The big non-playoff story right now is easily the poaching of Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein by Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts. Pretty much every reporter with sources around the Cubs and Red Sox has gotten word that Epstein has accepted a five-year deal to take over the Cubs. The title has yet to be revealed because the deal isn't yet official. The delay is that Epstein still has a year left on his contract and the Red Sox are seeking compensation from the Cubs for letting him walk.
|Cubs/Red Sox drama|
And after one day of negotiating, reports from both Boston and Chicago indicate the two sides are pretty far apart.
The Cubs only want to send money to the Red Sox, while the Red Sox are insistent on receiving back a package of players. The two sides reportedly didn't give much ground Thursday, so it's at a stand-still right now (Chicago Tribune).
The Boston Globe notes the Red Sox have interest in some of the few attractive prospects from the Cubs system, like Brett Jackson, Matt Szczur, Alberto Cabrera, Jay Jackson and Trey McNutt. The Globe has also reported the Red Sox like major-league utility player Jeff Baker, but he alone wouldn't be enough. In that same entry, it is noted that the Red Sox would love the Cubs to take John Lackey and his gaudy contract, but that is very unlikely.
The Boston Herald says the Red Sox are looking for "something real" in return for Epstein.
So this might drag out for a little bit, but there was one tie that bound every report: There is no indication the deal has a chance to fall through. Eventually, Epstein is going to be headed to Chicago, with something going back to Boston in return. At least that's how things stand Friday, October 14. We'll see how it progresses.
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.