Cubs News and Notes: Yoennis Cespedes, GM Meetings, Zambrano, Manager Search

Cubs News and Notes: Yoennis Cespedes, GM Meetings, Zambrano, Manager Search
Yoennis Cespedes

A few Sunday Cubs news and notes to have with your morning coffee...

  • According to Carrie Muskat, the Cubs are planning to work out Yoennis Cespedes.  We've talked about Cespedes in a previous article.
  • The GM meetings will be held on Nov. 14th and 15th.  There probably won't be any major moves but Epstein, Hoyer, and Cherington are expected to meet for a face to face talk on compensation.
  • CSN's Patrick Mooney expects Epstein and Hoyer to focus on defense and pitching.
  • Carlos Zambrano had a so-so outing in the Venezuelan League as he pitched 6 innings and  gave up 3 runs on 5 hits, including 2 HRs.   He also struck out 5 batters.
  • Speaking of Carlos Zambrano, Christina Kahrl suggests that a Zambrano for Chone Figgins deal could help both teams.
  • The Houston Astros signed former Cubs farmhand Brad Snyder to a minor league deal.  The 29 year old Snyder played parts of two seasons with the Cubs, hitting .167 with no HRs in 36 ABs.
  • Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe predicts that the Red Sox will choose Dale Sveum and the Cubs will choose Mike Maddux.
  • Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago, meanwhile, pegs Sandy Alomar, Jr as the slight favorite.
  • Terry Francona is not the right fit, according to Jon Greenberg.
  • MLBTradeRumors is saying that the Padres are reluctant to deal Chase Headley.  We've talked about Headley being a good fit for the Cubs.
  • Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune says that Theo Epstein has started preliminary talks with Kerry Wood and that the Cubs expect him to return.

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  • Lets hope the compensation is not as bad I fear.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    Boston continues to be completely unreasonable and holding up Theo to be much more valuable than any GM in the history of the game. I'm sure ownership/Lucchino is behind it, though. I'd like to think Cherington is a lot smarter than that.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    They're being unreasonable re compensation, and we're not? I don't think we know enough about this to make an informed judgment. John, it sounds a bit like Cubbie-side bias. What is the top GM of his era worth when he's still so young and had a year left on his contract? Not much precedent. Lotta subjective gray area. And we've heard names, but we're really all on the outside guessing.

  • In reply to michaelc:

    I don't think I'm not biased here at all. I'm looking at every objective measurement. If you look at precedent for GM compensation, i.e. McPhail...or if you look at salary and WAR, like TangoTiger did..or if you look at the opinions by Olney, Callis, and other national writers the conclusion is pretty much the same. By any angle, the Red Sox stand alone. Even Gammons is starting to back off on his previously unrealistic expectations.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    John, what IS the story with the compensation? Here it is 12 November, and still nothing. Selig's "finish it or I will" dictum was nearly a fortnight ago. At some point this unresolved issue might start interfering in the rebuilding of the roster - even if it is a "medium" piece like Flaherty. I do not like the idea that Theo's hands could be tied because player X MAY be part of the compensation, and thus putting the breaks on a different deal. Have to believe that Selig would have to step in should Theo complain that Boston's stubbornness is preventing him from making deals. Also, it is getting harder to believe that compensation will be tied to the manager selection (as has been suggested), now that Boston has also interviewed Lamont, meaning that 2 of the 5 Boston interviewees have not been interviewed by the Cubs.

  • In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    They were given an extension until the GM meetings until they can meet face to face. I don't think the Red Sox are going to change anything. They'd rather let Selig make the decision than take a fair deal. Their ownership and their media have built this up like they were going to make the Cubs pay a premium, but it's not going to happen. I think deep down they know this and are willing to punt and let Selig be "the bad guy".

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Thanks, John. Mid-week, then, eh?

  • In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    Hopefully, you'd think they want to have this done before entering the winter meetings.

  • I love the idea of Cespedes. Man, I watched that video on him.....I know it is supposed to hype him up but did you see the body on that guy!?!?! There isn't an ounce of fat on him. He's young and cheaper than Fukudome was, I say sign him tomorrow!!!

