Epstein Close to Joining the Cubs’ Front Office?

According to a report from the Boston Herald, Theo Epstein in on the “cusp of leaving his job as general manager of the Red Sox to accept a position with the Chicago Cubs that is believed to include powers greater than he has in Boston.”

According to the Herald’s sources an official announcement is expected to be made in the next 24 to 48 hours.

According to the Herald, “the hang-up in the negotiations has been two fold.” The Red Sox would like for Epstein to remain with the organization and the other is the compensation the Sox would receive from the Cubs for Epstein.

The Herald mentioned the compensation could include “a player, money or a combination of the two” their sources are unclear.

Stay Tuned …

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  • John G

    I say give them 3 players. Soriano, Zambrano and Grabow.

    • John_CC

      Why stop there?? Koyie and Quadie need new homes too.

      Actually, aren’t we free of Grabow now?  I think his contract is over.

  • GrantJones7

    Awesome, I love this move, hopefully we dont have to give up anything TOO big.

  • Jjanower

    Bad feeling were giving up jackson

  • jfish1219

    I highly doubt the cubs will have to give up a “blue chip” prospect. anything more than a mid level prospect would be a shock. I am sure money will also change hands IMO

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      I’ve been hearing mid-level prospect. Will soon find out.

      • Aaron

        I hope you’re right….If Hendry were still on board, he’d consider Angel Guzman a “mid-level prospect”, and he might refuse to part with him, because….well….Guzman has more potential than any other pitcher the Cubs ever signed…LOL

  • Wally Kulak


  • datkid

    Good job Ricketts. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/dazzlingdocd.hill Doc Diesel

    Fantastic Day

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MBTQEWUE4ZR657K5AUFOREFBYE Devin

    Wow..Great day for Cubs fans!!!

  • woody34

    Toss them Marmol and Baker. 

    • paulcatanese

      And throw in Hill.

      • paulcatanese

        Oh, and I forgot Qua, then the Sox dont have to look for a manager.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    For a little break from the Theo Watch …

    Cubs in AFL (10/11) Josh Vitters(1B):1-for-4,2B,RBI; DJ LeMahieu(3B):0-for-4; Junior Lake(SS):2-for-4,R,SB; Marcus Hatley:1R,3H,BB,K,1IP

    Andrew Cashner: 1st save in AFL;0R, 1H, WP in 1 IP (13pitches,
    8 for strikes). Cashner reportedly hit 100 on the gun with his fastball.

    • Tom U

      A reminder that the Mexican Pacific League also opens tonight. Cub prospects include Oswaldo Martinez (Obregon), Blake Parker (Hermosillo), and Hung-Wen Chen (Mazatlan).  

  • Scott Cubfan

    My guess is a guy like Jae Hoon Ha if it’s a position player they want. Possibly a Ryan Flaraty? If it’s pitching I’d say McNutt or Belivue maybe? Sorry if I got the spelling wrong on any of those. I doubt it would be Jackson. Anyway you look at I think this is a good move though.

    • Boots

      I wonder if Epstein is involved in any way in determining who they get? I would think they would want to consult him at least but could be considered a conflict of interest I suppose. 

      I think a midlevel prospect is reasonable.

      • John_CC

        Right — “So Theo, who should we get in return for you? Do you think you are worth McNutt? What about Hoon Ha?

  • Darrenmcculloch

    I say the Cubs toss the Red Sox a host of former first round picks like Bobbie Brownlie, Mark Pawelek, Ben Christensen, Ryan Harvey and Luke Hagerty.  Then since they need a manager, the Red Sox can have Mike Quade and the Cubs will throw in Mark Reagins for free.  Seems like a good deal.

  • diehardcubfan

    Yes, it sounds very promising but until he has agreed and the Red Sox have agreed I do not want to raise my champagne glass yet. 

    No one can argue with the Red Sox success the last several years.  I like others will be concerned with the possibility of moves that may mirror JHs in result (high overpriced contracts) but I also am hopeful for the future and that he will be prudent if in charge.

    As soon as the ink dries Epstein’s first task is to fire Quade!!!  Do not wait.  Then he can proceed to do whatever he feels required.

    Also, I wonder if the Red Sox would be gullible enough to take Soriano as compensation?  One can only hope. 

  • Demitri

    I feel this is another peavy/roberts/granderson. Hopefully im wrong

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From the Tribune: Cubs have no comment on Theo
    report in Boston Herald. Of course, they’ve had no comment on GM search
    since Ricketts’ spoke in SD.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Bruce Levine: Source tells Espn chi.com that their is not a deal in place with Theo Epstein yet. Cubs checking with MLB on compensation.

  • Vivid_Reality

    If the Cubs give up anything more than Jay Jackson I will not be amused.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Buster Olney: Following Boston Herald story on Epstein: Sources say there is still work to be done, but the talks are on-going.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Tim Brown: Hearing Red Sox owners are making play to keep Theo in town, but won’t ask him to continue in job he doesn’t want.

