bat (hit and run last night, and then dosent swing) Twice it took the Cardinals out of an inning. And earlier a few weeks back,made a call when he was on third for a squeeze. LaRussa is taking the blame for those moves last night, but if you looked into the dugout after the runner was thrown out, he questioned who made that call for hit and run and clearly it wasnt him.

    I dont know if hes an option because of his thing for calling plays on his own. Thats what a manager is for. He dosent appear to be as much as a team player
    as he is an individual player and does things his way. I would pass.

    • J Daniel

      I don’t think Pujols fits the description of paying for future performance rather than past performance – based on age of player in prime of 26-32.  He still may have a few great years left but at the contract he is going to command this one is a no brainer – DO NOT SIGN him.  Let the Cardinals pay for his past performance.

      • Bobby P

        I agree. I also think the Cards will pay him, and they should. It’s sort of the Jeter-Yankees situation. It’s your heart and soul of the team, and as much as I believe that everybody is replaceable, some guys just mean so much to the revenue stream that letting him go would mean less money and therefore set you back more than the money you’d be saving will help.

        I also think we need to pass on Fielder. No more albatross contracts!!

    • roseyc

      With all due respect Paul I disagree I think your nitpicking. They aren’t loosing due to Pujols its they have dead weight with Holliday and Larussa overmanaging. I would take any day but would he want to come here is aother thing. Would the Cubs be better off with Fielder and Pujols out of the division…!YES! Would they be better off with either on the Cubs of course

      • paulcatanese

        Well okay, but Pujols gives a big nit to pick on. Not saying he is not one of the greatest as he is, just that he is too self involved and thinks his decisions are better than LaRussa’s, now if it was Qua as his manager there would be no contest, everyone would take his lead.

  • jw

    Really enjoyed the excerpts from the press conference…this guy is a breath of fresh air…while I want to see more I am pretty excited about this.

    I really like his statement “Every opportunity to win is sacred”

  • paulcatanese

    To expand a little further on Feilder and Pujols. To have them out of the division and with other teams that the Cubs don’t play is not the objective. It would be that no matter where they are make the Cubs better to compete against them. As far as either coming to the Cubs I think Epstein could do that, he probably could sell refrigerators to the Eskimos. I just dont see that happening though.

  • Photo Chris

    Thanks for the coverage Neil!

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Great to hear from you Chris, hope all is well.

  • Calicub

     I’ve been saying it for years:

    you can’t doubt a man with a DeLorian Time Machine…
    Cubs win World Series in 2015!

    I think Epstein made it very clear today that he is on board with the Back to the Future prediction. 

  • jfish1219

    IMO If you can get Fielder for 5 years around 70 mil. you gotta go for it but I would not got for more than 5 years

    • Ryan

      5 years 70 mil?? Yeah, about every team in baseball would do that along with the Brewers in a heart beat.  But lets be real, ur looking at a MINIMUM of 100mil IF he would even sign for 20 mil a year over 5 years..

      • jfish1219

        last I read most experts didn’t think he would get 100 mil, not that he wouldn’t ask for it

        • Ryan

          Where are you reading this?  He played for $15.5 mil on a one year offer to avoid arbitration this past year, he will demand WAY more than that on the open market as he is in his prime..

          • jfish1219

            Forget what I said I was looking at at old article on MLBTR. just looked up something more recent you are correct he is a lock for at least 100 mil contract. My bad

          • Wiel0059

            No biggie!  Just wondered what you were referencing as that was way off haha

    • Tony_Hall

      I’d sign him to play on my son’s team for that contract!

      He will get at least 6 years, and it will be a closer to $20M, than $15M per.

      • cc002600

        $20M / yr ???

        you will be lucky to get him for that.

        He’ll get 25M / yr….EASILY

        He’s 27 and the FA market is very weak this year……plus, he just put up MVP numbers.

        25M will be starting point.

         

        • Tony_Hall

          I’m out…that’s more than I can fund raise selling candy bars!

