President Epstein? … and Cubs Front Office Rumors

Impasse and stalemate were words used on Tuesday to describe the compensation talks between the Cubs and Red Sox. The two sides could not reach an agreement before the start of the World Series and the earliest the deal could be made official at this point would be Friday … and that would require the MLB front office to grant permission for an announcement to be made on a travel day during the World Series.

Even with Theo Epstein not officially in charge of baseball operations for the Cubs, it did not stop the rumor mill from churning. According to multiple reports, Epstein could be looking to get the band back together, surrounding himself with familiar faces in Chicago. Theo Epstein’s official title could end up being the President of Baseball Operations for the Chicago Cubs … and in turn, Epstein could bring in a general manager.

Epstein and the Cubs Front Office
Even with the delays and the back and forth that is going on between the Cubs and Sox, the feeling around baseball is Theo Epstein will take over baseball operations for the Cubs in the near future. Not soon after the rumors first surfaced about Tom Ricketts’ pursuit of Epstein, rumors suggested Theo Epstein would likely have the title of ‘President of Baseball Operations‘. As the compensation process drags out, those rumors are becoming louder and louder each day.

According to multiple reports Tuesday, Theo Epstein could take the title of president and hire a general manager. Epstein would still report directly to Tom Ricketts and in turn, Ricketts would have a baseball guy watching his baseball guys.

Over the last week multiple reports have suggested that Josh Byrnes could leave his position in San Diego for a reunion with Epstein in Chicago … but a new name was thrown into the hat on Tuesday.

According to a report from Jon Heyman, current GM of the Padres, Jed Hoyer, could be one of two members of the Padres’ front office that could help shape the Cubs’ new front office.

Hoyer is under contract until 2013 and the Padres hold an option on Hoyer for 2014. Reports out of San Diego suggest that Jeff Moorad would not stand in Hoyer’s way and would name Josh Byrnes GM of his team. Moorad and Byrnes go back to their days with the Diamondbacks. Moorad hired Byrnes in Arizona and was instrumental in bringing Byrnes to San Diego.

According to multiple reports, the Cubs have not reached out to the Padres for permission to speak with Jed Hoyer … and it is not known at this time if the Padres would ask for compensation for Hoyer.

Jason McLeod is the other member of the Padres front office that could join Epstein in Chicago. The Boston Herald mentioned the possibility on Monday. McLeod worked under Epstein in Boston and is highly regarded throughout the game. McLeod is currently a VP and an assistant general manager to Jed Hoyer in San Diego.

Jonathan Gilula
According to a report from Gordon Edes (ESPN Boston), a surprising name has surfaced that could leave Boston for the Cubs … Jonathan Gilula. Gilula is not in baseball operations for the Red Sox but is the executive vice president of business affairs. Gilula has been with Boston for nine seasons and in Major League Baseball for 14 seasons.

Jonathan Gilula “played a major role in the renovations, remodeling and expansion of Fenway Park.

If Gilula were to leave Boston for Chicago, what would Crane Kenney’s role be within the organization?

Theo Notes
According to a report from ESPN Boston, Epstein will be allowed to take one prominent member of the Red Sox organization with him.

According to a report from the Tribune, the Cubs are hoping to avoid giving up Trey McNutt in the Epstein deal. McNutt is scheduled to start Wednesday afternoon’s game for the Mesa Solar Sox.

According to a report from Comcast SportsNet, the Cubs front office will be expanded under Theo Epstein. The Cubs front has historically been one of the smallest in all of baseball.

According to a report from the Sun-Times, Brett Jackson and Matt Szczur are off the table in the Epstein negotiations but the same cannot be said for Josh Vitters. The Sun-Times reported that “there is a divide among team evaluators about whether Vitters should be allowed to go the Red Sox.”

Josh Vitters has not played in a Arizona Fall League game since last Friday when he went 4-for-5 with two runs scored as the Solar Sox’s DH.

According to a report from the Sun-Times, cash considerations might be back on the table in the Epstein negotiations.

