Theo Epstein sat down for a 10 minute conversation with ESPN's Jesse Rogers. The entire conversation is worth a listen. However, to break it into bullet points, he says:
- He isn't counting on any individual prospect to succeed but hopes that some of them will be joining the major league team, soon. However, he can't stop building the minors and they have to keep adding impact talent.
- He addresses the "parallel fronts" statement and admits that he's had to be a little more single minded about building for the future than he originally would have liked.
- He still seems hopeful that the Cubs can surprise this season and contend although, in the same sentence, he admits that if he gets an offer that is beneficial for the future he has to consider it.
- He doesn't have a lot to say on Samardzija, though he gives the impression that the sides are not making much progress on an extension.
- He speaks about Kris Bryant and says that Bryant has a lot to learn in the minors. He mentions Evan Longoria, who spent a year in AA before making the major leagues.
Similar to what we've been saying here all along. However, this is the first time I've heard him publicly acknowledge that the "parallel fronts" idea had to abandoned.
In other news at camp:
- UPDATE 2:30 PM: Tom Ricketts spoke with Jesse Rogers on the rooftop situation: "If we cant grind it out these last few steps I don’t know whats going to happen." This strikes me as significant. To this point, all the talk of moving out of Wrigley has been speculation and leaks. That Tom Ricketts is now directly addressing the situation and not explicitly ruling out a move strikes me as a major milestone in these talks. Is it likely just a negotiating tactic? Yes. But still a significant change in tone.
- This will make everyone happy. SS Starlin Castro has reported to camp in excellent shape, having spent the last few weeks working out at IMG Academy in Florida. He also told Javier Baez, "You'll be in the big leagues soon."
- In other Starlin Castro news, new manager Rick Renteria is saying all the right things to this point. Castro claims he was told, "be me and don't try to do something I can't do. He said to be myself and play hard every day." Speaking of the infamous play last year where a runner tagged up from third after Castro caught a pop up, Renteria himself added, "It happens to the best of them. We just don’t want it to happen as often. (But) unfortunately for this young man, everybody decided that he was the one to pick on."
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