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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  • studio179

    It is getting down to the wire and I suspected Uncle Bud might get involved. 

    As far as Pinella pulling for Quade, no surprise. In a few days, Quade will be looking for a fishing buddy. Maybe Lou is available to go for a day.  

  • Ripsnorter1

    The Cubs blew this deal.

    We could have had him for nothing. Red Sox would have fired him. Now I fear we will have to pay dearly. I’d say, “For crying out loud, give them Jeff Baker!”

    • Brp921

      If the Sox weren’t asking for the moon, the deal would already have been done. Let’s just hope that Selig doesn’t let the Sox rob our farm system of it’s best prospects.

      • Ripsnorter1

        ChiCubs incompetence.
        It is tantamount to firing Jim Qlueless, and then asking him to stay on to handle your draft……

        • Bobby P

          Draft happened before he got fired, you’re probably thinking of the trade deadline. Then again, Hendry didn’t do anything but trade away Fukudome, whose contract was up after this past season anyway.

          • Calicub

            Rip, as I’m sure you know drafts are often a year or two in the making.  Jim Hendry and his  team had been building relationships, and scouting players for this draft a long time.  Many were borderline signs who were eventually coaxed by JH.  Say what you will about him, this years draft was great, and had Ricketts openly and loudly fired JH before the draft, the whole thing would have fallen apart.

            Incompetence would have been handing over Garza, Castro, McNutt or Vitters over right away.

            Don’t get your panties in a bunch boys It’ll be over soon enough and we’ll see who the real idiots are.

          • John_CC

            Ditto.

      • Henry

        I do not trust Selig.  I believe if it is up to him the Cubs will be forced to give up more than they should.  I link that to the Reinsdorf Selig friendship.  I do not believe they ever expected Ricketts would be smart enough to make a move to get Epstien and Company.  They picked Ricketts as Cubs owner because they thought he would be the perfect choice to keep the cubs mired in mediocrity.  With the Epstien move he is starting to scare them

        • Bobby P

          Bud Selig is just an cranky old man yelling “Get off my lawn!!” to guys like Mark Cuban. Then he lets guys like McCourt own one of the most storied franchises in baseball and run it into the ground.

          I think you’re probably right in that he probably thought Ricketts wouldn’t cause a stir, and just basically try to upgrade Wrigleyville while not really paying much attention to baseball. The joke is on Bud, as it seems…

    • Tony_Hall

      They were not about to fire him, not sure where you have ever seen that.  John Henry was trying to talk Theo into staying.

      It is what it is, and they will make more good moves, every single month, than JH made in a year (figure in all the bad moves and it’s not even close).

      Already they have paid for themselves.  ARam, they would have extended, with no trade, Samardzija, they would have extended, at a pay raise.  Both would have kept their no-trade clause, further handcuffing moves down the road.  

    • BosephHeyden

      They wouldn’t have fired him until next year.  There’s nothing about the Red Sox’ current state of mind that tells me they wouldn’t.  They’d simply give Charington all the GM powers, give Epstein a significantly reduced role with the team, and then at the end of next season they would have let him ago.  In the meantime, the Cubs would be running with Randy Bush at GM, Crane Kenney as president, and, likely, Quade as manager.

      From a business standpoint, the move was a smart one to make now, because it gives Cubs fans the illusion that something might happen THIS year (we know it won’t, but Cubs fans can be easily manipulated with any sort of change).  If they kept the status quo, fans would have very quickly turned Wrigleyville into a near-ghost town, the Cubs lose millions of dollars in revenue, and then make the same exact moves they made this season, however at a larger price to the team.

      • Ripsnorter1

        You are correct: Cubs’ fans have been living with the illusion for 103 years that “this is the year.” That is the “magic” of the Cubs.

        • Calicub

          your incorrect. actually.  Even if the Cubs were unable to obtain Epstien this year, they would have still hired Hoyer and McLoed.

          I really don’t think anyone on here has been actively campaigning for the cubs WS in 2012.  only idiots would think that.  The glory of the Epstein trade is that Cubs fans no longer have to think “oh well maybe next year.”

            In two to three years cubs fans will be saying “can’t wait for october, cant wait for next year. what a great year”

  • Tony_Hall

    You have to love lists and opinions.

    Here is a Top 50 Free Agent list, from mlbtraderumors, picking a new team.

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2011/10/2012-top-50-free-agents-1.html

    ARam – Orioles
    Pena – Pirates
    Woody – Cubs

    Who did he pick for the Cubs? – No not Fielder or Pujols, though he says the Cubs are the other team he would pick.  

    David Dejesus and Joel Piniero

    • cubs1967

      i saw that too………so basically the cubs would be giving up if they sign these 2.  HELLO………Team Theo  is here.  Wood will come back.  The rest forgetaboutit!!

      and 7 hours with Quade???…………really…………please tell me he’s not staying!

      • Tony_Hall

        Remember not every player is going to be elite.  The role players that fill out a roster on short term deals, will be extremely important over the next few years.

        7 hours with Q…they take every part of the game seriously, I wouldn’t expect anything less, when it comes to the manager.  Realize that means Q was there for 7 hours, waiting, talking to others, breakfast, lunch…nobody could sit and talk to Q for 7 hours straight…

        • John G

          I would be willing to bet that they have already made Q an offer. Stay with the organization at a much lower level, maybe a minor league position, or resign. They have to pay him anyway so put him back in the minors where he might be effective. If he resigns, they don’t have to pay him. Qball is making his decision, which will be announced shortly.

          • John_CC

            I hope not, John.  The incredible lack of fundamentals that the ML Cubs displayed this year was amazing. I do not Quade coaching anyone in the minor leagues.

        • John_CC

          Remember Quades interview style: wringing hands, rocking back and forth, arms crossed tightly, back to wringing hands…

          “hey, you can’t win all of them…i think our guys tried really hard…i don’t know, i’ll have to take a look at that tape…that’s not the way i say it…i think we tried really hard…he gave us his best…”

          He would wring his hands right off his arms after 7 hours of that.

