Chat with Bruce Levine, Doug Padilla
Welcome to ESPNChicago.com! Baseball beat reporters Bruce Levine and Doug Padilla stop by Thursday to chat about Chicago baseball now that the season is over.
Levine has covered sports in Chicago for over 28 years and hosts "Talkin' Baseball," heard Saturday mornings on ESPN 1000. Padilla covers the White Sox for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.
Send your questions now and join the chat Thursday at 1 CT/2 p.m. ET!
Bruce Levine (2:02 PM)
Welcome to Epstein-fest Day 3. We should know something before sundown tomorrow. Welcome.
If the Red Sox have Epstein under contract for another year, why would they allow the Cubs the opertunity to talk with him? What do the Red Sox have to gain?
Bruce Levine (2:04 PM)
They can show no confidence without firing him. Therefore they don't have to deal with the wrath of Red Sox Nation. That would be the only thing that makes sense if they allow him to interview. There's also another side to it, and that is Epstein could be subtly informed that he's not getting an extension at this time.
Kelly (Cedar Rapids, Ia)
The next GM is going to have to get the Cubs competitive at the ML level and also replenish the farm system to sustain a chance at winning year to year. What are realistic time frames on both?
Bruce Levine (2:06 PM)
The farm system has some good players at Single A. Otherwise there are sporadic players that may have an impact at the major league level. But they are certainly not prepared to put out a complete team of prospects and expect to win.
shouldn't give up much this talk of Castro--a cornerstone player--is crazy. no to Marshall, garza also. give 'em byrd if they want Bruce do you think that's about right?
Bruce Levine (2:11 PM)
I don't think any major league player is worth compensation for a GM. They have him under contract so if he's so valuable why would they let him go? Either Boston wants him or they don't. Compensation doesn't really get to the point of the matter.
Matt (Bloomington, IN)
Hey Bruce, which scenario do you think is more likely for the Cubs heading into next season: Ryno as Manager, or Theo as GM?
Bruce Levine (2:13 PM)
I'd say Theo as GM is much more likely and something we should know in the next 2-3 days. The Jewish high holiday starting tomorrow night convilutes things a bit. It would not be kosher to announce your new Jewish GM on the holiest day of the Jewish calendar. Expect something either today or up to sundown Friday. After that it would be Sunday.
If Theo comes to Chicago is Quade gone?
Bruce Levine (2:17 PM)
There's two schools of thinking on the new GM and Quade. One, that the new GM will want to put a new manager in place and clean the slate. Or two, he holds on to Quade because every front office and ownership needs a shield, and if the Cubs are lousy in the first half next year they can always blame him. No. 3 would be they hold on to Quade because the manager the new GM would like to hire is not available yet.
Eric B. (Decatur, Il)
Any chance Vitters gets to earn the 3B job in spring training, or is it a fore-bound conclusion he needs more time in the minors?
Bruce Levine (2:20 PM)
He's going to have to really kick some butt in the Arizona Fall League. He's going to have to show more power and better action at third base.
ESPN Chicago (2:21 PM)
Bruce had to take a call. He'll be back shortly ...
Mike Sage (Chicago)
If we strike out with Epstein, do we move to Freidman next? What are the chances of landing one of these two studs?
Bruce Levine (2:23 PM)
Friedman has ownership in the Rays. I'm told that the only job he would leave for is the Houston job. Why Houston? He's from there and his father is trying to put a group together to purchase the team. Otherwise the consensus is that Friedman is staying in Tampa.
Jamie (New Lenox)
Bruce, is Cashman a serious candidate? He has not proved anything to show he can win with a formula that Ricketts wants. His teams have bought their championships.
Bruce Levine (2:24 PM)
You could say the same thing for Theo. Both have had big payrolls. Both like every GM have made their share of mistakes. However both should also be credited for having a nice farm system that's produced star power talent. I believe that is the most enticing thing for the Cubs when they look at Epstein, Friedman and Cashman.
Jonathan (Marengo, IL)
What starting pitching do you see the Cubs going after this offseason? Do you see them targeting CJ Wilson?
Bruce Levine (2:26 PM)
I doubt that they will overspend fpor the top free agent pitcher. He's real good but is he going to be worth 5 years times $15 million? I think outside of the box is the way the Cubs have to go making trades for the John Danks or JA Happs of the world. Also Brandon McCarthy would be a nice pickup as well. But what the Cubs have to trade is questionable at this point.
Bobby (Evergreen Park)
What about Cherington? Is he a fallback if we dont get Epstein?
Bruce Levine (2:29 PM)
Cherington is highly thought of in the mold the Cubs are using for their business plan. I still think Rick Hahn is a very undervalued candidate. Cherington, Hahn and DiPoto are at the top of the next level after Epstein and Friedman.
What type/caliber of prospects would the Cubs have to give up if they are given to opportunity to hire Theo as GM?
Bruce Levine (2:30 PM)
I don't know that answer. I think it's preposterous to give up players for a front office guy. If Boston wants Epstein they have him under contract. Why would they have to be compensated for him?
Bruce Levine (2:31 PM)
Some intriguing stuff on both sides of town. Now my buddy Doug Padilla is going to tell you all you need to know about the hunt for the next Sox manager. And follow me on Twitter for the latest on the Epstein saga.
Doug Padilla (2:33 PM)
Time for some White Sox talk. Here we go.
Any chance Ozzie could have his eyes on Buehrle for the Marlins? I know their payroll isn't fantastic, but he seems to be out to prove something and he loves Mark.
