Deal Done with Sox for Epstein?

Tom Ricketts appears to be on the verge of introducing Theo Epstein as the president of baseball operations for the Chicago Cubs. Multiple reports on Wednesday night suggested the deal to bring Theo Epstein to the Cubs could be leaked Thursday with a press conference taking place on Friday … a travel day for the World Series.

The Cubs and Red Sox continued their negotiations on Wednesday and made a lot of progress after not getting much done earlier in the week. Again, nothing is official but the deal appears to basically be done.

Epstein has a lot of work ahead of him but his first line of business appears to be naming a general manager. According to reports, the Cubs and Padres have been negotiating a deal that would allow Jed Hoyer to leave his GM position in San Diego and join Epstein’s staff with the Cubs. Hoyer declined to comment on Wednesday when asked about the possibility of him teaming up with Epstein in Chicago.

Epstein also appears to be targeting Jason McLeod for a soon-to-be expanded front office. McLeod is currently a VP and assistant GM under Jed Hoyer in San Diego.

Here are a few notes while waiting for more on Theo …

  • Tom Ricketts and Padres’ vice president and CEO Jeff Moorad have a strong relationship and the feeling is that Moorad will allow Hoyer out of his contract. Josh Byrnes, once rumored to be on his way to the Cubs, appears to be the Padres’ GM in waiting.
  • According to a report from the Sun-Times, Crane Kenney is a big reason why the deal for Theo Epstein has been held up. The Sun-Times reported that Kenney began bragging in September that he would be leading the process for a new GM. Tom Ricketts has stated that Kenney has not been involved. The Sun-Times pointed out “whoever is leading the talks for the Cubs committed a major blunder by closing the deal with Epstein before signing off on compensation with the Red Sox.” That mistake gave the Sox more bargaining power in the negotiations.
  • According to a report from ESPN Chicago, Tom Ricketts and Josh Byrnes’ brother have a strong relationship through their bond business and Ricketts had informal conversations with Byrnes as far back as Spring Training.
  • Trey McNutt has been rumored to be a part of the compensation package for Theo Epstein … but McNutt was unaware that he was in the rumor mill. McNutt thought his Mesa Solar Sox teammates were joking around with him prior to Wednesday’s start when they told him he could soon be dealt to Boston. McNutt said the rumor caught him by surprise. McNutt did not think the Cubs would trade him due to the lack of starting pitchers in the organization.
  • According to a report from Comcast SportsNet, the “feeling is it will take two prospects” to complete the deal for Theo Epstein.

Stay Tuned …

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