Cubs Notes: Jimenez, Torres, Bard, Yoon, Bryant, WGN Radio deal

With the manager news slowing down now that all the candidates have been named, let's round up some of the other news and notes around the league....

UPDATE: I moved the manager updates (and added a couple more) and moved them to a separate post.  You can see that here.

  • Carrie Muskat writes about Cubs international bonus babies Eloy Jimenez and Gleyber Torres.  Coaches and players are amazed at how advanced they are at such a young age, so much so that it seems their biggest adjustment right now seems to be adjusting to American culture.  "Their talent is incredible," coach Ray  Fuentes said of Jimenez and Torres. "We were taking batting practice the other day, and one of the American players, who is probably 22 or 23 [years old], [was watching] I believe it was Gleybar hitting, and the kid said, 'At 16 years old, I was a sophomore in high school and I was going to geometry class, and this kid is in professional baseball and outhitting some of us.' It's amazing what they're doing."  Fuentes is also helping the pair learn English, taking them to restaurants and showing them how to order, teaching them baseball related English, etc.  It seems the Cubs have high hopes, as do the players.  Both think that they can get to the majors in 4 years, perhaps less.
  • Daniel Bard will be an interesting tender decision.  The Cubs picked him up off of waivers late in the season to try and get quick look to see if he can help in 2014, but he has yet to take the mound.  The Cubs will get a look at him as he will play for Caguas, a winter ball team in Puerto Rico.  The 28 year old RHP had an unsuccessful conversion to the starting rotation and the Cubs are expected to return him to the bullpen, where he was once one of the top young set-up men in all of baseball.
  • The Cubs are once again looking toward the Pacific Rim for pitching but right now it's not Masahiro Tanaka, who isn't available yet.  They're looking at Korean RHP Suk-Min Yoon and it appears they're interest is serious.  Yoon can both start and relieve and he's in his prime at age 27.  We'll have more on him later.
  • Colleague Paul Banks wrote a piece on Kris Bryant and Albert Almora's hot starts in the fall league.  Speaking of Bryant, scroll below to see video of him taking BP in the AZL, courtesy of Baseball America.
  • Ed Sherman of the Chicago Tribune writes that WGN Radio is re-opening their deal with the Cubs as allowed by their original agreement.  It seems the station is losing money on Cubs broadcasts and wants to continue their relationship --but at a discount.  Tom Loxas adds that ESPN 1000 or The Score could come into play here.
  • Below is that Baseball America video on Kris Bryant...

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  • I thought everyone knew that it was Palmiero not Martinez.

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    In reply to BLOOMIE1937:

    Who knows? If you Google Cindy Sandberg affairs, his name will come up along with Palmiero's and Grace's. You'll even find stuff out there about Jerome Walton and Dwight Smith in conjunction with her. None of it has ever been substantiated. Just like it has never been substantiated that Sandberg ever went to the front office or ownership and asked that anyone ever be traded because they were having an affair with his wife.

    The only one of the rumors I really believe is Palmiero. Brady Anderson's ex all but admitted she was boinking Palmiero, and he never denied it, but I still don't believe he was traded because of it. I think Jim Frey was just an idiot. He made a lot of bad moves during his tenure.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Actually, the Grace rumors were vindicated by both Cindy and Ryne, but not the others. Still, that doesn't prove that any are true, but a gentleman will never tell. Only the phantom knows. Probably all have moved on by now.

  • In reply to BLOOMIE1937:

    Did Palmiero really bang Sandberg's wife? I figured that was just a rumor. But I'm in Baltimore right now and my customer was telling me how they once delayed the start of an Orioles game because Ripkin was running late. I then mentioned that I once heard Ripkin caught his wife in bed with Kevin Costner and he responded saying that was why he was late.Figured that was all literally wives tails, but now starting to wonder.

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    I almost have to think they're looking at Yoon as a reliever.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    He supposedly wants to sign somewhere that will give him a spot in the rotation .

