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RealGM Baseball Wiretap

Epstein: Goal For Cubs In 2015 Is Playoffs

The Chicago Cubs believe they can compete for a playoff spot next season.

"Overall, for the organization, I think 2015 will be a little bit different than the previous three seasons in that we now think we have the talent to compete," Theo Epstein. "And any time you have enough talent to compete you want to set your sights high.

"We proved we can be very competitive within this division and when you have a chance to compete you should set your sights high and that means our goal is the National League Central title next year."

Chicago finished 73-89 in 2014, ahead of just two teams in the NL.

"We're going to be competing while we develop young talent," Epstein said. "It isn't easy but it's exciting, very exciting."

Via Jesse Rogers/ESPN


Tigers Will Begin ALDS With Max Scherzer

The Detroit Tigers will have Max Scherzer on the mound for Game 1 of the ALDS against the Baltimore Orioles.

Justin Verlander will start the second game of the series. The AL Division Series begins on Thursday in Baltimore.

"He's been our best pitcher," Brad Ausmus said of Scherzer.

Via Associated Press


Yankees, Cashman Working On New Deal

The New York Yankees have begun the process of working out a new contract for Brian Cashman, according to sources.

The general manager's contract will expire on Oct. 31.

Cashman has held the position for the past 17 years, but the Yankees have missed the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1992-93.

Via Buster Olney/ESPN



Weeks Doesn't Expect To Remain With Brewers

Rickie Weeks, who has spent nearly 10 years with the club, doesn't expect the Milwaukee Brewers to pick up his $11.5 million option for 2015.

Weeks didn't make a final appearance for Milwaukee on Sunday, the team's final game of the season.

"It's just one of those things where what's done is done," Weeks said. "We had a good conversation earlier this morning with (GM) Doug (Melvin). I told the manager if the time permitted itself during the game to put me out there, OK. If not, so be it.

"Life still goes on. It's not like this is the end of all (things). I'm the type of person that I move on. That's the way it is. I don't think I'm going to be here next year. It's just for me to go out there and move forward with my life."

Via Tom Haudricourt/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel


Burnett Seems Likely To Retire, Forgo $12.75M Option

A.J. Burnett has a $12.75 million player option in his contract for next season, but it seems likely that he'll retire instead.

"Maybe this is a hint at which way Burnett is leaning: He kept four game balls from Saturday night's start, the 404th of his career," writes Jim Salisbury. "Would he have done that if he planned to pitch next season?"

Burnett went 8-18 with a 4.59 ERA, 1.409 WHIP and 190 strikeouts in 213.2 innings this season.

Via Jim Salisbury/CSN Philly


Yankees Lack Pieces To Execute Immediate Rebuild

The New York Yankees have missed the playoffs in consecutive seasons, but executing a quick rebuild is almost impossible.

Teams generally rebuild by trading older, expensive players and capitalizing on high draft picks. The Yankees don't have high picks coming and the older players they have are extremely expensive.

"Who exactly could the Yankees trade? Alex Rodriguez, CC Sabathia and Mark Teixeira have bloated contracts, deep injury histories and declining performance (not to mention blanket no-trade clauses and no desire to leave). The Yanks are stuck with them," writes Joel Sherman.

Spending money, perhaps on Max Scherzer and/or Victor Martinez, is another option, but not a smart one with neither considered young at this point.

 

Via Joel Sherman/New York Post


Greg Colbrunn Might Not Return To Red Sox

Greg Colbrunn has expressed uncertainty as to whether he'll return to the Boston Red Sox next season.

The hitting coach had a serious health scare earlier this season.

Colbrunn cited a desire to spend more time with his family as a reason he might elect not to return next season.

Boston went from having baseball's most prolific offense in 2013 -- Colbrunn's first season as a big league hitting coach -- to having one of the worst in 2014.

Via Gordon Edes/ESPN


Mariners Activiate Montero Off Suspended List

The Seattle Mariners have activated Jesus Montero off the suspended list.

Montero had to be reinstated from the suspended list with Seattle's season now complete. He put them over the limit on the 40-man roster, so they designated outfielder Corey Hart for assignment.

He was placed on the suspended list Sept. 1 after a heated confrontation with cross-checker Butch Baccala in the stands at a Minor League game.

Via Associated Press


Buchholz To Undergo Minor Knee Surgery

Clay Buchholz will undergo surgery on his right knee Tuesday, according to Boston Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington.

The procedure will be performed by Dr. Peter Asnis and Buchholz is expected to have a normal offseason.

"It's a meniscus repair," Cherington said. "This is something that he's had some off-and-on symptoms for some time now. Not something that prevents him from pitching, but we just want to use the offseason to take care of this. It's a relatively routine procedure. Pretty quick recovery, shouldn't affect his offseason."

Cherington said that the ailment is something Buchholz has dealt with over the course of at least this season.

Via Kyle Brasseur/ESPN


Girardi: A-Rod Not Guaranteed Starting Role

Alex Rodriguez is not guaranteed to immediately return as the starting third baseman of the New York Yankees, according to Joe Girardi.

"We have to see where he is at," Girardi said. "I think that is the thing that we have to do. I believe he is going to be 40 next summer, and we need to see where he is physically at."

Rodriguez, who will turn 40 next July, will be removed from the restricted list at the end of the World Series.

During his yearlong suspension for his connection to the Biogenesis drug scandal, Rodriguez could have been with the Yankees, but all parties agreed to keep a distance after the contentious legal fight.

Via Andrew Marchand/ESPN