    • J Daniel

      I love the projections – and that is all they are – like they have inside info on all 50 guys. 

  • Bobby P

    I have no problem with Quade potentially coming back. Just let him finish his deal.

    Quade seems like an old school guy to me, but if Theo and Jed can get him to buy into their system, I don’t see any problem with him coming back. Unless there is a perfect candidate out there that’s currently available, I’d say just keep Quade on. People need to take some valium and calm down about Q. He’s not the reason we lost 91 games this year.

    First of all, we are not going to the playoffs next year, it’s still a building season (following Theo’s cue, we’re not rebuilding, we’re building). Having our perfect manager right away is not going to make much of a difference.

    Second, we need a guy that won’t over-manage this team. The Cubs will be run from the front office, not from the dugout. We need a guy to just sit back and enjoy himself. We basically need Lou Piniella. Hehe… Oh sweet Lou.

    Everybody is quick to give Francona praise, but frankly, he followed the system set up by Epstein and he fit into that system because he didn’t over-manage. A Tony La Russa-type manager would be the exact opposite of what we need.

    So everybody just relax about the manager. We’ll find a guy that will fit our system, whether it is for next season or 2013. Hopefully he’ll be just a little more hands-on than Tito too, just to avoid those 9th inning rally beers…

    • Calicub

      your right Quade didn’t
      loose 91 games, but he certainly led his team to defeat.. 

      he allowed poor play with no consequences.

      he left pitchers in past the point of no return.

      The Bullpen Day (i should have just put that one first and left it at
      that)

      His mishandling of Tyler Colvin, not only in the beggining middle and
      end of this season but also  last year.

      His mishandling of young call ups (different than Colvin in that he
      consistantly and constantly neglected new talent from the minors, i.e.
      Castillo, Berg, Dolis, LaHair, though he relented on this one towards
      the end, etc.)

      Set (or tied?) the single season record for ejections of a manager, not
      to argue with the umps calls but to get the heck out of the dugout so he
      could take less blame for a crappy team.

      His #1 pinch-hitter was Blake DeWitt.  Blake Freaking DeWitt!

      His daily line ups forced hitters into uncomfortable positions and
      forced less productive hitters into the middle of the line up.

      that my friend is a manager i want nowhere near my major league team.

      NO MORE YEARS! NO MORE YEARS! NO MORE YEARS! NO MORE YEARS! NO MORE
      YEARS! NO MORE YEARS!

      • Bobby P

        First, Quade could have been the difference between 71 wins and 75 wins at most. The manager does not have a big impact on a team, players do.

        Second, I do agree that he made a ton of mistakes, but like I said, it’s a matter of whether he buys into the system. If he does, I don’t see an issue with another lame duck year. I agree with you wholeheartedly that Quade is not the long-term answer here, absolutely, but I don’t want us to reach for someone just to fill a void for a losing ball club.

        Third, much of the criticism above partly has to do with talent and what the GM is doing. I agree that he should have been playing younger guys, but the overall philosophy of the team was veteran/major league based, so you can’t really blame him for continuously playing veterans (even though I hated it as much as you).

        Lastly, the bigger problem by far is the lack of talent on this team and in our system. Quade is not the long-term answer, but to judge him on one year with a terrible ball club is not going to give you an accurate picture.

        • cubs1967

          quade sucks.

          anyone who defends him really doesn’t understand baseball, what was best for the franchise or even best for  the players.

          he’s a joke.

          for all the good PR and future baseball for the cubs; IF quade comes back, i’ll again be skipping cubs games in 2012 as i have for the 1st 2 yrs of the ricketts/pk mccaskey regime. (and i go every year….except).

          it’s time team Theo get to work.  let uncle bud give the prospects for theo, get jed in here, fire quade, trade Z and then concentrate on the 2012 season.

          this is 3 weeks of waiting…………..and waiting……..and press conferences.

          free agents can sign Sunday………..who’s the mgr and are we reade??

          • Bobby P

            I’m not defending Quade as a manager. I’m defending the notion that Quade is the reason the Cubs suck.

            I just don’t want the “OH MY GOD, THE SKY IS FALLING” response if Theo brings Quade back, which he probably won’t. It’s really not that big of a damn deal if he comes back for a lame duck year.

          • paulcatanese

            I wouldnt compare Qua with any other manager in just the Central Division
            as their is none. I have continually pointed out the failings of this man as a manager and could go back over the last year and a half under his tenure and point out that he was responsible for many more games than ten.

            His contradiction what he said he was going to do and what he did do is enormous. I could go back and look at all the posts that I put out here and prove my point but that would take a lot of time.

            I would point out that number one he was quoted as saying he would stress fundementals and defense none of which came about. They did not bunt (as promised) they did not position themselves defensively properly with cutoffs, etc. (mostly caused be players in unfamilar positions) and with the number of errors by the team defense was not stressed.

            His lineups were predictable(platoon) and could be easily planned for by any form of a manager on in the opposite dugout. Simply no imagination day after day inserting players off the bench in the same spot whether they were appropriate their or not.

            Left pitchers in too long, did not manage bullpen the right way, half the time he would have his starter go beyond the limits with no one warming up. His refusal to change closers when Marmol was coming apart.

            And his love affair with veterans needs little explanation as he continually kept them out their even though they were not performing. “he owed it to them” Trying at the end of the year to help the vets build their stats even though they were not going anywhere as a team. This hurt with any evaluation of the players that were brought up for that very purpose, thus putting the franchise that much further behind for the coming year.

            Also his failure to do anything with the coaches (third base) athat cost runs.
            A pitching coach that knew more than him ( which wasn’t much at all).

            And his insistance to put players in a position to fail.

