Cubs Expected to Step-Up Process of Hiring a Manager

Weekend Update

The Cubs relieved Dale Sveum of his managerial duties nearly two weeks ago and the front office found out that Joe Girardi and his family preferred to stay in New York over accepting the challenge of managing the Cubs on Wednesday. So while the Cubs have reportedly talked to A.J. Hinch and Manny Acta about their managerial opening, the front office is expected to accelerate the process of hiring a manager in the coming week.

Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer spent a majority of last week in Arizona watching the top prospects in the system participate in the Instructional League and play in the Arizona Fall League.

When Epstein met with the media following Sveum’s dismissal he said the team would like to have the new manager in place by the time the GM Meeting’s begin on November 11. As reported by the Tribune, with Joe Girardi no longer in the picture, Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer could expand their search past the three names that have surfaced as the leading candidates to be named the 53rd manager of the Chicago Cubs.

Many think A.J. Hinch and Manny Acta top the shortlist to manage the Cubs, but that simply may not be the case. Epstein and Hoyer have yet to interview Rick Renteria or ask the Rays for permission to speak with Dave Martinez. Jesse Rogers reported Sandy Alomar Jr. could still be an option, contradicting reports that he is not considered a candidate. Rogers added that the Cubs have not contacted Alomar Jr. according to his sources. Plus, there are two names that have been brushed off by the mainstream media … Tony Pena and Torey Lovullo.

According to Bruce Levine, Epstein and Hoyer could make a trip to San Diego to interview Rick Renteria this week.

Six Roster Moves and a Re-Signing

The Cubs made seven roster moves this past week, the first round of what should be many more this off-season.

The Cubs re-signed outfielder Ryan Sweeney to a two-year, $3.5 million contract that includes a club option worth $2.5 million for 2016 with a $500,000 buyout. Sweeney will be paid $1.5 million in 2014 and 2015. The re-signing of Ryan Sweeney will not prevent the Cubs from calling up outfielders such as Matt Szczur, Jorge Soler or Albert Almora when the front office feels they are ready for the big leagues.

The Cubs outrighted six players off the 40-man roster, which currently stands at 37 players, last week.

The Cubs activated RHP Rafael Dolis, RHP Zach Putnam and OF Thomas Neal from the 60-day DL then outrighted all three players to Triple-A Iowa. Dolis should stick with the organization but Putnam and Neal will likely elect free agency due to the fact they have already been outrighted during their career.

RHP Trey McNutt, catcher J.C. Boscan and OF Darnell McDonald were also outrighted off the 40-man roster to Triple-A Iowa. Boscan has already elected free agency and McDonald will as well. McNutt, like Dolis, has not been outrighted during his career and should remain in the Cubs’ system.

Minor Signings

According to Baseball America, the Cubs re-signed infielder Edgar Gonzalez and infielder/outfielder Jonathan Mota to minor league contracts.

The 35-year old Gonzalez played in 47 games for Iowa last year and hit .267/.309/.412/.721 with nine doubles and five home runs. Mota has been in the Cubs’ system since he was 18 years old. The now 26-year old utility man spent last season with Double-A Tennessee. In 109 games, Mota put together a .276/.348/.409 line that included 15 doubles, two triples, seven home runs and a .757 OPS. Mota played all four positions in the infield and both corner outfield spots last year.

News and Notes

According to the Tribune, the recent trip to Arizona provided Theo Epstein and his top evaluators a chance to assess some of the top talent in the organization to get a “better gauge of their progress in preparing for what could be an eventful off-season.”

Joel Sherman reported on Friday that he is hearing that the qualifying offer for team’s free agents will increase from $13.3 million to $14.1 million.

And last, but not least, Pearl Jam has partnered with Fox Sports and the network will include extensive use of 48 Pearl Jam songs across the promotional and music beds for their World Series coverage.

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Quote of the Day

"What scares me is what scares you. We're all afraid of the same things." - John Carpenter

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  • Larry Schwimmer

    Neil: please tell me why there’s been no talk of Bob Brenly being asked to manage the CUBS? Wouldn’t that be a great pick? Thanks

    • Ripsnorter1

      I’m not Neil, of course, but here’s a quick answer:

      Listen to Theo: “We want tough love, but before tough love, we want love. Love before tough love.”

      What’s that mean? Sveum was too strict with Castro/Rizzo/Barney/the young players.
      Therefore, Sveum got fired.

      What about Brenly? Why isn’t he managing? He’s viewed as too strict.
      I think Brenly has zero chance of even being considered to manage these days.
      He’s done.

      • Ripsnorter1

        And of course, Theo is hypocritical with Sveum. Part of the
        reason Sveum got fired is Team Theo’s gaffs. For instance,
        Theo gives 23 yr old Castro $61 million dollars, and Castro goes out
        and buys a Rolls Royce, comes into camp 10 lbs heavier, complete
        with an attitude change that comes with too much money.
        Team Theo continued pushing Mr. Sveum
        to make Castro hit “the Cubs’ way.”That double dose of messing
        with Castro’s mind=a horrible year.

