SBD/April 5, 2016/MLB Season Preview

MLB Franchise Notes: White Sox Playing With Different Sense Of Urgency For Reinsdorf

Rumors have swirled that Reinsdorf (c) is ready to step away
In Chicago, Chris De Luca writes there has been a "different sense of urgency" around the White Sox the last two seasons. White Sox Chair Jerry Reinsdorf, who was elected to the Basketball HOF yesterday, turned 80 in February and there "have been whispers since the winter of 2014 that he is ready to step away from his baseball business." There is a "feeling in some circles that a World Series run would be Reinsdorf’s Peyton Manning-style exit." He seems to have "long ago grown tired of the nonsense side of baseball -- the kind of nonsense that dragged him into the middle of the Adam and Drake LaRoche Drama" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 4/5).

LOOKING TO THE FUTURE: In San Diego, Kevin Acee notes the Padres opened the season yesterday with a 15-0 loss to the Dodgers, but what happens on the field for the team this year "is insignificant." Padres President & CEO Mike Dee said, "This year is important at the major-league level. But it's as important what happens at the amateur (draft) level and the international level. ... Those attributes will set the tone for this franchise for the next 10 years." Padres Exec Chair Ron Fowler: "Last year we underperformed. This year we are looking to over-perform. But our expectations are realistic, and we have a lot of other things going on in 2016 that will be critical three to four years out." Acee notes the Padres are "poised to shell out" $25M to international players this summer. Add that to the 100% tax of $25M that will be levied by MLB for "such an expenditure, and the franchise is spending 10 times as much as it ever has in a single year in the international market" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 4/5). 

PUTTING PEN TO PAPER: In Chicago, Mark Gonzales reports a "long-anticipated extension" for Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein and his staff "appears imminent," perhaps by next Monday's home opener against the Reds. Cubs Chair Tom Ricketts yesterday said, "I'd imagine we'll get it wrapped up at some point in the near future, but no deadline." Epstein is "expected to receive a long-term extension making him the sport's highest-paid executive" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 4/5). 
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