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 on a hot stove -- 937 W he hired -- right now in the AT&T hotline is the president of baseball operations for the Chicago Cubs Theo Epstein -- good evening or you. They get the extra mile and a. I was season to -- the second offseason the Cubs now obviously you've 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. Yeah they feel that it is different the second winner new organization the first winner. -- -- most of your time getting to go. In announced the organization the person now and you don't have as much firsthand knowledge of the players are not having him play day in day out for yourself and especially true currently players. Say is that more comfort level. Any time you had a full calendar year. In new organization than. It wherever slightly different point we're certainly still. That are building process and if it moves that we made Q is that more of an eye towards the future. But were hopefully you know you're further along we have a few more 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 our answer Jackson park 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 broken so young but still 49 and all the while the free agency and the healthiest knock on wood one of the most consistent most terrible. I've never really had no problem. And -- some 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 -- outstanding seasons so all all the bats and in free agent -- which is not. You know bucket you wanna be diving into too often. He's really one of the most one of the safest relatively speaking in. Somebody would still with a lead stop. In some ways that we that we think can be in the middle of our rotation there for years to come. You know -- But our organization is that there's an imbalance we. We have a lot more depth another position player prospects to 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 their 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 age so Jackson -- -- -- of those boxes for -- was available. For you know a fair value relative to to the free agent market. On Dempster. I think Red Sox fans there are a lot of these. Another other pitchers been extraordinarily. Consistent and in and help these takes the ball. Thirty plus starts and recently here. Very very competitive. It is really. Evolved as a pitcher -- in the earlier in his careers again great stuff and and then -- terrific through in this break involved. But not you know not always known for his for his command. More power just. -- he's. Deterred he's he's he's a different guy and married. He came up with a split which is huge it's -- 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 pitch that hitters don't get it's going that -- center. So you know he's Smart he knows what he's doing he's still got. An average stuff and and and and that difference maker and split. And as competitive. -- guys you want out there really a great team in a great person off the field so. It always is -- on things and keep things positive for everybody I think he's. It was hard not to kind of pick your spot doesn't -- -- knows that he can't do and that should be very effective consistent pitcher regrets. -- what are 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 fit in some respects they've taken very similar courses in. You know just the idea that the Cubs in the Red Sox entered the offseason and 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 respecting the fact that you don't wanna get too much into what the Red Sox have been doing since you left. It's still worth asking like just on the on the broad level when when you saw the Red Sox make that deal with the Dodgers trading Adrian Gonzales Carl Crawford Josh Beckett to 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 to determine if players were involved but. You know I I really like that trade just because -- have a I'm 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 Dempster. And I think it's it's hard to make. Any trade these days we can acquire two young experienced pitchers the caliber of Webster dollar -- so so. They just so much was made of the players go on and from Boston to LA and the vast amounts of payroll. That suddenly became. Available that are outside I think I not enough was made. Of the young talent that came back in and answer and decided to play -- match never use a couple of their players in it in -- whatever it you know -- He's indicated -- that deal of those two. Develop into the of course starting pitchers that they can be it's going to be that transform the deal. You know that the payroll that freed up. Is was remarkable in its own right and yet. Interesting dynamic game and we them and 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 had 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 catbird -- the market -- good pick and choose what you want to do -- as a player out there you can make tree you've got to -- you have the most Terrell flexibility it's. Yet the good farms system of the Red Sox do in payroll flexibility to do just about anything you want it to him in trade it would -- days with with the TV money in. Things going on in the game they're out there are a lot of teams in the sand and and there's only so many ways to spend it CBA really limiting. -- flexibility to allocate those resources amateur market and national markets. It is a lot in the -- stand and and fewer and fewer quality creating becoming available so. Having you know just having money to -- does not necessarily make. There -- freshness and a great position anymore so I think the the underrated part of that deal. The Red Sox was. Was that the young pitching coming back and I think they'll serve them really well for a long time. Theo Epstein joins us on the hot stove show on W yeah -- Theo last summer you talked about. The monster that the front office had to deal with -- times I guess two parts one the elements of that. Said monster you feel they still exist and if they do you feel that. Sheridan is doing dealing with. Well I'm not in a positions. And no matter comments. It 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. Invests in the future together and take a long -- together I think that's the great sides of the franchise it sure seemed that way so. That's terrific for everyone involved and there's always someone who has 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 that and then I think -- I think I think the outlook of -- evolve based on what they've been through it we were we -- in a position. You know we're having tremendous success here and year out and averaging 95 wins -- so and when you're doing that he can be hard for everybody to agree on looking at that. The big picture in the long -- but after a -- go through some adversity. Yes some deals that don't work out you missed. You missed the post season and especially if you go through what their assessment last year. Which is and so dramatic picture for everybody. I think there can be a silver lining there -- it it it can make. Priorities more players can unite. People behind and a common strategies so. You know from afar looks like everyone's expecting her and united and things going and great directions. They're in the conditions involved. The U or run these parts were still waiting Mike Napoli situation could result in. To talk to J. D. Drew a couple weeks ago he was very complimentary in the way that. 