From the Wire … Cubs Send Aaron Kurcz as PTBNL to Red Sox in Theo Epstein Compensation

According to multiple reports, one-half of the PTBNL exchange between the Cubs and Red Sox for Theo Epstein has been completed.

The Cubs sent 21-year old right-handed pitcher Aaron Kurcz to the Red Sox as the player to be named later. The player the Cubs will receive in return from Boston has not been announced.

The Cubs selected Aaron Kurcz in the 11th round of the 2010 draft. Kurz was 5-4 in 32 games, 12 starts, for the Daytona Cubs last season with a 3.28 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP.

Aaron Kurcz’s Page on Baseball-Reference

The Cubs sent Chris Carpenter to the Red Sox on February 21 as the main piece of the compensation for Boston letting Theo Epstein out of his contract.

The player the Cubs will receive in return for Kurcz has not been announced.

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  • cubtex

    That is a better prospect than I thought they would have to give up. Kurcz has had excellent hits per innings pitched ratio so far and misses a lot of bats. I hope the Cubs get something at least equal to Kurcz back!

    • Ripsnorter1

      I guess we’ll see, but Theo ain’t worth NOTHING.

      • gary3411

        Correct, he is worth something.

      • 43hopping

        Wow! Using ain’t and a double negative all in the same sentence.

        Why don’t we hold off judgement until the guy proves himself one way or the other?

  • brent carmona

    Thanks for the updates neil..Im glad junior lake had a homer and a walk plus lahair might be breaking out of his funk with three hits today.

    • Neil

      You are more than welcome.

  • John_CC

    What?! Anyone but Aaron Kurcz!!!!

    • cubtex

      Actually he is a top 20 prospect on many lists. So with Carpenter…….the Sawx got 2 good prospects for boy wonder.

      • John_CC

         Actually he’s a 21 year old prospect that hasn’t made it out of A ball and Epstein is one of the top General Mangers in Major League Baseball with two championship rings.

        And to think that you still poo-poo the those that thought Hak-Ju Lee was too much for Matt Garza.

        You’re servile attitude toward the Epstein and the Cubs is transparently immature.

        • cubtex

          Relax team Theo! I simply stated that Kurcz is hardly a throw in. They got 2 top 25 prospects for a suit.

          • John_CC

             Simply making the point that you take a very narrow view at every move the new Cubs make. Last year I was defending (and still do) the Garza trade, but Lee was a much higher regarded prospect than this kid. But all of a sudden this low A prospect is something significant to give up in return for a “suit” who is in charge of turning around 100 years of futility.

          • cubtex

            Where in my posts did I rant and rave about how HUGE a loss this was and he is a future all star! He and Carpenter were both top 25 prospects and that is more that was implied would be given for a suit. One other thing you need to understand. 21 is NOT old for an A ball player! There are very few Starlin Castros!!!

        • Anthony

          thtas a low blow. what level did you make it to?

          • John_CC

            I made it through Pony League. Where I grew up, that was all the 13 year olds. My little town had enough kids to field two Pony teams…I was on the crappy one, and had a lot of fun.  What’s your point?  Low blow?  So it’s only OK to bash on the “suits” but I can’t say anything about a player that I personally have not played as high a level as?  Wow. Then tell me your qualifications. You sure aren’t shy with your pontification. 

          • Anthony


          • John_CC


        • Ripsnorter1

          Just remember John that we are supposed to be classy on this site. 

          • John_CC

             What’s that supposed to mean?  Was my comment offensive?

          • Ripsnorter1

            I would say this sentence was a little rough, wouldn’t you?

            “You’re servile attitude toward the Epstein and the Cubs is transparently immature.”

            You called him “immature” because he disagreed with you. 

          • John_CC

             No, I didn’t.  I said his attitude toward everything that the Cubs do now, with Epstein in charge, is immature – as in “less than expected maturity”, as in I know that cubtex has enough baseball knowledge to not constantly take such a narrow view.

            So if you read that way, it could be a compliment, though backhanded.

  • Soxxyguy

    Autually, thank you for taking Theo. He made some good moves early on and did help win us two titles, but a lot of most recent acquisitions were head scratchers. Lugo, Cameron, Lackey…144mil for Crawford? I think we owe you good prospect and I hope you guys finally win the Series!

    • cubtex

      You ruined John_CC’s night! That is like telling a kid there is no Santa Claus :)

  • Tom U

    Ouch! That one hurt a little.

    • cubtex

      Yep. 2 top 25 prospects is more than I was hearing it would be. I hope we don’t give another top 25 guy for Hoyer.

