Blog Entry

Epstein to Cubs 'inevitable,' talks continue

Posted on: October 16, 2011 10:49 am
By Matt Snyder

The Cubs and Red Sox continue to discuss a compensation package for the Cubs poaching Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein with a year remaining on his contract. As of the last update the two sides were far apart, but it's been a few days, so let's take a look at how things have gone since then, according to various reporters from the Red Sox and Cubs beats.

Cubs/Red Sox drama
• At one point, talks were growing "increasingly contentious" between the two clubs, as Red Sox president Larry Lucchino was reportedly making things very difficult due to his now-fractured relationship with Epstein (, but several others have reported this wasn't accurate. Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe reports that the talks are "business-like, civil and moving forward."

• The Red Sox are asking for at least two of the Cubs' top prospects, reports Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald, but Carrie Muskat of reports top Cubs prospect Brett Jackson is not going anywhere.

• As things currently stand, no present Red Sox personnel will accompany Epstein to Chicago, reports Nick Carfardo of the Boston Globe. As for former employees, that could be a different story. Tom Krasovic reports that former Red Sox assistant GM Josh Byrnes will likely join Epstein in Chicago. Byrnes was the general manager for the Diamondbacks from November of '05 through July of last season and is currently the vice president of baseball operations for the Padres.

• The World Series begins Wednesday and Major League Baseball won't allow any deals to be consummated during it, so there's a bit of a clock on this thing, unless both teams are OK with waiting until afterward (and that's not likely, as they surely want the drama to end very soon). Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune has reported that a deal won't be completed this weekend, and Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald reports all signs are pointing to a deal being completed by the end of the day Tuesday. reports a deal is "virtually inevitable" and that it's only a matter of time. So, realistically, it sounds like we should expect some sort of announcement Tuesday.

• Finally, the two clubs could be competing for the services of Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg as manager, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. Epstein is once again the common thread here, as he tried to hire Sandberg to manage the Red Sox's Triple-A team this past winter. Sandberg had already taken the Phillies' Triple-A job, so it wasn't like he snubbed Epstein's advances. Many others in the Red Sox front office are said to like Sandberg, while Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts is eager to repair the relationship with the former Cubs' second baseman -- who was snubbed by former Cubs general manager Jim Hendry last offseason for the managerial job in Chicago.

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Since: Sep 7, 2009
Posted on: October 17, 2011 1:40 am

Epstein to Cubs 'inevitable,' talks continue

I am a Cubs fan.  I give the Red Sox NOTHING!  They got 2 championship what more do they want.  The Red Sox could have given this man another contract.  This is an executive, not a player, so they get nothing.

Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: October 17, 2011 1:32 am

Epstein to Cubs 'inevitable,' talks continue

I disagree. Epstein has agreed to a deal with the Cubs, so the Cubs have the Sox over a barrel. Its not like the Sox can bring Epstein back at this point so the two will haggle over some decent prospects and this will go forward.

Epstein has nothing with the Cubs right now, nothing but a tentative deal pending Redsox approval.  The Redsox have to sign off on that deal or it's not official and Epstein remains in Boston.  The Cubs and Theo have agreed in principle to a deal, nothing more and nothing less.  It's up to Boston now... they can let him go if they choose to let him go.  If the Cubs don't pay up, they can force Theo to honor his deal in Boston.

It's really that simple guys....  When the Redsox allowed the Cubs to speak with and negotiate with their GM, they were clearly told there would be compensation before the deal becomes official and before Theo can work for the Cubs..... the Cubs knew this long ago....

Of course the Cubs won't have to give up their top prospect, but they'll give up a good prospect or two,,,, you can count on it.

