The Field of Six, Darvish, Cespedes, Wood, Buehrle … and Other Cubs Notes and Rumors

The Cubs list of managerial candidates went from five to six on Tuesday after the Cubs’ brass “officially” added Terry Francona to the mix. Many thought Francona had been a candidate since Mike Quade was relieved of his duties a couple of weeks back … Theo Epstein has been talking to Francona during the process to hire the Cubs’ new manager. The Cubs’ front office has done follow ups with each of the candidates since their formal interviews.

Jed Hoyer said a favorite has not emerged among the six candidates. The Cubs are expected to meet with Dale Sveum again while Sveum is in Milwaukee meeting with the Red Sox. Sveum is considered to be the front-runner to land the job in Boston … Larry Lucchino and John Henry are expected to join Ben Cherington for the Red Sox’s second interview with Sveum on Wednesday.

The feeling at the GM Meetings is that Mike Maddux is the favorite to land the Cubs’ job but Maddux is still weighing family concerns according to Jed Hoyer.

The Cubs field is now set according to Epstein and Hoyer and the Cubs’ brass has moved into the evaluation and decision phrase of the process. The Cubs have not set a deadline to name a manager. Epstein said this is an important week before adding they could conduct more follow-up interviews. Once Epstein and Hoyer make a decision, the candidate will meet with the Ricketts family before an official announcement is made.

Outside of a manager, a coaching staff and the front office, the Cubs’ other off-season priorities are pitching, defense and left-handed bats according to the information Jim Bowden has been given from other GMs this week.

According to Jon Paul Morosi, the Cubs have had multiple conversations with Mark Buehrle’s agent. Could the former South Sider and lifelong Cardinals’ fan end up on the North Side of Chicago?

Kerry Wood has spoken with Theo Epstein and it seems to be just a formality before Wood re-signs with the Cubs … plus, could the Cubs’ be changing switch-hitting backup catchers and bring in a player that has a history with Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer? Here’s the update …

Yu Darvish and Yoenis Cespedes
According to Bruce Levine, the biggest rumor surrounding the Cubs at the GM Meetings is the team will be moving strongly into the international market and will be going after Yu Darvish and Yoenis Cespedes.

The Cubs will be one of several teams bidding for both players. Yu Darvish has not been posted yet and if he is, he would not be posted until after the conclusion of the Japan Series. The Cubs would have to pay a posting fee and many think the fee will be between what the Mariners’ paid to negotiate a contract with Ichiro Suzuki ($13.125M) and what Boston paid Seibu for the right to talk to Daisuke Matsuzaka ($51,111,111) and Scott Boras back in 2006. Levine thinks Darvish would be the number two starter in the Cubs’ rotation.

Jason McLeod will be in the Dominican Republic later this week to watch Yoenis Cespedes. Many think the best player to come out of Cuba in a generation will sign a contract north of the six-year, $30.25 million contract the Reds gave Aroldis Chapman.

Kerry Wood
According to a report from Bruce Levine, it appears to a question of when will Kerry Wood re-sign with the Cubs, not if. Wood spoke with Theo Epstein last week and Jed Hoyer sung Wood’s praises on Tuesday.

“Theo has met with him and I’ve begun to talk to Pat Rooney [Wood’s agent]. So we are going to consider bringing him back. My view of him is he’s a guy who brings toughness. He doesn’t shy away from big moments and big games. I think that’s something really important. Chicago is a big stage and it’s a mistake to take that for granted. Not every guy comes in from the outside can necessarily handle it. I think it’s monumental sentiment that he expressed last year toward the city when he came back. It’s important to the club and the fans. It was a very meaningful gesture.”

Wood had successful arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee on the last day of September … the recovery time was six weeks. Theo Epstein tried to sign Wood last off-season to a multi-year deal before Wood agreed to take less money to return to the organization that drafted him in 1995.

Mark Buehrle
According to reports from Jon Paul Morosi and Phil Rogers, the Cubs are interested in signing Mark Buehrle. XM Radio’s Jim Bowden is predicting Buehrle will receive a four-year, $56 million deal this off-season.

This rumor has “some juice” according to the Daily Herald and the Cubs make sense for Buehrle “because family is vital for the left-hander and he has lived in Chicago during the season for the past 12 years.”