    • Aaron


      What are you hearing about compensation?

      Obviously, you see on Red Sox blogs idiotic comments about Cashner, B. Jackson, Castro, etc., which seem utterly ridiculous (or are they? Could they be in tune with real rumors?)

      If you look at history of trading execs or managers in sports, you really don’t get much in terms of compensation. Usually, it’ll be trading a mid-level prospect or two, but also getting one in return.

      Given that, a “mid-level” prospect would be LeMahieu, Flaherty (neither of which I’d trade given lack of depth at corner IF, and in Flaherty’s case, corner OF as well), Cabrera, R. Lopez, Jay Jackson, Rusin, Struck, Lake, Ha, Bour, etc.

      Or…a very interesting scenario might be the Cubs agreeing to take on a salary like Crawford or Lackey, or Matsuzaka in exchange for Epstein…or perhaps a combination of the 3 if the Red Sox take back Zambrano or Soriano.

      If that is the case, then the Cubs would be stupid not to do it, even with their bloated contracts, and here’s why:
      -Crawford is overpaid…no question about it, but he does add a speed element that the Cubs are missing, and if Soriano is gone, he makes a lot of sense in LF if they have to take his salary on. He’s also younger than Soriano was when he signed his contract.
      -Lackey is also overpaid…no question about that either, but switching leagues might do him well, as has been the case with quite a few pitchers leaping over to the NL. PLUS, the Cubs need depth in the rotation, so he’d solve that problem for them. While a rotation headed by Garza, Dempster, and Lackey is not the most ideal, it sure as hell beats a rotation headed by Garza, Dempster, and Wells.

      Those are some of the ideas being floated about. What are you hearing Neil?

      • Vivid_Reality

        I would gladly take Crawford back if we could ship out Fonzi.

        • Baron_S

          I would definitely do a Z-Lackey trade…

          Lackey got eaten up by the NY-Boston spotlight (its very different from the NL central) —– I think he can be salvaged into a serviceable #3 starter in the NL.

      • cubtex

        I don’t necessarily agree with that comment.Have you seen Lackey’s numbers and actually watched any games he pitched this year? Lackey might not be an upgrade over Wells. It is very possible he could worse and we would be stuck with another Carlos Silva situation.
        Reports are that the Red Sox want something back with value. I really hope they don’t give up someone good.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Aaron, I have not heard specific names but have heard a mid-level prospect or possibly prospects that are not on the 40-man roster. Again, rumors are rumors until the deal is done.

        I am hearing very little about the Cubs taking a bad contract back.

        I am also hearing they are trying to work out who Theo can take with him from the front office in Boston.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Comcast SportsNet: Source doubts talk about Red
    Sox getting a Garza or Castro from Cubs as compensation for Theo:
    “Common sense has to kick in a little bit.”

    • Baron_S

      GAG!!! HELL NO, please…. 

      I live in this town!! Epstein is extremely over-rated….. 

      • cubtex

        Thank you Baron! The one positive is he is very hyped and will attract some possible free agents who might not be interested in the Cubs otherwise.

  • Jay from Sandwich

    If we have to give up that quailty of a player than I do not want him. Juast get this air appearrent instead. If I were Rickets I would ask to interview him if there demans are this I. Put a scare into Boston that we will just take there future for nonthing.

    • cc002600

      100% agree.
      the cubs have all the leverage…..last time I looked, there are plenty of OTHER good candidates out there.  If they give up anything more than a mid-level prospect, I will scream.

  • Jim_Tinley_Park

    Peter Gammons tweeted that it’s not as close as reported.

  • cc002600

    FWIW, I have been listening to Kaplan. He claims he has talked to scouts out in AFL and they are all drooling over Cashner.

    • cubtex

      Yep. I heard that too. And he wants to start next year!!!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Carrie Muskat: Sources say Cubs made offer & sticking point is whether Theo wants to leave Red Sox. Tough call, personal vs professional

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Kaplan: Just learned Epstein would be among 3 highest paid GMs if he takes gig. He makes 1.5 in Boston.Want nothing to do w/business side

  • matthew8510
  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From the Globe: Epstein update: bo.st/n0Rh7q Our understanding is that compensation is not an issue. It’s more who he could take with him.

  • PeteM

    What is plan B

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From the Globe: Compensation would not be major players and/or saddling the Cubs with a bad contract. A few prospects, probably

  • matthew8510
    • cubtex

      Nice article. He is saying exactly what I have been saying all along. He will be leaving the Red Sox a mess! 2 of the worse contracts in baseball and a 161 million payroll.

  • cc002600

    compensation had better not be Brett jackson…..I will puke.

  • Griffnbell

    Really hope this comes to a conclusion soon, I am interested in seeing what approach the next GM takes with this team. I’ve spent my whole life rooting for the Bears and Cubs and all I have is the 85 Bears. After watching Monday nights game and the Cubs last season and no Bulls to cheer for I think we are all in need for some positive vibes!!

