Time for some early morning news and notes on the Cubs GM soap opera. Some of the news is conflicting, but the stuff I heard and read late in the day indicates that the Cubs are finally on the brink of making this all official.
- I seemed to spend much of the day making my case on why the Cubs shouldn't be so quick to hand over top prospects as compensation. It began with Rosenbloom and was fueled by Peter Gammons, who said that McNutt would be the 25th ranked prospect in Boston's system. Apparently he forgot that BA had the Cubs system ranked slightly higher than the Red Sox. Prospect experts Jim Callis of BA and Kevin Goldstein, along with the site Fangraphs all disagreed with Gammons.
- Gammons also caused something of a flap by suggesting that the Cubs were represented only by Tom Ricketts and Crane Kenney, and that they had no knowledge of the Cubs prospects. The implication was that the Cubs were unprofessional and that Kenney was holding up negotiations. There are two things that make me highly doubt the accuracy of that story. The first is that his assessment of McNutt and the organizational strength of both teams was so ridiculously off base that you have to wonder where he's getting any of his information and secondly, he works for NESN which is basically an arm of the Red Sox empire. I have no problem believing Kenney was there, but it was almost certainly for the business end of the spectrum.
- Despite this bump in the road, Cubs fans should soon be able to exhale. There were reports from multiple sources throughout the day that the Cubs had made significant progress in the compensation negotiations. David Kaplan tweeted this late Wednesday night...
@thekapman: I just spoke with two excellent sources on Epstein negotiations and it appears deal is basically done with announcement of agreement tmrw.
- John Morosi of Fox Sports tweeted...
- Morosi's tweet, of course, added some fuel to the fire that the Red Sox, specifically Larry Lucchino, were the real cause of the delay and that the Padres were much easier to deal with. It's also been said that Ricketts has a much closer relationship with Padres owner Jeff Moorad than he does with Red Sox ownership. Moorad is also said to be very close with Josh Byrnes, so he could be okay with letting Hoyer go so that Byrnes gets his opportunity to be a GM again.
Well, it looks like this could all get resolved by tomorrow sometime and we can move on to more on the field concerns, although there will certainly be some front office positions to be filled. There will also be that certain little matter of the Cubs managerial position to address. Stay tuned.