Theo Epstein has spoken. He is letting you know one, maybe two, things.
One, the rebuilding plan is working and he sees it coming to fruition. The talent is on its way up he says. The other is the Cubs are apparently open for business and that could mean Matt Garza is on the way out. First let’s deal with Theo’s comments on the system and its progress.
Bruce Levine had the story with some quotes from the Cubs President that caught my eye. We have heard some repeated general sound bites from both Epstein and Jed Hoyer when it comes to this rebuilding plan. This time Epstein was putting his front office out there a bit by declaring there is talent on the way.
“I think there is a real wave of talent coming through our minor leagues that will be fun for our fans to watch,” Epstein said. “We hope they get to know them really well over a long period of time that includes many, many winning seasons.”
Epstein has been telling us to be patient, but he is letting you know he sees the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s not something I think we have heard in these terms to date. Getting back to the patient thing, Theo also hints that the educated Cubs fan gets what is happening.
“You want to please your fans by putting a winning team on the field at the major league level,” Epstein said. “That is the most important thing. But I do think most real baseball fans do get excited about young players. Even ones that are still in the minor leagues. They like to follow them, see them improve a little bit before they become stars.”
The other issue at hand is it sounds like Matt Garza is on the block. There was some talk of the Cubs and Garza coming together on a team-friendly extension. There seems to be nothing going on there.
Additionally, when you see two or more Cubs beat reporters having a similar angle (Garza being moved) it usually indicates a movement of sorts. It could be the Cubs FO way of letting people know Garza is getting moved, or it could be a ploy in a negotiation that may be on the table.
We suspect the former. What we're hearing right now is that they are laying the groundwork for potential deals. His health and the potential for making a qualifying offer are the X-factors. Indications are that they are now leaning toward dealing Garza, though another source indicated that he's not sure the Cubs can get value for Garza at this point.
When Theo does deal his best chip he will be looking for wait for it…pitching of course. He isn’t overly concerned he will be able to find it.
"Just a couple of years ago there were a lot of young pitchers traded," he said. "Gio Gonzalez was traded and (Trevor) Cahill. I think teams will still trade their young pitching. That was our focus last year; we tried to get a pitcher in every deal. If we end up going that route this year, pitching will be a focus."
Theo says, “If we end up going that route”.
With the Cubs sitting at 25-38 I think they already have.