How does a team win a World Series? Blood, sweat, tears, all of those things, but the most important thing is getting into the playoffs in the first place. Something that the Cubs have had trouble with, only making it to the season ending tournament 15 times in their 136 year history. Major League Baseball added two wild card spots, one in the National League and one in the American League today, bringing the total numbers of teams making the playoffs to ten. “This change increases the rewards of a division championship and allows two additional markets to experience playoff baseball each year,” commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement. I’m never going to argue with something that gives the Cubs a better chance to make the playoffs year in and year out. I also can’t disagree with increasing the importance of winning the division, it’s an accomplishment and too many years have gone by without a reward for such a thing.
The story is now a couple hours old, so the media has had the opportunity to speak with Carpenter and Hoyer. Bud Selig also issued a statement. Contrary to some of the stories out there the compensation deal was finalized by the two teams, not Bud Selig. I’ve included a number of quotes from Carpenter this morning, as well as Hoyer. Both parties were very complimentary of one another.
After four months, the Cubs and Red Sox have finalized the deal that brought Theo Epstein to Chicago. Headed to Boston is relief pitcher Chris Carpenter, who impressed in his short time up with the Cubs at the end of last year. Carpenter, who is 26 years old, will be given a shot in the Red Sox bullpen, where I expect him to have some decent success. The deal also says that the Red Sox will receive a player to be named later, and the Cubs will receive a player to be named later (April 15th deadline already in place). I don’t anticipate either of the players being anything more than fringe prospects. All parties have been assured that these players will be named before the conlcusion of Spring Training. Theo Epstein released a statement this morning regarding Carpenter going the other way, in a word, he is relieved.
Much was made about the compensation that would be going to the Red Sox after the Cubs were able to sign him away just after the season ended. There was some heavy debate about what should be going to the Red Sox, and for the time being it was left up to the
clubs to decide the outcome. Quickly it became apparent that this scenario was not going to work, and that Bud Selig himself would be the one deciding who or what would be going to Boston. Ever since that announcement there has been little to no news about what would be taking place, that is until today, or should I say, last night. Compensation discussion came to the forefront as Epstein and Boston GM Ben Cherington participated in the Hot Stove Cool Music panel discussion at Fenway Park’s State Steet Pavilion last night. While nothing was settled, it’s clear based on the comments of both Epstein, and Cherington that the deal is almost complete, and the Sox still expect something “significant in return.