            No I would not compare him to any other manager, he is in a class all by himself. He needs to go, now not later, and bringing him back just because they are not going anywhere in 2012 is not the answer, he will do more harm than good. I just hope Theo sees the same thing. And yes, I think je was responsible for way more than 10 losses, no matter what roster he had.

          • Bobby P

            Fair enough. It’s clear you know more about it than I do. I never really paid attention to Quade much, so I guess there is nothing I can do but concede.

            For the record, I never said they should sign him to a 20-year contract, just merely letting him finish the existing contract if he shows that he can play by the new rules. I do believe he’ll be gone though.

            As for fundamentals, ARam never once ran out a ground ball or hustled defensively. Frankly, I blame our dead beat veterans just as much as I blame our apparently dead beat manager.

          • paul catanese

            I dont know about knowing more than you do, but I did watch at leat 150 games with him at the helm. Again you have youre opinion and I respect that.

            Aram and a number of others hustled only when they felt like it, and that was one point, no matter what Aram diid he played.

            Dont know if he will be gone or not, but my opinion, I hope he is.

          • Bobby P

            I do believe he will be gone, unless they have a guy in their sights that comes off a contract in 2012.

            Whoever comes in here though is not going to get Soriano to hustle or become a better fielder. He’s not going to have a magic potion that will return Dempster to his 31-year-old self. He’s not going to make DeWitt, Soto, Barney, Baker, Byrd, etc. into productive major leaguers.

            There is no magic cure that’s going to come from the manager. We have to phase out the bad on this team, and then infuse it with more talent in 2-3 years. And those decisions come from the front office.

            P.S. If you watched 150 games, you probably know more about game managing than I do.

          • paul catanese

            Bobby, been a Cub fan since 1939 and have seen a few games since then
            and have suffered like all the rest of you out there.
            Ever since WGN started televising I watched the games each and every day at work and home.
            Moving to the West Coast did not deter watching the games, had a TV in the office.
            After retirement I had all the time in the world to watch the games, and this last year if they were not on TV I watched them on the computer day in and day out. And have always taped the games if I could not be available.
            I cannot at my age be as patient as the rest of you and do not like the prospect of three or four years for a good ballclub.
            Even in the Army I followed anytime I could.
            I would rather see a whole new element with the Cubs if headed in the right direction and could take the losse’s if they occur but not another year like this last one, it had to be one of the most frustrating year of all.
            Yes, have played, managed and coached and some of it rubbed off enough to see what a manager could be like .                           

          • Bobby P

            Man, I almost wish they could turn it around for next year now. It’s people like you that make me proud to be a Cubs fan. That’s the reason I want them to win, because it means something to generations of people. To me, to my family, to my extended Cubs family.

            Being a Cubs fan is like carrying a weight with you that you just can’t shake, whether you are 20 years old or 100 years old. I don’t presume to think that us young guys know the same misery as the older generations, but the last 20 years have shown the full spectrum of Cubs fandom. Thus, you have a whole new generation that understand (if not fully, at least somewhat) of what it’s like to be a hopeless fan of this franchise.

            It’s as much about winning as it is about being freed from endless hope that’s never realized.

          • paul catanese

            Bobby, thats why its fun being on this site, their are so many variations of opinions that one could go on forever with something to talk about. Until this site I suffered alone, I guess misery loves company. But you know, I get a kick out of eachgame and the response’s that are on afterwards, their are some very inteligent people on here and I learn more every day.

      • John_CC

        Or minor leagues!

    • John_CC

      Of course, but he very easily accounted for 10 loses. Easily. That’s a 20 game swing.

      I tried to play devil’s advocate last week with this as well. My theoretical argument was based solely on the fact that Quade had sign a contract that he would be a total “yes man” and play every player that he was told to.

      The problem is he still has to make in game decisions. And he displayed, over and over, that he is not very good at that whole “managing” thing in games.

      • Bobby P

        Yeah, I guess I’m in the minority in this, but I just don’t see the manager spot as being a very pressing issue in a myriad of problems that needs fixing. Ultimately, I think Theo and Jed would want their own guy in there from the start, so I guess it’s a moot point.

        I just think it’ll be a more important issue in 2013 or 2014, when game managing becomes more important as the team (hopefully) gets better, that’s when it’ll really matter.

        • Tony_Hall

          Did you watch the playoffs, to see what a manager can do with a team?  Quade can’t even come close to managing a game 1/2 as good as Larussa.  There is no need to list all of his mistakes, they are much, much to lengthy and have been detailed here for over a year.  

          He cost the Cubs around 10 games with pure stupidity moves, let alone the 4-5 games that normal manager can help a team win.  Big difference, even with this team.

          • Bobby P

            Let’s be honest…

            La Russa wouldn’t have been so highly praised this postseason if it wasn’t for David Freese. He would have been ripped for his blunder in Game 5.

            Don’t put such a value on the manager.

            Divisional Series Game 5 was all Carpenter. In the NLCS they out-slugged the Brewers, no impact from the manager there. Then there was a bunch of yapping about how awesome La Russa was in Game 1 of the World Series, then he micromanaged away Game 2 with 42-year-old Arthur Rhodes with his Ground Outs to Air Outs ratio of 0.83 and his 6.2 SO/9, not to mention the risk of giving up a HR. Rhodes had the worst HR/9 (2.2) of anyone on the roster this season, and TLR put him up against Hamilton because he wanted the lefty-on-lefty matchup. Not only did that score a run, it put Andrus on third too. He then brings in rookie Lance Lynn to clean up the mess. Great managing there.

            Those are all numbers that are available to him and he presumably doesn’t care and just goes with his gut. Yeah, great managing…

            Game 3 was a slugfest. He then flubs Game 5. Then Freese has an historic game and essentially wins the series in Game 6, and La Russa gets all the credit.

            Players can love and praise the manager all they want, but it doesn’t change the fact that they really don’t have close to the same impact as a player does. Everybody loved Jim Hendry too, and it didn’t make him a good general manager.

