Cubs Ask Red Sox for Permission to Speak with Theo Epstein

According to a report from the Boston Globe, the Cubs have asked the Red Sox for permission to speak with Theo Epstein “regarding a position in their organization.”

Dan Shaughnessy learned from a team source that the Cubs have made contact with the Red Sox front office and “there were meetings at Fenway Park” on Tuesday afternoon regarding the team’s response to the request.

According to the Boston Globe, “Because Epstein is under contract, the Red Sox would have the right to refuse such a request. They could grant it with the condition that some sort of compensation be made in exchange for hiring Epstein. Or Epstein could decline the interest.”

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  • cc002600

    If the cubs have to give up a good player to get Theo, I say fugetaboutit !

    • Tony_Hall

      They can have Koyie Hill

      • Tony_Hall

        See, maybe it’s the name of the player that changes that issue.

        • paulcatanese

          Absolutly Tony, complete turnaround.

      • Ripsnorter1

        You’d give up that superior .194 BA and his wonderful glove for that???

        • Tony_Hall

          It would be a tough decision, but I would do it for Theo.

          • Coolpdxcubsfan

            Hey, just to sweeten the deal, you could throw in Grabow AND if it really bacame a tough negotiation you could offer moron Qball.

    • Zippy2212

      I agree.  If it is anything more than a C-D prospect say no thanks we’ll take Cherington.

    • paulcatanese

      Agree with you, I cant see giving anything as far as players being given for a GM. They all take us on the trade market as it is. By the way are you running the mile under 4 minutes yet? You must be happy geting all the wrappings off.

      • cc002600

        not running the mile yet, but feeling much better. Getting there.

    • Eric R.

      We don’t have any good players.  What Starlin Castro and Andrew Cashner?  That is is it.  I’m so sick of Cubs fans wanting to hold on to the loser prospects of the world.  Patterson, Pie, etc.  We have nothing which is why we need Epstein to rebuild our system.

  • Jay from sandwich

    I do not mind Higher this person as long as Sanberg is manager. I also am willing to include so current viterns on the 25 man roster but not below the age of 30. No top relief pitchers and starts. But a Byrd or a baker, Dewit or our rights to Pena etc. is fine by me.

  • Neil

    The Boston media is hoping the Cubs will take John Lackey and his contract as compensation for letting Theo leave.

    • cubtex

      LOL. That has been all over the Boston blogs. Many fans want Theo out with all those bad contracts the Red Sox are stuck with for the next several years.

      • Tony_Hall

        You know, I reviewed their payroll and they have a lot of club friendly contracts from their young players, that were homegrown, that still gives them lots of flexibility with their payroll.  I know you will say that $160M payrolls give you that, but so should of a $130M payroll in the NL Central, and we know how that worked out.

      • Tony_Hall

        Youkilis is still only $12.250M for 2012
        Pedroia is signed for 3 more years at only $29M total
        Lester has 2 more years at $18M total

        Plus even with the bad contracts of Lackey and Crawford, if they keep their payroll near the same area as this year, they will have $35-$40M still to spend, as they have a lot of contracts that came to an end this year.

        • cubtex

          Sure Tony there are some club friendly contracts…but Ellsbury will be arbitration elgible in 2012. Beckett is locked up for 3 more years at 17 mil per. Lackey is locked up for 3 more at a ton. Dice K has another year left. The pitching staff is what I am really concerned with. Would you really want all that money locked up with Beckett,Lackey and Dice K? I wouldn’t really feel comfortable with any of these guys. Beckett had a very good 3/4 of a season but he is not the same pitcher he used to be and can’t be counted on to anchor a staff anymore. If I am Theo and the Cubs offer….I am jumping ship. He has a mess on his hands over there(caused by him)

          • Tony_Hall

            You are concerned about a rotation of Lester, Beckett, Bedard, Lackey, Wakefield, Andrew Miller, Matsuzaka…what does that make you about the Cubs rotation.  They have 7 options here, plus their own system, that may be producing more players for 2012.  I don’t know their system, or even all of these guys situation, but they seem to have a pretty good base to start with.  

            Yes Lackey is overpaid, Matsuzaka has $10M left, but my guess is whoever is the GM, will be making some moves.

            Beckett just finished a year with 193 IP, a 2.89 ERA and a WHIP of 1.03.  You are right, sounds like he is going down hill.

          • Tony_Hall

            Good article breaking down Boston’s pitching staff.