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Michael ... I just put this here to talk about Yoon. I am guessing Yoon is a 3-5 starter and a middle relief guy? What would the advantages of getting him from Korea? It would seem to me a guy his caliber are a dime a dozen. Why wouldn't we just create that thru the system and save that money toward a top of line pitcher or position player?

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Probably because Yoon will come pretty cheap, and he is ready now. I would be surprised if he gets more than 2 years, 7 million or so.

  • Good stuff as usual John !!! PS did you see where my draft favorite Nola started out in the BA Top 50? # 10 , not a # 3 rated that high I wouldnt think. Liked the Hoffman scouting report as well. Also question, Perhaps You or Kevin can find out if Rodon had some shoulder issues last year , I read a scouting site that said He battled shoulder issues all last year. Thanks .

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    I think it's a mistake to read too much into that Sherman column. He cites broadcast sources, which likely means other Trib employees within WGN radio. It smells to me much more like the opening shot in negotiations than anything else -- complete with reasons the Cubs can't possibly go anywhere else.

  • OT, but just read Carrie Muskat's article on Jake Arrieta in Vineline and now I'm reluctant to part with him for CarGo. He was TOR dominant -- giving up one run or less -- in 5 of his 9 Cub starts. Yes, he had a couple of clunkers, but he's got soooo much potential. He certainly could turn out to be next year's big pleasant surprise. Hard to believe FO got him AND Strop for 3 month of Scott Feldman!

  • In reply to Nondorf:

    Arrieta and Strop have a chance to make the Feldman trade one of the best ones I can remember for any team! I'm sure Colorado's quite reluctant to part with CarGo for Jake Arrieta. Hopefully by this time next year he's our #2 or 3 starter!

  • In reply to Nondorf:

    I think he'll be here next year. I just know that Colorado likes him, doesn't mean Cubs will deal him or deal for CarGo at all. Price has to be right.

  • Are there any more updates on other players at the instructs? Say Vizcaino or some of the recent draft picks who may be there.

  • In reply to Buzz:

    AZ Phil is down there and does recaps almost daily. The stands are empty, so it doesn't really get coverage unless there is someone there to see it firsthand.

  • Hey good call to me when I asked/wondered if the Cubs would be interested in Yoon when he became available.

  • In reply to Caps:

    I remember that. I'm doing some checking on him. If I find out more I'll let you guys know.

  • I'm really pumped about the chance for a bullpen turnaround in 2014! Guys like Bard are so key. If we look at the Pirates team this year, they won the bullpen lottery. They had Mazzaro, Watson, & Wilson all have 70+ IP with sub-3 ERA's and about 20 fewer hits than innings pitched, Jeanmar Gomez with 80.2 IP and a 3.35, and Bryan Morris with a 3.46 in 65 IP. That's a lot of excellent work from a group of nobodies! Throw in Melancon's career year and another great year from Grilli and its outstanding. I don't think they duplicate that next year.

    Take a bullpen like that and transplant it onto the Cubs and all of a sudden we'll have a good shot at meaningful September baseball. I think we have gathered enough good arms to have a chance. Hopefully everyone can stay healthy, improve, and contribute!

    John, have you heard anything about Marcos Mateo? If I'm not mistaken he's a minor league FA. He came back late and pitched pretty well. The majors are littered with one inning bullpen guys in their late 20's with rebuilt arms and little fanfare. I'm hoping they give him a shot. I never sleep on a man trying to resurrect a career!

  • In reply to Ben20:

    I agree. The bullpen should be a lot better in 2014 then it was this past season. I think we could have had a 20 game swing if guys would have done there jobs and people been put in at right times. Still need a solid lefty to come out of pen, but we are improved with the others.

  • In reply to Ben20:

    I'm definitely pumped for 2014. But we gotta get Tanaka and some offensive help.

    They can contribute some, but not really thrilled with relying on either Sweeney or Bogie for offensive juice and then, of course, there's what to do about Barney and 2B? I'm hopeful (and here's all the ifs) that Olt takes the reigns at 3B, Lake in LF shows he was no fluke, Castro and Rizzo get it together, Castillo continues to progress and impress. He just need an OBP guy in CF (Choo? Ellsbury?). Also, not really sold on Nate being the answer in RF.