    A possible crazy idea here. I don't know what kind of defense at 1B he has, but I saw a report today that Ryan Doumit received an offer from an unspecified NL team today. A little injured last year but batted .303/.353/.477 with with eight homers, 30 RBI and an .830 OPS over 236 plate appearances.

    Sounds like if we can get him cheap that the offer might have come from the Cubs if his defense isn't terrible.

    And he's only 30 years old. If Lahair isn't the chosen one, maybe we'll see Doumit who always seems like he's killing the ball at Wrigley.

  • In reply to Still Love the Cubs:

    In general, Doumit's not been good at defense. The bat is solid though when he's healthy, and he's versatile. If we get him cheap, I'm okay with it.

  • I need to see if I can get my dealer to meet with Christina Karl's dealer. Because I want whatever she's smoking. This is an instance where looking away from the numbers and just watching the game "numberless" would really help. Her angle makes sense ON PAPER. But Chone Figgins is done diggity-dun-diggity Done! ("Hazy shade of criminal" - one of my favorite P.E. tracks of all time. ). Picking him up simply gives us a different colored problem.

    I guess I'm gonna put the list of Headly Lamar jokes right next to the picture of my Bobby V picture with the insignia "It was a pleasure to win the World Series for you Adam. Good Luck. Bobby V" insignia on it. Shame really. I had hopes for those jokes. Lukewarm on Headley, but really would have liked those jokes.......

  • In reply to felzz:

    I'm not sure what the deal is with Figgins but I do share your fears. He's kind of a little guy and he's played some physically demanding positions. I wonder if he would have been best off in his career as a supersub who gets a lot of ABs with a good share of time in the OF.

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    I feel certain that it will be Maddux as manager. Not based on brotherly sentiment, although subconsciously I think it is in the equation, but in the signal that Hoyer is saying. He says that pitching and defense are the cornerstone for improving the Cubs. Remember too that he hired Bud Black and was very happy with the results. Who has had the greatest results in improving the pitching? Maddux of course.

    Maddux may be more open to statistical guidance from Theoyer since his experience from a position player point of view is less in stone since he is a pitcher. Plus it seems logical that the next frontier in sabermetrics will be in pitching, where its wide open in getting an edge in performance. I feel certain it will be Maddux.

  • In reply to John from Denmark:

    I was certain it was going to be Maddux but I think Alomar is coming on strong. He knows a lot about both pitching and defense himself as a former Gold Glove catcher.

    I'm almost certain it will be one of those two with Maddux the slight favorite.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I\|d have to agree with the 2nd choice as Alomar being a catcher, plus he\s Latin and all that goings with the current emphasis in that direction It is a logical choice.
    Maddux has redefined some pitching ideas together with the Ryan Express and have had injury free years while lowering ERA dramatically. I think this is the next frontier for the Theocrats.This is the pick imo. Irregardless of Greg.

  • In reply to John from Denmark:

    I've been thinking that we need a good, common but catchy reference for the new front office, especially since it does not seem like there is only one guy making having major input. I mean, Hendry alone has been replaced now by a total of, how many - 4 guys?

    "The Theocrats" certainly has a nice ring to it. Much better than "Theoyer" IMO.

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    Cespedes could be an opportunity to add both offense and defense. It's an opportunity that has to be looked into, especially if he really is 26 years old.

    I agree that pitching and defense are the fastest ways to improve this team. However, I'm not so sure what a Zambrano for Figgins deal does for us. Figgins never was a power hitter. So a switch to that ballpark shouldn't have affected him all that much. Figgins is signed through 2013 for the almost same total amount of money ($17M) that Zambrano will make in 2012 ($18M). They both have vesting options. Zambrano's 2013 option is worth $19.25M, and it automatically vests if he finishes in the top 4 in Cy Young voting and he is healthy in 2012. Figgin's 2014 option is worth $9M, and it automatically vests if he gets 600 PA. Moneywise, it could be made to work, but I don't think getting Figgins out of that ball park is going to change anything for him. He's been worse on the road than he has at home. On the other hand, that ball park might actually help Zambrano, but here is the key for me. While Zambrano's skills have decline over the last couple of years, Figgins skills have declined more, and he isn't even drawing walks like he did in his prime. I'd rather keep Zambrano and pay him for 2012 than make that deal.

