Jan 3, 2013|
Kirk, Rob and Alex talk with former Red Sox and current Chicago Cubs GM Theo Epstein. Theo gives his thoughts on the Red Sox trade with the Dodgers, the development of Ryan Dempster and the Red Sox farm system.
Transcript - will not be 100% accurate
Back now on -- hot stove showed 937 W he hired -- right now in the AT&T hotline is -- president of baseball operations for the Chicago Cubs Theo -- -- good evening how -- you. They get the extra mile and a. I was -- -- -- -- second offseason but the cubs now obviously been there for awhile how's it differed from from that first when it seems you know at first glance you guys been more active in this offseason. They feel that it is different the second winner new organization in the first winner. His most of your time getting to go. In announced the organization the person. You don't have as much firsthand knowledge of the players certainly not having him play day in day out for yourself and especially true minor league players. Say is that more comfort level. Anytime you had a full calendar year. In new organization than. It wherever slightly different point we're certainly spill. That are building process and if it moves that we -- -- is more of an eye towards the future. But were hopefully you know you're further along we have a few more core process and we did it. Year ago we can start to feel a bit more aggressive trying to continue to build the core. Do you dislike them Edwin Jackson. To two pretty contract and I'm just curious about what you saw in him. And also what you saw in Ryan Dempster when he was with view that maybe Red Sox fans can expect. Look at -- Jackson -- first. First and foremost -- Jackson. Is derided so players got that quality of prime years left in the to it and there's only been around awhile is broken and so young but still toward the united then all the while the free agency and the healthiest knock on wood one of the most consistent most terrible. Never really had no problem. And -- has been because he's bounced around so much intensity -- or that underrated for his for his consistency in this solid middle rotation. Pitcher for many years you know top that is mixed in if you outstanding seasons so all all the bats and in free agent -- which is not. You know bucket you -- to be -- -- -- -- -- He's really one of the most one of the safest relatively speaking and somebody would still with a lead stop. In some ways that we that we think can be over -- there for years to come. You know -- But our organization is that there's an imbalance we. We have a lot more depth -- position player prospects and reduce their pitching prospects and as we look forward to future years and the desire to be competitive we understand it. Really next to impossible to build the entire rotation over the course of one winners to winners so. We really had to start the process of picking their spots. To bring in starting pitchers. When they were available if they were. Healthy talented and in the right -- so Jackson really checked all of those boxes Forrest was available. For you know a fair value relative to to -- -- market. On Dempster. Think Red Sox fans there are a lot of these. Another other pitchers been extraordinarily. Consistent and and and healthy takes the ball. Thirty plus starts citizenry here. Very very competitive. It is really. Evolved as a pitcher in the earlier in his careers -- great stuff and and then it's terrific through in this break involved. But not you know not know is known for his for his command. More empowered just. He's. The church he's he's he's a different -- married. He came up with a split which is huge it's formed last year and now he's really more of its maker. His spot consistently. Along really executed. With a split finger. Keep hitters off balance the you know you've when he didn't throw a good split is this the type of -- that hitters don't get it's going that -- center. So you know he's Smart you know what he's doing he's still got. An average stuff and and and and that difference -- -- And as competitive. Guys you want out there really a great team in a great person off the field so. It always -- -- -- and keep things positive for everybody I think he's. It was Smart enough to kind of pick your -- -- of the candy knows that he can't do and that should be very effective consistent pitcher regrets. TO one of the reasons why it's been kind of interesting to watch your offseason and the reds and out of the Red Sox because. I think -- in some respects they've taken very similar courses and you know just the idea that the cubs in the Red Sox -- the offseason in similar places. -- with regards to team building was interesting. I guess it kind of stems back to the Red Sox making that blockbuster deal with the Dodgers. You know obviously respect the fact that you don't wanna get too much into what the Red Sox have been doing since she left. It's still worth asking like just on on the broad level when when you saw the Red Sox make that deal with the Dodgers trading Adrian Gonzales Carl Crawford Josh -- LA. Viscerally how stunning was that for you to see that they had done that and what to you what does that say about where the Red Sox were. You know I think everyone in his -- surprises that the scope of the deal as it became clear just how many players were involved but. You know I really like that trade dispute could have a -- a big fan of the young talent they got back. That we spent a lot of time. Getting dodgers' system committed some possible it's there it's in -- I think it's it's hard to make. Any trade these days you can acquire -- starting pitchers the caliber of Webster dollar rose so so. They just so much was made of the players going and from Boston to LA and the vast amounts of -- That suddenly became. Available that are outside I think by not enough was made. Of the young talent that came back in and answer and decided to -- that measure never used a couple of other players in it in -- whatever you know Webster's. He's indicated -- that deal of those two. Develop into the of course starting pitchers that they can be it's going to be a transformative deal. You know that The Herald that freed up. Is was remarkable in its own right -- yet. Interesting dynamic game and we game that we are experiencing the same thing to a certain extent but you know having available dollars. Today you know at this moment in time with this marketplace dynamic. Is not what it it was ten years ago or even five years ago you know there is a time when. When you really -- according to payroll flexibility. Because there's there's so much you can do that you he's sort of the market to get. The