Blog Entry

Report: Epstein 'on brink' of taking Cubs GM job

Posted on: October 11, 2011 6:51 pm
Edited on: October 12, 2011 5:28 am
By Matt Snyder

Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein is ready to leave Boston to run the Chicago Cubs, according to the Boston Herald. The report says that an announcement is expected to be made within the next "24-48 hours," but that it's pending a few possible roadblocks. First of all, the Red Sox still have Epstein under contract through next season and are reportedly hoping to retain him. Second, if the Red Sox do allow Epstein to take the job, they reportedly will want something back for Epstein (like a player, possibly).

The Boston Globe is reporting the deal isn't that close, but that Epstein's "interest in the Cubs has progressed to a point where the expectation is that he will leave."

Epstein, 37, was named the Red Sox general manager after the 2002 season. Under his watch, the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004 and 2007 after previously having not won it since 1918. Epstein grew up in the Northeast and attended Yale University, so he had ties to the Boston area anyway, but recent reports have indicated he might be looking for a new challenge.

The Cubs obviously are hoping Epstein can lead them to a World Series title as well, having had a drought since 1908. It will be interesting to see what the Red Sox want in return, because if it's a player, Epstein will likely be deciding who to give up for the job he apparently wants.

Epstein to Cubs?
Back in 2008, the Cubs had the best regular-season record in the National League, only to be swept in the NLDS by the red-hot Dodgers. After the loss, general manager Jim Hendry traded popular second baseman Mark DeRosa, let incredibly popular closer Kerry Wood walk in free agency and signed clubhouse cancer Milton Bradley. From there, things went progressively downhill, to the point that the Cubs finished in fifth place in the NL Central this season, behind perennial bottom feeder Pittsburgh. Hendry was relieved of his duties in July by Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts, though Hendry stayed on the job a few weeks into August.

Ricketts then conducted an extremely quiet search for a general manager, as only speculative reports surfaced about who he coveted most, but the Epstein talk has picked up within the past few weeks.

The Cubs previously had asked the Red Sox for permission to interview Epstein, and later a report from the Chicago area indicated a fan believes he saw and interacted with Epstein in a Chicago Starbucks. Simply, for the last several weeks there's been smoke, and we're likely to soon see the fire -- which very well could be Epstein taking over as the Cubs general manager.

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Since: Jun 14, 2010
Posted on: October 14, 2011 3:34 am

Report: Epstein 'on brink' of taking Cubs GM job

Who said anything about playoffs?  Was there anything in my post about playoffs?  Try responding on topic next time.  It will make you seem like less of an idiot.   

Since: Jul 4, 2008
Posted on: October 13, 2011 9:26 pm

Report: Epstein 'on brink' of taking Cubs GM job

I am another one that thinks the Cubs must grab Theo.  The Red Sox were in bad shape when he stepped in.  And they've been in the playoffs most of the time since.  Not to mention the title.  A strong performance by the Cubs would energize that city.  The White Sox had their brush with fame recently.  Chicago needs the Cubs to rise up.  With the Cardinals, Brewers, Reds and now the Pirates all playing good ball, without Epstein, the future is grim in the windy city.

Since: Sep 5, 2008
Posted on: October 13, 2011 10:39 am

Report: Epstein 'on brink' of taking Cubs GM job

Yeah, I share your optimism regarding Theo's ability to turn around the Cubs franchise.  He will need some budget to work with though.  I wouldn't be surprised to see Tito working for him again either.  That's a real tough and competitve division right now.  It reminds me of the AL East when Epstein took over the Red Sox.  He would make them winners, I am sure.

Since: Sep 8, 2009
Posted on: October 12, 2011 9:06 pm

Report: Epstein 'on brink' of taking Cubs GM job

The Cubs would be very wise to grab him.  I always felt like no matter who managed that team, they weren't really calling the shots.  Maybe I am wrong about that.  Goofy stuff seemed to happen all the time.  Remeber how close they were against the Marlins years ago?  What happened?  Theo Epstein could make winners out of them, I am sure.  Sooner than later if he gets some budget to work with.