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

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  • suzys

    Nothing is going to surprise me here…The Red Sox are obviously playing hardball. It should not have been this hard…and we may have to wait until after the World Series to find out what has transpired. Everything else is just
    rumors and speculation. One thing is really stands out under the Ricketts regime over all others,,,there are absolutely no leaks coming out of Chicago.
    That by itself is a major change for the Chicago Cubs.

    • J Daniel

      Correct!  And it is probably making Bruce Levine and the boys pissed.  You can see why they all wanted Hahn.  They can’t get any info.

      • endy

        Hendry told the media everything so they would support him in the press.  Now Levine and Co. cannot get info the same way….good.

        • Bobby P

          What’s wrong with Levine? The fact that he never criticize players, not even Zambrano? Haha…

          The guy is a dinosaur. I love how Silvy gets annoyed with him every time they talk. Can’t blame him, it’s like he’s a damn spokesperson for the Cubs.

          • J Daniel

            Silvy is no genious himself!  He thinks he knows all just like Jessie Rogers!  I can see how Bruce gets annoyed with him.  I hear his voice and want to punch him.  Glad Ginger shot him down although she is full of herself to.  Anyways, it is great how NO info is coming out of Cubs.

          • Bobby P

            Silvy is also a basketball guy, I don’t give credence to his baseball opinions, but I’d almost take him over Levine anyway. They just need another Cubs beat guy on that radio station. I can’t stand listening to them during the baseball season. Football season is great, but baseball to them is like soccer to most of us.

  • texcubnut

    You are so right suzy….it shouldn’t be this hard and yes we won’t know till after series but sometime word lets out and the cat’s are out  of the bag.I’ll bet  we here something soon. but I’ll bet Cubs don’t leak it.

  • Tony_Hall

    Negotiations take time, especially when there is a large gap to overcome.  The best tactic in negotiations, is time.  Time to let the other teams, seemingly, too high or too low offers sink in.  Time to wonder if you are asking for too much, what happens if we have to walk away, etc…

    When the Cubs hired Andy McFail, it took 2 weeks for compensation to get worked out.  Now with the constant demand for information, we expect instant information.  Tom Ricketts, is obviously very well respected at Clark and Addison, and no information is flowing, per his wishes.  

    This will get done, it is just too far along not to, the only question being, who blinks first…the thing is the one who has done a better job in negotiating, can look like the one who blinks first, and wrap this deal up, the way they wanted.

  • Agustinrexach

    Neil, Good stuff. It is appreciated.

  • Aaron

    Nobody is going to like this, but I just heard from one of my former teammates that is a scout for the Rockies that is “in the know” that it is most likely going to be Vitters, McNutt, AND cash for Epstein.

    He told me last night that the reason he feels it’s true is based on what he’s hearing out of the AZFL.

    So….take it for what it’s worth…I believe where there’s smoke, there’s fire, and I think this is going down. He told me that the Red Sox are ruthless in negotiations, and they’re trying to ensure this doesn’t happen again, just as you’re probably already reading in some of these other articles.

    On the other hand, this could be a Ferris Bueller situation where, “my best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s girlfriend saw Ferris pass out at 31 flavors last night…”

    If this is true with Vitters being included, then it will go down as one of the worst trades in Cubs history….and for a DAMN SUIT!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Fact is, the Cubs do NOT have a replacement for ARAM, just as they didn’t in 2009 when he went down with injury…but this time THEY KNOW HE’S NOT COMING BACK!!!!!!!!!!!

    Yes, I know I’m probably getting worked up over nothing, as nothing is official, but wow…if this is true….wow……..

    And if Randy Bush is the one doing it….well….he’s basically the same as Hendry, so…………I guess it makes sense.

    • Denio

      Too much BS… If Boston wants to play hard ball I would ask Epstein who he wants as GM  ( Jed Hoyer Josh Byrnes ) and if he would like Ryne Sandberg as manager… Hire them to set the stage for next year, and tell Boston to go pound sand..

      No way would I give up Vitters and McNutt for Epstein.

      If we give what Boston wants, and then give more to the Padres for Byrnes or Hoyer.. Hell Philly will probably want something for Sandberg…what are we left with?