According to the Daily Herald, the Cubs “would be interested in signing Buehrle is the price tag and years aren’t astronomical.” The Herald mentioned a similar price tag that Bowden predicted.

Tidbits from Bruce Levine
Mr. Talkin’ Baseball held his weekly chat on, here are a few highlights:

  • Levine thinks that Terry Francona could be the favorite to land the Cubs’ job … but Mike Maddux and Sandy Alomar, Jr. may be the front-runners with Francona being a wild card.
  • Jason Varitek “is presumed to be a future backup catcher with the Cubs due to the fact that he brings a solid culture with him and would be a steady influence to the young players.”
  • Levine added to the Varitek speculation that it is time to get one of those young catchers (Welington Castillo, Steve Clevenger) to the big leagues … and if Jed Hoyer was to bring in the former Sox backstop that would probably mean that Geovany Soto was traded.
  • There are still rumblings that Bryan LaHair could sign a contract to play in Japan next season.
  • Teams will talk to the Cubs about Carlos Marmol, despite his 10 blown saves last season. Andrew Cashner or Jeff Samardzija could step into the closer’s role.
  • Levine thinks Andrew Cashner will end up back in the bullpen.

Rumors, News and Notes

  • According to the Sun-Times, the Cubs are focused on another Cuban defector … Jorge Soler, a 6-foot-3, 19-year old outfielder. The Nationals and Yankees are also interested in signing the athletic, hard-hitting outfielder that one scout said has a “plus-arm” and “plus-bat speed.”
  • The Cubs could be looking at Aaron Harang, Livan Hernandez and Chris Capuano according to the Sun-Times. Keep in mind with Harang, Jed Hoyer signed the former Reds’ pitcher to a contract last off-season.
  • The Cubs have not decided if Andrew Cashner will be a reliever or a starter next season.
  • Starlin Castro will meet with Jed Hoyer and Theo Epstein this weekend in Chicago. But a long-term contract will not be discussed at that time according to Castro’s agent, Paul Kinzer. Kinzer is not in a hurry to get Castro signed to a long-term contract but said Castro will be paid well soon.
  • According to the Sun-Times, it appears Sandy Alomar, Jr. is ‘Plan C’ in the Cubs’ managerial search.
  • Ryne Sandberg is likely to return to the Phillies’ organization according to a report from Comcast SportsNet. Rumors have suggested that Sandberg could end up on Charlie Manuel’s staff if Pete Mackanin ends up with either the Cubs or Red Sox. The other scenario has Sandberg managing the Leigh High Valley Iron Pigs (Triple-A) again.
  • Kenny Williams is amused at the length of time it is taking for the Red Sox and Cubs to workout the compensation package for Theo Epstein.

Jed Hoyer on the talking trades with other teams at the GM Meetings … from

“We’re still very much in the information gathering mode on all of that stuff [re: free agents]. We’re not really in a position to rule out much at this point. We’re going to listen on a lot of things and think about a lot of things. I’d be misleading if I started to dice up the free agent pool too much.”

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

For all of the latest on the Cubs, follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO

Quote of the Day

"Pitching is the cornerstone of most championship teams." – Roger Craig

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  • J Daniel

    Wow, this could be an incredibly busy 6 weeks, like the last 6 have not.  From reading above and judging what has been taking place I feel we will see a number of transactions coming including Soto, Byrd, and Marmol.  Couple those with a few other minor moves and the Cubs have a lot of payroll flexibility.

    I do like the idea of bringing in Varitek along with one of the young guys.  It is time to get what is possible for Soto and the return should be decent.  This move will allow salary for another move and I feel it will help.  I don’t think you can go with 2 young catchers as that could create a selfish atmosphere behind the plate.

    I think we will see at least 2 new starting outfielders once Byrd is moved.  Jackson will be one and the other will come in a trade or FA signing.  We possibly could see 3 new ones if Soriano is moved.

    As has been discussed, a Marmol trade should net a really good return.  Cashner will have a chance to close, again netting a salary gain to use in other moves.  With the early history of arm issue with Cashner, we might see the bullpen move.

    The money saved in these 2 deals will almost cover a Buerhle signing.  Although he would be a good pick up, he is not a #1 or #2 guy on a really good team.  I feel he would be an upgrade over Dempster and possibly allow another deal.

    Then, the possibility of Francona?  It is not going to surprise me.  If Maddux is having legitimate concerns (which I do not understand really), and Alomar is option C, then I do see Francona on the north side next year.  

