Team Epstein Taking Shape … Hoyer and McLeod Next Up for the Cubs

With Theo Epstein officially taking over as President of Baseball Operations for the Chicago Cubs, several changes and additions will take place over the coming weeks.

The Cubs were granted permission to interview Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod soon after the Epstein announcement was made Friday night. Both are expected to join the Cubs’ front office a couple of days after Epstein’s press conference on Tuesday. Hoyer will reportedly sign a five-year deal to become the new GM of the Cubs and McLeod is expected to serve as Hoyer’s assistant general manager.

According to multiple reports Friday night, the Cubs and Padres have a pre-agreed list of players in the Cubs system as compensation for Jed Hoyer. The compensation is expected to be a lower level minor leaguer. As for the compensation for Epstein, the Red Sox are expected to receive two to three minor leaguers … more than likely a top level prospect and two mid to lower level prospects. Theo Epstein will negotiate his own compensation with his former assistant GM, Ben Cherington.

According to a report from the Sun-Times, another piece of Boston’s front office could be on his way to Chicago with Epstein … current VP of Baseball Operations, Brian O’Halloran. Epstein is also looking to bring in head trainer Mike Reinhold. If Epstein is able to bring both O’Halloran and Reinhold in that could impact the final compensation package the Red Sox receive.

Once ‘Team Epstein‘ is in place they are expected to address the status of Mike Quade and his coaching staff. It is unknown at this time what direction Epstein and Hoyer will take in regards to the Cubs’ managerial position. Names have been thrown around but it is all speculation at this point.

Now that Tom Ricketts has a baseball guy to watch his baseball guys, it is up to ‘Team Epstein‘ to build a winning organization … one that can contend year after year.

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Quote of the Day

"Show me a guy who’s afraid to look bad, and I’ll show you a guy you can beat every time." – Lou Brock

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  • Tony_Hall

    Ricketts had Jim Hendry as his baseball guy, who watched over his other baseball guys, all of the baseball operations staff.   

    Now Ricketts has Theo, who will watch over his staff.  

    Titles are just titles, Theo is in charge, just like Hendry, and will put together his staff.  To get better people, you have to have the titles that make it a lateral move at worst, but in most cases, needs to have a title of a promotion.

  • Tony_Hall

    Welcome to Theo Epstein.  Our hopes and dreams are now in your hands.  Please remove the trash before getting comfortable in your new office.

  • Tony_Hall

    What I like, about announcing this, at the end of the day, before they have to go silent for two days (extremely stupid, anitquated rule), is that Theo can “officially” make phone calls and set-up his staff, make decisions he can act on, overall have a lot more set-up, going into the press conference announcing his taking over the Cubs.  

    He can have a lot of his front office staff assembled, and his managerial search done (Quade it’s been nice knowing ya, you seem like a nice guy, but you were in sooooo far over your head, it’s not even funny)…enter stage right, Ryne Sandberg.

    • J Daniel

      Absolutely correct!

    • paulcatanese

      Tony, while I agree with what has taken place(finally) and he should have an idea from day one as far as a manager goes I dont know that it would be a done deal to bring Sandberg in to replace Qua. Epstein seems to be his own man and that decision may include someone else to take over in that capacity.

      While it would be in the best interest of Cub fans to bring Sandberg in and would solidify the fan base, Epstein may go another direction and look for a “proven major league person”.

      I hope he does go for Sandberg, that would be great and feel he could handle the job, Epstein is an unknown factor in his mindset to me. Hopefully he will make that choice and soon for Sandberg. I’m just saying I am prepared in my mind if it is someone else. I think that will surely be the first thing on his agenda.

      • Dorasaga

        Paul, when Epstein took over, he inherited Grady Little from the previous management and kept him for a while, and basically let Little ran out his contract. Francona never had much connection with the Red Sox before he was hired Nov., 2003. Yet, Francona’s experience and acceptance with the more open-minded A’s probably caught Epstein’s attention, and the rest was history.