      • Aaron

        Hoyer would be a lateral move, and in my mind, would NOT require much compensation other than maybe cash, because Byrnes is Moorad’s favorite anyway, as he wanted him as GM in 2009, but Byrnes was still with the D’Backs under contract. Reports say he considers Byrnes like a son to him.

        As for Ryno….he’s only under contract for this year, so NO compensation would be required, and NEVER has for guys that would be first-time managers.

        • Denio

          The Philly line was meant to be tongue in cheek… 

      • Bobby P

        First of all, don’t get worked up over Vitters and NcNutt. Vitters in particular  is not improving the way he should. He is young, and that can change. He needs more years in the minors, either way. He is very expendable, make no mistake about it. This is not a guy who is going to be a star. A serviceable corner guy, much like the rest of the guys we’ve been churning out in the last 10 years.

        McNutt has control issues and his fastball is not live enough to consistently blow guys away. Thusly, he’s still somewhat of a project. Also, very expendable.

        We need a fundamental change to our organization, and that isn’t exactly going to come from our players. We need Theo and his baseball thinking.

        Look, the fact is that Theo is not going back to the Red Sox, not after this. They are alienating him and probably some other guys in their organization too, and they are now trying to hurt the Cubs. Do you think they want to risk the Cubs leaving the negotiations and having Theo for a lame duck year after they basically pushed him out? They could have denied the Cubs request to talk with Theo and given him a big contract offer, but they didn’t. The Cubs can walk away and go after Hoyer hard instead for our GM, and get Theo as the President of Baseball Operations next year. It’s not ideal, but it’s possible.

        I hope Ricketts is a good negotiator, because if he is, we should be able to pull this off with minimal damage. It’s going to happen either way…

      • John_CC

        That would never happen. This entire scenario is based on a notion that Epstein would be hired as the President next year. There are no guarantees of anything.

    • cubtex

      I hope your friend is wrong! How ridiculous would that be for a GM who is no longer wanted in Boston………. and they could have without giving up any compensation if they wait one year. Bring on Jed Hoyer now and just tell Boston thanks but no thanks. Put the pressure on the Red Sox to make a decision. If the Cubs act patient and hire Jed Hoyer as GM….the Red Sox will definately lower their asking price because they do not want Theo around the club.

      • J Daniel

        And that is why this is taking so long – exactly.  The Cubs are being patient.  They know they have their guy.  After watching all of this I don’t think we can assume TR is not a good negotiater or does not have a plan.  He has a plan – may or may not work – but he has a plan.

        Regardless of what anyone thinks of the hire if you said a year ago that Theo was coming to the Cubs everyone would have laughed. 

      • Aaron

        Well, he’s new to scouting….was an intern with the Pirates before, so anything can happen….but I trust him, and logic would tell you that with Vitters being out since Friday without injury, and Muskat’s lame-ass excuse saying that he was out because the original 1B came back from injury…..my guess is that Muskat has absolutely no clue what’s going on right now, and something is about to go down.

        Vitters would be a tremendous loss. I know that people say he hasn’t lived up to expectations, blah blah blah….however, he has an undeniably quick bat, makes an incredible amount of contact, and is still only 22 years old this coming year. I don’t think I’d discount his value to the team, especially with the departure of ARAM

        • cubtex

          I agree 100% about Vitters. He is still 22 years old and when he entered the draft most scouts called him the “best” high school bat in the draft. He could be a middle of the order guy in a lineup for the next 10 years plus! I really hope Vitters is not included in this deal. Vitters,Brett Jackson(and maybe LeMahieu) are really the only ones who are almost ready and can be everyday regulars.

        • J Daniel

          Good info.  I still do agree with you.  Personally, I would wait it out and not give anyone I thought has a chance to be an impact.  I don’t think the compensation should be high as Theo is gaining a promotion.  If it were lateral then compensation would be expected.  If he is going to be pres and hire a gm – well – should be minimal.