          • Bobby P

            I will add that I think La Russa is a great manager. I just think his contribution to this year’s championship was way over-hyped.

          • John_CC

            I agree with you on this one Bobby.  LaRussa is known as “the genius” and was given credit where it wasn’t due in this series. His reputation proceeded him.  If Cruz makes that routine catch, the Cards lose and LaRussa is a goat.

          • Tony_Hall

            Count the rings…

            Wow – all those mistakes.  You want to list the mistakes of Ron Washington and the other managers in the playoffs.  No one bats 1000, not even managers.

            Year after year, he takes a team with a few superstars, and lots “who is that guy” and makes them competitive…year after year.

            That is a great manager.

            He is the difference.

            He just took a team, that nobody outside of St. Louis gave a chance to get past the 1st round, and beat the team considered to be the best in NL. Then beat the team that was unbeatable at home and had home field advantage.  Then beat the best team in the AL.  All with a roster that made most of us say, how did they do it.  Larussa is the answer.  

          • Tony_Hall

            I am glad he has retired.  Everything is lining up for the Cubs to dominate this division over the next decade.  Q is not the guy.  Hire Sandberg!

          • Bobby P

            Okay, I’m not going to argue that he’s a great manager. I’m just not of the opinion that a manager is the reason for championships. I would have loved to have him on the north side, sure, but I don’t think we have an instant advantage now that he’s retired. We still have to get Pujols out. Theo ball is about preventing outs on offense and creating/taking outs on defense. We would still have to do that even if TLR was in the other dugout.

          • Tony_Hall

            Let’s ask this question…just for fun.

            Replace Tony Larussa with Mike Quade, this past year as manager of the Cardinals.

            Do they win the World Series?  NO
            Do they win the NLCS? NO
            Do they win the NLDS? NO
            Do they come from behind and win the Wild Card? NO

            Can you honestly argue with any of these?

            I didn’t think so.

            I guess a manager does make a difference then.

          • Bobby P

            Probably not.

            La Russa is great at managing his players, but his players still have to play.

            So, if I admit that they probably wouldn’t have won with Quade at the helm, will you admit that players are more important than a manager?

          • Tony_Hall

            Of course players make the difference. 

            Replace Pujols with Pena – same as Q
            Replace Freese with ARam – same as Q
            Replace Yadier with Soto – same as Q

            and on and on

            More important than a manager…I don’t know, they kind of go hand in hand.  

            But if you consider that all major leaguers are good players, then having the management that can see the difference in players and sign them, a manager that can get the most of players, sounds pretty important.

            I will take the management team first, so they can pick the right players, and use them the right way.

          • Bobby P

            If by management team, you mean GM, President of Baseball Ops, Scouting Directors, etc… then yes.

            I just don’t believe the manager is a part of that. I agree with what cubtex said. What did Torre do before the Yankees? What did Francona do before
            the Red Sox?

            Players win championship and the front office bring in players. A manager’s job to to manage what he is given and not screw up.

          • cubtex

            They go 162 -0 under Quade! I don’t buy your “count the rings” arguement you always throw out there. LaRussa is a very good manager but there have been several managers who had nothing to work with who are very sharp. Do you consider Joe Torre to be a great manager? Count the rings…..4. What did he do before going to the Yanks? It has to be a combination of talent and the manager not screwing up the talent.

          • Bobby P

            Exactly!

            Also, what did Francona do before Boston?

          • cubtex

            He managed Michael Jordan in Birmingham :) I agree with some things Tony said…..I just don’t always buy the count the rings arguement.

          • Bobby P

            He does use the rings argument as a trump card, doesn’t he? Hehe… Yeah, he has a point, and I absolutely see where he is coming from. I just don’t think it’s do or die on the manger front.

          • cubtex

            Quade has to go now though! Bring in someone who you want to build the team moving forward with. I definately do not want another year of Quade and Riggins!

          • Bobby P

            Q is as good as gone. I just wouldn’t freak out if they were to bring him on for a lame duck year. It doesn’t change anything if they do, it just disappoints a lot of people apparently.

          • Tony_Hall

            Michael’s got a few rings :)

          • cubtex

            yes he does :)

          • Tony_Hall

            Of course, it takes both good players and good managers.

            Joe Torre did an excellent job of blending lots of egos, and managing the team.  Managing a team is more than just changing pitchers and pinch-hitting at the right time, or calling a sacrifice bunt.  It is alot about managing people.

          • daverj

            I’m in the middle position of this general argument over the importance of the manager, but I couldn’t let that Torre comment just go.  It’s easy to say Torre did an excellent job of blending lots of egos and managing the team, when he has the Yankees.  In 15+ seasons of managing the Mets, Cardinals, Braves and Dodgers, he was below .500 more than half of the time and didn’t have all that much success.

          • Tony_Hall

            I really have no desire to look back at Joe Torre’s career, with other teams.

            People managing is very difficult, and anyone that can make it work, repeatedly to win a championship, is doing something right. I wouldn’t take Torre over Larussa, that’s for sure.

          • John_CC

            I agree with on this one Bobby.  LaRussa is known as “the genius” and was given credit where it wasn’t due in this series. His reputation proceeded him.  If Cruz makes that routine catch, the Cards lose and LaRussa is a goat.

          • Tony_Hall

            Put Q in their dugout and where do you think the Cardinals season would have ended?

        • cubs1967

          the manager spot is not that pressing???………huh??

          so we just sign free agents w/ any clown as mgr??………

          the GM or President is most important as he brings in the players, the manager then plays the best players in situations they can succeed at, and the players then play their best.  from where i stand, that makes the mgr #2 on the “pressing” need list.

          dude……go back in time, compare quade or jim essian to frey or zimmer or even dusty in 2003….there’s a massive difference in those pressing need mgr guys.

          • Bobby P

            It’s not pressing in this current context. Cubs are not going anywhere next year, so having a Tony La Russa next year is not magically going to make the Cubs win 90 games and a playoff series.