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 distinguished itself Robinson in real general terms you know it if if if if things come up. As part of is -- -- conditions being met in the deal on the new information in and usually decides that it does. You know sit down together and -- or something out in light of that new information and so you know obviously gave you that -- I can talk about that was. That contract over now but you know there was something came to -- in the course the physical limits its descent that we had to work on some language in the deal that was fair to both sides protect the club that wasn't. Over the owner and it would go that awkward in America marry you is that that period of negotiations went through the holidays and but you know it could have been unsettling for her for JD this program ever -- Sent some flowers to -- and apologized 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 I felt better about it well on the ulcers or something -- -- forgotten but they can they can get awkward situations. In general have no idea. -- all going specific case but 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 out -- terms of -- And does it even took nature. Well I think it's industry is aware of that pride from the time is an amateur for a statement certainly responded drafted. Doesn't get bothered by much. Sudden one thing that's been interesting to see 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 of the Red Sox namely signing a lot of guys who require relatively short term commitments. Into haven't cost you a draft picks at this point. I'm 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 report now. But more importantly -- -- are several reasons one is that you don't have the amount of compensation picks that you had in the past so. That second round pick for us is really where. Hi there much equipment in the past so it doesn't really matter what rounder pick it matters what what number it is and so. You know we're protecting. For the second or protesting and effectiveness. That the cancer for -- 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 overpay 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 captains in the pool -- that goes with it -- you're really admitting that you're not and packed -- draft. That years Hewitt otherwise -- so that's really hard to do. Given. Given the -- of creating these days and just how meaningful -- -- To develop your own talent and that player under control for six years it's. It's really hard to say they were trying to build out the organization but -- do it. While many drafts in -- not going to be quite as here so I think here. This -- real premium placed on on the drastic -- and -- in the -- -- that goes with it for good reason but the I think it. It's the little bit unfortunate in the affected certain creative and so there's such or whatever reasons you know you the single best thing that happened to. Perspective creating this platform Mears getting traded -- lose the burden of the nation's. -- tackles for. Having said that did you see yourself allocating that pick tenure remaining free agents this this off season. I'm I'm not on us. I don't want us to -- about their main entry and there are plans in general say yeah there's no he can't beat 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 year getting more in the player's services and potential trade value I don't play that player. But that's more valuable than -- 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 field -- potential trade on the road. You obviously Anthony Rizzo 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 the 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 there remarkable thing about what is accomplished is this just out quickly. He made a significant. It just it was this way you know when he went out to San Diego. And and and -- triple a and they got promoted in June in 2011. He came up and gotten some bad habits really quickly. With the Padres part of it was. Trying to do too much a part of it was playing in a park that's just death -- -- power hitters so. -- -- -- Started over swing and and really got an uphill 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 to the point where you know there are some respected and I -- -- on the game. But he was not in the make it made them -- -- -- fundamental. The adjustment was that was needed in and Anthony -- that we traded form you know try to buy low on him. Last winner. Because he would come up and failed and you know under fifty so it appears we follow on them and -- we got to be. Do you take a little bit time for the Mets make that adjustment and -- -- -- send them back to triple that all you know Anthony in the the person that he -- to go himself. To make that make that just as quickly as possible on and worked his tail off over the winner and and you know really leveled the -- Florida's bench. Upon himself down in the box and from the moment shows up in spring training was completely different way you really. As a 21. Girl to a two year old. We were to sway him in real fundamental way to get right into the big leagues and it is not something you see 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 four with a reds' dusty does. You know it is someone in -- work hard not to continue to improve over time just to be elite player. Talking to Theo Epstein Cubs president of baseball operations the failure you're coming back next week for for the hot stove cool music events on 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 -- -- 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 losses. And how much was that of the forefront of what you try 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 -- it's it's it's it's a missiles little more this thing so. You know you can. Set out to change the culture. And and and -- and see certain changes -- certain people. Identified some priorities and values -- sisterhood I think to accomplish does anyone think he can do this. To do it but but certainly it takes an organizational commitment and -- 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 acknowledge that there is need for changes yet back back with the Red Sox you know -- -- -- I -- -- -- -- right after that 2001 season. Were clearly clearly there are some things wrong in -- Culture change needed in. The integrity -- after the 2002 season and so it did become a priority to bring -- -- personalities like Ortiz and in -- our players like that who has servant embraced embraced the role in about threats can wouldn't let. Wouldn't let -- outside influences bother them literally. Create significant bonds with his teammates and establish. Certain way of doing things in the about the serve of the team well through the to the grind of the season on the spotlight. I think I think. That really help and became well established and then sort of morphed into a little bit more of a professional culture -- -- a little 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 -- about is that -- and see that evolve and hopefully take some lessons 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 club out that that. They'll play him in the coaching 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. This is players that each other's backs. Nothing leaked out that -- leaped out and is it. Prepared hard they play hard. And this certainly covered for each other and we got rid of a couple players who were causing some issues and that's important -- really ultimately -- -- so much the front office can do it falls to me that your. It's some of the veterans do to establish. What was called 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 mean later. Dot org and take a look and see what's going on there and -- we appreciate your time thanks a lot. Yes thanks but you know there are.