The Cubs First Interview Is In the Books … and Other News and Notes

Team Epstein completed their first formal interview on Friday for the Cubs managerial position … current Phillies’ bench coach, Pete Mackanin. Mackanin said he enjoyed the interview and described it as “thorough and a little exhausting.” According to multiple reports, Mackanin said the interview was comprehensive and Team Epstein did not let him up for air … they just kept pounding questions at him. Mackanin added that the interview process was similar to the one he went through in Boston just a few days ago.

The Chicago area native told the Cubs during his interview that he grew up rooting for both the Cubs and the Sox. Reportedly, Epstein told him (jokingly), “Don’t ever mention you were a Sox fan again.”

Dale Sveum is next up for Team Epstein. Sveum will go through the Cubs interview process on Monday.

Here’s the rest of the update …

Managerial Candidates
The Cubs are expected to interview Mike Maddux late next week. According to a report in the Boston Globe, Maddux’s interview with the Red Sox is scheduled for Tuesday. The Sun-Times reported Friday that Maddux would meet with the Cubs a couple of days following his talk with Boston.

Sandy Alomar, Jr. is on every Cubs list that has made public. The Cubs have yet to receive formal permission from the Indians to speak with Alomar. The Red Sox (no surprise) are also interested in Alomar and have an interview scheduled with him on Wednesday according to the Boston Globe.

Click here … and here for videos of Pete Mackanin discussing his interview with the Chicago Cubs

Minor League Free Agents
Thirteen players in the Cubs system have hit the free agent market … and that does not mean the Cubs cannot re-sign them to minor league contracts. The most notable name on the list supplied by Baseball America is Angel Guzman.

The other 12 players that are on the minor league free agent market … Pitchers: Justin Berg, Austin Bibens-Dirkx, Marco Carrillo, Robert Coello, Dylan Johnston, Carlton Smith, Alvaro Sosa and Jeff Stevens. Catchers: Mario Mercedes and Chris Robinson. Infielder: John Urick and Scott Moore.

AFL Rising Stars Game
The best of the prospects participating in the Arizona Fall League will be on display Saturday night in the sixth annual AFL Rising Stars game. The MLB Network will televise the game live beginning at 7:00pm CDT.

Three of the best prospects in the Cubs system will participate in the game. Chris Carpenter and Trey McNutt were named to the pitching staff of the East squad and Junior Lake is the Cubs’ lone position player in the game. Andrew Cashner was also named to the East team but will not participate.

Theo Epstein spent some face time at City Hall with Mayor Rahm Emanuel and presented him with a Cubs jacket. And from Phil Rogers … Could Joe Maddon be on Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer’s list to become the Cubs next manager?

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

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Quote of the Day

"Whatever you think, be sure it is what you think; whatever you want, be sure that is what you want." – T.S. Eliot

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  • Jay from sandwich

    If they hire Dave Martinez manager that will add an insulate to cub fans and sanberg do to his ex-wife. I hope team Theo is not that Stijl but we will have to wait and see. I also hope we do not get another red sox retrend

    • Cubstalk

      Maddux also had an affair with Cindy Sandberg.  That is why he went to the Braves and did not resign with the Cubs.

      • paul catanese

        I know when someone is a public figure they are open to everything. Still I find it sad that these things are brought up again and again. Given the amount of personal pain that it must bring to Sandberg when he reads them I would hope that it is laid to rest.

        While I agree that the Cubs should not have these kinds of people in the orginization, they have been. It shows me that it is truly a business and regardless how it comes down the fact that they are employed is what is distasteful to me. There would be no room for them if the franchise were mine.

        Therefore Maddux(Greg), Martinez, and Grace can whistle themselves away from employment with the Cubs, as chararcter should be paramont
        and it has not been with these people.

  • Chuck

    After reading Phil Rogers column, Joe Maddon makes alot of sense.  Theo has seen how Tampa has developed their minor leaguers.  Tampa has been able to compete against the Yankees and Red Sox on a limited budget.  When one compares the Cubs (High A) with Tampa (High A), I think Tampa wins.  Two pitchers in the Tampa organization come to mind, David Price and Matt Moore. Theo and Andrew Friedman are cut from the same cloth.  Tough choice between Mike Maddux and Joe Maddon.  I give the edge to Maddon only because of managerial experience and media experience.  After all these years seeing Boston play Tampa, I think Theo wants Joe Maddon now on his team.

    • Tom U

      Chuck, comparing some of the prospects between the Daytona Cubs and the Charlotte Stone Crabs is a little misleading.

      The Cubs’s system promoted 7 pitchers and 4 position players from Daytona to Tennessee, while Tampa only promoted 4 pitchers and 3 position players. Had the Cubs “held back” some of those players, the teams’ prospects would look more equitable.

      The proof is in the team statistics. The only offensive stats Charlotte was better at were doubles and stolen bases. In pitching, Daytona was better in all of the major categories: wins, ERA, strikeouts, and WHIP.

      Lastly, Daytona won their league championship while Tennessee lost in the finals. Charlotte finished 11 games under .500 and Montgomery 9 games under .500 (with many more players demoted from Triple A than Tennessee).

      • Chuck

        Tom, I will agree with you about last year but I think if you compared Charlotte with Daytona over the last 5 years, results are much different.

  • diehardcubfan

    Joe Maddon would be the best candidate given what he has done with Tampa Bay but this is Phil Rodgers we are talking about here providing the information so you have to question the credibility. 

    It even seems even more suspicious/skeptical that Maddon is on the Cubs radar because the Sun-Times reported a few days ago that Maddon was not on the list.

    I like the idea of bringing in Mike Maddux.  I have gotten to watch him the past couple of years in Texas and think he would make a good manager. 

