Epstein Compensation, Soto, Cespedes … and Other Cubs News and Notes

The Cubs finally announced the list of players that will be in camp this spring on non-roster invitations. As the rosters are currently constructed (40-man and non-roster), the Cubs will have a total of 61 players in camp on February 24, the first full-squad workout of the spring.

Could the Theo Epstein compensation issue be coming to an end soon? According to a report from the Boston Globe, an outcome should occur soon. The Cubs and Red Sox have submitted names to Bud Selig and the Commissioner will soon make a ruling. According to the Globe, “the two sides had agreed that a significant player would change hands. That was the agreement in allowing Epstein to escape the year remaining on his contract and become the president of baseball operations for the Cubs.”

Theo Epstein and Ben Cherington did not discuss the topic during a charity event Monday night at Fenway Park.

And, could Geovany Soto be on the Rays’ radar?

Here’s the update …

Geovany Soto
A report by Marc Topkin in the Tampa Bay Times listed Geovany Soto as a possible option for the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays have one experienced catcher on their big league roster (Jose Molina) and might be looking to add a catcher with more Major League experience than either Robinson Chirinos or Jose Lobaton.

The report does not mention a conversation taking place with the Cubs and Rays about Geovany Soto … but Topkin did report that the Rays could trade Jeff Niemann or Wade Davis to free up money to add a catcher. Niemann is arbitration eligible and is slated to make either $2.75 million or $3.2 million and Davis is on the books for $1.5 million for the upcoming season.

Geovany Soto avoided arbitration by agreeing to a $4.3 million contract for the 2012 season.

Yoenis Cespedes
Yoenis Cespedes is garnering a lot of attention from at least six big league teams and his agent, Adam Katz, labeled the market as “meaningful and aggressive.” The Cubs are one of six teams believed to have the most interest in signing Cespedes. The other teams thought to be involved include the White Sox, Tigers, Marlins and Orioles.

Adam Katz said he is aware of the Spring Training dates and he is they are expecting Cespedes in camp with one of the teams.

According to a report from Jim Bowden, Yoenis Cespedes is expected to travel to the states in the next 7-10 days for face to face meetings with teams. Cespedes has established residency in the Dominican Republic and been declared a free agent by MLB. Cespedes must obtain a visitor’s visa to travel to the United States.

According to a report from Baseball America, Cespedes has not acquired an OFAC unblocking license and until he does he cannot sign with a team.

News and Notes
According to a report from Tim Sheridan, several players as well as Dale Sveum and Dave McKay were at Fitch Park on Monday getting their work in. Zeke DeVoss, Matt Cerda, Tony Campana, Dustin Geiger, Justin Bour and James Adduci were among the players on the field Monday. Dave Sappelt said Saturday afternoon on MLB Network Radio (XM Radio) that he will be at Fitch starting Sunday.

According to a report from the Sun-Times, the Cubs have changed their plans to reduce the per-diem pay for area scouts. Reportedly, the Cubs had decided to reduce scouts meal money to $30 per day but according to the Sun-Times, they have decided to leave the compensation at $50 per day.

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

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