            “so we just sign free agents w/ any clown as mgr??…….”

            Quick answer: Yes. It doesn’t matter if Tommy Lasorda is in there or La Russa, or Torre, or Quade, or Art freaking Howe.

            GM/President bring in players, players play, GM says to manager “we want these guys to get playing time, and make sure to enforce [blank]“, players play their best, and manager follows game plan and doesn’t mismanage games. If he feels like some guys are detrimental to team, he tells GM, who then okay’s whatever manager wants to do.

            Welcome to Moneyball, baby! ;)

    • J Daniel

      Can’t come back unless they extend his contract or it will be a circus around here next year.  It will be brought up EVERY DAY!  It will be discussed on this site EVERY DAY!  It will be brought up on radio EVERY DAY! 

      They are not going to have a circus like that.  So, we will find out today or tomorrow that Quade is GONE!

      They are just going about it in a professional manner gaining as much info as possible about the state of the team. 

  • Dorasaga

    I must say the Cubs had turned into the Comedy Central the past few years and until tonight. I still want to see Theo kick that butt of Cherington and Bud says “YES.” That’ll be a great show. Rate that 69.

  • Lobo1

    Just another day at the “ROCK”! Probably give up 3 of our top prospects for a couple eccentric, young, not dry behind the ears, executives who fit in well with the Cubs organization – INEPT!!!!!! 

  • Mark

    What they are doing with Samardzija shows the difference between every single Cubs regime before and this one.  It was assumed, even on this site, that the Cubs would just pick up the 3 million dollar option.  But with him under total team control Epstein is smarter than that and can now have Samardzija next season for 2.25 million dollars instead.  That’s a savings of 750k which by Cubs standards is small but can be redeployed in other ways to make the organization stronger while getting the exact same production.Little things like that add up.

  • Jeff in AZ

    We will find out about Quade today. I don’t see how the Theo Trio will be able to avoid the quesitons about his future today. If they say he is our man we have our answer, if they continue to be noncommittal we have our answer. I truly hope it is the latter.

    • John_CC

      I think so too, Jeff.  And like Tony and other mentioned above – a 7 hour interview with Quade and staff…come on…there is NOTHING more to talk to about.

      The decision is made, no doubt. Just a matter of when they want to announce it, today or tomorrow.

  • paulcatanese

    Let me ask what may be a stupid question here, If Zambrano signs a contract to play in Venuzuala this off season, does it not void his contract with the Cubs if they do not give him permission to do so?

    • daverj

      I think it’s a very good question.  Depends on the language in his contract.  I haven’t read anything that would indicate whether his contract contains any language pertaining to that issue.

    • Aaron

      There is no way that would void his contract. HOWEVER, if someone can get him up to the mountains and go skiing with him, or take him to Hoops Gym in Chicago to play pick-up basketball, then it WOULD void his contract, as almost every contract in MLB states you have to avoid risky activities like that, or it can void the contract, and they have them listed out. I know, because I looked over my friend’s contract once, and it had everything spelled out in there.

      • paulcatanese

        Good answer Aaron, my age old original included swimming and sunburn
        also. I just thought that if he were to be paid to play and not given permission to do so would void it. Take your’e word for it.

        • Aaron

          Unless a player is coming off injury, or coming off a season (as a pitcher) in which he threw an incredible amount of innings, they wouldn’t really make a big deal about it.

          What teams in Latin America understand is that they are ultimately beholden to the player’s contractual obligations, and they do not want to do anything to undermine relationships with big league clubs. Therefore, they will limit pitcher’s innings, play guys at certain positions according to their team’s wishes, and submit feedback as well. Also, another thing a lot of people tend to overlook is the fact that a lot of the managers/coaches in the winter leagues are vying for jobs in MLB or the minor leagues, so they won’t do anything to jeopardize their chances.

          Keeping all of this in mind, when a team like the one Z will be playing for, is looking to add high quality MLB players or minor league prospects, they ultimately are looking for a draw to their team to increase revenue with attendance figures…..they rely on their relationships with MLB teams to provide those players, so they would never want to sign a player that was prohibited contractually from playing winter ball (which no team in their right mind would prohibit that, unless they player is coming off injury and the team wants them at their complex, or they want to limit a player from being burnt out, etc.)

          • Calicub

            good info guys thanks

          • paulcatanese

            Good extended reply Aaron, thanks.

  • John_CC

    When did Epstein and Hoyer meet with Lou?  That was totally under the radar! Was it in Chicago or Tampa?  So many questions…

    Hey Lou! Save a seat on your fishing boat…you and Mike can enjoy retirement together!

  • Anonymous47701

    If the Cubs were to sign Chase Headley, wouldn’t they have to rely on LaHair, Colvin, and eventually Castro for power?

    • John G

      Whenever I hear the name Chase Headley I picture Harvey Korman saying “It’s not *Hedy*, it’s *Headley*. Headley Lamarr.”

      I hope the Cubs don’t sign him.

  • Tony_Hall

    Here is an article talking about 5 of the biggest voids teams need to fill in free agency.

    Of course the Cubs are listed and 1B is the position.

    http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/hotstove11/story/_/id/7161616/mlb-san-francisco-giants-shortstop-other-holes-filled-via-free-agency

    Chicago Cubs: first base
    No, the Cubs are probably not going to contend in 2012, but this is more about establishing a foundation for future seasons. You can’t gauge the market for a player until after he signs, but provided conditions aren’t grossly out of whack, the Cubs should pursue Albert Pujols and/or Prince Fielder.First and foremost, either would fill what will be a gaping hole following the departure ofCarlos Pena (more on him in a moment). Second, both are excellent, established and popular players who would help build the brand in addition to helping win games. Third, either would be plucked directly from a division rival.Concerns? Certainly. Pujols is aging and could potentially command a contract that extends beyond the bounds of his usefulness. And Fielder’s body type doesn’t lend itself to productivity deep into one’s 30s, though he has played at least 157 games in every season since 2006. Still, both are going to be top-tier performers for at least the next handful of seasons, and that matters to the Cubs. The buy-in for contention in the NL Central is relatively low, particularly when you consider two things: The Cubs’ resources are so much greater than those of their label-mates, and the Central will probably soon be a five-team division.For Cubs fans, it would be a rousing way to begin the Age of Theo.

