A Deadline, A Press Conference and More Decisions for Team Epstein

Executive Vice President/General Manager Jed Hoyer and Senior Vice President of Scouting and Player Development Jason McLeod will be formally introduced on Tuesday afternoon at 3:00pm CDT during a joint press conference at Wrigley Field. Theo Epstein added both Hoyer and McLeod to his staff last Wednesday night.

‘Team Epstein’ has hit the ground running and Jed Hoyer figures to field question after question concerning Mike Quade’s future with the team during his introductory press conference.

As for player decisions, Hoyer picked up the Cubs half of the mutual option on Aramis Ramirez and saved his new organization $2 million. Ramirez declined his part of the option and will test free agency.

Jed Hoyer declined the Cubs 2012 option on Jeff Samardzija but will re-sign Samardzija to a reduced salary for next season. Samardzija is under team control and not eligible for either arbitration or free agency. The Cubs owned two club options on Samardzija with the 2012 option being worth $3 million.

Tuesday is also the deadline set by MLB Commissioner Bud Selig for the Cubs and Red Sox to work out the compensation package for Theo Epstein or Selig would step in to mediate. According to ESPN Boston, Epstein and Ben Cherington are still having a hard time agreeing on what Theo is worth.

Here’s the update with the beginning of the free agent signing period less than 48 hours away (12:01am EDT on Thursday, Wednesday night at 11:01pm CDT) …

Mike Quade
Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are expected to announce their decision on Mike Quade’s future in the coming days. According to Bruce Levine, Epstein and Hoyer spent seven hours with Quade in Chicago last Thursday … not in Florida as originally reported.

Lou Piniella is pulling for Mike Quade and hopes the new front office gives him a chance to return as the Cubs field manager.

Jeff Samardzija
The Cubs declined the 2012 option on Jeff Samardzija but the right-hander will remain under the Cubs control for the next four seasons … unless he is released or traded. The Cubs will re-sign Samardzija at a reduced salary but not more than a 20 percent reduction from the $2.8 million he earned in 2011. The lowest the Cubs can go on Samardzija’s salary for next season is $2.24 million.

Samardzija told Bruce Levine that he is fine with the Cubs decision and understands.

“Hey, I know my contract was from the last regime, but this is a business. They did what they had to do. I’m fine with that. I’m looking forward to playing for Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer. They may be young guys, but they’re young and accomplished guys. They have two world championships under their belt, and that’s good enough for me.”

“I’ll miss Jim, he’s one of a kind, and he was a major reason why I chose to play baseball over football. But it’s a new day with the Cubs. I’m just hoping they have a plan for me and I’m hoping that plan is as a starting pitcher.”

Team Epstein
While Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer continue to work out a compensation package with Ben Cherington, there is an understanding between the two organizations that the Cubs will not raid the Sox front office. According to ESPN Boston if a current Red Sox employee clearly has a better opportunity with the Cubs that the Sox would not stand in their way.

There is still a possibility that Dave Finley, Brian O’Halloran, Mike Reinold and/or Jonathan Gilula could join Epstein’s staff with the Cubs.

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

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Quote of the Day

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