    But how about Bryant goes to AAA and smashes and shows up in July or August and what if Baez does the same. Oh, boy! It really is possible that 2014 is a one giant leap forward! John keeps reminding us that progress is not always linear and that we're closer than many think. 2014 could be 2005 all over again! Yes, sir!

    Oh, BTW, back to reality: I just got my $26,091.52 invoice for next year's tix.

  • In reply to Nondorf:

    2003, not 2005!

  • In reply to Nondorf:

    Haha on tickets... I agree. I am ready for spring training! There are about a dozen guys I want to see in Arizona. I am worried about Wellington, with the talks of a FA catcher looming. I hope his knee is ok and that isn't a warning sign to it may have been worse then expected. I would be happy with Choo/Elsberry signing. I would rather over pay for these guys then trade three or four prospects to get a Cargo or Stanton. I thought we should have traded Nate while he had some value and Gregg too. Is it march yet?

  • In reply to Nondorf:

    If you want to see something interesting, go to baseball-reference and look up the '88 Dodgers. NO numbers of any significance whatsoever on offense, above average SP (including Orel's dream season), but the bullpen is lock-down elite. World Champs. ONE guy with an .800 OPS!! John's so right about progress not being linear and the best chance any team has for a big spike in wins is winding up with a top 5 bullpen at the end of the year. If that ever happens, and by the grace of the Baseball Gods happens consistently, its not really going to matter who's playing where for us to be competitive. To be competitive that is, not be a world champ. Need a few superstars for multiple runs.

    I'm not sold on Nate either. He's a solid 7th hitter/long side platoon guy on a good team. We can't be having Nate in the 4 or 5 hole. Olt's kind of the forgotten man for me. I'd like to find that Ben Zobrist/Mark DeRosa type guy that every good team needs. Maybe its him.

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    In reply to Ben20:

    '88 Dodgers aren't a great comparison. That team was just blessed -- the baseball gods smiled on them. And Orel was pretty good down the stretch -- which led Tommy Lasorda to add Hershiser to the pile of pitchers whose careers he ruined.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    That's my point, Mike. The Baseball Gods smiled on them by allowing every guy in their pen to post a sub 3.14 ERA with several guys in the ones. I'm not comparing them to anyone. I'm trying to illustrate what an elite bullpen can do for an uninspiring roster.

    Jay Howell: 2.08 in 65 IP
    Alejandro Pena: 1.91 in 94 INNINGS!
    Brian Holton: 1.70 in 84.2 IP
    Tim Crews: 3.14 in 71.2 IP
    Jesse Orosco: 2.72 in 53 IP

    That's how the Baseball Gods smiled on them. Blessed. With a great bullpen.

  • Bryant's swing is so smooth when compared to someone like Baez who has such a violent hack

  • In reply to Ike03:

    They sound the same.

  • In reply to Ike03:

    I think they're both smooth, Bryant's just looks more effortless and compact. Baez takes a hard swing but he's remarkably balanced when he's going well. Check out this frame by frame I have here. Once you slow it down, you can see Baez still has a pretty swing. It's just a blur because of his insane bat speed. Even some of the photos are a blur, but the mechanics are sound when he doesn't get into those funks where he swings from his heels.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I didn't mean to deingrate Baez, but when there are a lot of moving parts in a swing, there's more of a chance for somethign to go wrong. The bat waggle, the leg kick....just a lot of movement compared to Bryant who generates tremendous power with such a compact swing.

  • In reply to Ike03:

    Agreed on that. Bryant's swing is much simpler, quieter. Baez's swing can be described as violent. I imagine Bryant will be less streaky than Baez as a major leaguer.