            They sure do have a lot of options.  I would trade pitching staffs with them right now.  

          • cubtex

            Thanks. That staff is a mess. It is not as much a mess as the Cubs is rightn now so I agree with you….but wow! Exactly what I was saying. No money to bring in any pitching.

          • Tony_Hall

            But you have to agree, they have a lot to choose from.

            Lester, Beckett, Buchholz

            For their 4th and 5th 
            Bard, Wakefield, Lackey, Bedard, A Miller, Matsuzaka

            Plus a group of younger arms.  I can see Lackey traded, Wakefield for swingman role, Miller is an intriguing arm.  Matsuzaka and Bedard, if healthy (Matsuzaka just started throwing again), can both be good 4th/5th starters.  If they need to they can move Bard to the rotation.

          • cubtex

            I looked up Bard’s minor league stats and he hasn’t started a game in the minors since 2007. He was considerably less effective as a starter based on hits per innings pitched.
            I know Beckett bounced back this year but he hasn’t put 2 good seasons in a row in several years. He struggled when they needed him most. Buchholz is the key. He needs to be healthy. Lester is a solid #2, but Wakefield? Lackey? Bedard..they will not resign and I don’t blame them, A Miller(bullpen guy) and Dice K(they won’t get nothing from)
            You are more confident than I am with this group. They probably need to make a trade for a guy who might get expensive for another team who could be a free agent like some names I mentioned a couple of weeks ago. Sanchez,Danks etc.

          • Tony_Hall

            It was mentioned in the article that Bard wanted to start or close.  He has been very effective for them in the set-up role.

            We will just have to disagree on Beckett, as I consider 07, 08, 09, 11 to have been good season (4 out of the last 5).  He was hurt at the end of this year, and if he was on the Cubs, would have not pitched in September.  

            I agree Lester is not a solid #1, but I would take him over Garza :)  

            I am pretty confident that their 5 man rotation will look better than the Cubs.  I am also pretty confident that they will be in the playoff hunt again next year.  

        • cubtex

          Tony…you are forgetting AGon’s contract kicks in next year at 21 mil per year and if they resign Papelbon he will get at least 12 mi again so…no they don’t have any money to spend if they stay at 160mil

          • Tony_Hall

            Actually, I didn’t, I was using Cots spreadsheet that had all the payroll numbers already in it, and just took their number.  

            They may let Papelbon walk.

          • cubtex

            Boston will have some major issues with contracts over the next couple of years. AGon,Crawford,Lackey,Beckett….that’s almost 70 mil for 4 players! Then you have arbitration elgible Ellsbury and he will start getting paid. They will problably rework Pedroira’s contract. They will have to make some decisions over the next couple of years and they will not be easy decisions.

          • Tony_Hall

            I haven’t broke it down, looking forward, but if they stay around $160M, I think it is more than manageable.  If they try to reduce the amount, they may have issues. 

            Pedroia’s contract will be done as an extension, with a signing bonus, but won’t mess with his club friendly, next 3 years.

            Ellsbury is interesting that they haven’t wrapped him up yet.

    • Tony_Hall

      I have also seen similar, outlandish thoughts, like the Cubs will give up Castro and/or Garza, plus take on Lackey.  Wont’ happen.  They may give up some A or AA prospect, but that is it, as their are other GM’s and teams to deal with, if needed.

    • Aaron

      Truthfully Neil, I wouldn’t mind that, even though he sucked this year. My feeling on Lackey is he WAS a slightly above average pitcher in the AL…problem is, he got a big contract, his wife got breast cancer, then they go through a divorce, and he had one of the worst seasons imaginable for a starting pitcher…fans, teammates, and management were not happy with him. 

      My thought, is if he gets a fresh start in the NL, he might just post a sub-4 ERA, and be a positive for a team like the Cubs looking for rotation depth.

      The funny thing about executive/management trades is that when players are involved, usually another player goes to the trading team as well….almost always a lesser player.

      For instance, the Rays sent Winn to the Mariners for Lou Piniella, but got back Antonio Perez as well.

      The Marlins sent 2 prospects to the White Sox for Guillen, but also got a prospect from the White Sox as well.

      What if the Cubs offered Soriano and Byrd for Lackey and Epstein? Or Zambrano for Lackey…..or whatever….it doesn’t necessarily have to be prospects.