    Regardless of what happens over the next 6 weeks it is going to be really busy and interesting.

    Keep writing Neal . . .

    • John_CC

      I just can’t get over the feeling of relief/joy/hope that comes over me once in a while about the state of the Cubs.  I hope you are right J Daniel, and I think you are, Epstein et al is not going to waste anytime in revamping/rebuilding this team, this franchise.  And I for one am very excited to see it.  I trust this redirection so much that I do not care who is traded…I mean the only person that I would be really disappointed about getting rid of is, obviously, Castro. And I guess Cashner.

      I just feel like whichever veteran they dump and prospect they trade will be replaced down the road with a better veteran, better draft, better prospect. 

      I would love to see 50% new faces on the 25 man roster next year. It would a huge undertaking and I doubt it will happen, but I would love it.

  • Chuck

    Baseball is as much a political game as the real world of politics.  Just as we have front runners for the Republican Presidential nomination, there are front runners for manager of the Chicago Cubs.  I sense that Theo has Terry Francona as his choice since he knows him better than any other candidate.  His name has now been put out to the public to see what kind of reaction there is from the city of Chicago, Cub fans, and sportwriters.  If a longshot such as Animal Kingdom can win the Kentucky Derby, a longshot like Terry Francona can be the next Cubs manager.

    • J Daniel

      And this would probably be a really good move.

  • Anthony

    I stated before Sandy Jr. would be a nice choice, but as the Stove heats up and Francona mentioned more, it has the overall appearance that the Cubs will try to compete in 2012 via trade and FA, so the “veteran Mgr” scenario is not far fetched.

    Just like in the NFL, a new coach/office takes over and in the first year, they plug holes with familiarity, former players(Varitek) and coaches(Francona) they liked and have a comfort level with, but, that is not always the right answer?

    Signing a 19 year old IFA is fine, especially a 6’3 kid for projection.

    Signing FA pitching is fine at the right price. Let’s hope they don’t overspend on retreads.

    Also went back and looked at past BA Top 10’s from prior years, and as usual, no credibility, just newspaper selling. Let’s see how the 2011 Class does in a full season of pro baseball. Putting unproven high school kids in a top 10 is a lack of diligence, but then again, BA folks are writers, not talent evaluators. At least Babe Harper beat up the JUCO ranks with a wood bat!

    • Dorasaga

      Or maybe it’s just a baseball thing. Baseball media want “connections” to mean something. When it comes to giving the managerial job to the right fit, I am giving GM Hoyer & Co. the benefit of doubt right now. I believe they will be objective and observing. And after careful analysis of what a manager means to this New Cubs Way, they will narrow down all possibilities into two or just one candidate that fits their preset criteria, which we already heard.

  • Spoda17

    I really do not like the thought of bringing in Francona as the Cubs manager, nor do I like bringing in Varitek, for the exact same reason I support not bringing in Sandberg as a candidate. 

    We are not Midwest Boston.  If we really are going to pave our own way, and establish a Cub’s way… then let’s do it fresh.  I really have never been a fan of a “players” manager; that only works with a full locker room of seasoned high performing veterans.

    I know Francona has won, and has won with a mix of young and veteran players, but I do not see him as a big difference from Maddux or Alomar.  Also, Francona would not meet the criteria set forth of a manager that would be here a long time and establish a culture of winning.  If we do bring in Francona, it would be 2-3 years max I feel.

    Come on Theo and company… let’s start fresh!

    • John_CC

      I agree and I think it is why Francona isn’t really a candidate.  Theo has been talking with him, but I guess they are actually conferring more than Francona is begging for the job.  I think that Theo is wisely getting opinions and advice from Francona, and that ultimately he knows that Hoyer needs his own Tito.

  • Neil

    Bob Nightengale:

    The Cubs are telling teams they’ll listen to trade offers on
    everyone this winter while trying to rebuild team to be competitive in

  • Neil

    Jon Heyman: bruce chen has multiyear offers. royals, cubs among teams talking to him.

