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October 25, 3:00 PM ET
Chat with Bruce Levine

ESPNChicago.com
  (3:06 PM)

Hey gang, Bruce got held up for a few minutes at Wrigley. He'll be with us shortly. Thanks.

Bruce Levine
  (3:25 PM)

Welcome to the first day of the Theo Epstein dynasty. As my friend Jimmy Persall said to me a couple of hours ago, "I hope this guy Einstein does a good job." Theo will probably have to be like Einstein to get this thing going quickly.

Matt (Cincinnati)

Do you think Quade stays or goes?

Bruce Levine
  (3:26 PM)

It's interesting when you read btween the lineso f what Quade said. He had an open forum of communication with Quade and has talked to him again but it didn't sound all that promising for him to be able to stay. But again, that's my interpretation.

Jason (Wisconsin)

I was very impressed with Theo but I have two concerns. One is there going to be "too many cooks in the kitchen?" I know everyone worked well in Boston but that was years ago and we have seen it not work in Chicago. Also the "Cubs Way" statement. Sounds like that is a lot easier said than done.

Bruce Levine
  (3:27 PM)

The proof is always in the pudding if you want to use another cooking term. But getting his group back together like GM Jed Hoyer and scouting specialist Jason McLeod should help push the process in a quicker manner than if Epstein came in here by himself.

Darshan (Mt. Laurel, NJ)

Bruce, thoughts on trading marlon byrd and taking a flyer on Grady Sizemore in CF on a 1 yr deal? If he doesn't pan out, let Brett Jackson take over. If Grady has a comback, injury-free year, extend him and then trade Jackson.

Bruce Levine
  (3:29 PM)

I think the quick fixes for the Cubs, those days should be over. I would prefer to watch Jackson try to accomplish something in CF and let Byrd stay around as a fourth outfielder and mentor to the young players.

David Heatley (Woodstock)

Knowing he would be coming to the Cubs, did Theo have while still with the Sox,or will he have now that hes offically a Cub, any say in the compensation the Sox will recieve for him?

Bruce Levine
  (3:29 PM)

He stated that he was regulated to the basement. Everyone knew he was going someplace else.

Tommy (Green Bay, Wisconsin)

Rumor has it the Marlins aren't going after Zambrano due to his lack of velocity. What other teams could you see Zambrano going to? I was thinking maybe somewhere on the West Coast (Dodgers)

Bruce Levine
  (3:31 PM)

I wouldn't read too much into that velocity story. Zambrano won nine games in four months. The Cubs top pitcher won only 10. Zambrano can pitch it just depends on whether he has someone line Guillen to reign him in.

thesixthmanning (Bloomington, IN)

Is Brian O'Halloran headed to Chicago?

Bruce Levine
  (3:31 PM)

Unknown at this time. ESPNBoston was reporting at one time that Theo would be allowed to take him with him.

tony (dixon il)

any chance castro to third barney back to short also marshall to start ?

Bruce Levine
  (3:33 PM)

Interesting you ask because Epstein made a big deal about the Cubs' lousy defense (major league-leading 134 errors). The first thing I thought was re-shuffling some of the infielders already there. Also it's going to be refreshing because Epstein doesn't have any emotional ties to Castro and what position he plays. All he is looking at for a way to make his team better.

Mike (Chicago)

I know they talked about getting projects like Mesa and the Dominican, when do you actually think that Wrigley will get done? Do you think the hiring of Theo will help the process?

Bruce Levine
  (3:35 PM)

The new plan might be 2016. That coincides with the Cubs playing 100 years at Wrigley Field and therefore MLB in cooperation with the Cubs may allow them to have the All-Star Game that year. The Cubs were told until they have the facility up to snuff they won't be getting an All-Star Game.

thesixthmanning (Bloomington, IN)

How do Theo and his guys view Ari Kaplan?

Bruce Levine
  (3:36 PM)

No one knows that yet. But just keep in mind that Ari was Ricketts' first baseball hire in 2010. You don't make a mess on your bosses shoes.

Mike (Chicago )

i heard joey votto is on the block, any chance we try to get him?

Bruce Levine
  (3:37 PM)

I think the Cubs could probably get him for Theo and McLeod. The compensation may be an issue. Kidding. Cincy is going to look for pitching if they move Votto and the Cubs wouldn't have anything to trade.

Adam (Loop)

Bruce- Theo said everything he was supposed to say. Obviously, there are several moves that need to be made fairly quickly (Pena, Dempster, A-Ram, Zambrano, Soriano, keeping Quade). Come Feb 1st, who on that list is still in a Cubs uniform and, after hearing his remarks today, who not on that list do you anticipate being at Spring Training?

