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Tag:Larry Lucchino
Posted on: February 13, 2012 1:52 pm
Edited on: February 13, 2012 1:53 pm
 

Epstein compensation decision expected this week

Theo Epstein

By C. Trent Rosecrans


Major League Baseball is inching closer to a conclusion in the Theo Epstein compensation talks, with a decision expected as soon as this week, CBSSports.com insider Jon Heyman reports.

Both teams have already submitted briefs, and the commissioner's office has had time to look them over.

For Red Sox fans with images of Brett Jackson dancing in your head, well, you can stop. Word is the fact the Epstein had just one year left on his contract, and his deteriorating relationship with John Henry and Larry Lucchino, could affect what kind of return the Red Sox get.

Epstein was named the Cubs' president of baseball operations on Oct. 21. The two sides originally had 30 days to settle on compensation, but that deadline was then pushed back and ultimately sent to the commissioner's office last month.

The only precedent for a GM leaving his post and then taking another gig came in 1994 when the Twins' Andy MacPhail left Minnesota for the top job with the Cubs. The Twins received right-hander Hector Trinidad as compensation. Trinidad was ranked the team's No. 30 prospect at the time and never made it past Double-A. According to Baseball America, the Cubs' No. 30 prospect this year is outfielder Shawon Dunston Jr., the team's 11th-round pick in 2001 and son of former Cubs shortstop (and top overall pick) Shawon Dunston.

The Marlins gave up two players, utility infielder Ozzie Martinez and reliever Jhan Marinez, to the White Sox for compensation in return for manager Ozzie Guillen. Baseball America ranked Marinez, a right-hander, the No. 6 prospect in the White Sox system, although it should be noted he'd be ranked much lower than that in any other system. The White Sox minor-league system is almost universally considered the worst in baseball by a wide margin. Martinez was not ranked by Baseball America.

Epstein should be worth more than a manager, and probably more than what the Cubs gave up 18 years ago -- but how much more will be what makes it interesting.

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Posted on: November 28, 2011 8:19 pm
Edited on: November 29, 2011 11:08 am
 

Report: Red Sox to name manager Tuesday

By Matt Snyder

Boston managerial search
UPDATE: Scott Miller has now reported that the decision will drag on until later in the week.



The Boston Red Sox are expected to name their new manager Tuesday. Bobby Valentine and Gene Lamont are the finalists, and Valentine is flying back from Japan Tuesday. The belief is that when he gets back, the Red Sox will inform both managerial candidates of their decision, reports Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

On the other hand, Sean McAdam of CSN New England is reporting that Tuesday being decision day is "inaccurate." I guess we'll find out soon enough which person is right. Regardless, pretty much everyone has reported the search has been narrowed to Lamont and Valentine.

Lamont, 64, is currently the Tigers' third base coach, but has two managerial stints under his belt. He managed the White Sox from 1992-1995, winning the AL manager of the year in 1993 as the White Sox won the AL West. Lamont's Sox were in first again in 1994, but the season was ended without a postseason due to labor strife. He then managed the Pirates from 1997-2000, never winning more than 79 games in a season.

Valentine, 61, managed the Rangers for parts of eight seasons and then the Mets for parts of seven seasons. He won two NL wild cards and one NL pennant with the Mets and has 1,117 wins against 1,072 losses in his managerial career. Valentine also served as a manager in Japan for several years and is currently a baseball analyst for ESPN.

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Posted on: November 21, 2011 6:43 pm
Edited on: November 21, 2011 9:40 pm
 

Red Sox narrow managerial candidates to three

By Matt Snyder

According to general manager Ben Cherington -- via ESPN Boston -- the Red Sox have narrowed their list of possible managers to three names: Bobby Valentine, Torey Lovullo and Gene Lamont.

As we've previously noted, Valentine had an all-day interview with Cherington Monday and there's much speculation that he's the favorite to land the job. But it's not a done deal and there are two other candidates.

Lamont, 64, is currently the Tigers' third base coach, but has two managerial stints under his belt. He managed the White Sox from 1992-1995, winning the AL manager of the year in 1993 as the White Sox won the AL West. Lamont's Sox were in first again in 1994, but the season was ended without a postseason due to labor strife. He then managed the Pirates from 1997-2000, never winning more than 79 games in a season.

Lovullo, 46, was the Blue Jays' first-base coach in 2011 after being the Pawtucket Red Sox manager in 2010. He also managed for several years in the Indians' minor-league system and has a pair of manager of the year awards to show for that time.

There's no timetable set for a hire, but with the list narrowed to three candidates, it's reasonable to believe a hire is coming soon.

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Posted on: November 20, 2011 6:20 pm
 

Valentine to interview Monday with Cherington

By Matt Snyder

All of a sudden, the talk of Bobby Valentine becoming the next Red Sox manager is heating up. Multiple outlets -- both local and national -- are reporting that Valentine has an interview with Boston brass Monday (Jeff Passan of Yahoo was first to report) and that if the interview goes well, Valentine will become the frontrunner to land the job. In fact, Passan reports that Valentine will meet with Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington all day at the request of the ownership, and if Cherington approves Valentine will be named the manager.

Basically, it sounds like Cherington's guy was Dale Sveum and when the Cubs nabbed him, the Red Sox owners have pushed Valentine onto the new GM -- just as Scott Miller opined two days ago, when he said the Red Sox are "directionless."

The 61-year-old managed the Rangers for parts of eight seasons and then the Mets for parts of seven seasons. He won two NL wild cards and one NL pennant with the Mets and has 1,117 wins against 1,072 losses in his managerial career.

Valentine also served as a manager in Japan for several years and is currently a baseball analyst for ESPN.

He's also a very polarizing figure, as he's either a "love him" or "hate him" guy for baseball fans. You won't find many, if any, fans who are indifferent on Valentine. Thus, it seems pretty fitting these Red Sox are possibly going to hire him.

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Posted on: October 25, 2011 3:38 pm
Edited on: October 25, 2011 4:21 pm
 

Ben Cherington takes over as Red Sox GM

Cherington

By Evan Brunell


Ben Cherington has been announced as the new general manager of the Red Sox, replacing Theo Epstein. In his news conference, Cherington said he "developed a passion for baseball and the Red Sox" during his time in baseball.

"I feel like I've been preparing for this job since my first job in baseball," he added.

Epstein was announced as president of baseball operations for the Cubs earlier Tuesday, allowing Cherington to take the reins as GM officially after being de-facto GM for the last two weeks. Cherington was joined in a news conference by president Larry Lucchino, but not ownership. This speaks to the fact that Lucchino will probably gain more influence now that Epstein has left, as the president lost much of his influence when Epstein resigned as GM in 2005 over a dispute with Lucchino. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it will be interesting to see how the dynamics play out. For his part, Lucchino said there was "no one more prepared" to take over as GM in a statement prior to the news conference and that "he will hit the ground running, in full stride, and no one will outwork him.”

Cherington began by wishing his former boss "great fortune in his next venture" and noted that he is not similar to Epstein in that he can't play the guitar, nor does he own a gorilla suit, hearkening back to how Epstein sneaked out of Fenway and avoided reporters when he resigned in 2005.

Cherington, who is considered a patient, as opposed to Epstein who has a reputation for being impatient, may have taken a shot at Epstein by saying that you "have to walk the walk, not just talk the talk, on our due diligence in the decision-making process." Cherington said that the free-agent signings in recent years haven't been good enough. He also wants to be active in acquiring international talent, wanting the best players from around the world.

Earlier on Tuesday, Epstein spoke bout Cherington's readiness to take over the role, mentioning in an op-ed piece for the Boston Globe that Cherington had been discussed as his successor this summer, with an initial plan of Epstein departing after 2012. "If not for the complete confidence I have in Ben... I could not in good conscience leave the organization at this time. But there is no one in baseball more qualified to be the next general manager of the Red Sox.

"Ben is infinitely more prepared than I was when I took over nine years ago. He’s been an area scout, an international scout, an advance scout, a farm director, and he’s supervised drafts. Ben is honest and insightful, fearless and friendly - and he is ready to lead this organization forward."

Cherington, a New Hampshire native, has been with the Red Sox for 13 seasons and had served as assistant GM since January 2009, ascending to the role when Jed Hoyer became GM of the Padres. Cherington and Hoyer also served briefly as interim GM when Epstein resigned in 2005. Prior to his role, he oversaw the farm system including developing such players as Daniel Bard, Clay Buchholz, Jacoby Ellsbury and Jed Lowrie.

Speaking of the farm system, Cherington believes the Red Sox system is "stronger and deeper than ever," although he did admit much of the talent is low. Boston's high minors have entered a bit of a fallow period as part of a cycle, but the low minors is highly regarded, even after dealing away several top prospects for Adrian Gonzalez prior to the season.

The 37-year-old also addressed the 2011 team, saying the team is eager to move on. "I believe there's a great motivation [on the part of the players] to clean up whatever does need to be cleaned up. ... We are going to have a very good team in 2012."

However, Cherington did caution that things might change moving forward. Not necessarily because what was done previously was incorrect, or even a difference of opinion, but because  "what's going to work moving forward is not necessarily what's worked in the past."