  • Neil

    Buster Olney: Two Cubs who figure to draw most interest from contending teams between now and next July 31: Sean Marshall and Matt Garza

  • Neil

    Danny Knobler: Cubs realize they have long-term rebuild. Will listen on anyone. Could be wild trade market with both Chicago teams

    • daverj

      Within minutes of hearing that statement, 29 GM’s just called and asked about Castro …

      And hundreds of posters on other teams’ websites just posted suggested trades of 5 of their team’s useless pieces and marginal prospects for the “now available” Castro …

    • J Daniel


      The state that the Cubs are in they should be listening to offers for EVERYONE, including Castro.  Probably not going to trade him but never say never and if the offer is top notch and it helps the club – well do it.

      • daverj

        Any well run team should always listen to trade offers for every player.  The concept of untouchable players makes no sense.  Everyone should be available for the right price.

        If Kansas City calls and offers Hosmer, Moustakas, and Odorizzi for Castro, you jump on it.  Of course, the reality is KC would never do that, but you still need to listen on all players.

  • studio179

    Glad to know this regime feels Baker is not untouchable. 

  • cubtex

    With such a need for starting pitching I can see the intrigue with Yu Darvish. If I had the choice between Cespedes or Darvish….I would go with Darvish. Like I and many have been saying…..they need to add at least 2 other arms who are not with the organization currently. If you put Buehle and Darvish in the equation that would significantly improve the starting rotation.

    That looks a hell of a lot better on paper.

    • J Daniel

      Don’t think we will see Cashner in the rotation.

      • cubtex

        I think you need to see if Cashner can start with his potential to be a top of the rotation guy. If he is your #5 next year you can limit his innings and pitch count and build him up slowly.

        • J Daniel

          I agree with you but wonder about the arm issues?  He might be better suited, health wise, being a closer?  I agree that if he is healthy with no issue make him a starter.

    • cc002600

      Haven’t we seen enough of these over-hyped, over-priced pitchers from Japan ?   No way do I lay out huge dough for these guys anymore. History says its a waste of money. They are unproven.

      And Cashner should be in the bullpen, mark my words, you will regret putting him in rotation.

      • cubtex

        Cashner should be given every opportunity to start. With his ability it would be a waste to put him in the pen.

        • Mike

          Only way I would put him in the pen is if Marmol would be traded.  Just let him take over as closer for a year or two. 

        • J Daniel

          Would not be a waste if he is a lights out closer.  Still would rather have him start if he is no Kerry Wood situation.

      • cubtex

        With your logic that power pitchers always break down if they are starters…. Justin Verlander would have never won the Cy Young this year and the Tigers would have never made the playoffs. If you have a talent like Cashner you would to utilize his skills where it will help the team the most.

        • cc002600

          Has Verlander had any shoulder issues in the past ?  No.

          We already know that Cashner has a predisposition of shoulder pain.  That is a red flag that should NOT be ignored. Shoulder pain is not the same as elbow pain.   In fact, he had another small setback in the AFL. 

          What aren’t you getting ?

          • cubtex

            If you are pitcher you will have some setbacks. What aren’t you getting? To label a guy a power pitcher and say he should never be in the rotation because of that is ridiculous. Not that Roy Halladay is a big time power pitcher…but he had the same shoulder issues as Cashner in 2003 with the Blue Jays. What if the Jays said…..we are not going to keep Halladay in the rotation anymore since he had some shoulder issues?
            If you are a pitcher……you will have some issues from time to time. Garza had some issues this year….Do you recall? Should they move Garza to the bullpen as well?

          • cc002600

            Cashner has no MLB track record.  He just missed an entire season due to shoulder problems.  Did Garza miss the entire season ?  I must have missed that. Halladay has been pitching in the MLB for 15+ years, Cashner has not. Plus, Halladay is not a power pitcher, so I’m not sure I understand the comparison, but whatever.  Apples and oranges..

            We will agree to disagree on this, but I think it be big mistake to start him. He just reminds me of a young Kerry Wood.  Personally, I think he could be an excellent closer. 

            Sorry,but you don’t mess around with bad shoulders.  Its a red flag. See Mark Prior.

  • J Daniel

    At least Kerry and Jed met at a Pub and not in the clubhouse.

  • Bobby P

    I’m all-in on Yu Darvish. If he fails, then that should be the last drop. No team will ever overpay for a Japanese pitcher again. I mean, if there is one guy that can buck the trend, it’s Darvish.

    I’d pass on Cespedes however. Cubans are notorious hackers, which makes me think that Soriano is secretly a Cuban who escaped to the Dominican. But that’s beside the point.

