Two weeks ago I wrote about the new To Do List for the Cubs this off-season. Well, the Cubs have checked off the first item on that list, hire a new manager. I had a feeling it would be Rick Renteria and I was correct (for the first time). He was not my first choice, but with Theo & Co., I am beginning to see a pattern. They are wanting coaches that they are already familiar with and have some sort of previous relationship. From October 2009 to October 2011, Jed Hoyer was the GM of the San Diego Padres. Renteria was a coach with the Padres during that time. There’s your connection! I’m hoping it works out better than Dale Sveum did.
Yesterday, I mentioned that the Cubs could be trading Jeff Samardzija to the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Cubs still have two years of control on Samardzija’s contract. He will not be a free agent until 2016 at the earliest and he will turn 29 in January. He has the potential to bring in a decent haul if traded. I’m not naive enough to think he would bring as much as the Matt Garza trade did in 2011 for the Rays, but I think it would be close. I took a quick look at Arizona’s top 20 prospects. I think the Cubs could land 2-3 of these players in a deal. I’m not sure which ones it would be and it is too early for me to make a guess. I plan on keeping an eye on this over the next month and see what happens.
Finally, on January 22, 2011, I wrote a blog and an email to the MLB Network with some ideas for programming. One of those ideas was to start showing Arizona Fall League games. I also included the Caribbean League. Well, lately, the MLB Network has been showing the AFL and I love it! I have watched it with my 6 year old son and was able to enjoy seeing some of the young names you hear about in baseball today. Plus, I have seen Albert Almora and Jorge Soler this week as well. That’s a plus for me.