    I think Sveum or Maddox are the front runners so between the Red Sox and Cubs so will be interesting to see who lands who.  Alomar Jr., Bogar and Mackanin have outside shots. 

  • Neil

    From Jim Callis of Baseball America on the hiring of Joe Bohringer: Another tremendous hire by the Cubs. @espnchicubs: Cubs hire Joe
    Bohringer to pro scouting director role.

    • Jay from sandwich

      You continue to be on top of all the news even with the close month team Theo . Way to go we all think your are great

  • Tom U

    Priority signs in the minor league free agents would be Marco Carrillo and Robert Coello.

  • Cubs Talk

    No doubt hat the Cubs will hire Joe Madden and give the Rays oneor two prospects in return.  Madden makes $1.5 million with the Rays now.  He can command $3 million per year with the Cubs.  If Theo wants to win soon, make Maddon the Cubs manager.  Get the best for this club.

    • Jay from sandwich

      Yes let’s trade away the farm for a top executive team with a good manager and watch the cubs play below 500 baseball for the next four years. But we will have a very good manager with a bad MLB winning percentage and the best executive that prospect can by. To bad they all can not play baseball. Instead we could have gotten Maddox from the rangers or sanberg and saved two to three prospect and maybe into years we can sneak into the playoffs instead of four or five. If our depth of prospect were that good hendry would still be here.

      • paul catanese

        You are correct, as no matter what is in the front office (Excellent though) the proof is what takes the field for nine innings. There is no doubt it will take time but lets hope the Cubs are headed in the right direction, in reallity the only direction they can go is up.

        • Spoda17

          We all really need to be patient, as tough as that is to say… but you don’t fix a sunk ship with bubble gum.  This will take years to really be a consistent winner.  Not to say we can’t win in a couple of years (win is a relative term), but let’s all take a breath, enjoy the quantum lead in respectability, and watch the “rebuilding” begin.  It will be fun no matter what.  We need to start paying more attention to the awesome Farm Report to see the true potential genius of this new front office…

          • paulcatanese

            Kind of what I am saying, and the only way to really tell is when they take the field. I know the difference between what the Cubs have had and what they will have and I can put up with that. I know the front office will be one of the best in the majors.

            It has been fun when fianally the youngsters got a chance to play and have expressed that many times. New faces brings new interest. I just do not want to see a bunch of re-tread lotto winners out there as it has been year after year.

            If the Cubs lose with new ideas and play with energy and passion, I can wait until it comes together.

          • Spoda17

            Totally agree Paul.

  • woody34

    Johnathan Sanchez available from Giants, Soto and Byrd anyone?

    • Jay from sandwich

      I like this idea but I do not know if the giants do they have a nice catcher and we all know that brid is overrated

    • Aaron

      I like that idea woody….but it’s debatable whether or not the Giants consider that a favorable offer. They’ve had significant discussions about moving Posey to 1B to save his legs, so that might be a good option for them. I’m pretty sure the Cubs would need to kick in a prospect like McNutt or someone like that to get the deal done. 

      Byrd, circa 2010 plus Soto would’ve been a no-brainer for the Giants, as Sanchez is a luxury for them, and they have other great options…..but not Byrd circa 2011…you’d certainly have to kick in more, like I mentioned.

      • daverj

        From what I’ve read most recently, the Giants plan to keep Posey at Catcher.  And even if that weren’t the case, they could get more for Sanchez elsewhere.

  • Tony_Hall

    I didn’t realize how big Junior Lake is, he is tall.

    • Tony_Hall

      That was one of the ugliest throws I have ever seen.  Young guys, always think they can make every play.

      Nice play by Lake to get to that ball, but he had a chance to get his body in better position and didn’t do it, leading to the bad throw.

      • paulcatanese

        Missed that one Tony, but did see him strike out on three pitches w/bases loaded. How tall is he? At bat he looked like Castro’s little brother. Spending time between UCLA and Arizona State.

        • Last_ginger

          Shouldve been watching Bama Lsu. Classic defensive battle

          • paulcatanese

            I did, watch the end of it, great game. My grandson was a ASU football alumni,kind of had to watch.

  • Tony_Hall

    The Pirates never seem to get a break. #1 pick Cole has given up 5 runs in the 1st inning in the Rising Stars Game.  Only getting 2 outs before being pulled.

    #2 pick, Hultzen, had 3 k’s in the top of the 1st.

    • cubtex

      Cmon Tony. Pitchers give up runs and have bad outings. Cole has been pitching lights out. He’s got a great arm!

      • Tony_Hall

        Of course they do!  But here they were both on MLB, in a classic showdown, and one looked polished and confident, and one looked erratic and overwhelmed.  

        The AFL is a hitters league, and both have great numbers this fall.  Hultzen has gotten less press, and has better numbers going and is left-handed.  

        I’m sure both will have great careers, but I’d take Hultzen.

  • Last_ginger

    Braves are saying Martin Prado is available. Like the guy

    • cubtex

      Braves are also saying Jair Jurggens is available too. Supposedly they had offered Jurggens and Prado to KC for one of KC’s best pitching prospects and Lorenzo Cain and the Royals shot it down. I would definately love to get Jurggens.

    • J Daniel

      I like Prado, he is good but did struggle the last couple of months this season.

    • Spoda17

      We do not need any free agents…

      • Last_ginger

        Prado isnt a free agent

        • daverj

          I like Prado for our 3B.  He played hurt most of last year and should improve this season.  I’d guess that the Braves are looking for a power bat for him … not sure we have one to offer.  Jurrjens doesn’t interest me … his underlying skill stats show that he was very lucky this season and a regression is coming.

        • Tony_Hall

          No, he is arb eligible and looking at around $5M this year.  and had an OBP of 302 this year.