    • Griffnbell

      Wow that’s not what I wanted to hear. I finally came to the conclusion in my mind that Mcnutt would be okay to give up as long as we got a decent prospect in return. Adding Vitters and cash pisses me off. I would hope that the Sawx would give up Lars and a MLB ready pitcher in return. If not, it would lessen the excitement of getting Theo for me.

    • Bobby P

      I’d agree, but our farm system stinks. No future stars, not even Brett Jackson. We took too many chances, way too many chances under Hendry… and THAT, my friend, is why we NEED “a damn suit” like Theo Epstein!

    • J Daniel

      I guess we will see soon enough as it does take time.  You have to understand Boston’s point a bit – TR has been snooping around there for how long now?  He was probably allowed there initially in order to gain insight on the entire Red Sox model.  When do you think TR knew that Theo was the guy he wanted?  Now he comes in and “steals” their guy?  I am sure the honchos in Boston are pissed – regardless of if they want to let Theo out or not.  The are saying we helped you and you are taking our guys? 

      2 sides to every story.

      To me the bottom line becomes if you think Theo and his boys are great at finding and developing guys it will only take a short time to recover from a couple of guys that may or may not make it.

      Is Vitters the answer at third?  Maybe so maybe not?  Seems to me it is taking awhile for him as a #1 pick to be ready.  Maybe their plan is to move Castro there and go with another shortstop?

      The one thing we all know at this point it is all speculation and there is little info coming out from the boys on the north side.

      Do we all want this to happen yesterday?  YES!  We all want to offer our adive to them on what they should do – like they really care what people think they should do.  But does it really matter for their planning if it happens today or next week?  Not really.  If Theo is coming I would think he is looking at everything already or is at least examined and the wheels are turning.

      I imagine they have already decided what they will do with Ramirez.  After that the organization meetings are not until first week of November.

      • Bobby P

        Great points.

        The fact is that our farm system is not very good right now, and Theo built a great farm in Boston. So, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that he is probably not high on many of our top-20 prospects, and that he would much rather start putting together the system with his own prospects as soon as possible.

        So, why are we so worried about giving up a guy like Vitters? What so damn great about Vitters? I mean, compare his numbers to Jackson’s and you ask “Who would you rather have?”

        I’m tired of people thinking that McNutt is the next Prior and Vitters is the next Starlin. Stop it!

        • daverj

          We have no clue what Vitters will turn into, but he is still young and has skills.  He may be a bust, but sometimes top picks take a few years to develop … see Adrian Gonzales who struggled his first few years in the minors and was traded twice before turning into an All-Star first baseman.

          • Bobby P

            I don’t disagree. I’m just saying that he is expendable. You can only go on what you know, not what the magic-8 ball tells you. Like you said, he can develop and become the starting 3rd baseman for the Red Sox for the next 10 years once he’s called up.

            However, this is a business and as a business decision, giving up Vitters is a small price for something that can yield 10 Vitters given that Epstein actually has a strong history in player development and scouting. He may have erred in free agency, but the Red Sox system is strong because of him. I’d like the Cubs system to be strong at some point in my lifetime too, and giving up Vitters is not only a reasonable price, it’s a good price to pay.

            You have to build from within to be consistently successful, it’s as simple as that. Unlike small-budget teams, we can retain the guys we develop just like the Red Sox. That’s how you build a team that will compete for the playoffs every single year, and that the team I want the Cubs to be.

          • daverj

            I get what you’re saying and agree on the Cubs farm system.  I’d just rather keep Vitters and wait a year for Epstein.  I also think the Red Sox will blink if the Cubs play hardball.  Keeping Epstein for another year would not be a good move for the Sox given the current situation.

            I also agree with your statement that teams need to build from within to be consistently successful.  Not only did Theo build and retain top players, but he had ample prospects to deal for Beckett, Gonzalez and others.

          • Bobby P

            I think we’re on the same page. I wrote earlier on here something along the same lines; that the Red Sox have basically dug themselves a hole and if Ricketts can play hardball, like you said, I think we can get them to cave. The notion of bringing back Epstein as a lame duck next year is out of the question, and would be a nightmare for the Red Sox.