      • GaryLeeT

        I am sure Epstein had long ago assessed the state of the Cubs, and he’s smart enough to know that it will take at least 2 years before he can put a contender on the field. So, in order to fill seats at the ridiculous prices charged, he will have add all the interest he can, as quickly as possible. Hiring Sandberg, a HOF fan favorite, who produced a winner at every level he managed, is a no-brainer.

  • Tony_Hall

    Over and under on how many of the current 40 man roster will still be on the Cubs, 40 man roster on Opening Day 2012.          


    And I still might take the under…

    • Calicub

      over and I say 28..

      realistically who is there to drop? aside from the obvious

      Big Z

      • Tony_Hall

        I didn’t say they would be dropping them all.  

        How many will still be on the Cubs 40 man roster on Opening Day, 2012?

      • Tony_Hall

        Let me break it down.

        Batters (18) at the end of each, how many I think will be left

        Catchers (4) – Soto, Hill, Castillo, Clevenger – (2)

        Middle Infielders (5) – Baker, Barney, Castro, Dewitt, Lemahieu – (3)

        Corner Infielders (3) – Lahair, Pena, Ramirez (1)

        Outfielders – Byrd, Campana, Colvin, Johnson, Montanez, Soriano (2)

        That means 18 batters, I believe 8 will still be on 40 man on Opening Day.


        Starters (7) – Cashner, Coleman, Dempster, Garza, Wells, Zambrano, Lopez  (4)

        Bullpen (7) – Grabow, Marmol, Marshall, Ortiz, Russell, Samardzija, Wood (4)

        Young guys (8) Cabrera, Caridad, Carpenter, Dolis, Gaub, Maine, Mateo, Smit (3)

        That adds up to 22 pitchers, I feel 11 will still be on the 40 man roster on Opening Day.  That adds up to 19.

        This roster is going to get a big over haul.  Some will get traded, released, etc.  

        Just think about the minor league rosters, with a new set of eye(s).

        This should be an extremely fun off-season.

  • J Daniel

    I give Ricketts a lot of credit – he shot big and connected.  We can all argue that Friedman or Hendry or whoever would be better but I applaud him for this effort!  I have said it before and will restate it – he has a plan – it may or may not work – but he has a plan and is working it.

    As far as compensation goes – this deal had to be worked this way.  We all know it was done backwards – usually compensation agreed on first – but it couldn’t be done that way on this deal.  They have still not agreed even after Theo said he was leaving which proves that point.  Do I believe Boston thought he would leave for the Cubs – NO – and that is why permission was granted.  If Tom said we would like to hire Theo – what would the compensation be? – and they said Garza – what would Tom do?  Say no, really, what would the compensation be?  And then they said Castro?  And then they said you have to take Lackey?  And on and on and on?

    I feel that he did this exactly how he had to – get the deal done with Theo first and then fight over compensation later – knowing Theo was moving to a higher position and that compensation should only be 2 marginal prospects – due to the promotion.

    The compensation for Hoyer is complete – the normal way to do – ahead of time.  

    Again, we can all argue who should have been hired but how about we all do this – as long suffering Cub fans – give TR a standing ovation!  Let’s thank him for shooting big and scoring.  It is his business – and believe it or not – they want to win more than we want them to win.  

    After applauding the efforts then go ahead and start ripping him for who he should have hired and who he shouldn’t have given up or he spent to much money (who really cares how much money he spent on it?)?  Are you going to care if it works because it hasn’t been working the way it has been going.

    Do I need to remind everyone – 103 years and counting?  

    From this long suffering Cub fan – Here is my STANDING OVATION to TR!  

    I am wearing my Cubs gear proud today, GO CUBS!!!!!

    • cubs1967

      the compensation needed to be done first, so if kenny crane screwed this up, as is the logic, only shows how screwed up the cubs were. you have valid points except the compensation had to be done first. no ifs-ands-buts. massive screw-up on the cubs part. end of story!

  • Jim_Tinley_Park

    Bring back Ryne Sandberg !

