The Cubs, from their new owner to their front-office folks, love the job that interim manager and longtime organization man
Cubs officials say they believe he's brought a real energy to a team that looked moribund in its last days under
"He's done an outstanding job in every area on and of the field,'' Cubs general manager
Lest anyone thinks Cubs people are just being publicly polite or blowing smoke, know that teams aren't obligated to overplay an interim's chances (the Marlins and Mariners, for instance, are using interim managers who don't seem as likely to retain those jobs). That's not to say that Quade's a shoo-in for the coveted job. He surely has impressed his bosses -- but will that be enough to overcome Quade's nonexistent Q score?
Quade (pronounced KWAH-dee) and Sandberg both make a lot of sense, though. Hiring a low-profile person such as Quade would represent a departure from the past, but Cubs people have long suggested they are looking for a "non celebrity'' to run the team after
Speaking of Quade and Sandberg, one person familiar with the Cubs' thinking said, "I think those two fit the bill as to what they're looking for. I think it's between [Quade] and Sandberg. Quade's done a nice job and he's been an organization guy. But the other guy [Sandberg] is the people's choice.''
At the very least, Quade has increased his chances from what was believed to be a long-shot hope when he started. Even if the Cubs try first for Girardi -- and it's no guarantee they will -- Quade may still wind up with the job as the prime fallback candidate. Luring someone away from the Yankees won't be easy, especially a manager who seems so entrenched in the Bronx. "I don't see (Girardi) leaving,'' another Cubs person said. Hendry understandably declined to say anything about Girardi, since he's still managing another team.
"My focus is here,'' Girardi said the other day at Yankee Stadium, meaning with the defending World Series champions. But of course, Girardi, no fool, can be expected to investigate any interesting opening even if he intends to stay. Which is what most Yankees officials think he will do. "If he's a free agent, he'll be well sought after. Anybody would have interest I would think,'' Yankees GM
Girardi is said to be playing things close to the vest. But there are some around baseball who think the historic could be a major temptation for the Peoria, Ill.. native, who played with the Cubs after attending Northwestern. Yankees people, though, remain confident they'll hold onto Girardi, citing his excellent relationship with all his bosses, including
While the Cubs passed over Girardi for Piniella the last time, it wouldn't be shocking to see them make a run at him. In any case, the Yankees are expected to offer him a substantial raise from his $2.5 million salary, perhaps as much as $4.5 million.
And that might be good news for Quade.
"It'll get resolved,'' Posada said of the upcoming negotiations for his good friends and longtime teammates
"Of course, we'd like to have them back,'' GM Brian Cashman said about Jeter and Rivera before changing the subject.
Posada said, "I hope so. He had a pretty good year. He's still, for me, one of the best big-game pitchers.''
Boston has offered Martinez a two-year deal that would constitute a raise from the $7.5 million he made this year (one executive estimated the offer at about $22 million over two years, but that is unconfirmed). Sabathia said, however, that he believes Martinez wants a four-year deal as a free agent and is bound to leave Boston.
The Red Sox are one of the teams that believe Martinez remains viable as a catcher. He has shown improvement under catching tutor
Among other potential Boston free agents,
The Red Sox hold a 2011 option for $12.5 million on Ortiz, who recently was quoted as saying he'd prefer a multiyear deal. Executives say the the Sox might offer a two-year contract, but for less the $12.5 million per year. If Ortiz doesn't go for that, competing execs believe Boston will just pick up his option, which shows the incredible comeback Ortiz made from his horrific season-opening slump.
The Red Sox would like
Another option for Boston that's been bandied about would be to move the versatile
It was interesting to see the Diamondbacks hire
Towers was fired in San Diego by
Also sitting in on the GM interviews in Arizona was former Diamondbacks star
Towers succeeded for 14 years in San Diego with such "old school'' methods as using superior scouting to find undervalued major league ballplayers. Under Moorad, the Padres favor newer, different front-office methods. San Diego recently hired former Diamondbacks exec and manager
Folks also see Moorad possibly hiring well-respected former Arizona GM
Meanwhile, new Padres owner Moorad still has his stake in the Diamondbacks in a blind trust. He and Kendrick are in disagreement over how much that stake is worth. The team says about $17 million; Moorad says about three times that.
• The Yankees will go for
• Some see the Angels responding to their rare off year by signing multiple free agents. Besides
• One baseball executive took umbrage with my prediction (and the predictions of two agents and a front-office executive) that Carl Crawford would receive more as a free agent than
• MLB COO
• Sabathia said he thinks the Cy Young award should just be decided by a computer program that would analyze the statistics rather than have voters decide it since voters can't possibly see all the games. However, he wouldn't commit to whether he thinks it should be
• I don't think there will be any complaints about
• Good for the Yankees to invite