            I think where we differ is our view of Vitters. I just don’t like undisciplined players, and he’s not improved in that area at all. The majors are obviously a different animal, but if he can’t develop a selective mindset soon, I doubt he ever will. Brett Jackson, for example, shows a more well-rounded approach at the plate, and hopefully that will translate to the majors.

            Also, I don’t blame Epstein for inheriting prospects from previous regime. He obviously won’t have the same situation here, but given his draft record, I think we should be excited anyway. I think he will be excited to actually be able to implement his system more fully since Ricketts is expecting a rebuilding period.

          • cubtex

            The huge upside with Vitters is that he consistently puts the bat on the ball. Not many in the Cubs organization has his ability to make contact as consistently. I disagree with your statement that he can’t develop a selective mindset. He is not like Colvin who knows if he gets down 0-2 it is a sure K. Young hitters for the most part always hate to take walks. He dominated in High School with that approach. He is only 22. He will get schooled by hitting coaches on how much his average will jump by laying off certain pitches and waiting for the pitcher to “come to you” He has been coming on really strong this year and it would be a shame to give him to Boston and watch him turn into an above average major leaguer. I still don’t understand what leverage the Red Sox have???? Just keep saying no and wait for the Sox to cave in. What other option do the Sox have?

          • Calicub

            Other than the fact that everyday the cubs wait is another day less of offseason prep, and organizational reconfiguration? none.

          • cubtex

            Not if they bring in Hoyer as GM. Let Theo linger in Boston until they become more reasonable.

          • Bobby P

            I don’t think he’s terrible, I just think he’s expendable. Maybe he can find the plate discipline, but there is also a reason high school players are high-risk draft picks. I just think he hasn’t proved that he is a first-rounder yet, and I don’t have great faith that he ever will. If he could only hit for more power, but I’m not really seeing that either (not terrible power, but not what you’d want from a 1st round corner infielder). It’s just an opinion, but I’d take a Matt Murton over a Josh Vitters at their best any day, and Murton fizzled out pretty bad after 3 good seasons. I think if it comes down to Vitters, you pull the trigger and trade him.

            The Red Sox are angry and they are trying to pull a fast one on the Cubs. They don’t really have leverage because the alternative would be to bring back Theo as a lame duck in a very important “rebuilding” year. It will happen, but it’s a matter of bringing the compensation down to a reasonable level, and I think Vitters is reasonable compensation.

          • cubs1967

            this will be Vitters 5th yr in minors.  How many years is a ‘few” to develop.  he’s a 1st rd #3 overall pick waste.  Trade him and end this silliness.  None of the prospects are getting any better while they debate this……….only the Cubs could be involved in such a “soap opera” drama.

            and the Bosox “let” Theo interview…….how can a guy be ‘stolen” away when you let him interview………and Theo has told them I’d done in 2012 so sounds like they are losing him anyway.

            Ricketts………end this………..there’s a long list of things to get done and so far you have only been able to get 1 done; which was Mesa spring training; albeit it’s delayed till 2014.(in a state w/ NO snow-but whatever).

          • cubtex

            You’re Right! He was the 3rd pick in the June 2007 draft out of High School. What the hell is wrong with everyone! Cut his a##!!! If he can’t make it to the majors in 3 or 4 years out of High School….he never will! He’s 22 years old and will never get any better. Send him packing for Theo. Why would the Red Sox want this stiff anyways! Great Point!

    • studio179

      The way I read Neil’s report above sure seemed like it was McNutt and Vitters being seriously targeted. I hope that is not the case. I am not giving up on McNutt or Vitters at this point.  

  • John G

    Lets put this in perspective. What if this was happening 10 years ago and they asked for Corey Patterson and Mark Prior? The Cub nation would have gone ballistic, but in hindsight that wouldn’t have been such a bad deal. What makes you think that this is any different?

    • J Daniel

      Yes and had they given those 2 guys up and we won 2 world series nobody would even remember the 2.  Move would have been hailed genious!  Only time will tell for sure but all I know is that it has been 103 years since the title.  The way things have been working have not worked to well (wow, is that obvious).  I don’t want to give up anyone that has a chance to be good but if it brings a series to the Cubs nobody will care who or how many or how good or how bad they are.