    • Calicub

      five team divisioN? did i miss something?

      i know there was talk of turning houston into a minor league team but i thought that was just rude humor….

      • John G

        There is talk of realigning MLB into two leagues of 15 teams each. three divisions in each league of 5 teams each. There will ALWAYS be interleague play going on. At least one game. Funny you mention Houston because that is the team that would move to the AL west. Natural rivalry with the Rangers.

      • Tony_Hall

        It is going to happen, and will be a part of the CBA.  It will probably be a couple of years to implement, 2013 at the earliest.

  • Aaron

    Just FYI….Yankees just cut Andrew Brackman, the 6’10″, 25 year old, former 1st rounder today.

    He’s not a bad prospect, and had a brief 2 1/3 IP cup of coffee this year. I wonder if the Cubs could consider him as an option? Like Theo said, they nee more young assets, and Brackman would certainly qualify as one, along with others such as Sizemore and Maholm.

    • cubs1967

      brackman is one of those what the hell, bring him to ST and if he sucks, oh well.

      maholm really intrigues me as he could bring innings behind demp, garza, cash and whoever else.  wells needs to be the 6th SP/long relief the cubs did not have in casey coleman/2010.

      red sox will be all over sizemore for RF; but he’d be a low risk if he passes a physical.  let’s see how good jaramillo is if he can fix him.  basically, brett jackson is grady sizemore w/slightly less power.  that could be interesting for BJ to learn from him.

    • cubtex

      The more I think of Maholm….the more sense it makes to sign him. 1st…He is left handed. 2nd…He is 29 and 3rd…..He had a 3.66 ERA and has a decent WHIP. Would be a decent back end guy. 4 or 5.

    • carmelo

      No No No—saw him pitch this summer—-no control, less command.  In my opinion one of the worst 1st round picks ever made.  Stay away from him—-NYY need pitching, why would they let a 1st rounder just walk?

  • Aaron

    very revealing comments by Theo regarding ARAM….looks like the Cubs will be spending a HUGE amount of time this offseason coming up with a solution for 3B.

    There are absolutely no good options on the FA market, and internally, the Cubs have: Baker, DeWitt (both of whom I hope I never see in a Cubs uniform again), LeMahieu, Flaherty, M. Smith, and Vitters. The first 3 have virtually no power, while the latter 3 don’t have much plate discipline.

    Looks to me like a trade for a Chase Headley, or perhaps even David Wright is on the horizon. I cannot fathom a way the Cubs go internally here.

    As for the other holes on the team, the only other revealing thing was I believe Theo discussing Zambrano where he told the person in the media (believe it was Haugh), “it seems like you have already made your mind up….now I have to make my own”…that to me, basically was saying that Zambrano is staying, though I’ve since seen other media reports to the contrary….I guess we’ll find out soon.

    • cubtex

      Headley doesn’t hit with enough power for me and David Wright will be making 15 mil next year. I would rather go with a band aid there for a year until Vitters is ready(providing he is not sent to Boston) I saw that Fleita had stated that Vitters will be playing 3B next year and the reason he is being moved around so much is just to get AB’s.

    • cc002600

      I agree with your assessment.
      While I would not want to give ARAM 3 or 4 years, I just wish he would just take 2 years and come back.

      There is nothing remotely close that will fill those shoes over the next 2 years. Unless you want to give up the farm to get David Wright, which ain’t happening.

      It’s easy now for all the fans to say “go away” ARAM, we’re done, but when friggin Jeff Baker or Blake Dewitt is playing there next summer, batting 5th, fans will wish real, real bad that ARAM was back.  Because that will be BRUTAL.

      Just watch.

    • J Daniel

      To borrow a line from you Aaron, they need to acquire “assets”.  Right now Z is not an asset but he could be in July.  I look for them to acquire a starter and go with the TBA, Garza, Z, Demp, and whoever.  Cashner might best be suited in the bullpen depending on shoulder?

  • brent carmona

    Theo talking about aramis: ‘I admire him, he had a terrific career while he was here’—–>GONE

    Zambrano sounded more ambiguous…that decision could go either way.

    Offseason will keep getting better and better regardless…drunk off cubbie kool aid am I??

  • Tom U

    In the AFL, McNutt just served up three taters in three innings. Cashner now in. Mesa down 3-1 in the bottom of the fourth

    • Aaron

      That’s why I was telling EVERYONE that McNutt should be the one….and ONLY one traded to the Red Sox….as for the Padres, what I hear is it’s a low level prospect…hope nothing significant.

      McNutt’s stats at AA the last two years and now the AZFL have been horrendous….pretty embarrassing for your so-called “Top Pitching Prospect”

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    A few notes from the presser:

    Epstein: Getting Close on resolution with Quade. Productive 6-7 hr meeting. Speaking again soon. Decision within a week.

    Epstein on Ramirez: Wish him well and will not rule anything out but likely he’ll be moving on and we’ll be looking for new solution for 3B

    Wilken, Fleita and Bush all expected to have roles in expanded Cubs front office.

    Good chance MLB will give Cubs and Red Sox an extension to settle Epstein compensation before matter is turned over to Selig

    Randy Bush will remain as assistant GM

    • Aaron

      Neil,

      Am I way off base, being paranoid or something by thinking Quade will return?

      I hope I’m wrong, and quite honestly wouldn’t shock me if I was wrong as it’s about 50/50 he stays….

      I just don’t know if anyone else has this gut feeling like I do that he’ll be back….and that frightens me, just about as much as the proposition I listed below of having Soriano, Pena, and Byrd back next year in starter’s roles.

