Weekend Update … One Interview After the Other for the Cubs

If the last two weeks are any indication the next seven days figure to be anything but boring. Theo Epstein has not wasted any time since taking over as the President of Baseball Operations for the Chicago Cubs on October 21.

Theo Epstein was introduced on October 25 and officially hired Jed Hoyer (Executive Vice President/General Manager) and Jason McLeod (Senior Vice President of Scouting and Player Development) the very next day. While waiting to formally introduce Hoyer and McLeod, Ryan Dempster picked up his option and Aramis Ramirez declined his part of the mutual option for 2012 and became a free agent … a day later, Epstein and Hoyer declined the Cubs option on Jeff Samardzija for 2012 so they could re-sign him at a lower salary.

Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod were formally introduced on November 1 and the day after Mike Quade was dismissed. Team Epstein then began interviewing candidates for the open managerial position the next day. The Cubs’ brass also hired Joe Bohringer to be the pro scouting director on the day they completed interviewing Pete Mackanin. Bohringer’s hiring is expected to be made official on Monday … it would not be a stretch to say the Cubs new front office is not wasting any time.

Will week three of the Theo Epstein era be as busy as the first two?

Managerial Candidates
Next up in the interview process for Team Epstein will be Dale Sveum. The Cubs are scheduled to meet with Sveum on Monday. Mike Maddux will follow later in the week. Maddux’s interview with the Red Sox is on Tuesday.

The Cubs have received permission from the Indians to speak with Sandy Alomar, Jr. Alomar is also on Boston’s list and will meet with Ben Cherington and company on Wednesday. Alomar is supposed to meet with Epstein, Hoyer, McLeod and Bush after Mike Maddux.

The Cubs are also expected to meet with DeMarlo Hale and reports have suggested Tim Bogar will receive an interview as well.

Pete Mackanin mentioned Saturday that Epstein and Hoyer told him they are anticipating the Cubs managerial search to take about two weeks.

AFL Rising Stars Game
The best of the best in the Arizona Fall League participated in the sixth annual AFL Rising Stars game on Saturday night. The Cubs had three representatives in the game … Junior Lake, Chris Carpenter and Trey McNutt.

Junior Lake started the game at short for the East squad and hit third. Lake finished 1-for-3 at the plate with a double and a run scored. The 21-year old infielder struggled in the field and was charged with an error. Lake’s defensive issues have been well documented and he reinforced those reports on Saturday night.

Chris Carpenter took over with one out in the bottom of the sixth and threw six pitches, three for strikes to one batter … and induced an inning ending double play. Trey McNutt faced one batter in the bottom of the eighth and struck him out. McNutt appears to have lost a little weight but still brought heat. McNutt’s fastball was clocked in the mid 90s and he struck out Wil Myers swinging on a 84 MPH curveball.

Off-Season Calendar
Will update the Calendar throughout the off-season

November

  • 9 – 27th Annual Cubs Convention Tickets Go on Sale
  • 10 – End of Waiver period
  • 11 – Beginning of New Waiver period – waivers secured on or after November 11, 2011 remain in effect until February 15, 2012, exception: outright waivers
  • 14 – 15 – General Managers Meetings – Milwaukee, WI
  • 15 – 16 – Owners Meetings – Milwaukee, WI
  • 18 – Deadline for clubs to file reserve lists for Major League club and all Minor League Levels (Rule 5 Draft protection)
  • 23 – Last date for former club to offer salary arbitration to ranked free agents to be eligible for draft pick compensation. Deadline is midnight ET

BBWAA Awards – All Award winners announced at 2:00pm ET

  • 14 – NL and AL Rookie of the Year
  • 15 – AL Cy Young Award
  • 16 – NL and AL Manager of the Year
  • 18 – NL Cy Young Award
  • 21 – AL Most Valuable Player
  • 22 – NL Most Valuable Player

December

  • 1 – Last day to request outright waivers to assign player prior to Rule 5 Draft
  • 5 – Last time to outright a player prior to the Rule 5 Draft (5:00pm ET)
  • 7 – Last date for player who declared free agency to accept an arbitration offer from former club. Deadline is midnight ET.
  • 5 – 8 Baseball’s Winter Meetings – Dallas, TX
  • 8 – Rule 5 Draft – Dallas, TX
  • 12 – Last date for Major League clubs to tender contracts to arbitration eligible players (3-6 men)

2012

January

  • 5 – 15 – Salary arbitration filing period
  • 13 – 15 – 27th Annual Cubs Convention
  • 18 – Exchange of salary arbitration figures

February

  • 1 – 21 – Salary arbitration hearings
  • 13 – Voluntary reporting date to Spring Training for pitchers, catchers and injured players
  • 15 – End of Waiver Period
  • 16 – Beginning of New Waiver Period
  • 18 – Voluntary reporting date to Spring Training for other players

March

  • 2 – Mandatory reporting date to Spring Training for all players
  • 2 – 11 – Teams may renew contracts of unsigned players
  • 19 – Last day to place a player on unconditional release waivers and pay 30 days termination pay instead of 45 days
  • 28-29 – Japan Opening Series – Seattle vs. Oakland, Tokyo

April

  • 2 – Last day to request unconditional release waivers on a player without having to pay his full 2011 salary (Only 45 days termination pay is due)
  • 4 – All Clubs must reduce active roster to 25 players
  • 4 – Opening Day for MLB
  • 5 – Opening Day for Chicago Cubs – Cubs vs. Nationals at Wrigley Field

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

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Quote of the Day

"Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere." - Albert Einstein