  • Neil

    According to the Trib, Kenney’s title will change to ‘President of Business Operations’,0,2913884.story

  • Jay From Sandwich

    I will not be happy until I know the cost? I hope it is not any pitchers accept for colmen or maybe Jay Jackson? Remeber the Cubs already have put out 7 million in conpensation. So I still think a catcher, secoundbase, SS, or outfielder but not (Jackson or Ho Haan, Login and Scz). How ever I would trade Tyler Colvin But only If Ryno will not be the next Manager (Tyler play his best under Ryno in the Minors so I think Ryno can fix him). Yes I would take Lacky but only after reviewing his medicals and at 10-12 mil max. per season (Like Lilly) the BoSox would have to eat the rest of lackys contract. I would also part ways with Baker if need be.

    • John_CC

      So you will think that giving up Colvin is too much in exchange for Epstein and two or three of his best staff IF Ryno is hired as manager?  You would part ways with Baker IF NEED BE?  Does acquiring one of the brightest young upper management baseball minds in the game count as “need be”? 

      Wow, Jay, I’m pretty sure you will not be happy if those are your standards.

  • Brp921

    What is the final cost of this move, that is the key. I hope Epstein can change our fortunes, however, I’ve been a Cubfan since the mid-sixties, so please forgive my skepticism.

    • John_CC

      Why does everyone care so much about the “cost” of this move in players?  We know that BJackson is not a part of it, McNutt is not, Garza, Castro – obviously not.  So what?  You will think that hiring Epstein as President of the baseball side of the club isn’t worth one or two Cub prospects?  I can’t believe how many of you are worried about this! Actually, I can and I do understand — we are all Cubs fans.

      But come on Brp, as a fan since the 60s, surely you can see that hiring Epstein as the Pres, not just GM, is the best move this franchise has made since you’ve followed them. This isn’t a player. They have one of the best guys running the franchisce for at least 5 years to come.  There isn’t a Cubs prospect left on the table that is not worth that, in my book.

      • Brp921

        John, it depends on how many prospects and who those prospects are. The speculation in the newspapers and blogs, as far as I have read, is just that, speculation. I agree that bringing in Epstein is a big splash type of hire but the fact that he won in Boston doesn’t guarantee he’ll win in Chicago, and that speculation said Boston was asking much more than I would be willing to give. Though hiring him was not my first choice, I’m not totally against it either. I just don’t want to give up the farm to get him. Thats why I am waiting untill I find out who we are giving up to decide whether or not I like the hire. There have been a lot of guys brought in over the years that were going to bring success to the northside, yet its 103 years and counting. If Epstein brings us a championship then he’s worth what we spend, if he doesn’t and we give up the farm, we’ll regret it. Thats all I’m saying.

        • John_CC

          There are no guarantees. I believe that Epstein is a lot more than a “splash” hire.  He is a proven general manager.  I was never a big Epstein fan, I never thought that he would be with the Cubs. Honestly, when his name first surfaced I thought it was ridiculous. But here it is. And I like it.

          I guess I am just exhausted from all the arm chair experts and constant second guessing. Fer chrissakes, the guy led the Red Sox to 6 playoffs and 2 championships in 10 years!  There is not a prospect in the Cubs system that is too good to take this gamble on.

          This whole thing is just so completely antithetical to what all of us have come to know as Cubs fans of the Cubs brand and “way of life” that I think even sane fans are feeling very strange, new reactions. Hell, did you read Rosenbloom? He sounded like he wanted to give Ricketts credit…good credit. 

          I am going to wait too. But I will not be disappointed no matter who the minor leaguers are that leave the Cubs system for these acquisitions.

          • Brp921

            I don’t claim to be an expert on anything, I’m simply a fan of this team with an opinion of my own, and this is a blog where all of us can share our opinions. I disagree with you that there are no prospects not worth giving up and certainly that we couldn’t give up to many. 

  • Ryan7

    Does anyone know what time the press conference is going to be held at and what channel is it going to be on?

    • Neil

      I have not heard/seen a time yet. As soon as I do I will post.