  • I think anyone who really thinks the Cubs' front office needs to worry about whether Dave Martinez ever had any involvement with the former Mrs. Sandberg should also worry about previous rumored behavior by Starlin Castro as well. All it is is unsubstantiated gossip. Let's not be too hypocritical....if Martinez shouldn't be considered as a managerial candidate based on rumor of alleged behavior from over 20 years ago, then Starlin Castro shouldn't even be any where near Wrigley Field, as a Cub, ever.

  • In reply to MikeWadle:

    Castro rumor was found to be without merit. The problem with the Sandberg rumor isn't so much as to whether it happened or not, it's the perception by some fans that it did happen.

    From the Cubs FO point of view, it isn't a factor as to his qualifications, though I'm sure they're cognizant of the potential PR issues.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    From my point of view, and I'm sure of at least a few other fans' point of view, "where there's smoke, there's fire". So, whether Castro's rumor was without merit or not, it was still a rumor, and a huge one at that. The perception by some fans concerning Castro was, and will be, that it did happen. From my point of view, from a PR standpoint, I'd be more worried about Castro than Martinez any day.

  • In reply to MikeWadle:

    As I remember it, Castro was accused of having a one night stand with someone he picked up in a bar.

    You think that is equal to someone being accused of having an affair with a team mates wife?

    If it was, no team would have enough players to man their team.

  • In reply to DaveP:

    Castro was accused of something more substantial than having a one night stand.

  • In reply to MikeWadle:

    Difference is Castro has been fully exonerated and so there is closure. Fans are satisfied. There has never been that closure with Martinez, so that perception (right or wrong) is still there.

  • john.......Thanks for the update on these guys. Was just thinking about these guys the other day and wondering. Just 2 more reasons to get excited for the future. Can you give me/us a little more info on these guys. How old are both of them? What positions are they? Where did they play and what were there stats? Also did you have them ranked in your top prospects piece? If not where would you put them?

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Jimenez is a protopyical RF with a great arm and the potential for plus power. Right now his swing plane is more conducive to hitting hard line drives, so he may need to add a bit of loft to his swing to tap into that. He has above average speed and is a good overall athlete.

    Torres is a SS who is a polished hitter and could easily skip the DSL/VSL and start in AZ (Jimenez may too). He's not a great athlete but he has enough athleticism to stick at SS and if not, could make a good 2B who hits for high average and maybe 8-10 HRs, some compared his bat to Freddy Sanchez.

    I ranked them both in my top 30. I believe Jimenez was 18 and Torres was around 25 off the top of my head. They can shoot up the list in the next couple of years because they're only 16 right now.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Thanks.. Appreciate that. It is sick to think they are only 16. Will they start in A ball next year? Is it different taking a foreign kid that is 16. Do we have to wait for a certain age? Where would they live at 17? I couldn't imagine that for myself.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    At best they'll start in the AZ Rookie League and skip the DSL/VSL, which is rare for kids that age. They're in instructs now because a) they are polished enough to hold their own and b) the Cubs are likely trying to quickly adapt them to life in the U.S. -- so I have to think they each have a shot to play in AZ next year.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Eloy hasn't really seen the field yet, but Gleyber has played in a few games this week. Really struggled at the plate and in the field. I'm holding off on thinking he'll jump to the US.

  • In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    He's still got the offseason at the Dominican Academy and then perhaps extended spring training. Lots of time.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Coming to a different country to compete with grown men at the age of 16 is crazy for a young kid. His mind is probably going a mile a minute. These first weeks are no reflection on their long term abilities. I'm sure they will both be fine.

  • In reply to Ghost Dawg:

    My bad, that was suppose to be a reply to nmu'catsbball

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    How many of our top prospects will be invited to spring training?
    How does the Dejesus trade work? We won't get anything out of it?

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Just salary relief for DeJesus. I think we'll see Baez, Soler, Bryant, and Almora all get invites. We'll also see Alcantara there. Think we should also see Hendricks, Beeler, Rivero, but not the top pitching prospects yet.

  • Dave Martinez' sex life is none of my business one way or the other.

  • In reply to wastrel:

    Thank God for that!

