The Front Office, Fielder, Marshall, Compensation … and Other Cubs News, Notes and Rumors

The player moves the Cubs are rumored to be working on continued making noise on Tuesday. According to a report late Tuesday night from Ken Rosenthal, the Cubs and Reds are discussing a deal that could send Sean Marshall to Cincinnati for Travis Wood. It is unknown if there are other players involved in the talks. Marshall is under contract through the 2012 season and is one of the Cubs most valuable trading chips.

Theo Epstein has hired two more front office personnel and another could be added soon. The hiring of Matt Dorey as national cross-checker of amateur talent was reported late Monday night. According to a report from WEEI, the Cubs have also hired Kyle Evans, a former pro scout for the Red Sox. The hiring of Evans does not violate the agreement made between the Sox and Cubs that Epstein would not be able to hire anyone else from Boston’s front office for three years … Evans had already left the Red Sox’s organization.

The Cubs are also close to adding Craig Shipley, the former Red Sox VP of international scouting and player personnel. Shipley was one of the first hires Epstein made when he took over in Boston in 2002.

The Cubs also made a change at the minor league level. According to Cubs.com, Brandon Hyde is listed as the Cubs minor league field coordinator replacing Dave Bialas.

The front office additions have not been made official.

As for the compensation package for Theo Epstein that remains unresolved. According to reports from the Chicago media and the Boston media, that issue has been pushed to the backburner and the Cubs are not expected to give up any of their top prospects as compensation for Epstein… and will likely be lower-level prospects. According to ESPN Boston, it would come as a surprise if the Red Sox receive more than a run-of-the-mill prospect or two from the Cubs for Epstein. And the same is expected to be sent to San Diego for Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod.

On the Prince Fielder front, the reports varied once again from the Cubs having no interest to the Cubs remain the most logical destination for Fielder. But, could the Cubs be interested in a Padres’ first baseman instead of Fielder? And one other than Anthony Rizzo?

Here’s the update …

Prince Fielder
According to a report from Jon Heyman, the Mariners made an offer or at least told Prince Fielder what they would be willing to pay him. Seattle really likes Fielder … likely stemming from their general manager, Jack Zduriencik. Zduriencik drafted Fielder while he was in the Brewers’ organization.

Depending on the time of day, the Cubs are interested in signing Fielder … no the Cubs are not interested in Fielder, there is not enough money. With Darvish off the market and Yoenis Cespedes not yet available, the mainstream media has focused on where Prince Fielder will sign.

Buster Olney reported the Cubs have done some background work on Fielder and they would like to sign him, but only on their terms and not close to the 10-year deal Scott Boras is reportedly seeking for Fielder.

The Cubs remain the most logical destination for Fielder according to Jon Paul Morosi … but there is no indication the Cubs would pay what Boras is asking for. Fielder wants to play first base and not be a DH. Fielder might have to choose between a lesser contract with the Cubs and more money from teams (like the Mariners and Orioles) lower on his wish list according to Morosi.

Speculation is the Prince Fielder sweepstakes will not be settled until after the first of the year.

The Orioles, Rangers, Mariners, Blue Jays, Nationals and Cubs appear to be the teams interested in Fielder … that is before the ‘Mystery Team‘ makes an appearance.

Chattin’ with Bruce Levine
Mr. Talkin’ Baseball held his weekly chat on ESPNChicago.com, here are the highlights:

  • One rumor Bruce Levine has heard: Brett Jackson for Anthony Rizzo. Levine doubts the Cubs would make that deal because they need more outfield help than help at first base.
  • Whether or not the Cubs sign Paul Maholm depends on the direction they decided to take. Levine said the direction seems to change on a weekly basis … trading Garza, keeping Garza, getting Darvish, not getting Darvish. “Part of the topsy turvy world Epstein and Hoyer live in right now.”
  • Levine cautioned not to be so sure that Yonder Alonso is not the player that the Padres would trade and keep Anthony Rizzo.
  • The Padres are not interested in Matt Garza and any deal with the Padres would likely not involve Garza. San Diego is not looking for someone making $10 million.
  • Levine still thinks that Cubs have a great shot at signing Prince Fielder … but at their terms and not his. A four-five year deal for Fielder would make sense for a lot of teams, including the Cubs. The Cubs do not view Fielder as an eight-ten year player.
  • If the Cubs could receive young, high quality pitching back for Sean Marshall he thinks the Cubs should move him.
  • The Cubs game plan was changed significantly by the new CBA. The plan was to strip it down and throw a ton of money at the amateur draft and international players. The game plan is difficult to fathom at this point.
  • The Cubs front office does not know much about Tony Campana right now … other than he is very fast.
  • The Cubs are interested in Yoenis Cespedes and Jorge Soler … and might be more interested in the 19-year old Soler than the 26-year old Cespedes. Soler could have the bigger upside.
  • Alfonso Soriano’s contract looks to be impossible to move. A team like Seattle might be interested for a low amount of money.
  • A lot of teams would like to have Marlon Byrd.
  • In order for the Cubs to sign Coco Crisp, they would have to move Soriano and Byrd at some point. Brett Jackson also needs a spot.
  • It could take sending Andrew Cashner or Trey McNutt to San Diego for Anthony Rizzo … or Junior Lake and a pitcher.
  • Levine thinks the Cubs’ interest in Anthony Rizzo is real. He just doesn’t know if the Cubs have the prospects to make a deal.
  • Jeff Samardzija has been told he will be given a shot to earn a spot in the rotation this spring.
  • Paul Maholm probably fits the Cubs needs more than Tim Wakefield. Levine thinks the Cubs will sign him at some point. Maybe their next move?
  • Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer were impressed with the Cubs’ draft last June.
  • The Ricketts family purchased the McDonald’s property as a private holding company that’s not associated with the Cubs. The family used separate money and set it up as a LLC (Limited Liability Company).
  • Levine does not see a suitor for Geovany Soto at this point.
  • It is possible the Cubs could re-sign Carlos Pena. Levine indicated Epstein and Hoyer have already talked to Pena. Levine thinks a two-year contract for Pena would not be bad if they cannot trade for Anthony Rizzo or Yonder Alonso.
  • Levine thinks there is a chance Carlos Zambrano could be traded to Miami … and he thinks the Cubs will have more teams, other than just the Marlins, interested in Zambrano.

News, Notes and Rumors

The Cubs are one of the teams that remains interested in Coco Crisp according to Ken Rosenthal.

According to Jim Bowden, the Padres and Rays are not matching up well in a potential trade for Anthony Rizzo. San Diego has been flooded with interest about Rizzo.

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

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Quote of the Day

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