          • cc002600

            you could always just go to Vegas.

      • paulcatanese

        Tony, I hope he gets what ever he is asking, just so long as the Cubs are not the ones giving it to him. And I feel the same way about Pujols.

    • cc002600

      I think you are missing a zero or something.

      he’s gonna get waaaaaaaaaay more than that
       

      • daverj

        Some team will give Prince 7 years at about $20 million per year.  No thanks!  I can see the Nationals making a deal like that … the joke is that it would be a better deal for them than the Jayson Werth contract they signed last offseason!

        • cc002600

          I don’t disagree…..but I guarantee you he gets a heck of a lot more than 20M / yr….

          Heck, if a stiff like Carl Crawford can get 20M, what do you think Price will get ??

          25M / yr will be starting point ….book it

          • daverj

            Crawford wasn’t considered a stiff when he received the contract from Boston.  Crawford’s 2010 WAR was 6.1 while Fielder’s 2011 WAR was 5.2.   Go back another year and Crawford’s 2009 WAR was 4.4 while Fielder’s 2010 WAR was 2.7.

            Thus, at least the sabermetric run organizations would likely say Crawford (last year) was a more valuable free agent than Fielder (this year).

          • cc002600

            Yea, that just proves to me how overrated some these stats are. People place way too much emphasis on WAR, and yet I guarantee you that no one can explain how its actually calculated. 

            I’ve read the explanation of it and I thought it was the most convulated collection of gobbly-gook I’ve ever read.

  • cubtex

    John Lackey to have Tommy John surgery! Now there is NO chance he will be coming to the Cubs in any way! Thank God!

    • EqDoc

      The Red Sox will be coming for starting pitching now as compensation for Theo…  But they won’t find any that are worth much in the Cubs minor leagues…

    • Tony_Hall

      That kicks in a team option for 2015 at league minimum.

      This brings his AAV of his contract down from $15.25M over the next 3 years to $11.5M over the next 4 years.  This could make his contract look inviting, IF he can come back and pitch.

      • cubtex

        That is still 11.5 mil too much

        • Tony_Hall

          Not if he comes back and is the “old” Lackey.  Plus he will miss 2012, and have to pitch in the minors or for the Red Sox in 2013.  After 2013, if he pitched well in, he will be owed $15.25M in 2014 and about 500k in 2015.  That is the time that teams will want him, IF he is back to his old self.  

          Obviously there is something wrong in his arm (he is having Tommy John surgery) and you can’t go by this past year.  

          I’m glad the Red Sox are on the hook for 2012 and 2013, but he could be a nice pick-up for a team for 2014/2015.  My guess is, the Red Sox will keep him and hope he comes back strong, to try to get something out of this bad contract.

  • studio179

    From Heyman…”cherington said compensation from cubs was agreed to be “significant.” means pressure on from above to beat theo.”

    I did not buy the talk that Boston’s demands were coming down as some speculated. The Red Sox ownership is angry and taking it personal Theo left. I like the fact the Cubs are standing their ground quietly.

    A lot of times when new people take over, they make a trade with their former team shortly after taking over. I get the sense Theo and Cherington might not be doing that after this is compensation thing is over. Boston’s ownership is not going to allow decent talks to happen anytime soon.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs in AFL (10/25): Trey McNutt: 3R, 6H(HR), 0BB, 2K in 2.1IP (58 pitches/38 strikes); Junior Lake (SS): 0-for-5; Josh Vitters (DH): 1-for-5; DJ LeMahieu (3B): 2-for-3, BB, HBP, 2R

  • Spoda17

    No more +5 year contracts!!!

    • Tony_Hall

      Not necessarily.  I would give Castro more than 5 years.  Buy out the next 5 years before FA, plus a couple of his first FA years.  

      See Evan Longoria’s contract on Cot’s for an example, of an extremely smart, team friendly contract.

      • paulcatanese

        Happen to agree on Castro. If he had just his first year it could be called lucky, but based on year two he appears to be the real deal. Yes, I would also lock him up. Young enough to make it work.

