Yes Cubs fans, you read that correctly, and it’s not up for discussion according to Cubs skipper Dale Sveum, “It’s Bryan LaHair’s job, and it’s not his to lose. It’s his job and the guy has earned the right to have it and he’s earned the right for me to have a lot of patience too if he’s not getting off to a good start.” As Dale Sveum begins to dive into his first camp as the Cubs manager, he is starting to piece together what the opening day lineup will look like. Much to the surprise of many, the first decision that was made was that of Brian LaHair not only starting at first base, but hitting 4th, arguably the spot in the lineup for a teams biggest run producer. Cubs fans got a taste of LaHair at the end of last season, and one could say that LaHair’s performance was one of the few bright spots in a very dark season. In 59 at bats last season LaHair hit a respectable, if not solid .288 with a .377 on base percentage. That type of on base percentage was unheard of for a Cubs player last year given the complete lack of discipline and patience at the plate from the team as a whole, in fact LaHair’s OBP led the team, not counting Steve Clevenger who only had 4 at bats.
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.
Throughout the season we will have features that we run each day of the week, one of them will be Media Monday. We hope to bring you all the best pictures, audio, and video (where allowed by MLB) from the past week. Obviously everyone is very excited about Spring training getting underway, please enjoy the content below.
The biggest free agent remaining on the market is now officially in play for all teams, and the Marlins have struck first making the highly touted Dominican a 6 year, $40MM offer. Cespedes made his way to the United States last week on Thursday, and met with the Marlins. At that time Marlins president David Samson said that it was possible that the Marlins would make an offer to Cespedes at said meeting, apparently that’s exactly what happened.
Before this blog moves forward, we would be remiss not to mention what has transpired since the disenchanted 2011 season came to a close. The Chicago Cubs as a team and organization took a giant step forward in not only changing the direction of the club, but the culture as well.
On October 25, 2011 the Chicago Cubs named a new President of Baseball Operations, none other than Boston GM Theo Epstein. Talk about making a splash, and for once, it actually makes sense because it’s off the field where it was needed most. Don’t get me wrong, there wasn’t much to like on the field the last couple of years, but in order to fix that, the real issue needed to be addressed, and it was. In order for Epstein to make the move to the North Side of Chicago he had to take a role that was above his current GM role in Boston. That in it of itself is a giant win for Ricketts, many die hard Cubs followers probably didn’t think Ricketts had it in him, but he proved them, including us, wrong in a huge way.
Video of Epstein’s full press conference via ABC 7 Chicago.