  • I cant see the Cubs FO wasting a day as well as another individual's time and energy traveling to Chicago just because another organization recommended it. Why would they spend the day interviewing the handsome Davey Martinez if he wasnt a serious consideration ?

  • In reply to Rbirby:

    To set the record straight on the Sandberg mess. Its all that matters it seems

  • John. Maybe you should do a TMZ article about another players wife from a former cubs player who has nothing to do with the organization currently. Seems to be all the rage. Anyways. Great stuff on Jimenez and Torres!

  • In reply to CubfanInUT:

    Haha ;) I could care less about Martinez's past rumored indiscretions. But I do worry that the fan perception resonates with ownership, not that they should have a say in the decision.

  • I think it would be amazing if the Cubs straight up asked him in the interview if he banged Sandberg's wife. That would be so uncomfortable.

  • Keith Law had this to say in his chat today regarding Manny Acta. " I hope the Cubs hire him, as he's a great guy (I worked with him a bunch of times this year) and I think that environment will be perfect for his philosophy."

  • In reply to Ryno23:

    I've been trying to tell everyone...Acta and Hinch are the favorites of those involved in the game as well as connected media guys like Law and Parks (who likes Hinch). I know most are worried about their previous experience but it's not really as big a concern as most think. In some ways, it's an advantage, they've already made their rookie/early mistakes and the presumption is if the Cubs hire one of them, then they've learned from them.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    That's actually my biggest problem with Martinez. The Sveum firing -- added to the Girardi situation and even Sherman's column this morning -- have ratcheted up the pressure a bit. This is not the environment for a guy to make rookie mistakes.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Exactly what I was trying to get at. I think Martinez will be a very good manager some day. I'm just not sure Chicago is the place for it to happen for him.

  • "the Cubs didn't initially intend to interview Martinez and are doing so at the request/recommendation of the Rays front office."

    Why would the Rays do this? I thought I read that Martinez was being groomed to replace Joe when he retires. If this is true, the Rays are either really classy or don't think much of Martinez as the eventual manager of the Rays.

  • In reply to cubbie steve:

    They likely feel Martinez is ready now and deserves his shot sooner rather than later. It doesn't appear that Maddon has any intention of retiring any time soon.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Then they're classier than me. If the Cubs had a strong coaching staff, I'd want them in tact as long as I could.

  • Looking at the video on Bryant, another power hitter came to mind. The way he pulls his hands back as a timing device reminds me of Albert Belle, only Bryant appears to have better bat control.

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    And a better bat. One without cork, that is...

  • Thanks for the video of Bryant as well as the Baez breakdown! I haven't been this antsy since Prior but to be at Prior level with 4 guys is pretty fun!!

    Who do you guys think is the most likely to underwhelm? Not flame out and not make it, but underwhelm in the show.

  • In reply to Ben20:

    I think Bryant and Almora have the highest floors, so I'll go with Baez or Soler. Both have ridiculous ceilings, perhaps the best two in the system, but their floors are also lower. Also worth noting that expectations are so high with Baez right now that if he hits .260 with 25 HRs, I think some fans would be underwhelmed.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    If Baez has a career average under .348/.442/.636 he's an abysmal failure.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Ha! It feels that way. He's a competitive guy and I think having Bryant in the system getting all the buzz now will motivate him even more. Another benefit of having a strong system.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    It's funny a lot of people don't take into account the internal rivalries that take place on a team. I remember back in the hey day of great Braves pitching Maddux, Smoltz and the rest of the pitchers played a ton of golf together and even though they were friends they always seemed to be trying to one-up each other both on the field and on the golf course. Bragging rights among friends can be a great motivator.

  • In reply to carolinacub:

    No Doubt.

  • In reply to carolinacub:

    Totally agree. Those guys pushed each other and I think that will happen with the Cubs young hitters.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Excellent point.
    With some prospects, especially Baez, moving up in the system I hope Castro feels a little competitive pressure. Ought to make for an interesting ST, even though Baez is certain to go to AAA.