      • Tom U

        I would be concerned if they think Casey Weathers is a good replacement for Kurcz.

        • cubtex

          You are right about that hurting a little. We gave up 2 power bullpen arms. Hopefully Tony Zych can progress quickly.

  • Aaron

    WOW…Sorry to say this guys…I coached one of Kurcz’s college teammates during the summer a few years ago, and this guy is the real deal…was clocked at 100 mph in college, and throws mid-to-upper 90’s, and by all accounts has a “rubber” arm, where he can both start and come out of relief.

    Hits per 9, K’s per 9, all good thus far….what a waste for a suit! Sorry to say that, and I know Theo is what we all pretty much wanted, but given the precedent before relating to compensation for suits, much less even managers, this was a GROSS overpayment, and here’s why…

    This offseason, the Cubs got rid of:
    Cashner-97-103 mph range; starter and closer potential
    Carpenter-97-100 mph range; closer potential
    Kurcz-94-96 mph range as starter, 97-99 mph range as reliever (in pros…again, college he hit 100 mph, but I haven’t heard that yet as a pro)

    ….the Cubs received:
    Cates-bad results thus far as pro, 91-93 mph range, tops out at 96 mph; 
    Rizzo-potential is there, but swing is slow and loopy, and in his brief showing as an MLB-er, he was downright awful

    How does Crane Kenney still have a job again? If reports are true, he supposedly was the one that didn’t agree to terms ahead of time, and allowed it to get to this point. 

    Keep in mind that THIS WAS A DAMN PROMOTION FROM GM TO PRESIDENT…which, btw, is UNPRECEDENTED for another team to receive compensation anyway.

    The only thing that would make the Theo compensation less horrible is if:
    a) The Cubs win a championship this year
    b) If they receive Michael Bowden or Kyle Stroup as the PTBNL from the Red Sox…

    if neither scenario happens, or in the case of option b), if neither of those guys are at least a comparable player come back, then I just don’t see how all of this was worth it….unless the Cubs absolutely could not have landed Friedman…or, hell, even called the Red Sox bluff and added Cherington for that matter

    DISASTROUS beginning to the Epstein regime for sure.

    Allow me to review:
    1) Cubs receive permission to speak with Theo but no compensation is agreed upon, and once hired, compensation is deferred
    2) Cubs hire Hoyer, and must give up compensation for him too, but no compensation is pre-agreed upon. All we’re told is that Moorad and Ricketts have a good relationship and the compensation won’t be a big deal
    3) Cubs hire a bunch of former Red Sox front office guys including McLeod, etc.
    4) Cubs sign DeJesus
    5) Cubs claimed Lendy Castillo in Rule 5 and subsequently lose Flaherty and Gonzalez in Rule 5
    6) Cubs traded Colvin and LeMahieu for Stewart and Weathers
    7) Cubs claimed Bianchi on waivers (presumably because they just lost 3 IF in a matter of days)
    8) Cubs traded Marshall for T. Wood, Sappelt, and Torreyes
    9) Cubs sign Corpas and Sonnanstine (add both to 40-man)
    10) Cubs re-sign Johnson
    11) Cubs trade Zambrano for Volstad
    12) Cubs trade Cashner and Na for Rizzo and Cates
    13) Cubs sign Maholm
    14) Cubs lose Bianchi to waivers after they needed a spot for Maholm on 40-man (note: Corpas and Sonnanstine remained)
    15) Cubs sign Wood
    16) Cubs outright Corpas
    17) Cubs claim Cardenas and outright DeWitt
    18) Cubs lose Carpenter as Theo compensation
    19) Cubs sign Concepcion and outright Weathers (acquired already this offseason) for space on 40-man
    20) Cubs lose Kurcz as Theo compensation

    Outside of perhaps claiming Castillo, and getting Torreyes (albeit they still got ripped off in the Marshall trade) they really didn’t improve the club in the interim or for the future. I guess you could add Rizzo to that mix, but he comes with too many questions with his showing at the MLB level last year. If anyone says otherwise, then they’re basically equating him to Jake Fox, as Fox torched AAA pitching, came up, experienced mild success, then flamed out. Compare their minor league stats…VERY similar.

    I hope they find a way to unload Byrd, Soto, Soriano, and possibly even Wells and Marmol, because that is the ONLY way they can get decent prospects to replenish the system right now with decent arms.

    When they took over this team, Hoyer, McLeod, and Epstein all said replenishing the system with quality arms would be the focal point. Trading the likes of Cashner, Carpenter, and Kurcz is hardly accomplishing that…..just sayin’

    • cubtex

      Great recap Aaron! It is extremely early in the Theo era……but not alot to be excited about yet!

