President Epstein? … and Cubs Front Office Rumors

Impasse and stalemate were words used on Tuesday to describe the compensation talks between the Cubs and Red Sox. The two sides could not reach an agreement before the start of the World Series and the earliest the deal could be made official at this point would be Friday … and that would require the MLB front office to grant permission for an announcement to be made on a travel day during the World Series.

Even with Theo Epstein not officially in charge of baseball operations for the Cubs, it did not stop the rumor mill from churning. According to multiple reports, Epstein could be looking to get the band back together, surrounding himself with familiar faces in Chicago. Theo Epstein’s official title could end up being the President of Baseball Operations for the Chicago Cubs … and in turn, Epstein could bring in a general manager.

Epstein and the Cubs Front Office
Even with the delays and the back and forth that is going on between the Cubs and Sox, the feeling around baseball is Theo Epstein will take over baseball operations for the Cubs in the near future. Not soon after the rumors first surfaced about Tom Ricketts’ pursuit of Epstein, rumors suggested Theo Epstein would likely have the title of ‘President of Baseball Operations‘. As the compensation process drags out, those rumors are becoming louder and louder each day.

According to multiple reports Tuesday, Theo Epstein could take the title of president and hire a general manager. Epstein would still report directly to Tom Ricketts and in turn, Ricketts would have a baseball guy watching his baseball guys.

Over the last week multiple reports have suggested that Josh Byrnes could leave his position in San Diego for a reunion with Epstein in Chicago … but a new name was thrown into the hat on Tuesday.

According to a report from Jon Heyman, current GM of the Padres, Jed Hoyer, could be one of two members of the Padres’ front office that could help shape the Cubs’ new front office.

Hoyer is under contract until 2013 and the Padres hold an option on Hoyer for 2014. Reports out of San Diego suggest that Jeff Moorad would not stand in Hoyer’s way and would name Josh Byrnes GM of his team. Moorad and Byrnes go back to their days with the Diamondbacks. Moorad hired Byrnes in Arizona and was instrumental in bringing Byrnes to San Diego.

According to multiple reports, the Cubs have not reached out to the Padres for permission to speak with Jed Hoyer … and it is not known at this time if the Padres would ask for compensation for Hoyer.

Jason McLeod is the other member of the Padres front office that could join Epstein in Chicago. The Boston Herald mentioned the possibility on Monday. McLeod worked under Epstein in Boston and is highly regarded throughout the game. McLeod is currently a VP and an assistant general manager to Jed Hoyer in San Diego.

Jonathan Gilula
According to a report from Gordon Edes (ESPN Boston), a surprising name has surfaced that could leave Boston for the Cubs … Jonathan Gilula. Gilula is not in baseball operations for the Red Sox but is the executive vice president of business affairs. Gilula has been with Boston for nine seasons and in Major League Baseball for 14 seasons.

Jonathan Gilula “played a major role in the renovations, remodeling and expansion of Fenway Park.

If Gilula were to leave Boston for Chicago, what would Crane Kenney’s role be within the organization?

Theo Notes
According to a report from ESPN Boston, Epstein will be allowed to take one prominent member of the Red Sox organization with him.

According to a report from the Tribune, the Cubs are hoping to avoid giving up Trey McNutt in the Epstein deal. McNutt is scheduled to start Wednesday afternoon’s game for the Mesa Solar Sox.

According to a report from Comcast SportsNet, the Cubs front office will be expanded under Theo Epstein. The Cubs front has historically been one of the smallest in all of baseball.

According to a report from the Sun-Times, Brett Jackson and Matt Szczur are off the table in the Epstein negotiations but the same cannot be said for Josh Vitters. The Sun-Times reported that “there is a divide among team evaluators about whether Vitters should be allowed to go the Red Sox.”

Josh Vitters has not played in a Arizona Fall League game since last Friday when he went 4-for-5 with two runs scored as the Solar Sox’s DH.

According to a report from the Sun-Times, cash considerations might be back on the table in the Epstein negotiations.

Well, there’s the update … and I’m sticking to it.

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