Since: Aug 7, 2008
Posted on: October 16, 2011 11:45 pm

Epstein to Cubs 'inevitable,' talks continue

Where does the Cubs have the upper hand in this deal. Remember Theo Epstein has a year remaining on his contract with the Red Sox so they of course have the upper hand because if the Cubs don't give what the Red Sox are asking they don't have to give up Epstein at all because they still have one year left with him and knowing how much the Cubs want him the Red Sox will not give up nothing for him. No matter what the Red Sox will get one of the top minor league players from the Cubs not two of course but at least one and really the Red Sox will come out as winners in this deal because to give up one top prospect for just a little GM becomes a winner by far and that's way the Cubs will always be losers.

Since: Sep 11, 2006
Posted on: October 16, 2011 11:19 pm

Epstein to Cubs 'inevitable,' talks continue

I have a hard time agreeing that the Red Sox have the upper hand when their GM has agreed to go to another team.  The Cubs will give up a few marginal prospects that will never amount to much, like most Cubs prospects.  Boston is doing what they have to do in negotiating, but they're not getting Castro, Jackson, etc.  That's a joke.

Since: Jul 8, 2008
Posted on: October 16, 2011 11:13 pm

Epstein to Cubs 'inevitable,' talks continue

The Cubs have all the leverage in this deal, and simply need to realize that, if it's even remotely true that a negotiation is still occurring. Epstein is owed this season and beyond if separated. Epstein can't go back to the Red Sox since he agreed to a deal, and frankly the Sox don't want him. I highly doubt the two teams haven't discussed in principal what compensation would be exchanged for letting Theo out a year early on his contract prior to him interviewing. As a previous poster mentioned this is the 'player to be named later'situation and the Cubs and Theo are most likely going through planning stages to determine who and/or what to part with. I highly doubt you'll see Jackson, Cashner, etc being moved or Lacky going to the Cubs....but with these two teams they can toss around money like no one else other than the Yankees, so who knows.

Since: Oct 5, 2007
Posted on: October 16, 2011 10:32 pm

Epstein to Cubs 'inevitable,' talks continue

SMartest thing Redsox could do is get the Cubs to take Lackey and his contract off their hands for Epstein's services.

Since: Jan 24, 2007
Posted on: October 16, 2011 10:12 pm

Epstein to Cubs 'inevitable,' talks continue

This deal is done. It's just a matter of coming to an agreement on compensation. I wouldn't say the Sox have the upper hand. This is basically the same as trading a player for a player to be named later. The Cubs will have to compensate the Sox, but not at a level that the Sox are asking. The Sox will not pay Theo to sit the bench, and also pay a GM to run the day to day. They gain nothing in that scenario. They will recieve a couple of mid level prospects and the sun will come up tomorrow.

Since: Mar 7, 2008
Posted on: October 16, 2011 9:38 pm

Epstein to Cubs 'inevitable,' talks continue

The Sox have the leverage, not the Cubs. The Cubs have to give the Sox whatever they ask, if they want Epstein. If that weren't the case the deal would have been done already. Why is that so hard to understand?

I just have a different view. I don't understand how the Sox have all the leverage when Epstein has agreed to join the Cubs. This is just a negotiation over players and it will go through. What purpose would it be to pay Epstein to stay home and get zero compensation when at least they will receive decent compensation. Only time will tell, if the Cubs have to give their best prospect like Jackson, then they were up against a wall. However, I doubt they will. 

Since: Jul 22, 2010
Posted on: October 16, 2011 9:37 pm

Epstein to Cubs 'inevitable,' talks continue

I have a simple answer for the sox, have the cubs take Lackey. There is a win by subtraction.

Since: Nov 10, 2006
Posted on: October 16, 2011 9:30 pm

Epstein to Cubs 'inevitable,' talks continue

In essence, the Red Sox have the Cubs over a barrel if he is their sole choice.  Although Ben Cherrington, the next Red Sox GM is in on the talks, Larry Lucchino is calling the shots for the Red Sox.  There is not a lot of love lost between him and Epstein.  Obviously, Epstein won't be back as Boston's GM, but given John Henry's money, I say unless they get what they want they are willing to let Epstein sit out the year and pay him.

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