Blog Entry

Report: Epstein accepts 5-year deal with Cubs

Posted on: October 12, 2011 10:12 am
Edited on: October 13, 2011 10:23 am
By Matt Snyder

We have yet another step toward what appears to be the inevitable. Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein is still under contract with the team through 2012 and nothing is official yet, but with each passing minute, it becomes more apparent he's going to be the Cubs next GM.

The latest is that he has agreed to a five-year, $15 million deal with the Cubs, per This report states the deal will be finalized by the end of the week and that the Cubs have not yet decided on a title for Epstein. It also notes the final holdup in negotiations: Compensation for the Red Sox, which will likely be some combination of money and prospect(s).

The Boston Globe is reporting
Epstein has accepted the offer and that while it's still possible for Epstein to change his mind, it's a near-certainty that he's off to Chicago. The Globe also adds that, as expected, Red Sox assistant GM Ben Cherington is expected to be named Epstein's replacement in Boston.

Taking in the entire buzz from reporters on Twitter Tuesday night, expect Epstein to be named something like President and CEO. Compensation is reportedly going to be one or two prospects, maybe even high-level ones, but no major-league players.

Epstein to Cubs?
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 offer up that challenge. Not only have the Cubs not won the World Series since 1908, but the franchise doesn't appear close to being competitive right now, with a bad major-league product and not much more in the organizational pipeline. Then again, there is more than $50 million in salary coming off the books this season and even more coming off after next season. With a rabid fan base desperately seeking a title and lots of resources at hand, Epstein could very well become the man who broke two alleged curses (first, the Bambino, second, the Billy Goat).

This is still not a done deal, but it would be pretty shocking if it fell apart now. Things have progressed to a point where Epstein seems sealed and delivered to Wrigley Field.

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Since: Aug 22, 2007
Posted on: October 12, 2011 12:28 pm

Report: Epstein has 5-year deal with Cubs

I agree, people call him a good GM but why?  Other GM's don't have the payroll to play with?  This is why the MLB needs a salary cap so that guys that can take huge upper cut swings at every fastball they see, don't get credit when they hit a home run once every 4 signings.  Yes he brought in some great players for the Sox, but ultimately a lot of that had to do with the payroll.  I'm 110% certain even as a Red Sox fan that if we didn't have the payroll allowance that the team has given us, we'd still be looking for our first since 1918.  Now that I've at least been able to enjoy a championship, I'd really like to see a more strict system in place as far as revenue sharing.  It's time that a cap is met so that cities with great ball parks like San Diego and Pittsburgh can actually see good baseball, instead of watching talent grow...only to be traded for new prospects.  I know every uneducated person in the world from NYC will respond saying it's dumb blah blah blah but realistically why should a team like the Yankees have a better chance to win just because more people live in their city?  It doesn't make sense.  Teams need competition to play games, it's obviously apparant seeing relocations more and more common, that a city can only sustain approximately a decade worth of losing play before it starts becoming unaffordable to keep them(Atlanta Thrashers most recently).  The idea of America is that when you are born you are given as good of a chance as anyone in this country to be successful....

Since: Jan 23, 2007
Posted on: October 12, 2011 12:04 pm

Report: Epstein has 5-year deal with Cubs

This is a good move for the Cubs... for those of you making silly comments about "Director of Spending", etc., take a look at what he did with the Red Sox farm system. It was completely decimated before he became the GM. People forget that Pedroia, Youkilis, Ellsbury, Papelbon, Bucholtz, Lester, Bard (and others - some that he ws able to use as trade bait) are products of the system. He brings a completely different style to the Cubs and will build the farm system to supplement the free agent spending.

And people... let's not forget that this is the Cubs. He'll have some money to spend. That said, he has a checkered track record spending money wisely.

Since: Jun 2, 2009
Posted on: October 12, 2011 11:54 am

Report: Epstein has 5-year deal with Cubs

With Epstein's huge pay roll anyone could have created the team's he made.

Since: Dec 19, 2006
Posted on: October 12, 2011 11:50 am

Report: Epstein has 5-year deal with Cubs

Leave it to a guy with the name of Billy Goat to not spell our HOF 2nd baseman's name right.  Ryne Sandberg is his name and there are still better Managers out there.  I still think this is crazy to try and get Epstein.  Why not go for a guy like Andrew Friedman from TB?  He has done much more with way less money. 

Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: October 12, 2011 11:36 am

Report: Epstein has 5-year deal with Cubs

I love how all these people think that just because Epstein had money to spend, that he didn't have the ability to be a good GM.  Hell "anybody" can coach or even put together a team of superstars and they should win right??  It's not that easy folks.  Sure, I would think it is easier than in say Kansas City or Pittsburgh.......but you not only have to spend, you need to spend on the right people at the right time.  Did Epstein make mistakes in Boston?  Sure, but it wasn't for lack of effort.  Theo will have a nice budget to use in Chicago.  Many clubs lately though have proven that money isn't the end all.  You have to find the right guys with the right attitude.  You need to find players on the up, not on their way down.  You need to handle the media and expectations here in Chicago, Boston, NY i.e. that only a few people can understand.  Theo probably wants to be the guy to bring down the curse.  He already brought down one curse, why not another?  What an accomplishment that will be for whoever actually does.  Bottom line is that Epstein won 2 championships in a town that had quite the bad run as well.  He brought in winning teams and teams that were in or close to the playoffs almost every year that he was in town.  That is what makes a GM someone worth keeping, or in this case bringing in to fix up another mess created in Wrigleyville!

Since: Oct 15, 2006
Posted on: October 12, 2011 11:17 am

Report: Epstein has 5-year deal with Cubs

Forget Francona....Cubs need a kick in the ass rather than video games, fried chicken and beer.  Get Sandberg!!!  Keep ARam, motivate Zambro (the guy can pitch) and go get Big AL!!!

Since: Sep 20, 2006
Posted on: October 12, 2011 11:16 am

Report: Epstein has 5-year deal with Cubs

Until Theo Epstein shows some evidence of having the skills to be a true GM, instead of just a "Director of Spending", I'll reserve any suggestions this is a move that might help the Cubs, and/or harm the Redsox. I'll be moderately interested in who he picks as a manager (Terry Francona would be entertaining for consipracy theorists), but even more interested in how he addresses the Cubs needs as an organization....which will be limited by the new ownerships (unknown) agenda. 

I'd like to offer Dusty Baker in trade (Reds fans will take a rosin bag to be named later), who has already demonstrated his creativity and experience blaming his team's (and Cubs failures specifically)  failures on a myriad of factors other than himself or his GM...traits that might be of interest to Epstein in the near future.    &nbs

Since: Jan 19, 2007
Posted on: October 12, 2011 11:14 am

Report: Epstein has 5-year deal with Cubs

One concern...How will Epstein do with a team payroll cut of about $30-$40 million from what he is used to having.

Aside from that, I expect he will come in looking to make a blockbuster move, such as acquiring Prince Fielder, and maybe a top pitcher or two. It will also be interesting how he handles the Soriano and Zambrano contracts.

Theo, my friend, you have your work cut out for you as soon as you hit the tarmac at O'Hare.

Since: Aug 31, 2011
Posted on: October 12, 2011 11:12 am

Report: Epstein has 5-year deal with Cubs

You are right, he will likely end up on Florida and I am ok with that.  I am ok with him going anywhere so we don't have to deal with him any more!  He is a waste of ability and I don't care if he goes to a rival..I want him gone.

Since: Jan 2, 2007
Posted on: October 12, 2011 11:10 am

Report: Epstein has 5-year deal with Cubs

Not that anyone really challenged the idea, but I love saying I told you so.  Now it's just a matter or time before Terry Francona is announced as the new manager of the Chicago Cubs.  I'd kinda like to see an announcement on a day that would allow the Cubbies to steal thunder from the Cardinals-- just to tweak LaRussa the almighty a bit.

I'm thinking that besides bringing Francona on board, Epstein has quite a task before him.

1 -- Is Ramirez worth $16 million in 2012 or does he go 3B shopping on the market?
2 -- Will anybody take Zambrano and his $18 million for 2012?
3 -- Who takes over 1B in 2012?  Is Pena worth resigning or is this a spot to shave salary and go cheaper?  Or does Epstein enter the Pujols/Fielder sweepstakes?
4 -- What will it take to extend Matt Garza beyond this upcoming season?  With Dempster in the last year of a deal, Epstein needs to stabilize the rotation beyond 2012.

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