This is something of a formality because almost all the Cubs players are in camp early, but today is the official day for position players to report. The only players who have not yet reported are Alfonso Soriano, Starlin Castro, Blake DeWitt, and prospect Jae Hoon Ha. I'm going to be honest here and say I'm a little disappointed Castro didn't come into camp early and start working on his defense, but I'll reserve comment until I know more. Then again, I'll even be more disappointed if he comes in late.
- The veterans that are in camp are really buying into the rebuild and Sveum had a lot of praise for Matt Garza, Geovanny Soto, Kerry Wood, and Ryan Dempster. The latter two names are expected as they've been team leaders for a while now, but it's nice to see Garza and Soto emerge into those kind of leadership roles.
- Sveum does not intend to platoon players, which includes Ian Stewart who has hit .223 against them in his career. David DeJesus hit .174 against lefties last year, but a respectable .264 against them in his career.
- The bunting contest starts today. There are only 62 players in camp, so manager Dale Sveum and strength conditioning coach Tim Buss are in on the competition. Not that I'm a huge fan of bunting, but it's probably not a good think if Buss wins. For the record, he draws prospect Chris Rusin in the first round. "The pressure's on me", he said. Overall, I think it's a great idea. The players are really into it as you can read here.
- Jed Hoyer spoke yesterday on CH Confidential and Ivy Envy has a nice recap. Hoyer had some interesting things to say about Anthony Rizzo, compensation, and why the Cubs didn't pursue a big name player. Of course, we've talked about that here as well when the Cubs were said to be "pursuing" Fielder. It turns out that pursuit never happened at all, according to LaHair. Not that anyone should really be surprised.
- As for the Theo Epstein compensation, there are very different opinions coming from Chicago and Boston. Bruce Levine of ESPN believes the cost was too high, saying the Cubs should have given up a low level player and cash. In Boston, there's a Rosenbloom-like rant on WEEI about how Boston bungled the whole thing and should have held Theo Epstein hostage. My opinion was that it was fair, as does the reader poll, -- especially given the circumstances where Boston wouldn't settle for what was precedent and Lucchino got everyone obsessed with the word "significant". I lean toward Levine's thought it should have been a lower level player and cash. But if you ask me if the low level player should have been Ben Wells or Reggie Golden (both ranked lower than Carpenter by BA), I would have been much more disappointed -- even if they never make it at all. Carpenter is a reliever, and as I wrote a couple of days ago, the Cubs have plenty of those in the system.