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: October 12, 2011 11:17 am

Report: Epstein 'on brink' of taking Cubs GM job

It's not a Cubs/Sox thing, Hahn just happens to have worked for the Sox and has no real record of having done anything. The point is, for anyone to prefer Hahn to Epstein is delusional and basing the opinion on nothing. Epstein has drafted and developed multiple all-stars for sure and I think at least one MVP.  And the Sox have simply have not been the perennial contenders the Red Sox have. It's armageddon if the Red Sox miss the playoffs. I want Ricketts to fire Epstein in 10 years after two world series and like 7 playoff appearances. Then again, he could be another Andy McPhail who had a pretty good track record before coming over.


Since: Jun 25, 2010
Posted on: October 12, 2011 10:35 am

Report: Epstein 'on brink' of taking Cubs GM job

To "cdfree" -

Why do you have to turn this into some kind of Cubs/Sox thing? Although I agree with you that Rick Hahn may be overrated right now and that he has yet to prove it on his own, your comment that "The White Sox, since randomly winning the world series in 05, have had virtually no success and I don't believe had a single player they drafted become an all-star." is just nonsense. First of all - NOBODY randomly wins a World Series. That is why the WS is so special in sports. You have to win a marathon to get there and then you have to win a sprint to become champion. As I recall, the White Sox and Cardinals had the best records in baseball all season long in 2005 and the White Sox won 11 of 12 in the playoffs, starting with a sweep of Epsteins defending champion Red Sox. Also, last I checked, Mark Buerhle, a product of the White Sox farm system has had a pretty good All-Star career and although they didn't draft Paul Konerko, he has played virtually his entire All-Star career as a White Sox. Previous home-grown All-Stars included new manager Robin Ventura, Frank Thomas, Carlos Lee, Magglio Ordonez... And their current roster includes home grown players, too, Morel, Ramirez, Beckham, Sale, Viciedo, and Santos. So, quit your Cub/Sox crying and try to find a place for yourself in the real world. 

Since: Dec 7, 2006
Posted on: October 12, 2011 10:27 am

Report: Epstein 'on brink' of taking Cubs GM job

Pat Gillick is correct, so there’s one, thanks. I believe Dombrowski only won a WS with the Marlins, not with the Tigers (unless they win it this year).

Since: Jun 25, 2010
Posted on: October 12, 2011 10:15 am

Report: Epstein 'on brink' of taking Cubs GM job

Anyone worried about compensation back to the Red Sox should stop themselves. The Cubs have nobody on their 40 man roster besides Starlin Castro and Matt Garza that couldn't be replaced by a good GM - which Epstein appears to be - in five minutes, and those two guys aren't leaving.

That said, this is a great opportunity for a new GM in the sense that you can't screw up this roster, because it currently is bereft of core players. There is NO pitching staff. Nothing that couldn't be replaced in trade with anyone on another major league roster, and a couple spots in the rotation could be upgraded with a strong prospect from another team's farm system. The Cubs proved last year that they have no major league pitching talent in their own system. All of the position players are temporary overpaid free-agent fixes, except for 2nd baseman Barney, who needs another year to see if he is for real or just another Mike Fontenot, and the catching position is as weak as any team in the league. So, Epstein -or someone else - has a lot to do, but nothing to ruin. On the flip side, this job can badly tarnish a golden reputation in a hurry - see Andy McPhail, Dallas Green, and Jim Hendry. It is the ultimate challenge all right, but it is the ultimate challenge for a reason - because the Cubs organization has destroyed a lot of careers.

Since: Jan 10, 2010
Posted on: October 12, 2011 10:06 am

Report: Epstein 'on brink' of taking Cubs GM job

prolly 1 of the worst jobs in all of sports, enjoy 5 of the worst years of your life theo.

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: October 12, 2011 10:04 am

Report: Epstein 'on brink' of taking Cubs GM job

Repeat winners of recent vintage: Gillick, Dombrowski off the top of my head. Anyone else?

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