      I’ve heard the media say it’s all but done, that he’s a goner…..yet there have been ZERO indications from either the Ricketts family prior to hiring Theo, or Theo himself afterward that Quade’s job is in jeopardy.

      In Boston, Theo inherited a team that went 93-69 the year prior, and 95-67 his first year at the helm. In 2002 and 2003, the Red Sox had Grady Little as their manager, and allowed Epstein to fire him after his first season and hire Francona, who then won a championship in Theo’s second season.

      My worry is that Epstein will be as diplomatic as the Ricketts were to Hendry, and opt NOT to fire anybody until the season is over, and he has a chance to evaluate firsthand.

      Again…am I off-base at all? I just have this gut feeling, and I hope I’m wrong. I hope for my own sanity, and Cubs fans everywhere that I am wrong, because as many people around baseball noted…Quade was one of the most over-matched managers on the field last year, and it was quite embarrassing to watch. By keeping him around, the Cubs would be doing the exact OPPOSITE of their stated goal, which was building from within through player development. Quade openly defied Hendry’s wishes last year to play Colvin exclusively down the stretch, and sat Castillo upon him being called up to replace the injured Soto, and sitting other rookies that were replacing injured veterans like LeMahieu early on when he wouldn’t play him for Baker, etc.  It’d be a slap in the face to fans everywhere if that imbecile is allowed to manage the Cubs again.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Aaron, there is a possibility that Quade will return and from what I’ve been hearing and reading I do not think it is safe to assume he will be gone. Sorry to say, I do not think you are off-base at this point.

        • paul catanese

          Neil as you know I have had much of the same feeling about Qua and the Cubs, it would be unfortunate and disappointing to go througth another season like this one, but you are right, its a distinct possiblity it could happen.

    • studio179

      Months ago you were reporting there was a good chance Bush, Fleita and Wilken would stay on under a new regime. What you are saying seems to be playing out that way. 

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Chris Carpenter and Trey McNutt named to pitching staff of East squad in AFL Rising Stars Game

  • Aaron

    I’m also getting this strong feeling that Pena will be back now that ARAM is a goner….as well as Soriano.

    I’m actually terrified of both propositions, as both suck, are on the downsides of their respective careers, strike out a lot, and will likely earn a combined $28-30 million next year. Out of that, you’ll get slash lines anywhere between .240-.250/.300-.320/.460-.470, 20-25 hr, 70-80 RBI from Soriano and .220-.230/.330-.350/.460-.470, 20-25 hr, 70-80 RBI from Pena.

    Honestly, is THAT worth $30 million combined?!?!?!? Really?!?!?

    I would be shocked if LaHair couldn’t put up those numbers…and I’d be even more shocked if someone with the pedigree like Sizemore (even with the injury risk) couldn’t at least come close to Soriano’s run production, but with a better slash line.

    Like I’ve said, the Cubs need to get creative with their OF. They CANNOT go into 2012 with Soriano in LF and Byrd in CF…Both of them were at the bottom of the league in zone rating and defense, and with both of them being free swingers…it just doesn’t fit into Epstein’s philosophy of the “Boston Way”, which he hopes to bring over to the Cubs. And a guy like Reed Johnson, absolutely does NOT fit that description either as his 5 walks vs 63 K’s in just 246 plate appearances can attest to, though Cubs fans think he’s a “grinder”.

    Sizemore, Kubel, Brett Jackson, LaHair, Ty Wright, Clevenger, and even Ridling (in 2 out of his 3 full seasons) would appear to fit that description of a true “grinder” according to Epstein.

    Sizemore can replace Colvin
    Jackson replaces Byrd
    Kubel replaces Soriano
    Wright replaces Johnson
    Clevenger replaces Hill
    Ridling replaces Campana (can play LF, RF, 1B, and even 3B, while Campana has speed, but just plays OF…also, because of Sizemore, Jackson, and Wright…all of whom can play CF, you can afford to lose Campana)
    LaHair replaces Pena
    Flaherty replaces DeWitt (DeWitt’s positions were LF, 2B, and 3B…Flaherty can play ALL infield positions, PLUS both corner OF spots, PLUS, he gets on base at a higher clip with more power than DeWitt ever had in the minors)
    LeMahieu replaces Baker (Baker can ONLY hit lefties, as evidenced by his dreadful numbers the last 2 seasons against righties…plus, unlike Baker, LeMahieu plays ALL infield positions, though he hasn’t played OF like Baker has)

    Now, let me tell you why this is a genius idea. First of all, Colvin, and Campana have options left, so if anyone gets injured, or is ineffective, they can still come up.

    Secondly, in the system, the Cubs still would have guys like M. Gonzalez, Vitters, Lake, M. Smith (if he’s not selected in Rule 5, or included in compensation packages like all others mentioned above), etc. that could be secondary options if the other young guys fail at the MLB level.

    With Sizemore, Kubel, and LaHair (though he’s technically NOT a veteran MLB player…but he’s a veteran minor leaguer), the Cubs would have some older guys providing leadership, in addition to the guys on the pitching staff like Garza, Dempster, Wood (if he’s invited back), Marshall, etc.

    If the Cubs can make those subtle moves, then what they might be able to do either trade for a big bat at 3B, or get into the FA bidding for Fielder at 1B (in which can the Cubs would buy more time for Jackson in AAA (or as injury insurance for Sizemore), then insert LaHair in LF.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Chris Carpenter, Trey McNutt and Junior Lake will play in the 6th Annual AFL Rising Stars Game … Saturday, Nov. 5 on MLB Network, 7:10pm CDT

    • Aaron

      I thought McNutt should play in the “falling stars” game, because his star is about to burn out right now.