  • In reply to couch:

    Castro pushes himself hard. I hope that once he's just allowed to play and doesn't have 3 different people giving him advice on how to hit, he'll be fine.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I'll be underwhelmed if he's doing that when he's in his prime years even though I wouldn't write him off as a disappointment with those numbers. If he's doing that pre-arb I'll be stoked. Soler's the guy for me.

  • In reply to Ben20:

    I think that's underwhelming too because my expectations are higher.

  • A point of clarification, John. Is WGN actually losing money on their Cubs broadcasts? Or is their profit margin just thinner than anticipated?

  • "Rays Index believes that his rumored past with Ryne Sandberg still resonates with Cubs fans...."

    Really? C'mon. Fans don't care about that crap. I can careless about the drama in the club house between the ex-Mrs. Sandberg and every player she laid in bed with. I was still in grade school when all that went down and honestly don't care about that crap. And if the FO and ownership buys into that crap instead of looking for the best available guy to manage this team, then maybe they are screwed up in the head.

    Seems like it's just same old media hyping up old news.

  • I agree with you and who are we to judge and even know what is true? And like you I was in grade school when all that happened. I am a huge Sandberg fan! It doesn't bother me to bring in Dave. I am more bother the cubs didn't interview Ryno. My point is find the right guy to get us going!

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    The Cubs and Hendry knew more about Sandberg when they hired Quade than any of us. Theo and Jed wanted there own guy. Had Ryne not already been spoken for this time maybe he would have gotten interview. I believe Hendry knew him as a player a bit judgemental about others values, culture, and lifestyles. Not a good perspective for a manager.

    Having said that, Sandberg seems to have reinvented himself since his second marriage and second trip through the minors. He talks more completing as much as two sentences in a row, and laughs more plus smiles easily now.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    What do you know about Ryno's values, culture, and lifestyle? I always thought he was quiet and more about business then pleasure.

    Not sure that was a second trip to the minors but more of a sideways move cause of no chances. Sometimes a fresh start in life can help outlook. Not sure on two sentence comment. Ryno was more intelligent then you give credit for.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    None of my comments were about his intelligence. He just seems more happy and in a better place with his disposition.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Ok.. Good. Just took 2 sentence as a knock on intelligence. I am glad he is happy and I wish him great things in Philly.

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    In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    I'm Ryno's biggest backer as a Cubs manager, but I had to evolve my thinking to come around to that view.
    I met him very briefly at a book signing, for "Second to Home." The man, at that time, had nothing to say, did not connect with the crowd at all. It seemed more like a funeral procession than the excitement of meeting a former all-star. There was a mom with 2 kids in front of me; when they got up to his desk she introduced them, and they of course were speechless - but so was Ryno. Not surly at all, no, he had a broad smile, but he could have had these two boys in the palm of his hand - but he had literally nothing to say.
    When I first heard he wanted to manage, I thought, no way. If he can't handle two pre-teen boys how's he going to handle a locker room full of egos? But over the years I saw what he did in the minors, the results he got, the way his teams seemed to win, and the accolades he got from players and FO guys, and it changed my mind. I don't know how he did it, but he seems to have learned how to connect to people.

  • In reply to SKMD:

    Thanks for sharing that with me. In his playing days he always seemed to be mild mannered and quiet. Maybe coaching gave him that escape? Maybe one weakness he has is that fan friendly personality? Kinda like listening to Jay Cutler speak.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    I had a conversation once with Andy VanSlyke, he used to work out at the same club as I did. He told me that he knew Sandberg pretty well, said he was a really nice guy, but was just very odd. Players used to tease him about being weird.
    He took a cab one time with Sandberg and another player. He said when they got there, the fare was like 17 bucks, and he made each guy get the exact one third amount of their share, down to the penny. Just extremely anal retentive to the point of really annoying is how VanSlyke put it.

  • That would be weird. People like that kind of annoy me too. If I were in that cab, I'd just pay the bill just to avoid the headache.

