Cubs Notes: Evans, Beane, Garza, Pena

Here’s the latest on the Cubs, including an update on their search for a successor to Jim Hendry…

  • Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times says former Dodgers general manager Dan Evans fits all the criteria chairman Tom Ricketts has established for his new GM. Friends and associates of Evans tell Wittenmyer that the executive has always considered the Cubs' GM job his dream position.
  • A’s owner Lew Wolff told John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle that he wouldn’t prevent GM Billy Beane from exploring job opportunities elsewhere, though he hopes to retain him for a long time. "I would never inhibit anybody from bettering themselves because of a contract," Wolff said, noting that no teams have called regarding the "indispensable" Beane.
  • Wittenmyer says Matt Garza's presence at the front end of Chicago's rotation seems critical to any Cubs turnaround. The Cubs can retain Garza as an arbitration eligible player through 2013, though he won't be cheap.
  • Meanwhile, Carlos Pena told Wittenmyer that he was "pleasantly surprised" that the Cubs pulled him off of waivers after the Yankees claimed him earlier in the week.

31 Responses to Cubs Notes: Evans, Beane, Garza, Pena Leave a Reply

  1. Take the job in Chi town Billy, you’ll have a lot more money to make a team work. More appealing for free agents too then it is in Oakland.

    • Danny 4 years ago

      I wonder how he would fare with a team that has such a high budget as the Cubs. Hes been micro managing so long

      • Gumby65 4 years ago

        It may make him look very ordinary…  bad for his rep.

  2. disgustedcubfan 4 years ago

    Great move by the Cubs. Carlos Pena is going to play a huge part in the September push for 4th place.

    • NorthSideIrish 4 years ago

      You have to look at it long term. They might hurt his feelings if they traded him to the Yankees and gave him a chance to play meaningful games and win a ring. Then they wouldn’t be able to re-sign him next year and bring back the same mediocre offense.

  3. Dan Evans?  The first guy to raise Jim Hendry’s stock by trading FOR Todd Hundley?  No thanks.

    • Gumby65 4 years ago

      And that necessity was raised by his incompetent predecessors Chase Carey & Peter Chernin, who refused to retain Charles Johnson after getting him in the (uber-brilliant) Piazza trade.    Hands tied +1

  4. Evans wouldn’t be a bad fit at all. He got a raw deal with the Dodgers, who competed with a team that was built by him and DePo (who also got a raw deal). Listen to the episode of the Up and In podcast that had Evans on it. Interesting guy.

  5. Dan Evans was an underrated GM.  Trading for Izturis, Quantrill, Sheffield for Odails Perez and Jordan, Mota.  

    • Gumby65 4 years ago

      The treatment of Dan Evans was the very first of many monumental epic proportional failures of the FMcC administration.  Oooops, make that second, the first would be showing up in LA.

  6. corey23 4 years ago

    Dear Lew Wolfe, kindly f off, thanks bud!

  7. ophaq2 4 years ago

    Not trading Pena was a careless move for the future.  He should be gone right now and build for the future.  As much as I like Pena, he’s not a 1st baseman you’ll win a championship with.  Build the future now!

    • cubsfan97 4 years ago

      Rays almost did in 2008.  You can do a lot worse than this years version of Pena.

      • ophaq2 4 years ago

        Sure, you could do a lot worse, but you could also do a lot better especially with Fielder on the market.  Almost is the key for the Rays in 08. 

        • BlueCatuli 4 years ago

          Why lock up Fielder long term when four guys were just signed from the draft, and Pena is a cheaper option leaving more money to spend on the gaping hole that is the starting rotation.

      • Pena won’t still be good when the Cubs are good again. Might as well trade him.

        • crashcameron 4 years ago

          Pena might not still be alive when the Cubs are good again

    • jb226 4 years ago

      Strangely, I agree with your post right up until I read the second one that suggests that by “build the future now!” you mean “sign Prince Fielder.”

      I really don’t want to sign Prince Fielder to an overly long, overly expensive and dangerous contract, much less to do so and then pay him around $40MM and two of the best years of that contract to be the best player on a bad team that isn’t seriously competing for anything.  Maybe in 2014 we can have a team around him worth his contract and the chance to win, but that is once again betting the franchise on a chance to win — one where you don’t even know you have a chance until years after you make the bet.  It’s not a good bet for me.  Maybe if we could find a way to get rid of Soriano and save a little money there this offseason I would be more open to it, but not as it stands now.