      • Aaron


        my point wasn’t really to cast this doom and gloom shadow over the new regime, but I can tell you that their decision-making has been questionable thus far…EXTREMELY questionable. From the decision to sign DeJesus to a multi-year deal coming off a horrible and injury-riddled year, the Rule 5 decisions with Flaherty and Gonzalez, then the LeMahieu move and the Bianchi signing in reaction to their own dumbass decisions just is inexplicable to me for this supposed “boy genius” label Epstein had in Boston. 

        What they did in Boston was go after the top notch free agents, and they used prospects to high performing veterans like Beckett, Lowell, and Bay. 

        But the thing is, while in Boston, they almost never dealt veterans for prospects…so they’ve never been a part of a rebuilding project.

        Hoyer had the closest experience while with the Padres during his very short tenure. For crying out loud, he was the one that orchestrated the Mike Adams deal. How in the hell can a guy pull off Erlin and Wieland for a guy like Adams in his 30’s, who was a great reliever, but not even in the top 5-10 for righty relievers…meanwhile, he’s only able to secure a 4th/5th starter at best in T. Wood coming off a dreadful year in the bigs, and a poor showing at AAA as well, a 4th/5th OF in Sappelt, and a guy like Torreyes who is an above average prospect, but years away from contributing…..WOW….and that garbage (no disrespect to the players) is what he gets for arguably the top lefty reliever in all of MLB?!?!?!? Are you kidding me?!?!?

        How does a guy pull off such a good trade like that with another team, then forget how to do that with his new team? 

        I swear, it’s like a “stupid virus” is floating around the Friendly Confines…left behind by the Hendry regime.

        • gary3411

          1 year of Marshall. 1 year. An extension was signed, but at the time 1 year, if that was the best we could get at the time how can you bash? he was one of our best chips. NO ONE knows whether Marshall would have considered signing a similar extension with the Cubs so the extension complaint/argument is out of the question because no one has a clue.

        • Ripsnorter1

          “Stupid Virus?”

          Don’t forget Ricketts paid $20 million for that virus, plus 2 power arms, not to mention he’s still in debt for Jed. And to think he could have had Theo for FREE if he just had a little patience. The BoSox were so sick of Boy Wonder they were looking for the nearest toilet to flush him down. Yup. Stupid Virus.

    • OttawaBob

      You should have applied for the job Aaron!!! what with all the college coaching experience of yours.

      • Aaron

         What a great idea…thanks for suggesting!!!

        …and just fyi, college coaching doesn’t mean a damn thing in pro ball. If you haven’t played pro ball, the guys won’t listen, and once you reach MLB, if you haven’t had MLB experience, typically those guys won’t listen to you.

        …but I assume you already knew that :)

    • gary3411

       Was Jake Fox 21 years old when he torched AAA pitching?

      Great offseason Theo!

      • gary3411

         nope, single A. And 801 ops.

    • Ciontea1988

      Thecubs sure getting the shaft in this deal for team theo, you can add on a few more years to the rebuild for sure. Between giving up good prospects and the new rules to help the brewers on draft day it will be a long rebuild. Team theo may not be here when they are good again

  • Chipguy2030

    we gave away 2 of our top 25 prospects for Mr. Theo but the Cubs still have a player to be named later coming back to them.  Can you tell us  if we are going to at least get 1 of Boston’s top 20 prospects?

    • gary3411

       No, lol. But who cares, Carpenter and Kurcz suck! Middle relievers at best if they get lucky, dime a dozen.

    • Neil

       Chip, I do not think so. The PTBNL is supposed to be similar in status to Aaron Kurcz.

  • Chipguy2030


  • Fortune6

    Lets remember Cashner had shoulder problems last year, the kind of problems that come back and get you.  he will pay for his so called 100 mph pitches and lack of control !

  • Nathan

    I played high school ball against Aaron Kurcz, sad to see him go.

    • Jay from sandwich

      I liked him to a feel we way over paid for team theo and I looks like to me a long rebuilding job coming

  • Josh

    Aaron – 

    I realize you are somewhat down on the moves from the new regime. I think you can’t judge a book by its cover and time is absolutely necessary to understand whether any of their moves have value. That being said, I would love to hear a realistic version of your offseason as GM. Granted we all have hoop dreams we wish could be made, but such as you have listed from with Byrd and Soriano, but the reality is there may not be takers and the quality of prospect to be returned may not be that impressive.

    • Dorasaga

       Finally, well said. I love Aaron, but all those other unrealistic views from other posters of who should be out and who should be in, I’m just not sure if I need to read them.