Brad Ausmus to manage Tigers
Ausmus is currently in Detroit finalizing the deal. Hopefully the contact includes a clause requiring Ausmus to smoke five packs a day to ensure continuity with previous leadership. Gammons originally quasi-connected the Cubs with Ausmus weeks ago, though it was unclear whether there was actually any interest or if it was just Gammons making an independent prediction. Julie reported that Ausmus interviewed with the Cubs on Friday (scooping all of the national reporters), and Dave Kaplan confirmed that there was some interest in Ausmus for weeks but his lack of experience was what held him back with the Cubs FO.
Frankly my own reaction is an outstanding meh. Ausmus doesn't have a ton of experience, but neither do any of the other guys we've seen on the list. I think A.J. Hinch is the only one who has actual MLB experience but he didn't exactly cover himself in glory in that time. Eric Wedge was batted around too, but he very much seems like the kind of guy the FO wouldn't want. He's a bad rowboat. Renteria looks like the frontrunner, though Red Sox coach Torey Lovullo is in the mix now. They haven't had a chance to interview him yet because he's been a little busy.
Cubs to increase payroll next season
Cubs Den is reporting that the Cubs will increase payroll by $25-35m next year. Granted, some of that will be eaten up by arbitration raises, most notably to Samardzija. It could also be some clever weasel wording over what point this payroll bump will be measured from – the Cubs did manage to dump a bunch of salary at the deadline (Garza, some of Adolfo's contract, Feldman, etc.). Still, this seems like a good sign that the Cubs are going to go after at least one significant free agent this offseason. Hopefully whoever it is looks better than Edwin Jackson did in his first year.
Dave McKay ——–> DBacks
Bummer. He did a great job with Soriano, but when the manager leaves that usually means the same for most of his staff.
Cubs shopping Castro?
From Friday, there seem to have been rumors with both the Mets and Cardinals that Castro is available in a trade for pitching. It's a bummer that the Cardinals match up so incredibly well with the Cubs for this kind of trade, since any high profile trade between the two teams will basically never happen after Broglio for Brock. I'd give my left nut for Carlos Martinez.
Rooftop owners continue to threaten lawsuit
Via Brett's tireless reporting, the Cubs put up another mockup sign in the outfield so the rooftop owners can continue to harrumph about it. Not surprisingly, they're still threatening lawsuits, and the renovations have notably not begun yet. Get that shit started anyway, and direct Beth Murphy's lawyers to the following video: