Saturday Cubs Thread: Danny Lockhart, Jung-Ho Kang, Fall League, Smokies new logo...and Joe Maddon

As I mentioned earlier, Dan is on vacation and we won't have an Around the League segment.  It will be back next week,  I am going to start a new thread and add some other news and notes -- just in case any of you are getting tired of the Joe Maddon pursuit.   But, of course, we will have some of that too as it becomes available.

I will be doing some volunteer work later today but I will continue to keep tabs on the situation, as will Mike.

UPDATE: 1:45 PM

Buster Olney writes (insider only) that the Cubs acquisition of Maddon would further add to the Cubs reputation as a future powerhouse.  In response to a recent SI article that crowned the Houston Astros as future champions, one executive said,

“I’d bet everything I have that the Cubs will win a World Series before the Astros.”

Olney writes about the Cubs young talent and their payroll flexibility.  And that Maddon would add to that immense collection of talent.  It is a difficult, but perhaps a necessary move,

In the eyes of rival evaluators, the talent the Cubs are accumulating is staggering, and Maddon would add to that, as a proven high-end manager. Rick Renteria is under contract, yes, and if Maddon replaces him, some of his peers will sympathize with Renteria; he waited so many years for the chance to manage in the big leagues, and now he could be replaced after just one season.

But the Cubs have a vision quest and it is playing out -- and Maddon appears to be a part of it.

Olney adds that the belief is that Joe Maddon as Cubs manager is a fait accompli, but that perception is what may also lead rival execs to have the Cubs investigated for tampering.

Here are a couple of  non-Maddon notes that I need to catch up on...

Cubs scout infielder Jung-Ho Kang

A while back, Nick Cafardo wrote that 27 year old  KBO infielder Jung-Ho Kang will be posted in November.  The old system where there are blind bids will be used, not the more open system we saw with Tanaka.  I held back because I wanted to find out as much as I could on him before posting something.  As it turned out, it wasn't easy.  Perhaps because some of those I asked have intentions of pursuing him.  Out of respect, I won't name who those teams are, but we can certainly look to see who The Korean Times reported have been scouting Kang.  Those teams are the Cubs,  Tigers, Rangers, Padres, Royals, Red Sox, Nationals and Diamondbacks.

As for what Cafardo has heard on Kang, he writes this,

While there’s intrigue over the 40-homer performer, there is still some pushback from scouts who have seen him play on whether he translates to major league baseball. Some of the alarms include the leg kick in his stance that’s very pronounced and lasts deep into his swing. There also has always been skepticism over his ability to play shortstop in the majors, even though he won the Korean version of the Gold Glove.

I have heard similar from scouts who have seen him play.  There was a lukewarm vibe and a feeling that perhaps he may be overvalued because of his big HR totals.  It was also noted that HRs in the KBO were up in general.  He is a player whose skills may not play as well in the MLB and the thought is that a buy low bid is most appropriate, but it seems likely that some team will like him enough to bid high.  The age and statistical success are certainly factors in his favor, so it will depend on how teams see him from a scouting standpoint.

Danny Lockhart to AFL

Danny Lockhart has been named to replace Addison Russell in the AZ Fall League.  Lockhart is well-regarded within some Cubs circles for his instincts, solid athleticism, and sound fundamental play, traits which should allow him to become a versatile player.   I have seen him play often and he has excellent contact skills with a good approach but doesn't project to hit for much power.  His size and swing path are more conducive to being a line-drive type than a guy who will provide power.  He definitely has a shot to be a big league player but projects more as a utility type.

Friday's AFL results

  • Jacob Hannemann is beginning to pick up the pace a bit of late and a 2 for 4  day raised his average to .226  He did get caught stealing and committed an error in the field, so not a great overall game, but it is encouraging that he is starting to hit, even if he isn't walking or hitting for much power.  He has one walk and one double in 9 games and 32 PAs.
  • Dan Vogelbach has also begun to hit more of late, going 2 for 4 with an RBI and raising his average to .229.  He does have 8 walks, however, and has a healthy OBP of .364 in 43 PAs.
  • Gerardo Concepcion continues to get roughed up a bit this fall and may make it easier for the Cubs decision as to whether to roster him.  He allowed 2 runs in 2 innings, but more importantly, walked a couple of batters.  He did strike out two but his ERA stands at 7.56.  He has walked 7 and struck out 5 in 8.1 innings.
  • Zach Cates has had an up and down fall but one disastrous outing has his ERA at 8.10 overall.  He pitched a scoreless inning, walking one and striking out one.

Smokies unveil new logo

You can see the new uniforms at the link provided above.

Joe Maddon thread...

Nothing new since this morning but I will transfer today's news here for now...

UPDATE: 8:25 AM (10/25)

  • Another big market team, the Los Angeles Angels, have said they are staying with Mike Scioscia.
  • Meanwhile, a small market team, the Minnesota Twins, say they will talk to Maddon.  As I said earlier, I can't imagine Joe Maddon leaving the Rays to manage the Twins.  He'd be in the same situation financially (as far as the team, anyway) and he doesn't even get the nice weather.
  • As far as my own stance, I want to clarify something.  If the Cubs feel hiring Maddon is best for the team, then I am all for it.  When I say I feel for Renteria, it doesn't mean it would get in the way of making the best decision.  It just means that if the Cubs do decide to bring on Maddon, that they treat Renteria with the respect that he deserves.  And based on the way we have seen Epstein and Hoyer conduct business in the past, I have no doubt that they will handle this with class.

9:3o PM

  • Alan Nero, Maddon's agent, was on The Score with Bruce Levine and Wayne Randazzo.  Randazzo summed up the interview well in this tweet,

Randazzo tweet

 

  • Just a thought here but the Cubs silence speaks volumes.  Every other potential landing spot with the exception of the Twins, who are the longest of longshots despite being the only team with a current opening, have spoken up to declare that they will not make a managerial change.  The Cubs have not done so to this point.

10:00 AM

  • Not everyone in the industry is happy with this potential move.  I spoke to one source who believes it shows a lack of loyalty on Epstein's part and that he would not work for him for that reason.  Yes, this is an upgrade but it does not necessarily put the Cubs in a favorable light around the league.  We already know rival execs have considered filing tampering charges.  The Cubs undoubtedly know this and it will be something they will have to balance.  The Cubs would have to feel strongly enough about Maddon as an upgrade to deal with the PR hit they may take for this move.

 

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  • Theo has a very hard choice to make. He should do whats good
    for the team even if it is not the right moral choice.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    There is nothing immoral about firing someone who did a good job if you can hire someone better to take his place, especially when you're still going to pay the guy you're firing everything he would've gotten anyway.

    If they tampered, that may be unethical but far from immoral. And there's been no evidence thus far that they did tamper. I have no problem with them signing Maddon. It's no different than signing a player who you think is better than one you currently have.

    Coghlan did a good job last season. Great feel good, comeback story. Would anyone feel it was immoral or a bad idea to sign a better outfielder this off season that would replace Coghlan as a starter, a job he's been fighting to get back to since his rookie season?

  • In reply to Quedub:

    Exactly!

  • In reply to Quedub:

    Well said Quedub.

  • In reply to Quedub:

    Well put...
    RR may eventually be a great manager but at this point he is learning and struggling with game management. I'd hate to have his learning curve affect the team's chances to compete the next two years.
    Maddon on the other hand is a proven talent. Well respected and someone that can take this team to the next level--right now. Tough to pass on that kind of asset.

  • fb_avatar

    The whole league can see what's coming. If I were an executive from another team, I'd be a bit pissed as well. This FO is making life more difficult for everyone else in baseball. Remember the good old days when we could all just hate the Yankees because they seemed to get all the best players.

    Seems the tide is turning now. LOL

  • When can we expect Maddon to sign somewhere (hopefully here)?

  • "Moral choice"??? "Lack of loyalty"??--give me a break....what is this Sunday school?? This is business, plain and simple...RR gets paid no matter what..
    .Let's not equivocate here, we need to add another critical piece...after this year, does anyone believe RR would get us to the next level?--let's get real..

  • In reply to NCcub:

    Good business is not equivocal to a callous treatment of your employees.

    In fact, the most successful business people I know do treat their people well. If the Cubs do add Maddon, I would expect them to act like the good organization they are and do it the right way when it comes to Renteria.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Very well said. I think the Cubs will treat RR respectfully even if they do hire Maddon. I remember when they chose Sveum over Sandberg and they reached out to Sandberg even when they didn't have to.

  • In reply to John57:

    How did they reach out to Ryno?

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    In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    My memory is that they basically told him, "We are not going to hire you as a manager so we won't string you along. We would love for you to stay with our Iowa farm club. However, if you get a MLB managing position somewhere else you are welcome to pursue that with our blessing."

    In hindsight it was the right thing to do. Sandberg was unlikely to be a difference maker as a manager and they didn't want to go down as the FO that fired Ryne Sandberg.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    Thanks but I am not sure that is reaching out to him. More of being honest.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Yes they were honest and told Sandberg what they were doing. Sandberg appreciated it and seemed surprised they went out of their way to tell him. Our FO seems to treat everyone fair. I think that is part of the reason many want to come here now.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    What would be an appropriate position for Renteria? Highest paid bench coach in mlb?

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    I can't see bench coach happening. Renteria is very affable, but even with his kind, easy going attitude it seems like a situation neither Maddon or Renteria would want. Maddon would have the previous manager sitting next to him and every time one of his moves doesn't work out, the players are left to wonder if Renteria would have done it differently. And Renteria would have to sit and watch another "better" manager take "his" team to the next level. It just doesn't seem like a good idea from any angle. I'd be shocked if that's the direction the Cubs choose to go.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Indeed, hiring Maddon and letting Renteria go (or move elsewhere in the organization) is not in and of itself callous treatment. That part is just business. I have no reason to think that such a move would be handled disrespectfully by this front office.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Putting the best team including the manager on the field is good business. If the Cubs hire Maddon, Renteria will walk away with almost $3 million. If that's callous I wish someone would treat me like that.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Exactly John. They can handle it with class like John McDonaugh did when he made the tough choices of replacing a popular coach (Dennis Savard) and GM (Dale Tallon). No better organization for Theo to emulate than the Blackhawks. Savard was kept on as a Team Ambassador at his coaches salary until that contract ran out and he's still with them under a different contract, I believe. Dale Tallon was kept on as an in house consultant at his GM salary until he took another GM's job. If RR doesn't want to stay in any capacity, they would pay him in full up front and most likely send him off with a glowing recommendation and reference.

  • ITS KINDOF THE SAME PRINCIPLE AS LISTENING TO THE FANS WILL HAVE YOU SITTING WITH THEM, WHO CARES WHAT THE PERCEPTION AROUND THE LEAGUE IS. Sorry caps lol. Its time to lose the lovable losers label and become a team the league fears and hates, that means you are making life hard on other teams which is not a bad thing. Treat RR with respect I agree but an upgrade is an upgrade.

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    I have no problems with an upgrade, I do have a problem with an organization that treats their people poorly. I don't think the Cubs are that kind of organization, this potential move notwithstanding. They likely see it as an opportunity that needs to be explored and perhaps acted upon.

    It is not at all the same principle and it is not just fans. I had one veteran industry source tell me he would never work for the Cubs. There are many people who would never step in certain businesses because of their practices. Whether you agree or not, it does matter. I don't know why we have to think that good business has to mean you have to be cold and calculating. There is a price to pay. The one business that I worked for that operated in that manner continues to flounder in mediocrity. Their turnover and reputation in the industry costs them.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Sure, you need to be concerned about doing the right thing by RR. I don't think anyone is talking about not TRYING to do so. But the fact is, if Maddon is hired or even talked to, there are going to be hurt feelings. Feelings can be massaged. (Just look at what the Blackhawks did with Savard.)
    The point is, you don't know when or if RR will develop into the type of manager that Maddon is NOW.
    By the way, you talked to ONE guy that said he would not work for the Cubs? How many others would jump at the chance?

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I agree with those points John which is why I said treat RR with respect but I look at it the same as upgrading say a Edwin Jackson with a Cole Hamels, an upgrade . Winning teams are always looking to get better. Maddon to me makes the Cubs better than if RR stays on, JMO .

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    I figured you would. I just wanted to clarify my stance.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Not saying you John scorched them, more the negative media attention this is getting.

  • In reply to Juan Pablo:

    Juan, the media ALWAYS is looking to be negative. Do they ask Tampa Bay why the gave Maddon an opt-out clause in the first place? Did anybody see this coming? Friedman just became the Dodgers GM a week ago. I seriously doubt anyone in the Cubs FO or any other team in the league had much time to consider "tampering". The entire "tampering" baloney is nothing more than a shallow attempt to get one of our players, maybe someone like Arismendy Alcantara.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    This might have been said already, so if so, forgive me. I agree completely with ensuring that we handle the situation as delicately as possible, but at the end of the day, it's about winning a WS. Joe Maddon is one of the best managers in the game and while RR has done a nice job with our young talent, we aren't sure if he's the manager that can manage a powerhouse that should win and compete year-in and year-out. What if Rick's dream job was to be the manager of the Padres? If the job was open and Rick was under contract, don't think for one minute that Theo and Jed wouldn't allow him to interview. I think the street runs both ways is all I'm saying. Our FO shouldn't be scorched over this because they're just doing their job.

  • In reply to Juan Pablo:

    Agreed. A move they have to make, just do it respectfully and I think most of us will be happy.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I agree with somethings you say but I do wish that we have former players in the organization.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Whos Cares!! The Cubs sucked the last five years, I guess this same so called veteran Industry source loved Theo then. Cubs are trying to win but John is having a melt down because the Cubs might want to upgrade at the manager position and some so called veteran industry source would not want to work for the Cubs. Go tell your Veteran Industry source to go jump in the lake.

  • In reply to LeRoy:

    Perhaps following your own advice would be the right thing for you. Or, have someone else explain the article to you who can explain that John isn't having anything like a "meltdown."

  • Sorry I used the word "moral" I did not mean it in that way

  • I love the new Smokies garb... really sharp and Cub-like.

  • In reply to bzalisko:

    Agreed!

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    It does not project the lovable losers image. That cub with a bat on its shoulder looks mean. Real mean. :)

  • In reply to John57:

    Ordered mine today!! Love the logo

  • In reply to John57:

    I'd love to see the MLB club add that "mean" look to one or two of their logos. Maybe the one on the sleeve?

  • If it turns out we don't get Maddon because we "wanted to be loyal, and do the right thing" I imagine there will be some really angry cub fans (including me). When you haven't won in 106 years you do WHATEVER IT TAKES.

    Again, I like RR but it's a top 3 manager we are talking about. This situation rarely happens. Go get him.

  • In reply to CA888:

    There are two different things, you can get Maddon and do your best to show loyalty to Renteria, Granted it wouldn't be as manager, but the idea of tossing him aside callously just because something better comes along is wrong. Doing what's best and doing the best you can for the people in your organization aren't mutually exclusive.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    Well put, John.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I completely agree that it will be unfair to Ricky. I just think we have to have Maddon. I think the FO can make it happen without looking like horrible people.

    I can't wait to see what happens, and when something does, get ready for more site traffic John! Haha

  • In reply to CA888:

    Holy moly it's going to get crazy if they hire Maddon!

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    You're stepping away from the computer. It will happen within the hour.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    You tell Renteria that we are going in a different direction and you pay Renteria the remaining two years left on his salary and you say goodbye. Cubs should be beholden to Renteria?? This sympathy for Renteria is a joke. Managers are hired to be fired. Renter will survive.

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    MLB usually blocks announcements during the Series. So probably after that.

  • Phillies have ruled out Maddon, but that was probably never the situation Maddon is looking for anywas.

  • In reply to MendyMania7:

    He wants to win a title. After 40 yrs in baseball its the one thing hes yet to accomplish. He doesnt want to be a Gene Mauch, the "best manager to never win a championship". Can you blame him?

  • My initial concern was the Cubs wouldn't pull the trigger on this because their fear of the PR backlash would be too strong; but if they ever manifested such fears, they're well beyond that point now. Theo is in a no limit game of Texas Hold 'Em and he's gone all in on Joe Maddon. He dare not lose the hand now.

    John, what will be the Cubs protocol on making this announcement given Bud's strong preference for not making this sort of news during the WS and his closeness to the Cubs? Could something be announced as soon as Monday or would they wait until the WS is over?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to YouCannotBeSerious:

    I think announcements have been made on off days, so Monday is a possibility.

  • In reply to YouCannotBeSerious:

    I imagine it will either come during a break or after the series is over. Selig would prefer that announcements wait until after the WS, but Maddon is already gettng more attention and it may be in the best interests of Renteria and others who may get displaced to get this out sooner rather than later. I think it's a judgement call.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    So the Cubs shouldn't be in the business of winning instead they should care about Renteria feelings? What a joke!! Madden is one of the best managers in baseball but John wouldn't hire him because Renteria feelings would be hurt.

  • In reply to LeRoy:

    John, please don't worry about Leroy's feelings as you "fire" him from Cubs Den. We have much better commenters here.

  • In reply to LeRoy:

    Oh, good Lord. Where on God's green earth do you get this "INSTEAD" business? Then it's, "John wouldn't hire him." I so tire of posters putting words into others' mouths. It's foolish and immature. I post on a political forum and time and again I get, "this is what you're REALLY saying!"..no, what I'm REALLY saying is exactly what I said. Grow up, for heaven's sake.

  • In reply to LeRoy:

    That is not what I said at all. Before you call this a joke, maybe you should reexamine your reading comprehension skills. Perhaps there is a punchline to be found there.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to LeRoy:

    If you like the guy so much, maybe you should learn to spell his name

  • fb_avatar

    Who has two thumbs and could barely sleep last night because of the prospect of Joe Madden?? This guy!!! In my opinion there is no way there would be lasting issues from hiring Madden. There might be some sour grape talking heads that try to start some stuff but you can't even walk across the road in today's world without "offending" someone. If the Cubs really feel he is what they need I fully believe they will pull the trigger. Are the Cubs fans not going to come now because they have some huge loyalty to Renteria? I completely understand how it would suck to be in his position but once again this is a BUSINESS not a high school club where everyone gets a medal. BUT that being said I am freekin superstitious so hopefully we don't have any bad Karma come our way!!!!

  • What's the possibility of keeping on RR in a role that isn't bench coach? I don't know how many positions we have, but I feel he has done a lot for the team and could continue to help some of the younger guys as long as it doesn't get in the way of Maddon. This would mean he would have to accept a "demotion" and step aside as head coach.

    The way I see it, we can't be paying him much for '15 and '16 and that will be owed to him regardless. I'm not sure what his option years look like, but let's use the '17 option to retain him, if he accepts a demotion. Save face a little bit, do right by RR (which isn't needed), and still have him around to help with young Latin players.

    Just a thought. May be idiotic, but a way to have the cake and eat it too.

  • In reading through these comments there seems to a general consensus but a bit of a disconnect in expressing some apparently contradictory views. My view is that if Theo & Co. believe that Joe M. would represent an advance forward in the rebuilding, then he should be hired. That seems to be what most here are saying (with apologies to those who disagree). Where the disconnect appears is what that would mean vis-a-vis Renteria.

    It's a false dichotomy to say this is a choice between doing what's right for the team and being loyal to Renteria. It's a little silly to assume that we readers understand the reality of this as a business decision and that somehow Rick Renteria won't. Of course he will. Height be upset, but he certainly would see what everyone else could see. And I agree with John that they could both hire Joe and redeploy Renteria in a respectful way. They are not mutually exclusive actions.

    My only disagreement with John, or more accurately the source who told him he would not work for the Cubs of they did this, is that this seems a somewhat smallish view to take as a professional. If I'm a professional, I would want to work for an organization that does the right things to improve their organization, even if they are difficult decisions that hurt someone's feelings I the process. In fact I'd say this would want to make me even more desirous of working for them because they are putting the organization first. As long as they treat Renteria respectfully, I cant imagine anyone competent who is seriously considering working for the Cubs wouldn't do based so based on this. Just my $.02.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to JerryMartin28:

    And why would anyone really think that the Cubs FO would show any type of disrespectful actions? If we examine the evidence of past situations, wouldn't we conclude that the FO would try to do what's best for all involved?

    The Dempster situation comes to mind rather quickly here....

  • In reply to JerryMartin28:

    I do think we are all mostly in agreement. As for the one source, it's his opinion. He's also well-connected, so he may not be the only one that feels that way. But the point I was trying to make -- and what I actually expressed to him when I asked for his permission to paraphrase him -- is that I just wanted to show another side, that not everyone is feeling warm and fuzzy about this move.

    As for me, I think the Cubs have to do this because it will have a significant net positive impact -- and at the same time do right by Renteria to the best of their ability. I believe most of us would agree with that.

  • I think they should offer RR a raise and position in the developemental staff , good with young players and the offer of a raise would take some of the sting out of the displacement perhaps.

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    Offering him a raise is a truly excellent idea. Only costs money.

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    Yes, like this idea.

    RR seems to be very good at developing young players, supporting their strengths, not harping on their weaknesses, yet working to correct them, communication and being positive.

    We ought to find a spot in the organization which could use him and a bit more money. Problem solved. If he accepts.

    Oh yes, this all hinges on Maddon being offered and accepting the managerial slot.

  • fb_avatar

    Maybe
    keep an eye out for Maddon at the Starbucks
    at Racine and Wrightwood - like last time.

  • Lol. This column's updates are almost as confusing as real life baseball.

  • Anyone else worried the Cardinals will swoop in here and try to sign him?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to jorel1114:

    I am, and already said those exact words in the previous thread

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to SKMD:

    :)

  • In reply to jorel1114:

    Not worried in the slightest. They are beyond content with Matheny, who has helped take them to the NLCS in each of the past three years.