      • Ryan7

        Thanks Neil.

  • Jeff in AZ

    I love the hire and that includes Hoyer and Mcleod. We all have said many times that the team needs to change its culture. Ricketts expressed this when he took the reigns, brenly has said it over and over from the booth (steve stone before him), and Even Sweet Lou expressed the need for Cubbie swagger.

    Well, I think the cubs have finally done something that is respected not only by the fans but mlb in general. The front office has gotten an overhaul and as of today we are looking at 3 “baseball guys” who will be working together to make the cubs a perennial contender.

    I’m looking forward to the offseason. I, like many of you, hope that Quade is dismissed in short order. I will however trust in the the 3 Muskateers ( Theo, Hoyer, Mcleod)) to pick the best manager to fit the culture, style, and winning ways they set fit. While my heart longs for Sandberg (who I think actually has the tools to be a great mlb manager), I think we all need to support the next manager picked and understand that it has to fit the “plan” and not just sell tickets.

    I too have been a cubbie fan for a long time, and today I feel refreshed, hopeful, and proud to be one. I look forward to reading and chatting with all of you from time to time this offseason as we “witness” the transformation of a team that couldn’t win for 103 years to a team that will contend on a yearly basis as all big market teams should.

    Congratulations Mr. Ricketts and all of my fellow Chicago Cubs fans!

    “It’s gonna happen”

    • Brp921

      No one can say Tom Ricketts isn’t going for it, and I applaud him for being willing to invest money in his plan.

    • Neil

      Jeff, good to hear from you.

    • Anonymous47701

      I don’t know if It’s really gonna happen 2012 or what, but I think with Tom Ricketts pushing all the right buttons this offseason and now with Theo Epstein at the helm, as Howard Jones once said……”Things Can Only Get Better”!

  • John_CC

    FINALLY.  I can’t tell you how sick of the rumor/watiting/rumor game I was. 

    I’m sure he won’t, but I would love to hear in his first press conference Epstein say that the entire coaching staff is gone.  I could care less about Jaramillo or Dernier or any of them. 

    Scub it clean!  We are so close!  Come on Tom and Theo…CHANGE our “Way of Life”!  Please! I am begging you.

    • paulcatanese

      Agree with you John. Wipe the slate clean. As far as Jaramillo staying around as hitting coach I forsee that what will be on the roster will be new faces or just up from the minors and will require a fresh start anyway, so they might as well do the same with the hitting coach. Pitching coach, no contest, gone,third base coach gone, anyway as you say gone, gone, gone with the lot of them. I cant imagine with the guys Epstein bringing in with him sitting down to discuss just this point (coaches,manager) that the decision could be anything but gone.

      • Anonymous47701

        No question about it, Paul and John. Maybe the Cubs should take a look at Chip Hale and Jody Davis for coaching jobs.

  • Dorasaga

    The title here sounds like, “Up For Grabs.” I won’t be surprised if that was Neil’s message.

    I really don’t care about Quade at this point. Why should we? It’s time to blow up this team. Part of it will be new ideas and a revamp of the organization, top to bottom. It will take time. No more “swing free” since rookie-ball. More stress of fundamentals. Better coordination between scouts. More on injury-prevention. That Papelbon stress test, if you haven’t heard, they measured his hand and also arm strength, among many other things, after each game when he pitched. Theo and Co. used those info. to keep him alive and well on the mound.

    You got the idea. Who is Quade? He can be fired anytime. Just make sure to send that private note to Sandberg after this World Series: We like you. You are a winner.

  • Neil

    #Cubs in AFL (10/22): Junior Lake (SS): 4-for-5, 3RBI, 2B, SB;
    DJ LeMahieu (1B): 0-for-3, 2BB, SB; Josh Vitters (RF): 1-for-5; Chris Carpenter: 0R, 0H, BB, K in 1IP

    • cubtex

      I know this has been absolutely unconventional….but I can’t imagine any of these players being sent as compensation for Theo if they are still playing at this time. I know I asked you before Neil….but what are your thoughts?