Bruce Levine
  (3:39 PM)

Hard to say. I don't expect Ramirez or Zambrano to be there. The Cubs are going to have to act quickly if they want to retain Ramirez. If the World Series ends on Wednesday they have to let Ramirez know within the next couple of days if they are going to pick up his option. And of course he has a right to reject it. So they better come calling with a three-year contract if they want to retain him.

Shane (Indiana)

Hey Bruce, very excited by this hiring and huge hire for the Cubs. Do you see Epstein making a big signing this offseason or a possible impact trade? I feel the Cubs can compete next year if the right moves are made.

Bruce Levine
  (3:41 PM)

It's my guess that they are going to be slow, steady and unspectacular in the first year. The hope is that they can buy themselves a little time, put a lot of money toward another strong amateur draft in June. The Cubs spent $12.5 million in amateur players in the draft which was far and away the most they have ever spent. I think Epstein will want to do something similar next year in order to give McLeod and his new group a base of good young players to try and develop.

thesixthmanning (Bloomington, IN)

Would Randy Bush want to stay if he was offered an assistant GM role?

Bruce Levine
  (3:42 PM)

That position is highly unlikely. But I think Theo will want him to stay if he wants to. Randy did a terrific job of keeping the staff together after Hendry was fired which was no easy thing to do.

thesixthmanning (Bloomington, IN)

Would DeMarlo Hale be a candidate for manager if Theo decided to replace Quade?

Bruce Levine
  (3:44 PM)

Hale is a highly thought of coach with the Red Sox and mentioned at times. But there are other names like Francona, Sandberg and Padres manager Bud Black. You can't have too many former Red Sox or Padres personnel.

Paul (DC)

Is Tim Wilken going to stick with the Cubs? Is he numbers guy?

Bruce Levine
  (3:45 PM)

Wilken has one year left on his contract. He is highly thought of by Ricketts. However, Theo's scouting guy is McLeod. It's going to be interesting to watch that dynamic at work.

Sage (Chicago)

If A-Ram goes, whose playing 3b next season....and 1b ?

Bruce Levine
  (3:47 PM)

Some people think LeMathieu can handle the postion. Vitters doesn't seem ready yet even though he's hitting in the Arizona Fall League.

Matt (Chicago, il)

Bruce- if Swisher's option isnt picked up, any chance Cubs sign him? Should we revamp the Michael Young trade talks?

Bruce Levine
  (3:48 PM)

I like versatility and Swisher is a decent outfielder and outstanding first baseman. He's also an on-base guy so he might fall into their wheelhouse, but I'm not throwing a lot of years at him. The Cubs will be cautious throwing a lot of years at 30 and older players.

Tommy (Green Bay, Wisconsin)

Junior Lake... Should we be excited?

Bruce Levine
  (3:50 PM)

He looks like a promising player. I don't think he's ready yet though.

David Heatley (Woodstock)

What say does Theo have in the compensation the Sox will receive now that hes offically with the Cubs?

Bruce Levine
  (3:55 PM)

Probably a lot. They're his players now. I had heard that Carpenter was the last name talked about on Thursday before the Red Sox owner commented that both sides weren't even close. I'm so glad we're not going to have to listen to Larry Lucchino anymore.

Neil Bogmenko (Lombard, IL)

Hey Bruce, what do you think are the chances of the Cubs signing Mark Buerhle?

Bruce Levine
  (3:56 PM)

Normally a 32-year-old pitcher with 2,400 innings under his belt is not the direction you want to go in. But I have a soft spot for Buehrle and the way he competes. I wouldn't be opposed to a two-year deal for him. Besides it's a lesser league.

David (Naperville)

Marmol was awful last season. Any chance Papelbon reunites with Theo on the North Side?

Bruce Levine
  (3:57 PM)

Not sure about that but I wouldn't doubt that Theo and Hoyer will look at moving Marmol in the right deal.

Matt (Cincinnati)

Could the Cubs get a starting pitcher for Marlon Byrd?

Bruce Levine
  (3:58 PM)

Doubtful. A 30-RBI season doesn't attract a lot of compensation in return. But I believe Byrd is valuable to the Cubs as a veteran who can play all three OF positions.

Bruce Levine
  (4:05 PM)

Enjoy your new president of baseball ops. He has a nice family and he is looking forward to raising his son as a Cubs fan. Talk to you on either Friday or Monday when Hoyer is named GM. Follow me on Twitter at ESPNChiCubs.