No Mystery about Bryant and Almora Being All-Stars and Other Cubs Notes

According to reports from Jesse Rogers, both Kris Bryant and Albert Almora will participate in the Arizona Fall League All-Star game. The AFL All-Star game is scheduled for November 2 and the MLB Network will televise the game from Surprise Stadium.

Kris Bryant is leading the AFL in both home runs and RBI. After nine games, Bryant is hitting .405/.452/.838 with four doubles, four home runs, four walks, two stolen bases, 13 RBI and a 1.290 OPS. Bryant has played mostly third base and has served as the Solar Sox’s DH.

Albert Almora has played both centerfield and right field in seven games this fall. Almora is hitting .379/.400/.690 with four doubles, one triple, one home run, one walk and a 1.090 OPS.

The Fall Stars teams have not officially been announced but the game should be fun to watch, especially with Bryant and Almora participating in the annual event.

Updating the Skipper Search

While there was a lot of speculation on the two mystery candidates on Thursday, the Cubs skipper search was rather quiet for the first time since Dale Sveum was dismissed.

The Cubs have not started the second round of interviews yet as the front office waits to talk to Torey Lovullo. The second round of interviews could begin next week according to Patrick Mooney.

Rick Renteria, who many think is the leading candidate for the Cubs’ job, interviewed with the Mariners on Thursday for their managerial opening. Renteria met with Jack Zduriencik on Thursday according to Greg Johns.

The Mariners and Cubs could have two of the same names on their managerial lists. The Cubs have been linked to Brad Ausmus but have yet to ask the Padres for permission to speak with him. The Mariners are believed to have interest in Ausmus as well, and he has already interviewed for the Nationals’ gig. The Cubs are not believed to be interested in Ausmus due to his inexperience.

The Tigers are believed to have interest in Torey Lovullo to replace Jim Leyland. The Tigers interviewed Lloyd McClendon on Thursday. McClendon, who played for the Cubs in 1989 and 1990, said he thought the interview went “very well.”

According to Patrick Mooney, three of the candidates that interviewed for the job two years ago are not in play this time around. Mooney reported DeMarlo Hale, Mike Maddux and Sandy Alomar Jr. are not on the Cubs managerial list. Jason Varitek, Tony Pena, Jose Oquendo, Dave Magadan and Chip Hale can also be crossed off the mystery list according to Mooney.

Cubs Valued at $1.2 Billion

According to a report from Bloomberg Sports, the Cubs are the fifth most valuable team in Major League Baseball. The Cubs have a total value of $1.2 billion according to Bloomberg, which is very close to the $1 billion that Forbes estimated the value of the team in March of this year.

The Ricketts family purchased the Cubs, Wrigley Field and a 25 percent stake in Comcast SportsNet in October 2009 for $845 million.

The total team revenue last season was $320 million, fourth in the majors. $128 million came via ticket sales, $30 million concessions and $3 million in parking. The Cubs received $18 million in sponsorships, which is an incredibly low 19th in baseball. By comparison, the Red Sox received $40 million and the Yankees took in $84 million. The Cubs were paid $90 million for their media rights, which is sixth in the league. And by comparison again, the Yankees received $158 million while the Red Sox took in $89 million.

Ten teams in baseball are worth more than $1 billion and both the Yankees and Red Sox are valued at more than $2 billion according to the report.

Minor League Transactions

The Cubs re-signed RHP Ryan Searle to a minor league contract. Searle posted a 2-3 record in 11 games, five starts, last season with the AZL Cubs and D-Cubs with a 5.51 ERA and a 1.56 WHIP. Searle spent a majority of the year on the disabled list after putting together a solid 2012 campaign. Searle was 8-5 in 42 games, five starts, in three starts in the Cubs system in 2012 with a 3.87 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP.

The Cubs released RHP Ethan Elias and LHP Luis Villalba. The 20-year old Elias was 3-1 last year with Boise and the AZL Cubs with a 4.20 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP in 15 relief appearances. The lefty Villalba managed a 1-2 record in 16 relief appearances with the AZL Cubs. The 20-year old gave up 26 hits with 32 strikeouts and seven walks in 25 innings (2.52 ERA, 1.32 WHIP).

News and Notes

Jorge Soler returned to Arizona and was in Mesa’s starting lineup on Thursday after dealing with residency issues. Soler played right field and responded with a 3-for-4 day at the plate that included two RBI and a run scored.

Rolling Stone ranked Wrigley Field as the second best venue in which to watch a concert. Madison Square Garden beat out the old ballyard at the corner of Clark and Addison.

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Quote of the Day

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