The Cubs Fab Front Office … and Other News and Notes

Theo Epstein introduced his long-time friends and associates to the Chicago Media and to the Faithful on Tuesday in what Epstein called the “Cubs Weekly Press Conference“. For the second Tuesday in a row, the Cubs front office grew up while getting younger at the same time. Epstein proudly introduced Jed Hoyer as the Chicago Cubs’ Executive Vice President/General Manager and Jason McLeod as the Senior Vice President of Scouting and Player Development for the Chicago Cubs.

If there was any doubt after last Tuesday, the latest presser proved that Theo Epstein is in charge of baseball operations for the Chicago Cubs.

Theo Epstein has known and/or worked with Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod a combined 21 years (eight with Hoyer and 13 with McLeod). The Cubs’ power trio share the same philosophies on how to build a winning organization and the best ways to ensure a team plays consistently in October.

Epstein and Hoyer addressed many of the issues facing the Cubs as the organization moves into what should be a very interesting off-season … including Mike Quade, Aramis Ramirez, free agency and Carlos Zambrano.

Mike Quade
Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer talked about the six to seven hour meeting they had with Mike Quade last Thursday in Chicago. Epstein described the meeting as “productive and thorough” while Hoyer said the meeting “was in depth” and he “really enjoyed” the time with Quade. Epstein described Quade as a “good baseball guy.”

Epstein and Hoyer are expected to meet with Quade again in the coming days and they are hoping to have a “resolution” within a week.

Aramis Ramirez
From all indications, the Cubs will have a new third baseman in 2012 after Aramis Ramirez opted out of his part of the mutual option for next season. Epstein and Hoyer were asked about Ramirez during Tuesday’s press conference. Epstein said, “He’ll likely be moving on and we will be looking for a new solution at third base.” Epstein wished Ramirez well and would not rule out re-signing him. Epstein spoke about Ramirez in the past tense, for the most part, while addressing Ramirez’s future with the Cubs.

Carlos Zambrano
Theo Epstein addressed the Carlos Zambrano situation and described a conversation he had with Zambrano’s agent, Barry Praver, as enlightening. Epstein has also spoken with several of Zambrano’s teammates and other Cubs personnel that have worked with Zambrano over the years. Epstein described those conversations as enlightening as well. Epstein and Hoyer plan on “processing the information” about Zambrano and following up directly with him to find out what is best for the Cubs.

News, Notes and Rumors

  • Jed Hoyer was very complimentary of the job Randy Bush did while serving as the Cubs’ interim GM. Hoyer said that Bush will remain with the organization and serve as his assistant GM.
  • According to a tweet from David Kaplan, Hoyer and Epstein have been given clearance from ownership to eat contracts if necessary.
  • Jed Hoyer said, “Relying on external solutions to build a winning baseball team is a bad idea, it is something we need to get past.”
  • According to a report from Bruce Levine, look for the Cubs to “target pitching when the team begins weighing off-season transactions.” Hoyer said it is too early to say which players the Cubs will look at in free agency “but it’s fair to say we have to spend some time rebuilding the pitching staff.”
  • According to Bruce Levine, at one point the Cubs and Red Sox agreed on Chris Carpenter as compensation for Theo Epstein … before Boston backed out of the deal.
  • Speaking of Chris Carpenter … Carpenter, Trey McNutt and Junior Lake will represent the Cubs’ organization in the AFL Futures Game. The MLB Network will air the game live beiginning at 7:05pm CDT.
  • Bruce Levine’s sources indicated that Jed Hoyer’s five-year contract will pay him almost double of the $600,000 annual salary he made in San Diego.
  • Jon Heyman tweeted Tuesday that Dale Sveum could be a candidate for the Cubs’ managing job.
  • It is possible that the Cubs and Red Sox will receive an extension in the compensation talks for Theo Epstein. According to the Boston Globe, the Sox are not expecting to get a windfall of talent for Epstein after reports have suggested that Bud Selig is “against the idea of executives or managers bringing back major returns.” The Sun-Times reported late Tuesday night that Tuesday’s deadline to resolve player compensation with the Boston Red Sox over Epstein was extended to the end of next week

Video from the Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod Media Day

Click Here for Audio of the Jed Hoyer/Jason McLeod Press Conference

And last, but not leastAccording to the Tribune, the Cubs would be interested in White Sox left-hander Mark Buehrle if the price tag and years aren’t astronomical.

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Quote of the Day

"Don’t ever permit the pressure to exceed the pleasure." - Joe Maddon