  • John G

    I guess this REALLY makes it official.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/media/photo/2011-10/65654451.jpg

    LOL!!!

    • Dorasaga

      The Great Ernie Banks is fully geared so he can welcome a GM to Cubsdom.

  • Gramps

    Very impressive news conference. Theo handles himself well and seems to have a great plan. Once again, kudos to Tom Ricketts on the way he has handled this. It should be a very interesting off season and I am hoping Epstein is given the benefit of the doubt on the changes he is going to make in the Cubs. I am hoping Sandberg is named manager. I am sure Epstein has his mind made up on who will be his field manager and whoever he chooses will be OK with me. Again, I was very impressed with his demeanor and loved the way he explained his thoughts on free agency by saying he would pay for future success rather than for past success. At last, a future to look forward to for the Cubs! GO CUBS!

    • cubtex

      I agree on the press conference. He talks the talk! He is definately a bright guy and Ricketts looked like a kid in a candy store with that look on his face.

  • Anthony

    OK

    With first hand knowledge, the Cubs have NOT been scouting with a Dark Ages method, in other words, they are also operating in the 21st century. Secondly, I can assure you they are well represented on the college scene, and High School scene as far as in person representation.

    The 2011 Draft will go down in history as a fruitful one. That means there was an abundance of talent, and just based merely on ordinal selection, there are players who were drafted in lower rounds that in normal years, would have a higher draft round label attached to them. That is exciting, and the Cubs did real well, even Theo thinks so.

    They say “timing is everything”. Well, I feel several 2011 draftees will contribute in the near future, and these were selections made by the existing/original regime, not the new one.

    It would be unfair to include any 2011 draftee in Compensation as due to the trading rules, would put players in limbo. That said, I think the Comp for BOS and SD will include existing full season players from the Farm that Fleita feels have replacements from the 2011 draft.

    It makes sense, but some good players are now exposed. The one player is Carpenter because a 100mph arm doesn’t grow on trees. You can also eliminate any positional player who is/was being held back by tied up monies at the MLB level because one would think winning should overcome the initial investment(i.e bonus versus production)?

    Example, Lahair is hitting EVERYONE. What is the holdup? That offensive production works in ANY lineup, but, the Cubs can’t make it happen? Who is blocking this guy? Not an All-Star, and the past reluctance to forego the mess of embarrasement by having a “money guy” waddle at Wrigley versus making a cold, hard decision is a reason that led to a change.

    This isn’t a LaHair prop, it is more of a produce to win post, and I think Ricketts gets it. I grew up in a town with a laughing stock MLB team, and by drafting well, having a commited owner$$, and playing prospects versus overpaying for dead wood, winning finally happened.

    The 2011 Draft may end up the deepest in history, and I would bet monies that more players from rounds 15-50 will play in the Show more than players from the past 5, and next 5 drafts pool of first 5 rounders.

    I personally know many minor league players including several in the Cubs ORG, and they were NOT instructed to “swing away and be hackers” like one of our posters mentioned. Have some trust in the past farm system, and hope that the new regime takes some of these kids over the top, and maybe good results follow.

    • ghostofelvis

      _Personally, I think Zych, Maples and Vogelbach have the most upside. When Shawon Dunston Jr was asked by a scout about V-Bachs power, he just whistled and said “O-Yeah”. 

  • Shelbymenge

    i think brett jackson should be on the chicago cubs team next season.

    • ghostofelvis

      he will be sometime, provided hes healthy. Be nice if they can get rid of Sorry ONO FIRST.

  • Dorasaga

    “We’ll bring in a winning tradition,” said both Tom and Theo.

    You’ve been saying that; I’ve been saying that. Now the decision makers say that. Rest is assured, to quote Reverend Ernie, “I’m satisfied.”

  • Shelbymenge

    we need a new third base man next season theo.

  • Shelbymenge

    i think we need a new manger  theo?