    Seems more like gamesmanship from Team Theo than anything else on both fronts. I don’t see why we would spend money on either player when we’re not contending. And if you don’t think that Theo is paranoid after Matsuzaka, you are naive.

    Woody and Buerhle are better options for us. Cheaper and actually proven major leaguers. Doubt Buehrle will sign here, but stranger things have happened.

  • paulcatanese

    With the talk that Maddux still is dealing with a move and family concerns, he may not be a good choice anyway. The Cubs need a manager who is commited to the job at hand and not having second thoughts once he got the job.

    I really can’t see Francona getting it, isn’t it apparant that the Cubs have enough people from the east coast. Alomar Jr. or Sandberg, just get it done Theo, and lets move on, let Boston be where Boston is, Chicago is in the mid-west, keep it there.

    • J Daniel


      Understand what you are saying but I was pleased when Dallas Green brought in all of the Phillie guys, including Sandberg.  Had the Tribune left Green alone I believe we wouldn’t be at 103 years and counting. 

      I don’t care where they come from, how much they pay for them, I just hope the become consistanly competitive.

    • studio179

      I wonder if the Cubs saying there is no timetable on a manager hire is because Maddux is their top choice and it is their way of not pressuring him while he decides if he would move or not. I understand he was just in the WS and has to decide family concerns, but decisions have to be made from a team stand point as well. It will be interesting if they quietly move on from Maddux in the coming days…if not already.   

    • Denio

      I agree that we have enough east coast people… Have no problem with the front office all being from the east coast… they built a pretty good team, but lets keep it off the field and get new management on the field… I would be happy with Maddox or Alomar with Sandberg as a bench or base coach…
      A little Cub flavor added to the Red Sox group…

  • Neil

    Terry Francona will not manage in 2012

  • studio179

    ” Levine thinks that Terry Francona could be the favorite to land the Cubs’ job … butMike Maddux and Sandy Alomar, Jr. may be the front-runners with Francona being a wild card.”

    Francona just announced he will not manage anywhere in 2012 ‘for his own benefit’.

    • Neil

      Gotta love the rumor mill

    • Tony_Hall

      That just shows you how out of touch Bruce Levine is, with out his buddy making the decisions.

      That is also why, it is so hard to believe beat guys, who, after xx amount of years, become a puppet for the GM or manager.

      • studio179

        This is true. In fairness to Levine, he is not alone in Chicago. One media guy I am thinking of in particular use to get info from a certain high ranking Cub official. Now that the high ranking Cub official is no longer involved in the baseball side of things, that pipeline is closed.

        Then there is Rogers. I heard him say today that he does not know what is going on with the Cub compensation thing or manager front runner situation. He eluded to the fact no info is coming out and no one really knows or can say they know. That was telling. He did guess Maddux was the frontrunner, but said it was his guess.    Many of these guys are finding out it is a new day, that’s for sure.  

  • Jason Douglas

    Buehrle to Cubs – yes, please make it happen.

    The Japanese or Cuban players – meh…whatever.  Fukudome was supposed to be Ichiro with more power…nice sales job that was.  I don’t like these unproven guys (at mlb level) getting a huge contract and being forced into the lineup.

    Varitek as backup catcher.  Whatever…it is the backup catcher…I don’t care.  I do like idea of trading Soto…he peaked his rookie year…give the young guys a chance and see what happens.

    I am pretty happy with all the mangerial candidates…seems like a good crop to choose from, so I think Cubs are better off no matter who they choose.

    Sign Prince Fielder…I love the youth and consistent power/RBIs.  Bring up a rookie for C, have young Castro at SS, Barney is an OK stopgap for 2B, and maybe he will get better, but not sure what other options are out there for 2B right now, unless via trade.  Not sure what happens with 3B, but a Figgins acquisition is an interesting idea…adds a lot of speed.

    I would like to unload Soriano for something.  We have Byrd one more year, right? He is adequate.  But RF and LF concern me, and I think are the biggest areas the Cubs can improve, assuming Fielder is brought in for 1B.  If no Fielder, than 1B is a huge issue too.  I don’t want a .220 hitting Carlos Pena…should have stuck with D Lee over that.

    Cubs have soooooo many holes…this thing is a mess!  Good news is we have fresh eyes in charge and eager to clean things up.

