Theo Epstein

UPDATE: Theo, Hoyer to the Cubs is ALMOST a done deal

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UPDATE:  OK, not everything is done. Edes just updated his tweet:

To clarify: Hoyer as Cubs GM, Byrnes as Padres GM is done. Epstein to Chi not yet resolved per compensation. Review of medicals remains

So, yeah, not quite yet the big news we expect.

3:25 PMGordon Edes of ESPN Boston just tweeted that the deal is done: Theo Epstein is President of the Cubs, Jed Hoyer moves from the GM chair in San Diego to Chicago, and Padres vice president Josh Byrnes will replace Hoyer as GM with the Padres.

So, with Hoyer and Epstein coworkers once again like they were back in Boston during the good old days, how long before they truly get the band back together and hire Terry Francona?  And sign Mark Bellhorn for that matter?

OK, maybe not.  But whatever else happens, the Chicago Cubs are about to embark on a bold new era. An executive structure with stellar baseball bona fides. An owner who, according to CSNChicago.com’s report yesterday, seems committed to building the franchise from the farm up and plans to spare no expense to do it.

The Cubs have long been a sleeping giant in the National League. The giant, it stirs.

Rangers sign Josh Hamilton to a minor league deal

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The Texas Rangers have signed Josh Hamilton to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Not at all surprising. The Rangers released Hamilton last August, but that was simply to make some room on the 40-man roster. His season was already toast due to the surgery he underwent to repair lateral and meniscus cartilage in his left knee which had the added bonus of revealing that he had an ACL injury as well, which required reconstruction. At the time of his release both he and the Rangers made noises about him coming back on a minor league deal in 2017.

Hamilton turns 36 in May. The smart money has it that his big league career is over, but Hamilton would be silly to retire given that he is owed $30 million this coming season. That the Angels are paying $26.41 million of that makes it far less painful for the Rangers as well. If he can hit in the spring, hey, let him DH some and pay him low money. If not, no skin off of anyone’s nose. He can request a release on April 1 if he hasn’t made the big league roster.

A-Rod to host a reality show featuring broke ex-athletes

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Alex Rodriguez’s transition into retirement has featured a serious move into the business world. He has gone back to school, worked seriously on investments and has started his own corporation. Yes, he’s set for life after making more money than any baseball player in history, but even if his bank account wasn’t fat, you get the sense that he’d be OK given what we’ve seen of his work ethic and savvy in recent years.

He’s going to be getting another paycheck soon, though. For hosting a reality show featuring athletes who are not in as good a financial shape as A-Rod is:

Interesting. Hopefully, like so many other reality shows featuring the formerly rich and famous, this one is not exploitative. Not gonna hold my breath because that’s what that genre is all about, unfortunately, but here’s hoping A-Rod can help some folks with this.