  • fb_avatar

    John I hear what you're saying as far as treating your employees well being a part of good business. The extension of that is that other people - potential employees and business partners - will remember your behavior when it comes time to deal with them. But don't you think that any future deal - whether it's a trade for a player, a free agent offer, a front office hire - will be seen in light of "hmm, it was a choice between Joe Maddon and - who? Rick Renteria?" and the other party will totally see the Cubs' POV here? I don't think dumping Ricky in this particular circumstance is going to tarnish Theo/Jed's image in any way..

  • In reply to SKMD:

    To be clear, I am in favor of hiring Maddon. I just wanted to present some opposing points of view and some potential issues, but I think the net impact is still positive, so they should make the move.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    John, my concern about the treatment of RR deals with the players' perception of how it's handled. Rizzo and Castro are no doubt big supporters of RR and I would hope that the FO speaks with them prior to anything being announced or inked

  • In reply to Cuyler:

    This ^ ^ ^

  • Ive already said so. The Rays were the on es who gave Maddon the opt-out clause in his contract, and there own GM after Friedman left was the one who reminded Maddon he had it. Any "tampering" charges are baloney.

  • It is conceivable that the Cubs sign Joe Madden and John Lester over the next two weeks. How dramatic of a two week period in the recent history of this organization would that be?

  • "lack of loyalty" quote is a joke right ? Like there is any loyalty at any level in MLB....winning is the bottom line.

  • If Maddon is brought on board, I wonder if Dave Martinez and more importantly Jim Hickey are brought on board as well. Hickey has done an excellent job with the Rays pitchers for the past eight since (since hired), and he also was the pitching coach for the Astros for two years helping pitchers like Oswalt, Lidge, Pettite, even Clemens.

    Great pitching coach and even though we already have one in Bosio, it'll be hard to see him being retained if Maddon is brought in.

  • In reply to Average Samaritan:

    I doubt it. Maddon had the opt-out clause in his contract. Hickey likely stays under contract. As for DMart, Im sorry to say, but the Sandberg mess from his playing days didnt win him much good PR here, and that can of worms doesnt need to be opened. If anything, maybe RR returns to the bench coach role and the Cubs move Brandon Hyde into the FO, where he seems he likely will be long-term anyway.

  • Also, John, how does this affect the new hitting coach of the Cubs? He was just hired to be the hitting coach, and if Maddon is brought in do they force the condition that he has to be the hitting coach? I can't imagine what the situation would look like if he leaves the Astros to coach the Cubs (his hometown team), only to be canned before he even gets to coach due to an entirely new coaching staff being brought in.

  • In reply to Average Samaritan:

    Think Mike Ditka and Buddy Ryan with the 83 Bears. Keeping his current coaches might be a contingency on hiring him. After all, does anyone really want to see Bosio leave?

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    If your point is they won a Superbowl coexisting, I would argue that if they were not the Bears HC and DC, the Bears may have won more than one Super Bowl, because they had the talent to win more.

  • In reply to Moonlight:

    Oh, no doubt the Bears definitely had the talent to win in '86, '87, and '88 and perhaps even '90 and '91. The trouble with your argument is that Buddy Ryan left to become the Eagles head coach in 1986.

  • In reply to Moonlight:

    MY exact point. When the Bears hired Ditka, there defensive players like Hampton and Sigletary went to Halas and asked him to make Ditkas hiring contingent on keeping Ryan as DC. This can be the same type thing. Bosio and the current coaches stay. Besides, Hickey is still under contract with the Rays, unless they gave him an opt-out clause also.

  • fb_avatar

    Is it too early to start staking out Starbucks?

  • appears it is just before the details are hammered out

  • Lack of loyalty, gimme a break!!! Hilarious. Somebody sounds jealous. Yeah, I thought drafting bryant was an obvious lack of loyalty to the Cubs 3rd basemen. I would NEVER work for theo. You know, cause he's really wanting me to work for him.

  • I like Renteria, but Maddon is an upgrade. Of course you hire him, given the opprotunity. I'm pretty sure RR would understand even while being dissappointed. I would hope the Cubs are upfront and honest with him. I wish him all the luck in the world, whether he remains with the organization or not. RR seems like a smart, class guy but, I mean, the club has to try to improve when the chance to do so presents itself.