  • Brp921

    I like the idea of no one being untradeable. There are a couple of guys who would, in my opinion, require a spectacular package in return. Sometimes cleaning house and starting fresh is a good idea. I hope they also start fresh with the new manager. Maddux or Alomar is the way to go. New ideas on a new team will be a breath of fresh air for Cub fans. I’m glad to hear Francona is out of the picture whether it was his choice or Epsteins. As Paul and Spoda17 said above, we don’t need Boston midwest in Chicago.

    • Teluton

       Francona did a smart thing by taking time off. I can’t remember the last time the Cub’s brass unloaded players such as Byrd and Soto to get some
      major league ready made prospects in return… was the ’82 Sandberg trade the most recent? I’d love to see about 12 new faces on the team,especially a few who can run and catch the ball, and are excited about competing for playing time…as opposed to the pedantic crap.with guaranteed contracts we’ve witnessed over the last few years.

  • RynoTiger

    From Carrie Muskrat: The Red Sox and Cubs continue to discuss compensation for Theo Epstein. Reportedly, the Red Sox would like a Chicago deep dish pizza and Jeff Baker in exchange for Chad Ochocinco. 

  • Chuck

    We just had midwest in midwest:  Wasn’t Quade a midwest and local guy? Bring in Boston, bring in New York, bring in Tampa, just bring in a winner.  We did the Super Bowl Shuffle with the Bears; am ready to to do theWorld Series Stomp with the Cubs.

  • AFox

    Hey everyone.  I don’t comment on here very often, but I love reading all the posts.  It makes the offseason so much more entertaining!  And Neil, thanks for all your hard work in keeping all us crazy Cub fans up to date.  Great job! 

    I had a feeling that Francona wasn’t going to be our Manager.  He just seemed too burned out after 8 years with Boston, especially with the way the season ended, and we need someone who’s going to come in energized and fresh.  I won’t be disappointed with whoever Theo decides to choose.  Anyone is better than Quade!   All the candidates are more than qualified and have something unique they bring to the table.  I’m still baffled as to why Theo was so convinced that Sandberg wasn’t right for the job, but oh well.  I will always love Ryno, but there must have been something that turned Theo off of him.  

    As for Big Z……I think Theo is trying to paint as positive a picture as he can (not an easy thing to do) to make him look more marketable.  Theo is not going to come out and say “Carlos is a headcase and team cancer and we need to get rid of him.”  I don’t really believe Theo is going to keep Carlos on this team, he’ll release him if he has to.  He’s going to do his best to get “something” in return for him, even if it’s only $2-3M.  It looks like the Mariners are desperate to get rid of Chone Figgins, and I would absolutely trade Z for him.  I know Figgins was absolutely awful last year, but maybe he had an undisclosed injury.  There’s no way he should have been that bad.  I think he’s worth a gamble.  I’d be very curious to see him play great defense (possibly at 3rd) and bat leadoff.  For years, I’ve been pining to see a Cubs team built around speed and defense.  Also, trade Marlon Byrd and put Brett Jackson in Center Field.  It’s time!

    And lastly, if the Cubs decide to make a big splash (and it seems like they won’t, but who knows), make it on Prince Fielder.  CJ Wilson scares me. And Buehrle would be great, but probably not for what he’s asking.  But if you build the team around Castro and Fielder (bat them 3rd and 4th), that’s an awfully attractive nucleus.  Maybe get a Michael Cuddyer/Jason Kubel type hitter to bat 5th?  All of a sudden, it looks promising.  Check it out:

    B. Jackson

    We would still need to address starting pitching of course, but I feel that the powerhouse nucleus of Castro/Fielder would look much more attractive to pitchers that are considering playing for the Cubs.  

  • Dorasaga

    I would pass on Yu Darvish, but rather sign the young and “prospect-ful” Jorge Soler; grain him; teach him. Here’s my concern on Yu:

    1. He was overused. Pitched too many, esp. under Trey Hillman. We know how Hillman ruined Gil Meche. It wasn’t news for Yu to pitch 120 or 130 in any given game.

    2. Overpriced. Great pitcher in Japan. They have the best league other than MLB in the world. The level of competition is there, but he’s still a prospect. It’s like the DiceK Matsuzaka situation: we can only expect three full seasons out of five signed, albeit six!

