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.

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO and @TheCCO_Minors

Quote of the Day

"The riches of the game are in the thrills, not in the money." – Ernie Banks

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  • Ripsnorter1

    The Nats just outrighted Chris Marrero off of their roster.
    He was one of the Nats #1 picks (2006-15th overall). The 1B hit
    .270/.331/.402 in AAA last year, and his MLB career stats are .232/.256/.272 slugging. Not much power. NO speed (6 career SB/14 career CS). But he’s a former #1, and you know who likes to pick up former #1’s off of the scrap heap.

    FYI the Cubs took Tyler Colvin that year at #13. BoSox took Bard at #28.

    • Ripsnorter1




      2010 draft: Hayden Simpson. Aaron immediately called it a bust and….he was right.

      2009–Brett Jackson.




      2005–Mark Pawelek

      1969–Roger Metzger, who evently won a Gold Glove for the Astros.

      • Sonate

        Hold on a sec Rip. I agree that the Cubs have been horrible drafters, but in 1982 Shawon Dunston was the #1 pick, not Tony Woods or Stan Boderick? And although Dunston didn’t live up to expectations, he had a long and respectable career.

        • Ripsnorter1

          My source failed me. I fixed the error, Sonate, and thank you for pointing it out. The
          Cubs drafted 3 players in the first round. Only Dunston made it.

      • K_Gripp

        I performed this exercise a couple of months back and almost puked. It always hurts more when you look at other first rounders that we passed up on.

        • Ripsnorter1

          No doubt. We picked Dunston over Gooden. That hurt. But the biggest hurt is there have
          been so very few that made it to MLB as starters.

          Outside of pitchers, the Cubs #1 picks have made only these positional starters:
          Roger Metzger, Astros. Never started for the Cubs.
          Corey Patterson.
          Doug Glanville.
          Derrick May.
          Joe Carter.

          Dunston and Patterson started everyday for us for more than one year. The others

          played everyday for a different team.

      • Zonk

        Compare the Cardinals 2009 draft to ours……it’s no wonder we are so far behind

        2009 was a bad draft for us, but 2010 was a train wreck. Right now, Szczur is the only top-30 prospect, and that’s only 2 1/2 years later. BAD!

      • SuzyS

        Rip, a pretty disgusting record. Thanks for your work on this.
        Theo’s work is even more amazing in light of this dismal record.
        It takes an organizational total commitment and $$$ to make this plan work…Something the Cubs have never ever done.
        The next few years are really going to be interesting. As a fan, I’m fascinated with the whole rebuild plan.
        So many pitfalls that could derail the whole thing…and yet…I really have faith that we’re going to do it…

        • mutantbeast

          Suzy, our drafting largely sucked because the ownership stunk. Zell and the Trib wanted the big league team to win so they could increase the value when they sold the team. They neglected the scouting dept, refused to pay the $ for improving scouting or international scouting, consequently you end up with someone like a Hayden Simpson or a Mark Pawelek. One thing I have to gve Ricketts credit for is he isnt afraid to spend money to improve the scouting dept or sign intl FAs.

      • 07GreyDigger

        Rip, that is exactly why the rebuilding was necessary. Look at all the awful drafting that has been done for the past couple of decades. Of course they haven’t won anything. Say what you will about the Yankees buying championships, but they drafted Jeter, Pettite and Rivera. Hard not to win without them.

      • CubbyDenCritic

        At least Cubs picked Maddux after D. Hal.
        And Metzger lost his fingers in a saw accident years later.

  • Tony_Hall

    I love all the talk that Theo isn’t going to be around once his contract is up, or could get fired if they lose to many games the next 2 years, yet he was hired by Ricketts to do, exactly what he is doing, rebuild the team from the ground up. He was given a team that had been trying to win and yet still was losing, that had an older team, with a near empty farm system of impact talent (in hindsight the 2011 draft was huge and the last draft you could overspend and happened due to Ricketts directing the money to go the draft, even though he already knew he was going to fire JH).

    So I am sure this has come at a cost, the Ricketts investment must have been hurt with all this losing, yet the team is estimated to be worth either 1 BILLION or 1.2 BILLION dollars. Up from the $845M they paid. That is a pretty good return, what do you think the value of this team will be when the team is making the playoffs year after year and what will it be after they win a World Series….I hope we all find out, but this leads me to believe that maybe the Ricketts are smarter than we think. Re-invest all of the cash flow back into the team, in the early years funnel more of it into facilities and younger players and once the foundation is built both organizationally and structurally, then you can maintain things much easier and cheaper and focus on paying off debt and spending money on keeping and securing elite players on the major league team.

    I don’t think Theo is going anywhere, he has done a very good job of rebuilding the farm system and doing it in just 2 years, is faster then anyone could have predicted it could be done. Now about that major league team…

    • K_Gripp

      You are correct. Theo will get a second contract regardless of the results on the field in the next two years. I’m sure Tom Ricketts would love to get that team value to the 2 billion dollar club with the Yanks and the Sox. Really no reason they cant do it. Big Market, Historical Team, Historical Park, and a winning franchise. We need to work on that whole winning thing.

      • CubbyDenCritic

        If Theo does exit the Cubs, look for a guy in a gorilla suit leaving Wrigley.

  • Tom U

    Ryan Searle will once again be pitching for the Brisbane Bandits in the Australian Baseball League this winter.

    • SuzyS

      Tom…If Searle stays healthy this year…do you see him doing anything at this point?
      He was really great last off season. I was really disappointed went he got hurt.

      • Tom U

        I’m not sure whether the Cubs’ brass has decided if Searle is a starter or reliever.

    • CubbyDenCritic

      Couple a years ago, they showed these games on MLB TV. One game was from Perth.

  • Sonate

    Great financial recap Neil. A question. You state that Bloomberg shows the Cubs with a $39 million loss last year. However, that number was posted under the heading “Revenue Sharing.” So I wondering if the $39 million was not a “bottom line”, but rather a line item for luxury taxes (on payroll, “fees” for exceeding guidelines for draft picks, international signings, etc). I only checked the Bloomberg graphic and have not read the whole article, so I am unsure. But if you check that “Revenue Sharing” number, the teams with less revenue have positive numbers while teams with higher revenue have negative numbers, consistent with the notion of fees/taxes assessed by MLB rather than a bottom line number.

    • Neil

      Thank you for catching, I have corrected/removed that line.

  • SuzyS

    To Cubsfaninseattle…just saw a tweet that the Cubs did indeed interview Eric Wedge. Kudo’s to you for suggesting him last week.

    • SuzyS

      Correct that…they talked with Wedge and plan to interview him next week.
      I read up on Wedge last week…He brings a lot to the table…and I think he’s be a good manager for the Cubs…with one big question…he suffered a minor stroke last July at age 45. What would managing the Cubs do to his health?

    • Theboardrider

      When I saw that report the first thing I thought of was Seattle’s post too! I agree, kudos…

  • CubbyDenCritic

    And the New Manager is………………Matt Williams for the Nationals.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    DAY 25 for the Search of the Next Cubs Manager.
    The Red Cross has brought in sniffing search dogs to help Theo find his next manager.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    I should mention those dogs are Chiwawa’s

    • mutantbeast

      Its spelled Chuhauhas

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  • Dorasaga

    I just found something weird out of the Bloomberg graph. The O’s have the 4th richest Regional broadcast at 492M, while the Nats have the 12th at 108M. I thought both clubs share MASN??