  8. candlestick22 4 years ago

    The GM of a club that hasn’t made the playoffs or even finished with a better than .500 record since 2006 is “indispensable”? OK…

  9. slothinator 4 years ago

    Trading Pena only makes sense if they actually got something decent for him. Might just be better to offer him arb and take the draft pick. Plus he makes a decent insurance policy if the Cubs cannot sign Fielder or Pujols – the Cubs aren’t contending next year anyway. They also wouldn’t save money by trading him; half of his contract is deferred until January I believe, and the team is on the hook for that even if they trade him.
    As for Beane as GM; not sure it’s the best move. Part of his problem is that many other teams have adopted similar strategies about player development, the draft, evaluating free agents, and using stats. Most of these teams have more $$$ to throw around. However, Beane has really put together some bad teams the last couple of years. As interesting as the combination of his talent and the Cub’s $$$ is, I’d be much more interested in the Cubs luring Cashman away from NY. Beane would be a nice consolation prize if that can’t happen.

  10. Kendall Adkins 4 years ago

    I say the Cubs get Tony La Russa to manage next year. Basically because I’m a Cardinals fan and I’m tired of the bull crap. Batting a reliever with the bases loaded? C’mon dude. 

  11. jammin502 4 years ago

    The Cubs should have moved Pena for a bag of balls, if only to give us a chance to see what LaHair can do.  If LaHair came up and showed the bat he has at AAA, we would not need to spend millions on 1st base next year.  If LaHair fails then you can look at Fielder or Pujols knowing that you have nothing for years to come in the system.

    As far as GM goes, I would like to see Ben Cherington, or possibly even Rick Hahn given the job.  I don’t really want a retread GM. 

    • jayrig5 4 years ago

      LaHair is the 2 years older than Prince Fielder.  No thanks.  

      And by “retread”, you surely don’t mean hiring a currently successful GM away from another team, right?  That doesn’t qualify as a retread.  

      • jammin502 4 years ago

        LaHair would be about 20 million per year cheaper than Fielder, and Fielder is a DH waiting to happen. 

        If the Cubs could get Theo Epstein, I would be elated.  I am talking about these other guys that have around awhile now (i.e. Ned Colletti) and have made Jim Hendry type moves.  If the guy has had success building a winning system then I wouldn’t consider that a “retread”.  I just don’t want a guy that would me feel like it was a change for the sake of making a change.

        • jayrig5 4 years ago

          We’re in agreement on your second point, but we’ve seen what happens when an overage AAA guy gets called up to play.  

          His name was Micah Hoffpauir, and he’s now in Japan.  His numbers were similar and in some cases better than LaHair.  

          Prince would be worth the money.  Pay for production.  The Cubs have money to spend, they have to spend it somewhere.  If you don’t think you’re ready to win now, but you don’t think you have an answer at 1B, and you have a unique opportunity to sign either Prince or Pujols,then you do it.  You can easily pay for Prince with Kosuke’s deal, Grabow’s deal, and the 5 mil you no longer owe Pena.  That’s an instant upgrade to the team, by a huge margin, at the same number.  And if the Cubs like any free agent starters, they could add them too.  It would feel like increasing the payroll now, but after next season, Zambrano and Byrd’s drop off, and that’s 25 million more.  At the same cap total.  If you spend wisely, you can turn bad situations into really good situations.  

          • jammin502 4 years ago

            I really hate that angle when everyone compares anyone with good numbers to Micah Hoffpauir or Jake Fox.  Do we not give anyone a chance based on what guys in the past did?  We have an opportunity to give LaHair about 30+ games this year to see what he can do.  It’s not like if he fails we are going to miss the playoffs.  If he does fail, then you can legitimately pursue Fielder, Pujols, or Cuddyer.  If he succeeds you now have money to work on the rotation, which is where the money really needs to be spent.  They also need to bring Ramirez back.

          • jayrig5 4 years ago

            Because it’s more than just what Hoffpauir did, it’s based on watching him play.

            I haven’t, but the Cubs broke camp with no backup first baseman.  If they thought LaHair could play, he’d have been on the team.

            It’s not going to happen.  1B is one of the only deep positions in this upcoming free agency.  You have to spend there.  

            And yes, Rami should be back, as he’d be the only decent 3B on the market as well.

  12. northsfbay 4 years ago

    Billy Beane gets a free ride with the A’s. He hasn’t had a winning team in 5 years. The Media rarely talks about him. The Owner won’t fire him. He has a built in excuse for losing. Bad stadium, low attendence and low revenue. How long would that last with the Cubs? He should stay with the A’s.

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