Cherington did mention that Boston's pitching depth has to improve, and "most likely we’ll do that through some good, creative buy-low acquisitions." With Daisuke Matsuzaka recovering from Tommy John surgery and unlikely to return until midway through 2012 at the earliest and now John Lackey needing his own Tommy John surgery which will knock him out for all of 2012, the Red Sox will have their work cut out for them in addressing the rotation. Cherington also said the team needs a right-handed outfielder, and spoke about Carl Crawford, saying time would need to be spent with the outfielder this offseason. Crawford, who signed a seven-year, $142 million deal prior to 2011, had an awful season and then heard his owner, John Henry, saying he didn't support the move.

"I was one of the strongest proponents of signing Carl Crawford, Cherington said. "I believe in him."

Regarding the search for a new manager, Cherington said the team will move "swiftly" but pointed out that Francona was not hired until Thanksgiving in 2004, so we could be in for a bit of a process. "I want a manager who has a strong voice," he said. "We need the right person."
 
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Posted on: October 14, 2011 11:13 am
Edited on: October 14, 2011 11:48 am
 

Red Sox must fetch strong price for Theo Epstein

By Evan Brunell

With the departure of Theo Epstein, the Red Sox are faced with the most glaring void their organization has seen since the beginning of the franchise's recent upswing. And worse, it appears the only return they may get would be a paltry sum of cash or a couple of low-end players. And, even if those guys do contribute at the major-league level, they would be far from making up for the loss of a top-tier GM like Epstein.

Part of this reason, beyond the Cubs understandably balking at an exorbitant price -- they are trying to do their job, after all -- is that MLB is watching these discussions with a close eye, realizing that what occurs could set a precedent down the line for other similar GM defections. It appears as if baseball is trying to prevent GMs from being "traded" for anything close to free market value. Even managers have a difficult time of it, but at least there is precedent there, what with Ozzie Guillen shipped to the Marlins for three minor-league players and Lou Piniella going from Seattle to Tampa Bay for Randy Winn.

What is the problem here?

Why is baseball trying to prevent adequate compensation for Epstein? Moreover, why is it so bad for managers and GMs to be traded for equal value in return?

General managers have an incredible amount of responsibility on their shoulders and are forced to wear many hats. Not only do they have to juggle putting together a major-league team worthy of satisfying the fans and owners, they have to keep the farm system healthy, draft a new crop of players each season, negotiate contracts with players, coaches and scouts, maintain a budget and retain enough flexibility for future moves, and on and on. There's no question that a GM, these days, essentially shapes a franchise's present and future like no other person can, with lasting ramifications that can span years, if not decades.

And you're telling me that a GM can't be traded for an exorbitant price? Baseball may want to hold down GM compensation because it would add yet another layer of complexity to the proceedings, but is there any reason the Red Sox shouldn't be getting someone of commensurate value? Epstein not only completely and wholly changed the culture of the history of the Red Sox, he changed their status, market and player development. The boy wonder's accomplishments in Boston will bear fruit years after he's gone, and years after his successor, Ben Cherington, will be gone.

And somehow, accepting a reported $3.5 million or a couple tepid minor-league prospects is adequate compensation?

Cubs/Red Sox drama
Imagine, for a moment, if you transformed Epstein into a player on the Red Sox Who would he be? Would he be backup outfielder Darnell McDonald? Or would he be first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, who will pull down an average annual salary north of $20 million?

Epstein's value is certainly far closer to Gonzalez than that of McDonald, and Sox president Larry Lucchino appears to understand that. He's submitted a list of players to the Cubs that he feels would be adequate compensation for Epstein's departure, and the latest reports have the Cubs blanching at the price.

But that's as it should be, and MLB shouldn't interfere and meddle with the affairs. By baseball trying to restrict compensation from Epstein, it's restricting a free trade market and is severely hampering Boston's ability to contend. And this is an issue that should be of concern not just in Boston, but in all 30 MLB cities. Paul DePodesta had the right idea back in 2003 when he asked for Red Sox prospect Kevin Youkilis in exchange for allowing GM Billy Beane to defect to the Red Sox before Beane changed his mind at the 11th hour.

Whether baseball likes it or not, the culture is slowly but surely marching toward a day where a GM's departure to another club will result in fair compensation, not a depressed price. Unfortunately for Boston, that day may not arrive in time to compensate for the man who changed baseball in Boston.

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Posted on: October 11, 2011 7:19 pm
Edited on: October 12, 2011 5:35 am
 

If Theo's out, new BoSox GM must come from inside

Cherington, Hoyer, Lucchino

By Evan Brunell


A report has revealed that Red Sox GM Theo Epstein is expected to join the Cubs as GM by Oct. 13. While roadblocks still remain, such as what type of compensation the Red Sox will receive for letting Epstein out of his contract, it's time to take a look ahead at who could potentially step into Epstein's large shoes in Boston.

