Cubs Notes: Hoyer, Epstein, Ramirez

The Cubs will have a new manager in 2012, but it won't be Ryne Sandberg. Here are some links for Wednesday, as Cubs fans imagine their longtime second baseman in a Cardinals uniform…

  • The Cubs aren't focused on former Red Sox skipper Terry Francona and aren't likely to pursue a current manager, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter).
  • Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein reached out to Sandberg to explain why he's not being considered for the managerial job, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney (on Twitter).
  • GM Jed Hoyer suggested the Cubs will spend some time rebuilding their pitching staff, according to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times.
  • Long before he was a Major League GM, Hoyer was a skilled fantasy baseball player, according to the Sun-Times. Hoyer excelled in fantasy leagues as a youngster, even against adult professionals. For fantasy news on relief pitchers, check out CloserNews.com.
  • On a related note, Hoyer says he expects Carlos Marmol to close next year, according to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune
  • Epstein, Hoyer and the rest of the front office are a team, but the GM remains impressed by Epstein's ability. "When he turns it on, it's pretty clear he has a gear the rest of us don't have," Hoyer said, according to Sullivan.
  • Former Cubs GM Jim Hendry graciously said the team hit a "home run" by hiring Epstein, according to Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com"Tom Ricketts did the city of Chicago and the Cubs organization a great service by hiring Theo," Hendry said. The former GM hasn't ruled out returning to the game, but he's enjoying some time off for now. Hoyer said he's looking forward to reaching out to Hendry, according to Sullivan.
  • The Cubs don't have to pay Aramis Ramirez's $2MM buyout, since he declined his side of his contract option for 2012, according to MLB.com's Carrie Muskat.


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