MESA, Ariz. All the top Cubs executives are here, with a Ricketts family board meeting on Thursdays agenda.
Theyve been watching games from an open-air box high above home plate. Chairman Tom Ricketts has been seen shaking hands and taking pictures with fans.
From ownership on down, theres said to be a new energy around the organization, and almost all of it can be traced back to the Theo Epstein hire. You probably cant put a price on that.
But the Cubs had to settle on compensation with the Boston Red Sox for getting Epstein out of the final year of his contract. The president of baseball operations got a bigger job and a better title.
Some five months later, the Red Sox got another prospect, 21-year-old right-hander Aaron Kurcz. A 10th-round pick in the 2010 draft, Kurcz spent last season mostly as a reliever at Class-A Daytona, where overall he went 5-4 with a 3.28 ERA and 91 strikeouts in 82.1 innings.
Chris Carpenter a 26-year-old reliever who can throw around 100 mph and made his big-league debut last season already became the answer to a trivia question as the first player sent to the Red Sox camp as compensation.
The final piece left to the Epstein compensation puzzle is the prospect the Red Sox will send to the Cubs. Major League Baseball procedure forced the Cubs to structure this as a trade and not just giving away two prospects for a general manager who helped build two World Series winners.
The compensation for general manager Jed Hoyer and senior vice president Jason McLeod the two executives Epstein lured to the North Side from the San Diego Padres is said to not have a resolution yet.