With Epstein's departure, you can certainly bet on team president Larry Lucchino gaining more power in baseball operations after losing it due to a much-publicized clash with Epstein in October 2005 that briefly saw the GM leave his position as Red Sox GM. In Epstein's absence back in 2005, Lucchino tabbed assistant GMs Ben Cherington and Jed Hoyer as co-GMs in Epstein's stead, and Lucchino needs to make a similar move this time around. (Photo: Cherington, Hoyer, Lucchino from left to right in 2005.)

There are really only two clear candidates for the GM job internally -- that being Cherington and assistant to the GM Allard Baird, who formerly ran the ship in Kansas City. Boston needs to stay internal because the internal processes Epstein set up are the reason why the Red Sox have become a powerhouse and a player-development machine. That was the strength of Epstein, thanks to his hours of experience in player development and maximizing resources in San Diego. What Epstein pulled off top-to-bottom in the organization can not only not be ignored, but must be carried through. Who better than Cherington or Baird to see that process through?

Cherington actually precedes Epstein in Boston, hired by the Red Sox in 1999 by then-GM Dan Duquette after serving as an advance scout for the Indians. Throughout his time in Boston, Cherington has gained a reputation for being similar to Epstein in that he understands and embraces the value of statistical analysis, but also realizes the value of scouts -- one would certainly hope so given his background in that area.
Cherington spoke more about the blend of stats and scouting earlier this season to MLB Trade Rumors:
You can blend appropriately information from those two extremes. Depending on the player and the circumstances, you may lean more on one than the other. Obviously if you’re evaluating a 16-year-old in the Dominican, you don’t have a lot of hard performance history, so you’re going to rely more on subjective evaluation. 

As you get closer to the big leagues, the more performance history you have and the more you can incorporate that into the projection for the player. And you factor in other information like their health, contract situation, etc. 

That’s what Theo strove for from the very get-go. From the day he took the general manager’s job, he did not want the Red Sox to be a quantitative-driven baseball ops department, he didn’t want it to be a subjective, traditional scouting-driven baseball operations department, he wanted to do both.

However, Lucchino may prefer a GM who doesn't consider Epstein his "mentor," given the clashes Epstein and Lucchino had. When Epstein resigned back in 2005, Lucchino seemed eager to interview Jim Beattie for the opening, a former failed Expos and Orioles GM that hasn't gotten any whispers of returning to a GM job since. That doesn't make one terribly optimistic about Lucchino's ability to judge a viable GM moving forward, but Baird may provide the perfect blend for Lucchino.

Baird, 12 years Epstein's senior, was also a failed GM like Beattie in Kansas City, but many in the game don't hold it against him as it has since come to light that he was handcuffed by owner David Glass in many of his errors. Some of Baird's notable disasters in K.C. include trading away Johnny Damon, Carlos Beltran and Jermaine Dye for minimal return. But since being with the Sox, he's worn many hats and has been one of Epstein's most trusted confidantes.

Unlike Boston's managerial search, which could benefit from an outside voice, Boston needs to stay internal with the GM search. While Epstein may not have fared well lately in Boston, he set up the right model and has the right people in place to sustain a winning atmosphere in Boston.

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Posted on: October 7, 2011 11:06 am
 

Red Sox owner: Epstein won't be GM forever

John HenryBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Red Sox owner John Henry and CEO Larry Lucchino declined to comment specifically about the Cubs' request to interview general manager Theo Epstein when they appeared on a local Boston radio show on Friday.

"Every year we get requests from people. We've never discussed them publicly," Lucchino said (via WEEI.com). "We don't comment on requests."

Henry said that there is a general understanding in baseball that teams will grant permission if it is for a promotion -- something the Cubs could theoretically offer.

Henry didn't say if the Cubs have offered a promotion, but the team could name him president or CEO or whatever made up title they wanted to give him and it sounds like the Red Sox owner would allow him to interview.

Henry also noted that Epstein wouldn't be the Red Sox general manager "forever."

"Everyone has to understand a couple of things, and I think (Terry Francona) alluded to this, I think there's  certain shelf life in these jobs," Henry said. "You can only be the general manger if you're sane. You can only be the manager for a certain amount of time. It's a tremendous pressure-cooker here, 162 games. It's a long season, and the pressure here is 365 days.

"So, Theo is not going to be the general manager forever. Just as if Tito had come back for the last two years, would he have gone past 10 years? I can't imagine he would have. I think that Theo will. He's the guy now, he's been the guy, we've had tremendous success. We fell apart at the end of the season. As Larry expressed, we're upset about it. No fan could be more upset than I am about the result this year. But he's done a tremendouss job for us over the last eight years."

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com