      • Bobby P

        Amen. Couldn’t have said it better myself.

    • cc002600

      Well, that is shortsighted.  Just because Patterson and Prior didn’t work out, doesn’t mean every prospect goes bust.

      What if this was 2 years and we gave them Castro and Cashner ?
      How you feel about that now ?

      And oh, when MacPhail was hired he was to be the messiah, remember that ?  Lots of similarities.  Somehow, everyone has thsi view that Theo is going to come in here and the Cubs in the World series in 2 years. He’s not God.  I’ve seen this before.  Don’t get me wrong, I like him, but the love for this guy is way over the top.

      • cubtex

        Yep. Dusty was going to bring a World Series and so was Lou. Just keep saying NO to the Sox and wait for them to cave in. Seriously……do they want Theo hanging around knowing he has a deal in place with another team? Do the Sox want him around the team during the winter??? No, they don’t. Wait for the Sox to blink.

  • studio179

    Yes, there are two sides to a story. I am not painting Ricketts as perfect. But he was open and upfront on viewing the Boston organization as a model on how he wanted to rebuild the Cubs brand. It is not like the visit to Fenway over the summer was a secret mission. The Red Sox were well aware of Ricketts visiting and what he was doing. They showed him and Kenney around. I have no doubt they dislike the Cubs and are upset with Ricketts. One Boston owner said as much. If anything, the Red Sox are more upset Theo wanted out. Theo told his bosses he was not coming back after his contract ran out. Then, here comes the Cubs and offers him complete control with more responsibility and more money. The Red Sox might be taking it out on the Cubs because their ownership is arrogant, cut throat and not respected. They are more angry with their hometown, Red Sox fan, Theo leaving because they are arrogant. 

    One of the things Ricketts wanted to change is the information leaks stop getting out. He does not like that way of doing business. In Boston, one of the owners drives to a radio station, without invitation, to spew his side of the saga…even throws in the arrogant comment he ‘does not care for the Cubs that much’. That is unprofessional. I like how Ricketts is conducting business, out of the media. Ofcourse, that depends on what he gives up.

  • paulcatanese

    It just leaked out, the Red Sox want Qua for GM, and the Cubs told them he is one of our “untouchables” and thats what the holdup is. No Qua for them.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Carrie Muskat: Interesting comments from Peter Gammons on WEEI re: Cubs talks with Red Sox re: Theo bit.ly/qKFAjg

    • Bobby P

      Very interesting perspective. Thanks for posting.

      It’s kind of obvious that our farm system stinks, and everybody knows it. It’s interesting to know who we have at the negotiating table though, that kind of explains the delay in this thing.

    • Griffnbell

      I’ve always been a Gammons fan but he is such a homer that it get’s annoying. Hopefully it gets done today and we can get this team in order. I am tired of the waiting and now could care less if they get Vitters and Mcnutt. Just get Lars so we have some fresh blood.

    • Boots

      Gammons is somewhat of an Sox insider I suppose, but there is still really no concrete information coming from anyone about anything. I applaud Ricketts for maintaining his word about keeping thing internal during the search for a GM. It doesn’t make for much news, but the only thing that has been consistent about this whole deal is that it is all speculative. 

    • cc002600

      wow, talk about condescending and arrogant.
      McNutt would be their 25th best prospect ?  My ass
       
      If that’s really the case and their farm system is really that loaded, than why are they are making such a big deal out of getting one of the cubs top prospects ??  Total BS.

      And than he says no one with knowledge of the cubs farm is negotiating. Well, ok. But are you telling me that TR hasn’t consulted with Fleita and Wilkin on cubs prospects ??  Gimme a break.

      Sounds like ole’ Petey is having a bad hair day to me.
      The only absurd thing about this are HIS comments.