Doug Padilla (2:34 PM)
Buehrle makes sense in FLA for plenty of reasons. Ozzie knows him, he projects to pitch well in the NL and the Marlins would like an impact signing as they move into their new park. They could also use a lefty. Gonna be interesting to see if they show thier interest with a significant $$$ offer.
hey doug, got two questions 1 whats the outfield looking like for next year and 2 whos your preference for manager and who do you think it will be?
Doug Padilla (2:36 PM)
If the White Sox stay in house, while also assuming Quentin is dealt, the OF could look like De Aza in left, Rios in center and Viciedo in right. As for manager, I'm a huge Alomar fan, but Kenny seems to be more of a Martinez guy and it's his vote that counts.
Is Carlton Fisk in the mix for Sox in 2012
Doug Padilla (2:37 PM)
Haven't heard his name mentioned. Certainly not with the manager opening and have not heard it surrounding the hitting coaching vacancy either.
Doug, was there anything that could really have been done about the WS offense struggles this year? How much do you think Rios and Dunn's contracts were an issue with Ozzie not benching them, before KW said he could?
Doug Padilla (2:40 PM)
Even if De Aza and Viciedo had come up sooner, not sure it makes enough of an impact compared to what the Tigers did over the last 6-7 weeks. There was rumblings that Ozzie played Dunn and Rios to spite Kenny, but that was more conspiracy theory talk.
Any chance of Buehrle coming back to the Sox? and how different is next year's team going to really look? Or are we stuck for a while?
Doug Padilla (2:42 PM)
Probably an 80 percent chance Buehrle is gone. The starting staff would still be solid if they went with Danks, Floyd, Peavy, Humber and Sale. They can win if Dunn and Rios produce and the pitching stays healthy. Otherwise the mix of young players and contracts that can't be moved will hurt them for a few years.
How attractive is the Whitesox Manager opening? If you are Alomar or Martinez and you offers from Boston and Chicago, which are you taking?
Doug Padilla (2:44 PM)
I take the Boston job. Boston simply has more cash for talent and the job is high profile, as long as you have the stomach for the pressure. But Martinez has his ties to Chicago and might not want to fix the mess that developed over the final month with the Red Sox.
What are the odds Williams would not learn from his past mistakes and trade Danks or Floyd? With Buehrle pretty much gone, it would be a shame to lose a lefty like Danks.
Doug Padilla (2:46 PM)
Danks is clearly the guy they would rather not trade. He's lefty and has the bulldog makeup that KW likes. But they need some infusion of talent not only on the 2012 roster but in the minor-league system. Danks probably brings back more that Floyd.
Jake Peavy = Hurt again in 2012? Guy is great healthy, but signs point to him getting hurt again. Your thoughts?
Doug Padilla (2:48 PM)
Peavy will never be what he was in San Diego. That's seems pretty certain. But once he's healthy andknows what he is capable of throwing out there he can probably figure out a way to win as well as anybody. Don't expect a Cy Young, but he should be much better in 2012.
Doug, what is the appeal of hiring a manager that has never managed before? Ken Williams has stated (or hinted) that this is the route he prefers to go. Would Francona have ever considered the Sox?
Doug Padilla (2:50 PM)
The candidates who have never managed before are not some guys being pulled off the street. They are well respected as up and coming managers. The Francona and La Russa types will be very pricy. And remember, the Bulls hired a first-time coach andeverybody likes the work he's doing.
What do you think of the rumor of Chris Sale to the rotation? If so, do the Sox keep Thorton?
Doug Padilla (2:52 PM)
Chris Sale will be aimed for the rotation next season. The only way Thornton goes is if they have an experienced late-inning lefty to replace him. They don't have that now so there is a good chance he is with the club in 2012.
Doug, any chance Kenny would also be on the hot seat in 2012 if the Sox once again can't make the playoffs?
Doug Padilla (2:53 PM)
Consider Kenny's seat hot, VERY HOT, at this moment. It's going to be hard to blame a first-year manager for another collapse. Kenny needs to get the club back to the playoffs.
Harry (Columbia, MO)
Why are Alomar Jr. and Martinez so high on the list? What do they bring to the club?
Doug Padilla (2:55 PM)
They are both well respected for their knowledge of the game. But more iportantly, they know how to work well with people. They both have great reputations of being outstanding communicators. That's huge when it comes to a baseball manager.
Doug, I heard and read about KW wanting to "fire" himself as a general manager, going to Reinsdorf about his job. Do you think he truly wants out, or is this a way for him to clean up the way Sox fans see him right now?
Doug Padilla (2:57 PM)
Kenny offered to step down if Jerry thought he was the reason the White Sox failed. He said that Jerry didn't want to go that route. Kenny doesn't want out, that's for sure. He wants to find 2005 glory again, but needs to get this back on the rails quickly.
I really don't think that a manager is going to influence this club that much. A couple games here or there, but its going to come down to production with rios, dunn and the bullpen. Agree or disagree?
Doug Padilla (2:58 PM)
Totally agree, but you need a guy in there who can produce a comfortable environment for winning. They aren't going to just put you or me in that office.
Dominic (Tinley Park)
Who does Kenny want at cathcher next yr? a.j. or flowers?
Doug Padilla (2:59 PM)
Don't think A.J. is going anywhere. He will make $6 million next year and has full no-trade protection. Flowers will cut into his playing time, though.
Arthuralejandro (south side)
what will be the slogan for white sox next year?
Doug Padilla (3:01 PM)
I vote for: "Hey, At Least It Isn't 2011 Any Longer."
Any chance the Sox bring back Edwin Jackson this offseason, or look to someone like Tim Wakefield?
Doug Padilla (3:01 PM)
Doug Padilla (3:02 PM)
Thanks for the questions on this surprise edition of the chat. Sounds like two chats might be in the works for next week too. Stay tuned.