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    Maddon takes the year off and then will come to the Cubs next year. That way the front office looks good, Ricky gets his second year, Soler, Baez, and Bryant all get their rookie campaigns out of the way and everybody is happy. Remember, be patient. We probably aren't going to be winning next year anyway.

  • In reply to Steven Scott:

    Steven,

    I have to disagree. I think that if Maddon takes a season off, then it makes it more likely that he would joing LA. Also, all signs point to the Cubs being better next season, than this season, so let's say the Cubs make the WC game, or even close...letting RR go at that time would look worse for the Cubs FO.

    I trust the Cubs FO will handle this with class, and if they do sign Maddon, they will offer RR another position within the organization. RR did a good job, this past season, but if you have the chance to get Maddon, you do it. I think someone like RR understands that.

    The experience that Maddon brings, as well as the leverage he offers to bring in better FAs outweighs the potential "negative feelings" this move could induce.

  • I am being told that this is a done deal pending coaching staff moves that are yet to be worked out in detail and compensation packages for those coaches moving and departing.

  • In reply to SteveBB:

    lol what?

  • In reply to Average Samaritan:

    Think Mark Guthrie trade on May 12, 2000. Hellooooo again!

  • In reply to SteveBB:

    Dave martinez. Coming with. In trade?

  • In reply to azcubfan:

    Martinez has already interviewed for multiple managerial openings, and will be a top candidate for the Rays' job. He might want to stay in Tampa Bay and interview for their job.

  • In reply to MendyMania7:

    He would have been a top candidate in what was once the thought-to-be natural progression of the Rays organization as it was just Thursday or even last Week. Now, with the departure of both Friedman and Maddon, Davey is going to lack the desired experienced necessary in the eyes of the new reality of the club.

    It's fascinating how fast things can really happen in baseball when an unexpected shake-up occurs.

  • Yogi Berra takes the 1964 Yanks to the 7th game of the WS only to lose to the Cards. He gets fired and replaced by Keane who resigned after winning the WS. It's business, not personal.

  • One unsung hero in all of this from the Cubs perspective is Matt Silverman for being the guy to tell Maddon he even had an opt out clause in the first place. If Maddon's version of the events is to be believed of course; seems like a pretty unusual clause that either you or your Agent would be unlikely to forget. But hey, good call Matt, appreciate the assist!

  • In reply to YouCannotBeSerious:

    Some tin foil hat types believe Silverman wanted Maddon to leave now because he knew he was leaving next year, and he didn't want to pay him.

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    I can't reveal my source but to break up the thread regarding Joe Maddon, mark your calendars, unless there is a injury, April 20th in Pittsburgh is the day Kris Bryant starts his career with the Cubs.

  • In reply to Michael Papa:

    Does your source rhyme with zeo thepbean?

  • In reply to Oneear:

    Thanks, you made me laugh out loud!

  • My wondering mind: You know RR has been in contact with the FO during the past 24 hours. What did they tell him? Very curious how that conversation went.

  • Bear in mind that Renteria had no managing experience at the MLB level until the Cubs signed him. Now he has a year of experience, plus guaranteed money next year. The Cubs gave him a chance to show what he could do, and he came through especially with the younger players. In the big picture, the Cubs have boosted his career even if he gets replaced by Maddon. Of course the FO should treat Renteria with courtesy. But it's not like the Cubs can be blamed for derailing his career.

  • October is right. And all the talk about RR being mistreated somehow or TB being a victim by some folks in the media is so far off base it is unreal. When Sveum was dumped with a year left on his contract I didn't notice Renteria shying away from the opportunity to manage the Cubs. He will be well treated and compensated no matter what happens with Maddon.

    And reports are that the Rays are bitter over JM exercising his option. .. which he had every right to do. This disingenuous organization had a great manager for far less than market value for nine years and he probably was instrumental in bringing 100s of millions in excess value to TB in player production and playoffs remuneration. And the Rays are going to play hardball with the Cubs if they sign Maddon?! The days of using the Cubs as the leagues doormat are over and TB can just lawyer up. They should go take a flyer IMHO.

  • Has Fredi Gonzalez been given a vote of confidence? I've heard the Braves being thrown around as a potential fit for Maddon.

  • In reply to MendyMania7:

    The Braves have said they're not interested. I suppose any team can say that and change their minds later, but that is what they said for now.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Either someone is lying, teams are making non-managerial offers only, or Maddon isn't getting offers from the teams he'd like to manage. I read that his agent said 10 teams have contacted, and it has been said that he wants to manage a big market team (which makes tons of sense given his contract desire and likely frustration in having to trade players before the end of cost-control) and wants to manage in the NL.