  • Larry


    I read somewhere the other day that in order for Theo to even consider the Cubs, Ricketts was going to have to make sure that the payroll of the Cubs was similar to that of the Sox. Any truth to this rumor and if it is true, how and where would you expect Theo to spend it this off season, especially since the free agent crop this year is pretty weak.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Larry, I have not heard that.

      • Larry

        That is what I thought. I don’t trust the site where I read it. He throws a million things out hoping something will be close to being accurate.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From the ESPN Boston: If Theo goes to Chi, Sandberg will be favorite to be named manager. Theo tried to hire Sandberg for Pawtucket last winter

    • cubs1967

      Theo and Ryno and Ricketts will have hit a PR home run and very possibly a team grand slam if they bring the cubs to the promised land; you can sell out the convention twice over if these 2 are running the show!!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Kaplan: The compensation could include top prospects but again not top major leaguers.

    • Jim_Tinley_Park

      Other than Castro, Cashner, Barney, Marshall, Marmol,Soto and Garza. everyone else on the 25 man roster sucks.

  • Agustinrexach

    Hysterically over exited…i hope he takes the gig.

    • Aaron

      Be careful what you wish for….Theo almost single-handedly brought 2 championships to the Red Sox with his strategic moves, but he saddled them with some very bad contracts (which Hendry also did for the Cubs), and there’s no guarantees that he could duplicate any of this with the Cubs.

      Therefore, as a fan, are you willing to give up, say, Josh Vitters, Flaherty, and McNutt, or some combination of the 3 to land Epstein? I know I certainly wouldn’t…not when I could have Theo 2.0 in Cherington for nothing in terms of compensation going to the Red Sox, and furthermore, far less in salary than Epstein will get.

      If the compensation going to the Red Sox is Bour, Jay Jackson, Rusin, etc., I wouldn’t be upset at all…but once you get to guys like Flaherty, LeMahieu, McNutt, Cashner, Carpenter, Dolis, Vitters, B. Jackson, Golden, etc., then you’re getting into building blocks for the future, and would set-back the Cubs farm system and subsequent revamping of the MLB roster even further.

      Just look at the Cubs’ roster right now…Hill, Byrd, Pena, DeWitt, ARAM, Soriano, Johnson, Baker, Wells, Grabow, Ortiz, Lopez, and Zambrano all don’t figure into the Cubs’ present, or even their future. 

      What that means, is the Cubs will have the following openings given a smart GM is replacing Hendry:
      3B-starter and back-up
      #3 starter
      #4 starter
      #5 starter
      lefty reliever
      long-man reliever

      Here’s who internally could fill those positions:
      C-Castillo, Clevenger
      #3 starter-Cashner
      #4 starter-Samardzija (creates hole in pen)
      #5 starter-McNutt
      lefty reliever-Beliveau
      long-man reliever-Coleman?
      relief replacement for Samardzija-Carpenter or Dolis

      The FA market doesn’t offer much upgrade over these young guys. I would say Edwin Jackson, Buehrle, Wilson, and Oswalt would be upgrades for the roation, but how much would they cost, and would they really sign with the Cubs anyway?

      As for position players:
      1B-Fielder, Pujols
      2B-Reyes (technically SS, but this would move Castro to 2B or 3B)
      RF-Kubel, Cuddyer, Swisher (also 1B)

      There are NO good C, 2B (back-up), 3B (other than ARAM himself), or CF options on the FA market, so if you take away any of the players I just listed, you’re going to be in a worse position than before.

  • Jim_Tinley_Park

    Theo + Sandberg = EXCITEMENT

    • jfish1219

      I for one am over the moon at this prospect.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Can this guy draft?

    • jfish1219

      Yes he can I believe he was responsible for Papelbon, Pedrioa ,and Elsbeary. I am sorry if I butchered the spelling on those names

  • J Daniel

    This is absolutely a step in the right direction!  It will take some time but there is now real hope.  Ricketts is showing that he is SERIOUS about winning.  I do believe that Sandberg will be the next manager, another step in the right direction.  But let’s not fool ourselves as the need A LOT of BETTER players.  We will see immediate improvement now as some of the young guys will get legit chances now.  There are no more ties to the vets.

    I just hope that something stupid does not happen now and it is done deal.

  • edgeeagle1

    I have not been happier in a long time to be a cubs fan. This is a great step in the right direction as Theo Epstein is a proven winner and if the reports are true this will be huge. Also, if Ryno is chosen for the manager gig that would make me even happier. Ryno wants the cubs to win more than anyone and he deserves a shot. Good day to be a cubs fan!

  • MikeT_2008

    All the speculation this evening has got me excited but I also feel like I’ve down this road before. I’m going to try to keep my hopes in check until I hear from Theo that he is coming and they hold the press conference. All that said I still feel like a little boy on Christmas eve waiting to open his presents

    • J Daniel

      It is not official until it is!

  • John G

    If this whole thing drags on much longer, Epstein can leave Fenway Park on Haloween wearing a gorilla suit.

    Hey! He’s done it before.