Epstein Compensation: McNutt to Boston?

22 year old pitching prospect Trey McNutt could be shipped off to Boston as a part of the Theo Epstein compensation deal headed by Bud Selig.

This could go down as one of the greatest robberies since the 2003 Antwerp Diamond Heist

The Epstein compensation issue has been floating around in Cubs fans minds for a long time. Talks went from players like Matt Garza, down to minor disposable prospects that wouldn’t be difficult to replace. But now talks of McNutt going to Boston? This just seems wrong.

Trey McNutt has had injury problems while being a part of the Cubs system, but he remains in the top 5 (if not the best) pitching prospect the Cubs have. He was somewhat ineffective last season posting a 5-6 record with the Cubs AA affiliate Tennessee Smokies,  with 95 innings pitched 65 SO and a 1.674 WHIP, but this could be because of his struggles with injury.

McNutt was still listed as Baseball America’s 48th best prospect before the 2011 season. His talent is hard to ignore despite a poor statistical showing.

Explain to me how someone who never even hits the field has the same value as a one of the top prospects in the game right now?

McNutt is very aware he’s on the trade block and his comments (from cubs.com) reflect a slight bit of nervousness about the whole situation:

“I tried to block most of it out,” he said. “I just wanted to know where I was going to be. It doesn’t really matter. I finished the Fall League strong. I hope to pick up where I left off and keep going.”

Good attitude Trey.

He continued with:

“I’m going to try to stay off the DL all year this year,” McNutt said. “That’s my goal. Stay off the DL and get 150-plus innings. I don’t care if it’s a ‘C’ or a ‘B’ [on the cap],” he said. “Whatever works out for them. It’s not my choice. It’s their decision, not mine. Well, it’s Bud Selig’s decision now.”

Yikes… now I’m worried.

Despite all this, we still have no idea who will be heading to Boston in return for Theo Epstein.

However, don’t freak out just yet (I think im talking to myself more than anything). My assumption is that both the Cubs and BoSox have a long list of players they present to Bud Selig and I’m sure Boston’s list included McNutt, while Chicago’s didn’t. All this panic could be for nothing more than a silly rumor. If that’s the case? We can all laugh at this once the issue has been resolved and continue to watch Trey McNutt develop within the Cubs system into a solid pitcher that the Cubs can rely on.

That would be ideal, but again we just don’t know. The only thing we DO know as of right now, it’s that if Selig does select McNutt as part of the compensation package, you’re going to hear some serious backlash from Cubs fans and front office staff alike.


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Tags: Boston Bud Chicago Compensation Cubs Epstein MLB Red Sox Selig

  • DakotaArturo

    “Explain to me how someone who never even hits the field has the same value as a one of the top prospects in the game right now?”

    Hmm let’s see. As a Cubs fan who would you rather have Andrew: Theo Epstein or Trey McNutt? In other words, who is more likely to turn the Cubs franchise around, Epstein or McNutt? I know there are different views to this, but I just don’t get how Cubs fans are missing this. For all we know McNutt could collapse in AAA and never be more effective than an injury prone bullpen arm. I’m not saying that will happen, but when you’re getting a guy who turned Boston into a powerhouse, and could do just that in Chicago, I think he’s at least worth Trey McNutt.

  • http://cubbiescrib.com AndrewDenny

    Thanks for the comment Dakota.

    Its an interesting debate, and I do see your point. Trey McNutt would never turn the organization around, but then again, no single player can. The only reason Epstein can have an impact is because he’s head of baseball operations. Quite frankly, as nice as it is to have Epstein, anyone could have done a better job than the previous front office team.

    Epstein is good, but he’s not a god. I could argue that Jed Hoyer or Andrew Friedman (TB Rays) could have performed the same task and make the same moves that Epstein is making.

    Anyone in the front office will only ever write checks an “keep an eye on the market”. Take Boston for example: They won two world series under Epstein… Did Epstein ever swing a bat? No. It is the players who make winning possible. Epstein made some good moves, but he also made a LOT of bad moves (Crawford for example)

    Consider this: under the new CBA, the old Epstein strategy no longer works. Large market teams may have buying power, but they aren’t allowed to throw money at young players and amass them in the farm system (much like he did in Boston). The MLB is balancing the power so that teams like Boston, Chicago and NYY can no longer simply walk over small market teams with a massive payroll. Epstein will once again have to prove himself and find a new way to rebuild the team.

    And as far as “powerhouses” go, we need to look at the definition of that. A powerhouse team is a team that consistently wins or has an impact in the post season. Take the current Detroit Red Wings for example: they’ve CONSISTENTLY been in the mix for almost 7 straight years. Boston is no powerhouse, and they proved it last year.