    But the Twins are the only team to lublically show interest,and I can't imagine Maddon spends more than a split second to say no to that one.

    So which big market NL clubs haven't came out and said their current manager is their guy? I tend to believe they're all liars except the Dodgers (who I'd have to believe are no.1 on his list given all the reported conditions + Friedman). If they're not liars, and if Maddon is a top 2 or 3 manager, then they're fools IMO.

  • What if the Cubs hire Maddon as a "Special Assistant" or "Leadership Coach," or....
    Instead of replacing Ricky, maybe Maddon's talents could be used to help RR become a better manager. If Renteria falters, Maddon takes over. Otherwise, Maddon can provide leadership and training to the whole Cubs coaching staff, with an option to leave if a managing offer comes along...

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    There have been offers of non-managerial positions out there but don't know if the Cubs made one of those kinds of offers.

  • I'm naturally conservative when it comes to coaching and team chemistry. We know that Renteria has been good, helping bring Rizzo and Castro back from mediocrity, and fostering a new culture of hustle and grit that was looking terrific for periods of August and September. And we all know what Bosio made a pretty good batch of lemonade with the lemons he was given, pitching-wise. That's a pretty good bird in the hand.

    The two in the bush: Maddon has big-game chops and would be attractive to free agents. But he's also got enough clout to tell the front office he wants his own pitching coach. There's no guarantee he'll have the same chemistry with our young players, who may be upset about how Renteria was treated. And he may be less responsive to some of the front office's priorities -- are we positive that a 60-year-old who's been on the cusp of World Series wins is willing to be patient with guys like Alcantara and Baez, not to mention the inevitable struggles of Bryant, Soler, Almora and Schwarber?

    Like I said, I'm conservative with this stuff, and so I'm leaning toward taking the bird in the hand. Bring back Renteria and Bosio. Stay the course. Hope that Maddon takes a TV job and if our team doesn't make significant improvements next year, we can revisit this again.

    On the other hand, I think if our FO felt the same way, they would have already ruled out Maddon. So I suspect this will happen, and I'll just have to hope it works out.

  • In reply to Taft:

    To address some points:

    -At this point in the game, Maddon would find it difficult to bring in any of his coaches anywhere he goes. The carousel has concluded everywhere but MN. His guys in TB are still under contract.

    -If his priorities weren't the same as the FO, he wouldn't want to coach here, right?

    -If he couldn't create chemistry he couldn't be a top manager, could he?

    -Who's to say the young cubs wouldn't be inspired to be led by someone with his pedigree?

    -He has extensive experience working and developing kids.

  • In reply to Taft:

    Good points. I'd be OK with keeping RR and the current staff, too.

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    In reply to Cliff1969:

    Ditto.

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    Anyone recall the Epstein statement when Sveum was fired? You can almost feel a similar one coming, and they probably wouldn't nee to change much of the wording. http://www.suntimes.com/22888202-573/theo-epstein-statement-on-cubs-firing-dale-sveum.html#.VE0JdZOUd3h

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    Hello, John, I am a long-time reader of this blog and it has certainly made the Cubs more interesting for me. My question is- Could the Cubs simply trade RR to another team (Twins?)? Set him up somewhere else and receive some compensation for him. Kind of a win-win. Thanks.

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    In reply to Marcus Jaeger:

    Marcus. Technically, yes. managers have been traded before. Most recently, Lou Piniella from Seattle to Tampa and Ozzie guillen from the White Sux to the Marlins.
    Typically, those deals are done when the new team wants to court a manager under contract and the manager has interest in the new job. I don't think a manager has ever been traded against his will, at least not in recent memory.
    So IF the Twins were interested in Ricky and the feeling was mutual, then yes, a trade for a low level "prospect" could be done.
    Personally, I don't think that's a likely scenario, but possible and conceivable, yes. My guess is that if Maddon is hired, RR is either bumped upstairs or declines the offer in search of a new gig on his own.

  • In reply to Marcus Jaeger:

    I think the Cubs would be willing to let Renteria go to another team unencumbered. My guess is they would facilitate any transition for him rather than add a cost to it. And besides, if the Cubs announce they want to trade Renteria, who is going to buy? It would be obvious that the Cubs had Maddon in the fold at that point. They would have no leverage.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Everything you said above is true. I suggested a low level prospect just so it actually looked like a deal and could help save some organizational face. Sort of like the Gretzky for Soscia trade last year.

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