      • MikeT_2008

        I have always like Gammons but jeez he sounds like a vindictive schoolgirl. Is our farm system great no but it’s not bottom 3. Wasn’t a problem for Boston in September their lack of minor league arms to help with injuries, I mean there are really 24 better players in Boston’s system, yeah sure there’s not. It sounds like he’s mad because, unlike in most cases, Boston doesn’t hold all the cards, in fact they’ve already shown their hand

      • Henry

        that is funny!  If that is what Gammons believes then why clog up the Great Boston farm system with bad talent.  Boston should settle for Cash only!  Let’s get it done!

    • J Daniel

      Ya, and Gammons works for Henry’s station so where did that info come from???

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

    From Jon Paul Morosi: Theo Epstein to Cubs compensation talks were progressing well as of this morning, source says

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Josh Vitters at DH for Mesa and Trey McNutt is starting today

    • Aaron

      I have to tell you….The more video I’ve seen of McNutt…
      http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/cubs-trey-mcnutt-would-fill-void-with-red-sox/

      plus looking at his stats…..wow…it only confirms my original opinion that the Cubs gave up the wrong guy (Archer, who was an “easy-gas” sort of pitcher, while McNutt is max effort)

      I just want them to give up McNutt or Carpenter, and just leave it at that, and NOTHING more than either of those two….if it’s lesser guys like Marquez Smith, Rusin, etc., I wouldn’t lose sleep, but this has to end, and the Red Sox need to be more realistic in their demands. After all, Epstein would be getting a promotion, which technically entitles them to NOTHING in return, PLUS, they’ve destroyed their leverage by already internally promoting Ben Cherington as GM.

      I just have a bad feeling about all of this, that my buddy was right, and they are giving up McNutt, Vitters, plus cash, and I just don’t see how you can justify that for a suit….not when there are PLENTY of other good candidates out there that could be had for nothing.

  • paulcatanese

    This whole process is so ridiculous I just cannot get excited about it at all.
    What I see is just another year (2012) headed down the tubes with no significant progress being made. Why not just make Epstein a major shareholder and bypass all of this nonsense. So much is being made out to him being the savior of the franchise and what should be compensated for his arrival is just plain insanity. The whole world would have to be turned upside down to make this happen according th the Red Sox, I’m not as savvy as most on this site about the inner workings of this team, but it just cannot be this hard to get done, like a wedding when its said “speak now, or forever hold youre peace”, just sxxt or get off the pot. Let it go Ricketts, find someone else.

    • cubtex

      yea! and move Castro to 3rd while were at it  :)

      • paulcatanese

        Well you know, there are a lot of little leaks from the posts that indicate that the move to third might be a good one, I didnt think about it(the move) I wonder that idea came from?

  • cc002600

    For those of you that are head over heels over Theo and are willing to give up just about anything to get him, read this. 

    This is exactly how I feel.
    He’s not God.

    http://www.chicagonow.com/cubs-den/2011/10/before-there-was-theo-there-was-andy/

  • Skeldor

    Give them nothing but cash.  Boston is all talk trying to act tough because they in fact are in a position of weakness.  They have already “hired” the replacement so they cannot take Theo back and probably don’t want him back.  If I’m the Cubs I say here is XX amount of dollars and that’s it.  You have until the end of the world series and if you don’t accept then it was nice talking to you.  How bad do you think it will be in Boston if Theo comes back, I’m thinking pretty bad.  He’ll basically be a lame duck GM. 

    Just so no!

    • Skeldor

      It will be typical Cubs fashion to give Vitters, McNutt and Cash to get him if that happens.  It’s not like these guys are 26-27 year old “prospects” who have been in the minors for 8 yeras.  I hope they don’t cave in. 

      O’doyle rules!!!!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Jon Paul Morosi: Source believes Cubs and Padres talks are going smoother than Cubs-Red Sox. Why am I not surprised?

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs in AFL (10/19) : Josh Vitters (DH): 1-for-3, BB; DJ LeMahieu (3B): 1-for-4; Junior Lake (SS): 2-for-5, 3B; Trey McNutt: 4R, 2ER, 5H, BB, K, 1.2IP; Chris Carpenter: 1R, 1H, K, 1IP (W)

    • Demitri

      Vitters took a walk.. Nice!