        Team Theo–far from being geniuses–are rookies that haven’t figured out
        that “big contracts weigh heavy on the mind.” Keith Moreland kept saying, “You cannot
        successfully change a player’s approach once they make the ML.” Too bad our
        Ivy league geniuses didn’t know that. Oh, they were told often enough–BUT THEY DIDN’T
        LISTEN–because they are Team Theo. They can’t be wrong.

        Now the big question: is the damage permanent, or just a one year thing?
        Some players have suffered permanent damage from just this kind of mental mess.

        What indications do we have that the damage is temporary?
        Answer: none. Look at Castro’s splits. He didn’t hit .300 for a single month all year.

        April…277
        May…252
        June…167
        July..292
        Aug…218
        Sept..259 against the minor league call ups

        The Cubs’ only real hope of fixing this mess is a top tier hitting coach who can
        relate to the Latin culture exceptionally well. And I mean “exceptionally well.”

        BTW, this “Cubs’ Way” hitting approach started in June, 2012. Here’s Castro’s 2012 splits:
        April..333
        May…304
        Here ya go: June…264
        July…235
        Aug…252
        Sept…311 against the minor league call ups

        • Ripsnorter1

          One more thing, folks:

          Team Theo fires Team Theo’s mistakes. Sveum took the fall
          for Team Theo. Sure, Sveum’s got his failures. But Sveum was following
          instructions about “the Cubs’ Way,” and it got him fired.

          Therefore I am looking for Team Theo to deal Castro away.
          Doesn’t do it the Cubs way. They’ll call him uncoachable.
          Theo fires Theo’s mistakes. Bury it under the rug. He’ll be traded to
          a Western division team in the other league to get him out of sight and
          hopefully, out of mind of the Cubs’ fans.

          AND I THINK HE’LL DO IT THIS OFFSEASON.

          • Tony_Hall

            I don’t see Castro being traded this off-season.

          • Ripsnorter1

            That’s where my posts will be tested in the crucible.
            If he is traded, this post will be vindicated.

          • Tony_Hall

            Could it happen, yes.

            I predict the Cubs will trade Samardzija.

            I predict that Castro is an All-Star next year with the Cubs.

            Baez will be next year’s Puig, mid-season call up that takes the game by storm.

            I predict that the Cubs will be a hot ticket next summer once Baez and Bryant get called up.

            I predict that Rip will post about another player getting an extension and buying an expensive car (why wouldn’t a young player use part of their 1st big contract on an expensive car is beyond me) and that it has ruined that player forever. (once a player is ruined by a coach or FO, they are done forever, players never learn from past experiences and work harder in the future)

            I predict that Bruce Levine will keep making things up and using a very small opening in a statement, to make a look at me item on twitter or sports talk radio, even though the person he is quoting wasn’t even thinking where he went with it.

            There if it happens I am genius…..

          • Ripsnorter1

            You forgot to predict who will be in the 2013 WS.

          • Tony_Hall

            That is happening far too soon and can be remembered when I am wrong…..

            Tigers over the Cardinals.

            Verlander, Scherzer getting 4 starts in a series and Sanchez maybe the other guys getting 2 starts will be too much for that homegrown team we despise so much from our south.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Cards make it, eh?

            I thought you might take Puig….despite the 2 game deficit. And don’t forget,
            the Cards are starting Lance Lynn in game 4. That’s a sure Dodger win……

          • Tony_Hall

            Dodgers had to win one in St. Louis. Very hard to come back and win 4 of 5 from the Cardinals.

          • Ripsnorter1

            BUT WAIT! Bruce Levine said…..

            LOL

          • Tony_Hall

            LOL!

          • Ripsnorter1

            Speaking of head cases from Latin America, Mr. Puig….
            I am concerned with Mr. Baez that he doesn’t walk down that same road.

          • Tony_Hall

            Always possible. Puig has the talent to play MLB (he is going to have improve pitch recognition as teams next year are not going to give in often to him) but he needed to spend more time in the minor to better learn how to act and behave in the majors. I believe Baez will be fine.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Puig has zero hits thus far in Playoffs vs. Cards.
            Last night: 0 for 4 with 4 K”s.
            Those Cards know how to pitch to him.

            He does lay off the “Soriano” slider. But yesterday they were
            fanning him with changeups galore.

          • Tony_Hall

            My buddy has a 6 month old greyhound dog and that is kind of what Puig reminds me of, lots of athletic ability, lots of energy, no clue what is the proper way to do things.

            And I have in fantasy baseball and am hoping he figures it out as I plan on using him as one of my keeper picks for next year.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Oh yes. He’ll grow, if he doesn’t shoot someone in the offseason.
            Or kill himself drunk driving. He’s either Caesar Cedeno or Miguel Cabrera.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Oh yes, we’d be glad to have Puig on the Cubs.