cap bird seed the market can really pick and choose what you want to do it is player out there you can make tree you've got -- if you have the most -- flexibility it. Yet the good farms as some of the -- -- -- in payroll flexibility to do just about anything you wanted to in trades it would -- days with with the TV money and things going on in the game they're out there a lot of teams play in the band and and there's only so many ways to spend it CPA limiting. -- flexibility to allocate those resources amateur market and national markets. It is a lot of -- of my understand and and fewer and fewer -- creating becoming available so. Having you know just having money -- -- does not necessarily make. -- -- freshness and a great position anymore so I think the the underrated part of that deal. The red boxes. Was that the young pitching coming back I think -- serve them rather well for a long time. Theo Epstein joins in the hot -- show on WEI Theo last summer you talked about. The monster that the front office had to deal with the times I guess two parts one the elements of that. Said monster you feel they still exist and if they do you feel that. -- is doing dealing with. Well I'm not. Positions. And no matter -- comments. Since disaster about the deal and I think. You know if if if that trade was in the indications. That the entire organization and I'm on the same page. Going forward as a really united front there. Prepared to. Invest in the future together and take a long view together I think that's the great sides of the franchises interest in that way so. That's terrific for everyone involved and there's always someone always been a moment great perspective and and and it was -- ability to look at the big picture and seems like of those in the trade and and I think I think I think the outlook of princesses evolve based on what they've been through it we were we -- in a position. You know we're having tremendous success here and -- out and averaging 95 when there's and when you're doing that it can be hard for everybody to agree on looking at. The big picture in the long -- but after a -- go to some adversity. Yes some deals that don't work out you missed. You missed the postseason especially if you go through what their assessment last year. Which is also dramatic picture for everybody. I think there can be a silver lining there words it it it can make. Priorities more clear and can unite. People behind and a common strategies so. You know from afar looks like everyone's expecting her and united and things are going -- directions. There can be some patience involved. The U or run these parts were still waiting Mike Napoli situation could result -- To talk to J. D. Drew a couple weeks ago he was very complimentary in the way of it. His 52 day ordeal kind of went and how he had a lot of faith that that was gonna get worked out if you gonna kind of go through what. In general terms and watch it goes beyond that the behind the scenes in regards to something like that. You know I shouldn't get in this Jewish -- so vapid than in real general terms you know if if if if things come up. As part of is -- that conditions being met in the deal on the new information and in the usually decide tested this. You know sit down together and or something out in light of that new information and so you know obviously did the -- I can talk about that was. That contract over now but you know there was something came to light in the course the physical limits its descent that we had to work on some language in the field that was fair to both sides protect the club but wasn't. Overly onerous and it would go that awkward -- marry you is that that period of negotiation went through the holidays and but you know it could have been unsettling for her for JD this family members resent it. Sent some flowers to life and apologized and and real -- something out that that really did protect the club. At the same time was -- in the in the and that's coming into play. You know -- felt better about it. One ulcers or something on this forgotten but they can they can get awkward situations. In general have no idea. Almost specific case we usually it's just a matter of the club in the representatives sitting down and. Clearly that was your first indication of him not him met him -- -- terms of and does it even took nature. I think -- industry is aware of that prize from the time is an amateur for a statement certainly at first -- drafted. Doesn't get bothered by much. Sudden one thing that's been interesting -- from afar is as I as I alluded to it does seem as if you guys are moving in. In kind of you with similar priorities to the Red Sox namely signing a lot of guys who require relatively short term commitments. Into haven't cost you addressed it to this point. I'm just curious you know since you do have that protected. Number one overall pick how valuable is a second round pick in the new baseball landscape and you know how how important is that. When you do have a protected takes still to protect that second round pick. It's really -- now. -- more important these are several reasons one is that you don't have the amount of compensation -- had in the past so. That second round pick for us is really where. Hi -- much equipment in the past so it doesn't really matter what rounder pick it matters what what numbered is and so. You know we're protecting. For the second paper -- protesting and effectiveness. That the cancer fruit for most delicate that way they're going at some mailed it to earlier you just don't have as though. As it is there's no. There are multiple into the into the amateur marketplace more you know in the past because. Give up but I -- and realize you're gonna -- as someone later on -- give up. Couple drastic to realize that you just can't cut it down an international free agency that year. He just don't you just don't have the ability to do those things anymore so when he's surrendered drastic. And the captain in the pool -- that goes with it -- you're really admitting that you're not -- -- -- draft. That year's -- otherwise so that's really hard to do. Given. Given the price of creating these days and just how meaningful this. To develop your own talent player under control for six years since. It's really hard to say they were trying to build out the organization but -- do it. While many draft it is not going to be quite as here so I think here. This senior real premium placed them on the drastic than in the in the polls -- that goes with it for good reason but the I think it. It's a little bit unfortunate in the affected certain create and so there's such or whatever reasons you know -- the single best thing that can happen to. Perspective creating this platform Mears getting traded users to -- the burden of the nation's. -- -- go forward. Having said that could you see yourself allocating that -- tenure remaining free agents this this offseason. I'm I'm -- on us. I don't talk specifically about their main entry and there are plans in general say yeah there's no he can't be dogmatic about it clearly there are. Clearly there there immediately creations are. To justify surrounding you know first round and it's certainly the second effective. You're here acquiring. The assets of this thing if if -- If the contract makes sense in your your getting more in the player's services and potential trade value I don't play -- player. But this more valuable than -- my surroundings. In terms of dollars in the drastic certainly it would make sense but all of them. Not just the player that the contract and then to actually what you get out of the players in terms of contributions on the fielder potential trade on the road. You obviously Anthony -- has been highly regarded around these parts for for awhile if he wasn't he wouldn't be involved in such a big trade value lies. But has hit his progress and how quickly he's kind of evolved. Over the last year surprised arisen about this the track that you thought you might take. You know -- by and large he's he's he's on the that that we projected for. From the time established himself. In our system I think they're remarkable thing about what is accomplished in this just out quickly. He made a significant. It just -- with this morning you know when he went out to San Diego. And and and -- triple -- and they got promoted in June in 2011. He came up and gotten some bad habits really quickly. With the -- is part of it was. Trying to do too much a part of it was playing in part that's just death on last power hitters so. -- -- -- Started over swing and and really got enough help plane. Dramatic up they'll play going in this way so is battles never in the zone. It really finish in. News is is hard for him to impact the baseball and yes the point where the other some respected and I -- -- on the game. But he was not in the make it made them slaves how fundamental. The adjustment was that was needed in and Anthony's parents that we traded form they're trying to buy low on him. Last winner. Because he would come up and failed and you know -- to -- so it appears we follow on them and you know we've got to be. Do you take a little bit country -- -- make that adjustment and set plan to send them back to triple that all you know Anthony be in the first it's -- so. To make that make that just as quickly as possible -- and worked his tail off over the winner and and you know really leveled swing -- to finish. Upon himself down in the box and from the moment shows up in spring training they completely different way he really. As a 21. -- to a two year old. We were to -- him in real fundamental way to get right into the big leagues and -- does not something the government with a lot of success to off and so I think that that instant transformation. Who has it was really rare that the general path that he's on you know he's still showing. The same pluses and minuses to his game that that we projected -- -- -- this. You know it is someone in -- work hard not to continue to improve over time -- to be elite player. Talking to Theo Epstein cubs president of baseball operations the failure you're coming back next week for for the classical music event the round table this year. Is about changing a baseball culture. It seems like that's been a driving force for the Red Sox certainly this offseason. That was obviously something that you -- great priority on with the cubs. Over the last you know whatever fourteen months or so. How important is it to change a baseball culture where you've been through kind of a dramatic run up losses. And how much was that of the forefront of what you tried to accomplish. In your first offseason as the Red Sox GM. Back ten years ago. I think it's it's fundamentally important but it. It's really hard to define and it's it's it's it's the missiles and amorphous thanks so. You know you can. Set out to change the culture. And and and threat and see certain changes experience certain people. Identified some priorities and some -- -- sisterhood I think to accomplish does anyone think he can do this. To do it but but certainly it takes an organizational commitment yet there on top of that are consisting get away from me I think. Yeah element to. The minute the two experiences trying to trying to set out in. There acknowledges there's need for changes yet back back of the Red Sox implement a joint -- such right after that 2001 season. Were clearly clearly there are some things wrong in -- Culture change needed in. -- to congress to him after the 2002 season and so it did become a priority to bring -- some personalities like Ortiz and in the alarm players like that who has servant in Britain and praised the role in about threats can wouldn't let. Wouldn't -- -- outside influences bother them literally. Create significant bonds with their teammates and establish. Certain way of doing things in the about -- -- the team well through to the grind of the season -- the spotlight. I think I think. That really help and became well established and and sort of morphed into a little bit more. Professional culture as things capital bit out of control after there's some success in the and certainly. At the end you know something's got away from us and said -- abouts about is an agency that evolved and hopefully take some -- in and Chinese and here at the -- The culture that really need it to be transformed into a winning culture you know we lost under one games last year. On the call out that that. They'll swim in the -- that -- up to sell really well the winning culture it's. Ridiculous to caught a winning culture -- under one losses but there was in the single players complained. -- players each other's backs. Nothing leaked out that -- leaked out and is it. Prepared -- they play hard. This certainly covered for each other and we got rid of a couple players who were causing some issues that's important they're really ultimately -- -- so much the front office can do it falls to enter. It's some of the veterans do it to establish. What was called the culture club. The hot stove cool music events roundtable Friday January 11 the concert is the next night to go to the website foundation to -- later. Dot org and take a look and see what's going on there and there we appreciate your time thanks a lot. Yes thanks but you know there are.