    3. Yu never proclaimed his intention. Every word of “posting now!” is speculation. In fact, Yu actually said “I will stay in Japan for my career” to the media, I believe it was two years ago, after he just played his last Japan Series.

    I don’t think he’s really “all in” for a job in Major League Baseball. I would rather try to “steal” a 3-year, incentive-laden contract with the guys who have the drive to play here: Tsuyoshi WADA or Hisashi IWAKUMA.

    Wada is a leftie with an 88 mph fastball (quite flat, I must say) but pinpoint control, a good changeup, and some sliders. Iwakuma the rightie features a good sinker at 90 mph. Both have the makeup of big-game pitching.

    Wada just had a 7-inning shutout in game one of the Japan Series, before being tied by an one-run homer (result 1:2; Wada’s team sucked in batting). Iwakuma had a great postseason two years earlier.

    Iwakuma had always been injury-prone, quite a concern. He’s as good as the stud Kuroda when healthy, but he just never could. Of course, with Capuano demanding perhaps a mere 2-year contract (and I suspect a lesser 4-6 million per year), I might just pass on either Wada or Iwakuma, if I were afraid of more risk.

    No risk, no gain. Team Hoyer can always control risk by signing a shorter contract. I can imagine Tom Ricketts willing to pay 10 extra million on a single player for the next two to three years, just roll the dice.

  • John_CC

    Epstein certainly learned a good lesson with Dice-K, right?  I certainly hope he doesn’t get too starry-eyed again for Darvish.

    And 6 years for the “28” year old Cuban is way too much.  He is, in all likelihood, 29 or 30.  He is an amazing athlete, but 6 years for zero MLB experience?  No way.

    Alomar! Alomar!  I am holding steady on this one…I bet Maddux withdraws, then if the Sox and Cubs both offer Sveum the job he has to choose – and chooses Boston.  The Cubs “settle” for Alomar. And I am fine with that.

    • cubtex

      I am for Alomar as well!

      • gocubs

        Alomar was just a courtesy interview.  He is not a legit candidate.  

        • John_CC

          What is that supposed to mean?  The token brown guy? Why do you say that he wasn’t legit, who is the courtesy to?

  • Neil

    ESPN Boston:Gordon Edes

    Trainer Mike Reinold is not going to Cubs; neither is asst Dave Finley, according to major league sources.

  • Tom U

    This is just a hunch, but I expect that the Cubs and Red Sox will announce a compensation deal either some time late tomorrow night or the first thing Friday morning.

    • cubtex

      Have you heard any names Tom? I’m with Aaron…Give them Baker

      • Tom U

        No name, but the AFL will finish its regular season tomorrow evening. I believe the player or players involved are there.

    • Tony_Hall

      Right after the Red Sox announce Sveum as manager.  You can’t tell me that among buddies, Ben didn’t ask Theo, to let him have 1st choice, to help offset the compensation talks.

      • Tom U

        I’ll buy that

  • Neil

    Carrie Muskat: Jed Hoyer says they’ve talked to all of the managerial candidates to
    ask follow up questions. Met with Sveum Tues night in Milw

  • Neil

    Cubs in AFL (11/16): Junior Lake (SS): 0-for-3, BB; Josh Vitters (DH): 1-for-4; DJ LeMahieu (1B): 2-for-4, SB (14); Jeff Beliveau: 0R, 1H, 0BB, 2K in 2IP

  • Neil

    Bruce Miles: Theo and Jed heading for dinner. They promised an update later this evening.

  • Dorasaga

    Stole this breaking news from MLBTR; sorry to disappoint you, Anthony :-p

    Terry Francona isn’t going to try to manage in 2012, he told Sean McAdam of
     The former Red Sox manager had been excited about interviewing for the Cardinals job, but doesn’t think the Cubs position is the right opportunity.

    • Neil

      I just posted an update … sorry I could not earlier.

  • Neil

    Comcast SportsNet: Nolan Ryan says family concerns weigh on Maddux while thinking about Cubs: “I don’t know from a timing standpoint how that works for him.”

  • Neil

    According to the Sun-Times, Cubs manager process nears finish. Ricketts has met with team’s choice.

    • John_CC

      Sounds like we’re gonna know by Friday for sure, but probably tomorrow.

  • Demitri

    Jorge Soler must be signed! Future outfield: Jackson, Szczur, Soler… Not bad if they reach expectations