          • Tony_Hall

            We have our own, Jorge Soler.

            Remember they said Cespedes was MLB ready, Puig was raw and that Soler was the best of the 3, but would take a few years to reach the majors.

            From what I have seen of Soler so far, they are right. Soler player the game with better fundamentals than either of those 2 guys.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Slowed by injuries this year. I hope 2014 is injury free and
            he’s able to catch fire like Baez.

          • TheWrongGuy

            Soler seems to relate and perform better with Almora around. I believe they might be aligned together for reaching MLB/the 25 roster. Just my opinion of course.

          • K_Gripp

            1 in the hand is worth 2 in the bush. Soler may indeed one day be better than both Cespedes or Puig but at this point Id rather have the guys producing at the major league level.

          • Tony_Hall

            I would to, but no one knew if any of these guys would be able to produce in the majors before signing them. So in reality there was none in the hand and 3 in the bush, and lots of projecting how these guys would do.

          • No Baseball In Indiana

            Castro should have been traded two years ago.

          • RynoTiger

            Rip, it’s ok to come down off your cross for a break every now and then.

        • Tony_Hall

          Now I am starting to understand you more, you take Bruce Levine and Keith Moreland’s statements as FACTS and end all statements.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Larry, I have not heard or read that Brenly is being considered for any of the managerial openings, including the Cubs. I would like to know if he is interested in managing again. When you read some of the names being considered around the league for jobs, and Brenly is not one of them, it makes me question if he would like to leave the booth.

      • BosephHeyden

        I would be up for seeing Bob manage the Cubs if they could work out a deal where he also commentated whilst managing. I think it would be fun for him to go off on someone like Starlin Castro for not having the proper approach at the plate while Castro was also five feet away from him.

      • Larry Schwiimer

        Thanks Neil. I appreciate how responsive you are to all readers. To your point: if Brenly was interested there are plenty of ways for him to make it known. Agreed?

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          Larry, thank you and some days are better than others.

          I agree that if Brenly was/is interested there is more than one way for a team to know.

          I am curious as to why he has not been mentioned for the openings if he is looking to manage again.

  • Eugene Debs

    I just hope we continue with the sweet bunting competition.

  • Steven Petty

    Hypothetically, what could we get for Starlin In a trade? What could we get if we traded Jeff S? Only serious thinkers need to reply!

    • BosephHeyden

      Here’s the key for both: they’ve had very good success in the past and could be viewed as simply coming off of off-years. Where you could look at a top prospect and say “Look at all that potential,” you could look at both Castro and Samardzija, and not just see that they’ve had huge success in the past, but also have the potential to do more.

      Of course, this all also depends on the GM doing the trading and the team they’re being traded to. Looking at what Hoyer has gotten for Garza, Soto, Dempster, Reed Johnson, and Maholm, the easy answer is “players with a plus side that are also a few years away from being able to contribute.” If he trades them to the Reds, then going of the Marshall trade, the answer is “they pillage the Reds system of any and all top prospects.”

      Ideally, with those two players, they meet somewhere in the middle of those two trade extremes and can net a two guys that will most likely contribute in the near future (potentially even a guy who might contribute a few years down the road), plus one or two guys that could contribute right now.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Or in a single phrase, “they’ll be traded for prospects.”
        It’s a great way to get burned.

        Let’s talk Jed’s great burning trade of
        the All-Star Mr. Gonzalez from the Padres to the BoSox.

        Adrian Gonzalez went from Padres to Bosox for….
        Anthony Rizzo, Eric Patterson, Casey Kelley, and Reymond Fuentes.

        Eric Patterson: hit .180 with a horrible glove for SD. 226 career AB with .217 avg.
        Kelley: Not a ML player.
        Fuentes: hit .152 this year for SD. No ML player, imo.
        They basically got Rizzo. Is he an All-Star? No.
        So far, SD got burned royally.

        The only redeeming thing about it all for SD is that they traded Rizzo for Cashner.

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          Have you watched Fuentes play? And are you basing him not being a Major League player on 23 games, 36 at bats, or the excellent season he had in the minors?

          http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=fuente001rey

        • Bredstik

          I think it’s a little early to say that Kelly is not a MLB player. He’s coming off of Tommy John surgery now, but he was widely viewed as the centerpiece of AGon trade at the time. He was one of the Red Sox top prospects and projected as a front end of the rotation SP.

          It sounds like he should be ready for spring training and will compete for a job in the Padres’ rotation.

        • John_CC

          Who was on the winning end of this trade then?

          This critique is comical!

  • SuzyS

    Fenway Paak looks great tonight…reminding me of many a good time there…Hope the Sox win…and look forward to the day Wrigley is hosting these events again!!!

  • Wes

    Everytime I see a comment with a Bull in it, I just skip reading and move the next comment

  • Zach Rollins

    The only thing hot about Trey McNutt is his wife at this point.. Does anyone think McNutt or Dolis will be back at the top soon?