  • Cool back ground story on Andy. I just took him to be very reserved and quiet. Maybe that type of anal retentive makes him pay attention to detail. But in this day and age you need a little flamboyant flavor to keep people. I could see Greg Maddux being like that too.

  • When will we know what level the major prospects will start at? Not until February/March?

  • In reply to Ike03:

    Not until March. But Bryant will start in AA. Baez probably AAA. Almora will be Daytona and Soler I'm not sure yet.

  • Bryant and Almora should take some of the pressure off Baez.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Agreed. Both potential young leaders too, so it probably helps Rizzo too.

  • I would be so pissed off if the best candidate of the bunch doesn't get hired because some mouth breathing fans are offended by Sandbergs whore wife banging all his teammates. Ryne was a gullible idiot for marrying that slut. I'm quite sure its the majority that see's it sensibly and could give two rats asses. I would lose a ton of confidence in the FO if they made a decision based on what morons think. As far as pressure goes getting high profile vets didn't exactly help. I think Martinez knows what he's Getting into. So I respectfully disagree with that theory. Fans would shut their pie holes once they start to win. You get the best guy period. Martinez is clearly the best guy. Not sure how anyone can argue otherwise. Especially up against the likes of Acta and Hinch. Because he is buddys with some writers and they speak highly of him cause they're boys makes him the next Larussa? Screw that! Give me the next Maddon.

  • In reply to jackhammerebm:

    Personally I don't care and I don't think the FO cares, but just get the feeling he is the 4th man in his 4 man race -- and that's the vibe I'm getting from non-Cubs sources. It's also interesting that neither Parks nor Law mentioned Martinez and we know they could care less. The thought seems to be he's just not the right fit for this team and it has nothing to do with his personal life.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    That's even more mind boggling to me than. I'd like to know why from those guys. I mean he's a modern era thinker who has the same philosophies as Maddon, knows Cub culture, is constantly bringing along young prospects, is endorsed by Maddon himself, and is highly thought of by any evaluator worth a damn. And I know you can care less about the so called sec rumor. My disagreement was in you thinking the pressure would overwhelm him. You know you're my boy when it cones to Cub coverage, but I can disagree with ya every now and than can't I? Lol.

  • In reply to jackhammerebm:

    LOL! Of course you can disagree :) I'm pretty much swimming against the current with my preference for Acta and Hinch. I feel like national guys like Acta/Hinch while local guys prefer Martinez and Renteria.

    But here's the don't think Acta and Hinch are modern era thinkers? They're both brilliant baseball minds. And as far as bringing along young players, Hinch did a good job with that in Arizona even though his team wasn't ready to win (Melvin and Gibson's combined record with the same teams were worse than Hinch's). And Hinch did so well with those kids that his next job was in player development. He's extremely respected as a teacher and leader when it comes to that aspect. If you really want a guy to develop your players, Hinch is your guy. Acta has a good rep for it too. I think Acta's issue was that he was too nice sometimes (but same has been said about Francona). In fact, a lot of criticism he's gotten sounds eerily similar to the criticism Francona got after his first 4 years of managing.

    The more I learned about them, the more I liked them. My initial favorites were Alomar and Martinez with Acta 3rd and Hinch 4th, but after talking to some people they convinced me on Acta and also Hinch. One rival exec told me Alomar and Martinez might get consideration, but neither will get the job. So far he's right about Alomar and I've heard some things to suggest he's right about Martinez too. As far as Renteria, I mostly get good stuff, but nobody I talked to picked him as the guy, but nobody disliked him either. He's probably the biggest unknown of the bunch -- but obviously he's very well known to Hoyer and McLeod, so he's a wildcard for me, but I wouldn't call him the favorite, as some have.

    I'm sticking with Acta and Hinch. I think they're excellent fits. I think the other two guys are good too, so I won't be upset if it's either Renteria or Martinez, but I'll be happiest if it's Acta or Hinch.