      • cubtex

        Exactly…he is starting to progress just as we move him to Boston for “Boy Wonder”

        • RynoTiger

          is that sarcasm? 

          I ask because Vitters stats through the minors so far don’t say “superstar” or “legit prospect”…more like mediocre or lower quality production for 3B.

          • Demitri

            No, they don’t, but he still is young and this upcoming season is huge for him. In the Arizona league, he is doing a solid job. One thing I see a flaw in.. Patience. He’s 22, so I have hope he can fix that. But this is the year to improve for him

          • cubtex

            Yea….I guess there are just a ton of kids in the minors at 21 in AA who hit .283  28 2B’s and led the team with 81 RBI’s all over baseball.  Where do those stats say he could be a “legit prospect” ? There are 3B prospects all over baseball with better numbers than that as a 21 year old!! He is a big time bust. As I said before….cut his a## or send him for Theo. Why would the Red Sox even ask for him??? They should ask for a better prospect like Colvin or LaHair? Red Sox can’t evaluate talent at all if they want Vitters.

        • Demitri

          I don’t think they give him up. I for one see him up here in late 2012 IF he makes the necessary strides. I think a stop gap player we should use until then should be Mark DeRosa. Now let me explain before people go off. I know he is not the player he was in 2008. But he plays the game the right way and I think he would still be a productive player. If Im GM I take a gamble and put this out.

          CF-Jackson
          SS-Castro
          RF-Cuddyer
          1st-LaHair
          C-Soto
          LF-Colvin
          3rd-DeRosa
          2nd-Barney
          P-Garza

          Thats what I throw out now.

          • daverj

            What is your assessment of DeRosa’s wrist issues? What makes you think that he can still be productive given his injury status? Not trying to go off on you … just wondering how you came to the conclusion that he would help the Cubs.

          • Demitri

            If im right he batted like .274 in september last year coming off the injury with 12 rbi’s and no hr. Not too bad.. Not great but i think if he comes back he will hit between .250-.270 with 13 HR. Thats what id expect. He could do better, could do worse. But we are in rebuild mode so we need him to occupy the position hopefully until vitters is ready.

          • cubtex

            Ha ha ha. .274 with 0 HR’s is not too bad but Josh Vitters at 22 leading his AA team in RBI’s for the year sucks right???

          • cubtex

            Sorry Demetri…that was meant for RynoTiger

          • daverj

            DeRosa had 0 HR, 0 triples and 2 doubles in 86 at-bats.  It appears the wrist issues zapped his power.  I think your right on the batting average, but I’d be surprised if he hit double digits in home runs.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Jon Heyman: Nothing definite, but most baseball people believe now that it will be hoyer, not byrnes, who goes to cubs w/ theo.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Buster Olney: Comp. talks between the Cubs and Red Sox
    over Theo Epstein have progressed, and two sides are very hopeful the deal can
    be done Thursday.

    • Brett

      Let’s hope so. They need to get settled b/c they’re going to be behind every other org putting their off-season plans together & a foundation for the future is the #1 thing right now. Also, getting Sandberg signed would be one step closer once this deal is set. I will throw my 2 cents on Vitters being involved… there is no way to say if he is going to be a star, average player or bust. I will say 50+ errors n the left side of a MLB infield isn’t something any club can win with. Now I feel Castro will clean things up some but I say Vitters should be playing leftfield. Do what the Brewers did with Braun. Vitters has the arm for the outfield and is athletic enough…

    • jfish1219

      from David Kaplan’s twitter feed ” I just spoke with two excellent sources on Epstein negotiations and it appears deal is basically done with announcement of agreement tmrw.”

  • John G

    Just curious. Who owns the “Ex-Cub Factor” in this World Series? We all know Theriot is with StL. Are there any others? I can’t think of any.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Esteban German (Spring Training NRI) and Kyle Lohse (former Cubs farmhand)

      • Calicub

        Josh Hamilton for a quick minute.

        And andres blanco if he’s still on their bench