5:42 AM EDT, Mon October 20, 2014

Wrigley renovation, TV deal on tap this offseason for Cubs

ESPNChicago.com's Jesse Rogers takes a look at the biggest storylines facing the Chicago Cubs during the offseason. These aren't on-the-field storylines, but the renovation of historic Wrigley Field and where 70 Cubs games will air on television next season are things to track this winter. The biggest news will happen when the club's first video scoreboard is erected. The plan is for it to be ready for the start of the 2015 season. Watching slow-motion replays at Wrigley Field will be a new fan experience and, with video-replay challenges now available to managers, paying customers will get...

How will the Cubs fare in free agency?

ESPNChicago.com's Jesse Rogers takes a look at the biggest storylines facing the Cubs during the offseason. Will it be Jon Lester or Russell Martin? Does James Shields end up a Cub? What about those veteran-leader types they want to bring in like a Jonny Gomes? As with almost any baseball offseason, free agency, which begins after the World Series, tends to be the No. 1 storyline. The Chicago Cubs were fairly quiet on that front last winter with pitchers Jason Hammel and Jose Veras ending up as their only significant acquisitions.

Free-agent focus: Veteran OF Jonny Gomes would fit with Cubs

CHICAGO – While the free-agent frenzy is close to beginning for big-name pitchers such as Jon Lester and Max Scherzer, the Chicago Cubs are on record saying they want to bring in some veteran position-player leadership along with a top-of-the-line hurler. More than likely that will come in the form of an outfielder, as Cubs president Theo Epstein indicated Tuesday in his end-of-the-year news conference. "In an ideal world we'd like to add to the outfield mix," Epstein said.

Will Theo's plan for Cubs in 2015 work?

CHICAGO -- Chicago Cubs President Theo Epstein's year-end press conference on Tuesday went about as you would think. The Cubs are in a "compete and development" mode. It means they have a very outside chance at the postseason in 2015, but it's better than the past few seasons which had no chance of ending well. They are only in the second part of a three-part plan. Developing their talent is still the priority. Here's a few statements by Epstein worth analyzing: Theo: "We're going to be competing while we continue to develop young players.
Chicago Sun-Times Oct 1, 2014

Not buying Cubs, Theo’s song and dance

RICK TELANDER: But there was Epstein, three seasons into his task of making the Cubs and their ballpark relevant, telling us forcefully, “A message has been sent around the league. This place is going to get really interesting for a long time.’’ Is it?

Chat alert: Jesse Rogers at noon CT

ESPNChicago.com's Jesse Rogers takes your Cubs questions during a live chat at noon CT Wednesday. Click here to submit your questions.
Chicago Sun-Times Sep 30, 2014

Theo on 2015 Cubs: ‘We’re not going to sell out to win’

Don’t try to tell Cubs president Theo Epstein that he and The Plan are now on the clock to produce big-league results heading into the front office’s fourth season in 2015. He started the clock on his own Tuesday when he said he expects the process to turn a competitive corner next season, with the Cubs challenging for a playoff spot. ‘‘It’s going to be different next year than the three years that preceded it,’’ he said, ‘‘but we’re not all the...
Chicago Sun-Times Sep 30, 2014

Theo says Wrigley Field is going to get really interesting

Looking at the tiny, futuristic scale model of Wrigley Field and the surrounding area made me want to shrink to fly size, dive in and walk around. The model is in the back room at the Cubs’ main office on Clark Street, and team president Theo Epstein gave us a look Tuesday after his state-of-the-organization speech to media members. Here’s what I would do, if shrunk: I’d go to the bar in the airy, eight-story hotel on the corner of Clark and Addison, order an...
Chicago Sun-Times Sep 30, 2014

Manny Ramirez could fill a coaching slot for Cubs

Manny Ramirez in a Cubs uniform at Wrigley Field next season? Team president Theo Epstein didn’t rule it out Tuesday as he discussed one change the club plans to make to this year’s coaching staff. First-year assistant hitting coach Mike Brumley is being considered for a scouting/special assistant job within the organization, said Epstein, who added that Brumley also is considering job opportunities outside the organization. Asked if that coaching vacancy could...

Baez good at 2nd for 2015; Grimm, Ramirez in bullpen

CHICAGO – Despite striking out 95 times in 52 big league games in 2014, Chicago Cubs infielder Javier Baez is on track to be the Cubs' opening day second baseman next season. The front office doesn’t envision him needing another stint in the minor leagues to begin 2015, as they hope to see Baez adjust to big league pitching. “He’s got some of the best raw ingredients to work with in all of major league baseball,” Cubs president Theo Epstein said Tuesday.

Cubs waiting on Manny to decide on future

CHICAGO -- If former slugger Manny Ramirez officially retires, the Chicago Cubs could have an opening for him as a coach on their major league staff. Ramirez, 42, was a player-coach for the Triple-A Iowa Cubs this season and garnered positive reviews from the front office. "Manny has not decided to retire as of yet," Cubs president Theo Epstein said Tuesday. "He did an outstanding job for the organization this year and we're going to continue to stay in touch depending on what he wants to do in his career.

Epstein: Cubs to be 'very involved' in free agency

President Theo Epstein said Tuesday the Chicago Cubs are at an "interesting" stage that could involve adding ''impact talent'' outside the organization.
Chicago Tribune Sep 30, 2014

Epstein: Cubs to be 'very involved' in free agency

President Theo Epstein said Tuesday the Chicago Cubs are at an "interesting" stage that could involve adding ''impact talent'' outside the organization.

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Interactive report card: Grade the Cubs

Year 3 of the Chicago Cubs' rebuild brought some key pieces of the core to Wrigley Field, but it was also a season in which some took a step back. How would you grade each Cubs player this season? Check out the grades by ESPNChicago.com's Jesse Rogers and hand out your own with our interactive report card here.

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