      • Neil

        I keep hearing Vitters name mentioned but that was before Epstein got involved. Everything about these talks have made little to no sense but I’m with you, if any of those players were on the table it would seem like those players would not be allowed to suit up.

        • cubtex

          Yea. Especially Carpenter since he is a pitcher.

  • Spoda17

    I like Theo as the Pres and not the GM.  Good move… Huge culture change in Chicago now, this is a big difference and a nice change.  A lot of you have been talking about the cost, I really don’t give a shizzy about the cost… Theo and his team need to rebuild, and really, a few minor leaguers is no real cost.  We will have to rebuild no matter what, and it’s not like any of them are a can’t miss, if they were, they would be in the majors already.  So no concern with the cost, we need to get this leadership team in place and concentrate on pitching!

  • Jay From Sandwich

    Well this link is the encuraging thing I have read out of Boston. But I would go with the Baker and one mid to low level prospect instead of thee cub prospect after we are rebuilding it is hard to re-build wth prospect that are close so I would like to Jeff Baker and save maybe jay Jackson or something more resonable then him. ttp:// 

  • suzys

    Well, these are the momentous times we all hoped for when Ricketts first took over….DECISIVE ACTION. I tried very hard to ignore the Cubs this past season
    with Hendry still at the helm and no hope on the horizon. The winning may still be far over the horizon…but True Hope has finally arrived.
    I applaud these moves…regardless of the compensation…I believe  the best analogy for Epstein vs Hendry may be Dallas Green  vs Larry Himes.  Green did
    not win a WS…but only because he wasn’t around long enough….BUT he DID
    change the culture & expectations…beginning with the  1984 Cubs.

    With no guarantees, but GREAT EXPECTATIONS…I Welcome the Epstein Era.

    Neil, thanks for the consistantly great job…not an easy thing considering the moribund teams we’ve had in the last several years.

    • Agustinrexach

      I agree Suzy, Neil deserves a good team for a while!!!!

      • Agustinrexach

        I mean… He’s earned it!

    • Gramps

      Exactly the way I feel about it too Suzy. It is about time the Cubs have a plan and an owner that is looking to the future.

  • texcubnut

    Well said Suzy. I, too, have great expectations for this team. One thought did occur to me, though.  Is it really a  good idea for Theo to negotiate his own compensation? Self perceptions can be a little skewed.

  • Anonymous47701

    2012 Rotation/Bullpen idea



    • texcubnut

      I really like that rotation. If only Theo can make it happen.  Of all your lineup, rotation and bullpen ideas, this is by far your best proposal. Who knows, with this new management team, I like to think anything is possible. Oh, happy days, fellow Cub fans!!!

      • Anonymous47701

        Thanks Tex. I am still working on the Lineup/Bench and Trade ideas, but my construction of the 40 man is almost done. I’ve Listed 11 Pitchers (4 lefties, 7 righties) , 1 Catcher, 2 Infielders and 1 Outfielder. This is sort of a Perfect World idea, but like you said, it can still happen.

        • daverj

          I like that rotation in a vacuum for 2012, but I’d be afraid that by throwing $75 million over 5 years to Wilson and $65 million over 5 years to Danks (numbers it would likely take to get those guys), we’d be setting the team up for more more problems down the road.  Pitchers like those two can quickly become ineffective and overpaid.

  • Shelbymenge

    how do you think the chicago cub will do this year?

  • Drlefty

    In spite of the fact that Andy Mc”Fail” came here as a young man with two world titles from a low budget team, the  hiring of Theo Epstein makes me optimistic. He not only seems to know what he is doing, but he seems confidently capable of success.  He doesn’t even believe in billy goats or Bartmans!

    But for God’s sake, Theo, don’t hire your manager and first baseman because they work cheap……nor should you trade a guy just because he takes you to arbitration.

    Go Cubs!  I’ve been thinking that way since 1944; build a team which will encourage me to keep saying it.  Ron Sheasby