    But I do understand why people would like Martinez for the reasons you stated and I also understand why some would like Renteria. I like them too. I just like the other guys better for where the Cubs are. But that's my opinion. We'll have to wait and see what the Cubs think.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I hear what you're saying, but i can't get over the fact that they didn't seem to do well with the push button on field stuff. Martinez supposedly is the guy who does all the shifting on defense, and as that article you posted the link to on Fangraphs kinda hinted to he's an equal in the decision making along side Maddon. I just happen to feel Maddon may be the very best in the game right now, and by all accounts Martinez is a mini me version of Maddon. Not trying to convince you just clarifying my line of reasoning even in more detail is all.

  • In reply to Johnny Hatelak:

    I know and to be honest, I think Martinez might be the best in-game strategist of the 4, but of course, we know that's one criteria. I think he'll be a great manager in the right situation -- and if the Cubs decide this is the right situation, then I'm excited to see what kind of impact he can have.

  • In reply to jackhammerebm:

    This FO is going to make the decision the feel is best for the club. Any it want matter what the person has done before. Now we might not agree with who they hire. As far as your name calling of those people and tone of your blog is inappropriate. If you want to make some good points do it in a classy manner.

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    among the 30 teams' MLB and AAA clubs, adding up their managers, bench/hitting/pitching coaches there are 30x4x2 =240 potential candidates out there. Filter out the MLB managers that are solid in their positions (girardis, maddons etc) and add in the usual suspects of former managers and re-treads (guillens, rigglemans etc) - out of all those guys floating around, are these 4 really the best available fits for this team? Really? This is the top of the class?
    And what does it say about marty peavy and his coaches at Iowa - if they're not even in the conversation for the Cubs' job, then are they really even good enough for the AAA team?

  • The WGN Radio ratings slip might have something to do with Santo's passing, no? When the team was playing meaningless baseball in September, Ronnie still made me want to turn the dial to 720. Irreplaceable.

  • In reply to Ratmoss:

    Hmmm. Quite possibly. Didn't think of that. Ronny was extremely popular.

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    In reply to Ratmoss:

    I loved the guy, but listening to him broadcast made me want to drive a soldering iron into my eardrums.

  • In reply to Mike Partipilo:

    As for his techniques and skill as a color announcer, Santo was a joke -- he was parody bad. However, as a foil for Pat Hughes (and as a barometer for capturing the emotion of the moment) he was pure gold. He and Pat were appointment radio, as far as I was concerned.

  • Bryant has such an easy swing and along with Almora seems to have the most natural talent in the system. Makes sense since KB has a hitting coach for a dad and Albert had a batting cage set up in his back yard. And they have the type of personalities that are perfect to build a winning team around. Something tells me that the AA & AAA levels won't be a challenge for Bryant either and there'll be pressure to bring him to Chicago late this year with Baez. Young studs like them will certainly put fans in the seats.

  • In reply to Paulson:

    I saw Bryant playing in the AFL this last week. My goodness, is he a talent. Your description of his swing is perfect -- an easy swing that generates unreal power. I saw him blast a home run far up on the hill above the batter's eye in straight away center field at Surprise Stadium last Friday night. It was an easy 430' blast and he did it with a wonderfully smooth and easy swing. Don't be fooled by his "low" batting average, either. He's only hitting 381/.417/.714, but some of those non-hits could have been scored as hits. Saturday night (10/14/2013) the box score says he was only 1 for 4 but he reached base all 4 times -- the other 3 times were scored as errors but he was hitting real shots. One was an "error" at 3rd base that he smoked so hard that the 3rd baseman couldn't hang on to it -- and by the time he recovered to throw to first, Bryant had beat it out. Another was a hard line shot to right-center that the right fielder dropped. I agreed with the scorer's ruling on that but it was still a hard hit shot that probably surprised the right fielder with its velocity. Reaching base 3 times on errors in one night might say something more about the speed and force of the batted balls than it does about the skills of the fielders (please note that I can't comment on the first error, one in the first inning by the shortstop -- I got to the ballpark after Bryant batted in the first). This guy hits cannon shots -- and looks easy while doing it. Reminds me of a right-handed Billy Williams.

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