    My guess is that, if Zambrano is dealt, it will be before the Rule V Draft, the Cubs will pay, based on his WAR, about $14M of his 2012 salary, and it will be for some low level pitching prospects that don't have to be protected yet. I don't think the 2013 option is anything to be concerned about, and if Zambrano did finish in the top four in Cy Young balloting, whoever trades for him will have gotten a bargain. If he can't be dealt before the Rule V Draft, then the Cubs will release him outright, though they may attempt to renegotiate the remainder of his contract before doing so.

    San Diego is very concerned about dealing Headley. They're aware of his home/away splits as anyone, and they know he's going to blow up in the midst of his prime years once he leaves. No team is going to get him cheaply, but if he stays healthy and he performs as expected, he will probably be worth the price payed, and if the Cubs signed Cespedes, they would then have more depth to deal from. I wouldn't give them Brett Jackson as part of a package, but Matt Szczur wouldn't be off the table if they wanted him as part of a package. Afterall, we are talking about a guy in Headley who is under control for two more season, and the Cubs would probably give him an extension to buy out some of his free agent years.

    I'm glad to hear they are talking to Woody. I think they'll need a veteran presence in the bullpen. I'm all for trading Marmol while he still has value, and letting Wood close in 2012.

    I don't think Francona is going to be the guy either. If he is, his entire introductory presser is going to be about fried chicken and beer. I'm okay with any of the guys they interviewed. They're all qualified. They wouldn't have been there in the first place if they weren't.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    I'm very much in favor of making a run at Cespedes because of the position he plays, his age and the fact that the Cubs are thin at the upper levels. And the projected salary of 5 years at 30-50M is reasonable even if he ends up being an average player.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    I am in complete agreement with you, as per the usual. If you add Cespedes, even if he is only average, all of the sudden it isn't such a huge deal if Matt Sczcur doesn't pan out, and it gives you the option to deal from depth to get something else you might need.

  • I heard Cespedes might not be eligible for free agency for up to 2 months from now, any truth to that?

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    It is true. It's going to depend on how the visa process goes. I don't think it's going to matter much for the Cubs, though, in terms of their interest. It might even help. I'm hoping that win-now teams may not want to wait.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    That's a good point.

  • This will really play into the Cubs favor, like you said John a lot of teams don't want to wait that long. The Cubs have the luxury to wait, Cespedes might be a superstar but it looks like he can be a good everyday player. The truth is that the real superstars in Cuba usually don't leave, they are the ones who get special treatment by the regime there and have no incentive to leave.

  • In reply to Steve Flores:

    I hope that narrows the field. There's a lot of teams on him right now. Cespedes really is considered a star down there, though. MLB scouts have been following him for years.

  • fb_avatar

    In a non-thread related note, the Deadbirds hired Mike Matheny to replace LaRussa.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    I saw that. Boy did Oquendo get screwed. He's been groomed for years and the Cards had denied permission for him to interview for other jobs in the past, I believe. The word is that Matheny blew them away.

    At least Cubs fans can relax that Ryno won't manage the Cards.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    That's what I heard too, that Matheny "wowed" the GM in the interview. Then again, the Cardinals have been kind of hyping Matheny as a future manager ever since he retired, so it's not that surprising . Oquendo did get screwed though, he was all but promised the job for a while and other teams were denied access to speak with him for other managing jobs.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Steve Flores:

    Just thinking out loud here, but I wonder if Oquendo would be a good add to the Cubs coaching staff from a defensive stand point.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    I'd take him as our 3B coach in a heartbeat. I can't see him staying in STL after getting screwed out of the manager's job. What better way to stick it to 'em then signing with the Cubs. I'm not sure if he's still under contract though.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    He could add a lot. Not just a great coach but very popular with players.

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