Bud SeligTalks Wildcard and Cubs While Attending SoxFest


Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig was in attendance on Friday at the kick-off to the Chicago White Sox annual event, SoxFest. With the likes of Mark Buehrle, and Ozzie Guillen no longer being with the organization; the White Sox probably were looking forward to Selig providing an attendance boost for the fest. Unlike their counterparts, the Chicago Cubs, the White Sox have struggled to gain the attention of the mainstream media this winter. That lack of attention may be the reason why the interest level in the White Sox is at low-point among Chicago natives as the team prepares for the 2012 season. Apparently, Selig had no interest in the White Sox either. As the biggest news to come from Selig’s speaking at SoxFest involved major league baseball as a whole, and the never-ending Theo Epstein compensation between the Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox.

On Friday, Selig told reporters that an additional wild-card team will be added to both the National League and American League post-season series. Selig anticipates that an extra wild-card round will be added to this post-season, which would allow two teams–one from the National League and one from the American League–to make the playoffs that wouldn’t have under the current guidelines of Major League Baseball. The only issue that I see is that the series will only be a one-game elimination rather than a best of three match-up. That appears to be the only flaw in Major League Baseball’s plan to add an additional wild-card team to each league.

In addition to talking about the post-season expansion, Selig also addressed the issue between the Cubs and Red Sox regarding the Theo Epstein compensation. The commissioner did confirm that he would be the one making the final decision on what the Cubs will send to the Red Sox for allowing Epstein to leave Boston. While Selig admitted that there was no timetable for when to expect his decision, he did acknowledge did he wants to get is resolved as quickly as possible. Considering the issue has lasted since late October of last year, Selig for obvious reasons is growing irritated with the Cubs’ and Red Sox inability to reach an agreement. Selig also admitted that whatever decision he makes, it will likely be controversial.

Both the Cubs and Red Sox have sent written proposals to Selig, both of which included player, and it will be the Major League Baseball commissioner that has the final say on who will be heading to Boston. While the Red Sox have had their sights set on Matt Garza or Starlin Castro, it doesn’t seem likely that the Cubs will give up a player that has the stature of either Garza or Castro. The likely scenario is that the Cubs will be forced to give up a top-level prospect. While Brett Jackson‘s name has been included in the speculation, I get the sense that it will ultimately turn out to be third base prospect Josh Vitters who will be joining the Red Sox organization. Vitters’ slow progress has led some to pre-maturely call him a bust, but with Ian Stewart now a part of the Cubs’ picture, Vitters’ picture in Chicago might not be too bright.