Blog Entry

Reports: Red Sox, Cubs far away on compensation

Posted on: October 14, 2011 10:42 am
Edited on: October 14, 2011 4:14 pm
By Matt Snyder

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
The assistant general managers -- Randy Bush for the Cubs and Ben Cherington for the Red Sox -- are doing the negotiating and then reporting to ownership before anything would be made official.

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.

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Since: Oct 14, 2011
Posted on: October 14, 2011 3:34 pm

Reports: Red Sox, Cubs far away on compensation

If an aggrement just can't be resolved...Does Bud Selig then decide????

Since: May 22, 2010
Posted on: October 14, 2011 3:31 pm

Reports: Red Sox, Cubs far away on compensation

See THIS is why I am not at all convinced that Theo is really going to the Cubs. To me this is another of his gorilla suit games to get more money and/or power from the Sox. I think his plan all along has been to treat this as if he is a restricted free agent. IE; go out and agree to a huge offer and force the Red Sox to match or exceed it. The Red Sox will now play their card by asking for more then they know the Cubs would ever agree to. They will claim that they have been reasonable (pure BS) but Theo is too valuable a commodity to simply let go for nothing. Either way Theo wins. He will either get more money and power from the Sox or from the Cubs. And if he does stay in Boston he will claim that it is because he saw how much ownership wanted and needed him. Can't have his hero status tarnished by his own greed and manipulation.

Since: Oct 14, 2011
Posted on: October 14, 2011 3:30 pm
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Since: Dec 7, 2006
Posted on: October 14, 2011 3:20 pm

Reports: Red Sox, Cubs far away on compensation

I made a mistake earlier. I said the Sox could keep Epstein as a lame duck; I was wrong in my statement.

What I meant to say was, they can keep Theo and pay him the money for doing nothing, cleaning the latrines or whatever. Theo does not have to be GM, the Sox can still keep him under contract and eat 1.5 million, which is nothing to them.

And that is why the Red Sox have leverage: he doesn’t have to go to the Cubs, unless the Cubs pay a lot for him.  

Since: May 30, 2007
Posted on: October 14, 2011 3:14 pm

Reports: Red Sox, Cubs far away on compensation

No way would I let Beantown raid the farm system for a General Manager.  If the deal can't be done for cash, either go in another direction ( I think Rick Hahn is the better choice anyway given he actually knows Chicago) or let Bush be interim GM for a year and get Epstein when he's clear of a contract.

Since: Sep 20, 2006
Posted on: October 14, 2011 3:07 pm

Reports: Red Sox, Cubs far away on compensation

I don't blame the Redsox trying to get a little more in know, the Ruth thing...Arroyo for Wily Mo Pena, Beckett for Hanley...the A-Rod mulligan...they've come up short before. 

After all, Epstein is a "proven" commodity... of sorts. He's proven he can take a contender, spend a lot of money, and make them a contender. He's proven he can take credit for breaking a curse, and skip out on the blame for a roster of underperforming, lazy drunks that he hired.  He may even have committed conflict of interest by firing Tito Francona, only to be able to hire him with the Cubs...Sounds like just what the Cubs need, a guy that can spend a lot of money for a disappointing team, and already have an excuse ready just in case....that has to be worth more than just money. 

What both clubs need is addition by subtraction.

The Redsox won't have trouble replacing Epstein, as long as the budget is fact, they'll save money on the next GM's salary if nothing else. Francona's replacement will be a cost savings, too. Money doesn't interest the BoSox, because they already have money, it's young talent they need, and this may be the only way Epstein can bring some in. They'd also probably like to rid themselves of more than just Francona from his Sox legacy, so throw in Lackey. Unfortuantely, other than what they have on their MLB roster, if they trade young talent, the Cubs are going to have to dip below Doube-A. The fact the Redsox want another utility infielder when they already have 3, is puzzling, but they are without a GM to determine such things...The Cubs could send Alfonso Soriano and the Sox could legitimately say they stole one of the Yankees (ex) prospects... Or the Cubs could throw in Carlos Zambrano, who is both overpaid and untradeable anyway, and reduce the expense for rabies shots and psychiatrists, while the Sox get a part time DH when he isn't pitching or in the psych ward.  Eother or both would free up some Cub salary for Theo to pursue his next free agent dissapointment. 

Since: Dec 7, 2006
Posted on: October 14, 2011 2:59 pm

Reports: Red Sox, Cubs far away on compensation

If Epstein gets credit for Schilling, Ortiz, etc and 2 WS wins, then he gets blame for Lackey, Drew etc. and the collapse in 2011.

Since: Aug 3, 2011
Posted on: October 14, 2011 2:57 pm
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Since: Sep 4, 2007
Posted on: October 14, 2011 2:52 pm

Reports: Red Sox, Cubs far away on compensation

GD is dead on..

Since: Dec 7, 2006
Posted on: October 14, 2011 2:45 pm

Reports: Red Sox, Cubs far away on compensation

Anyone else find it ironic that the Cubs want Theo Epstein, but they don’t want his mistake (John Lackey)?

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