  • paul catanese

    Any one know who would be playing against Taiwan for the United States tonight, I think its televised.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs in AFL (11/1): Junior Lake (SS): 0-for-4, BB, SB; Josh Vitters (DH): 1-for-5, 2B, R; DJ LeMahieu (3B): 1-for-5; Trey McNutt: 3R, 4H (3HR), BB, 3K in 3IP; Andrew Cashner: 2R, 3H, 0BB, 0K in 1IP

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Kaplan: Hoyer says he and Theo have the ability to change Cubs culture and to eat contracts if necessary

    • Tony_Hall

      IF??

  • Tony_Hall

    Projected Arb numbers.

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2011/11/projected-arbitration-salaries.html

    Cubs (6)Matt Garza – $8.7MMGeovany Soto – $4MMRandy Wells – $2.2MMJeff Baker – $1.4MMBlake DeWitt – $1.2MMKoyie Hill – $900K

    • Calicub

      only Jim Hendry would think Koyie Hill is worth nearly a mill.

      I can’t wait for him to be gone.

      • Tony_Hall

        That is the bad part about arbitration, most of these numbers seem likely to happen.

        Only Garza is worth the pay.

        • Calicub

          And probably the only one on the list worth keeping arund at the major level. Dewitt needes to be traded or demoted. Baker, who knows with him. Soto isn’t worth the four mill and I’m sure castillo or Clevenger could put up comparable numbers.

          Well what can you say about wells? If he continues to improve as he did after the DL this year, I think he maybe the only other player worth bringing back at any capacity.

          • gocubs

            Soto had a down year last year, but he is one of the better hitters on the team in terms of seeing lots of pitches, OBP, and he has power.  If you know anything about how Epstein and Hoyer work – he is very much the type of player they would be interested in and value highly.  

          • Tony_Hall

            I believe they like OBP over 310.

            2008, 2010, maybe 2012 he will have an up year again.

          • Calicub

            soto takes alot of pitches but did not have a down year that was just soto.

            2009 soto had a bad year. 2011 was soto being soto.

            He may turn a corner under new management, but hey, so might koyie hill or anyone else. Soto has shown his worth over the course of the last 4 seasons and it aint $4million dollars

  • gocubs

    Finally, the Cubs have a real organization that values players for what they will produce in the future and not what they have produced in the past. 

    For anyone who thinks these guys are going to go out and start signing free agents like Prince Fielder or Pujols…

    Hoyer stressed the importance of building from within today, according to Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald (on Twitter). “Relying on external solutions to building a winning baseball team is a bad idea, and it’s something we need to get past,” the GM said.

     

  • J Daniel

    Just watched a bunch of the video from today’s conferences.  All I can say is WOW!  Going to be good, boys!

    • paulcatanese

      The only thing I didnt like about the conference was the remark about Qua and the lengthy conversation they had and “he’s a good baseball guy” and will have a decision in about a week. That scares me, indicates that maybe,just maybe Qua could be back. I wont really sleep until that decision comes down, and hopefully the one that say’s Qua is gone.

      • Tony_Hall

        Paul – for all of Q’s faults that we have seen, he is a good baseball guy, he just was in over his head as a major league manager.  He has had a good career as a manager in the minors, and should go back and manage a lower level team, whether with the Cubs or with another team.

  • paulcatanese

    Tony,watched a little of it. Cano dogging a DP and Granderson hitting the grand slam and came back to the site. Thanks for the info.

  • studio179

    From Sullivan…
    “Injuries can never be an excuse for a bad season,” he (Hoyer) said.With that statement, Hoyer at least shows he’s bringing a fresh perspective to the task.

    ——————————————————————————————–

    That would be a fresh and welcome perspective with this team.

  • paulcatanese

    Theo’s here, to make a tweak,
    I know the Cubs are on a streak.
    Qua is gone, and I am glad,
    Too bad Qua ,I know your’e sad,
    If he is gone before I read,
    Theo did it, the perfect deed.

  • cubs1967

     there seems to be lots of talk about 2012 being lost.  (hint to fans; don’t show up if that is the case; the spoiled ricketts family does not deserve).

    However, if the cubs are to contend in the next 5 yrs; they need power.  there is very little in the minors; jackson-vitters-scuzur-lamaheiu-none of them have produce 20 homers in the minors let alone 30.

    look at the power posistions the cubs have-1b-none, 3b-rami gone?-lf-sori-needs to go-rf-???

    and since you cannot do it all in 1 year; team theo needs to build now. 2012.

    so which position had power in FA this year; 1b. Fielder. 28 in 2012. should be prime years.  don’t sign him & here’s 1b list of current teams; who’s gonna be good when the cubs are??

    braves-freeman–not likely going anywhere
    marlins-snachez-same as freeman
    phils-howard-5/125M starts in 2012-nope
    mets-ike davis-good and injured
    nats-mike morse–prob not gonna be traded

    brewers-fielder–HMMMM
    cards-pujols–HMMMMMMMM-but older
    bucs-???
    reds-votto–sure they’ll want castro i-not a good idea
    astrso-????

    dodgers-loney–pllleaseeeee
    giants-sandoval-don’t see him being traded
    pads-??? rizzo–
    rockies-helton-next
    d’backs-goldschmidt-staying

    yanks/red sox-tex and agone-next
    rays-kotchman-please
    o’s-???luke scott–huh
    jays–???adam lind–nah

    sox-no on paulie
    tribe-laporta–ouch
    tigers-no way-cabrera
    twins-morneau–not healthy
    royals-billy butler–HMMMMM-bad D-20 dingers at most

    m’s and a’s-???
    rangers-young or moreland-both no
    angels-morales-healhty? trumbo-not likely

    SO………if no fielder or pujols; cubs best bet is billy butler.

    if winning is the goal in 2013 or 2014—then who’s gonna be the 1b?? if not Fielder.

    • paulcatanese

      Dont forget everyones favorite, he is now a free agent,,Aron Miles.

    • Tony_Hall

      I go back and forth as to whether or not it makes sense.  I guess it really depends on the price and length needed to sign him.  I can’t say I can put a break point on the price and length, but I will know it when I see it.