      That is a very intriguing proposition if you ask me. The Cubs will need no less than 2 starting pitchers this offseason….possibly as many as 3 or even 4 (if Dempster opts out). Wells is no sure bet to return either…not with a smart new GM at the helm.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Are you serious? 
      Are the Cubs nuts??And don’t tell me both answers are “yes,” either.

      • Neil

        Rip, that is what the Boston media mentioned and is really hoping for, that is all. As Aaron stated, and is right, usually players are sent in return, not the other way around. Just like for Lou in Seattle and Guillen to Miami.

        Speculation tonight is that Epstein would leave if the Cubs add “President” to his title.

        The papers have been filed and it is up to the Sox and Epstein as to where this goes from here.

  • Griffnbell

    I can’t help but get a little excited. At least we are aiming high and not settling for a guy who “might” be a good GM. Epstein and Sandberg sounds great to this longtime Cubs fan. I need some sort of light at the end of the tunnel and this would give me hope again.

  • Neil

    Lackey’s contract details from Cot’s:

    2012:$15.25M, 2013:$15.25M, 2014:$15.25M2015

    Club option at Major League minimum salary if Lackey misses
    significant time with surgery for pre-existing elbow injury in 2010-14

    $0.5M assignment bonus if traded

    award-bonuses: $0.5M for MVP ($0.1M for 2nd-5th in vote); $0.1M for WS MVP; $75,000 for LCS MVP; $50,000 each for All Star, Gold Glove

    Perks: suite on road, right to buy 6 premium seats for home games

    • paulcatanese

      Wow, Neil where do they dream up these contracts? I did all my wifes, should have had an agent, amazing, also one of my sons.

    • cubtex

      That contract is brutal. I wouldn’t want any part of that

      • Boots

        I would take it if they agree to take Soriano.

        • cubtex

          As bad as Lackey is…I would probably do that to just to open up left field and save some money.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Not saving any money at all. Sorry-oh-no is done in 2014–you’d be paying Lackey for his 6.14 ERA in 2015. Hey, this guy is Carlos Silva.

            I DON’T WANT HIM.

          • Tony_Hall

            Actually it would save money.

            $18M versus $15.25M and Lackey has a better chance of being a positive than Soriano (if used properly).  

            Lackey’s deal is also done after 2014, but allows for 2015 Club option, if he misses time from his pre-existing elbow injury.

            I would trade Lackey for Soriano.

        • cmschube

          Maybe we should have Lackey pitch to Soriano in a simulated game/death match. If Sori lights up Lackey, we keep him. If Lackey dominates Soriano, we’ll take Lackey.

    • cubtex

      For those that think Lackey will be a good addition please read these numbers. He makes Carlos Silva look like Cy Young.

      He is 32 years old. In 2010

      160 IP      203   Hits    20 HR’s allowed    19 HBP   6.41 ERA  and    a

      1.619 WHIP

      Who would really want to take on 15.25Mil on that for the next 3 years?

  • jfish1219

    I for one would love to have Theo  as the next GM of the cubs….toss some cash at them and get this done

    • J Daniel

      I am with you on this!  They can have a prospect, not big deal.  One great trade, great draft, or smart free agent move and that spot is now recovered.  They would have to give compensation to Tampa for Friedman.  Either way, hire one of the two.

      • jfish1219

        Friedman does not have a contract… That’s how they roll in TB

  • cubtex

    I second that comment from earlier that Ricketts should be on the phone with Andrew Friedman now that the Rays are eliminated. Let’s get Friedman!

    • jfish1219

      I will take either or but Friedman would be my first choice

    • studio179

      My first choice, too. I don’t know though.

  • matthew8510

    id rather have cashman  than epstein or friedman hope yanks lose

  • frustrated

    Give them 2 for the price of one.  Soto and Hill both.   They struck out 165 times combined.   That is a scary thought.

    • JW

      Would Epstein get to decide on the compensation for himself if he is the future GM? or would he negotiate for Sox? How about Marquez Smith, James Adduci, Ty Wright, and Austin Bibens-Dirx for Epstein? HAHA… they are good fillers!

      • Ripsnorter1

        Don’t forget Berg and Stevens as well. 

  • Agustinrexach

    The fact that Theo would seriously consider this job makes it a couple notches more desirable to other top GM candidates such as Friedman, Roy Clark, Billy Beane and others. Me and Aaron would agree; this is a dream job and we should be able to pick almost anyone we want, because they should be dying to be the new GM.

    I would absolutely love Clark but Theo would be just fine.

  • studio179

    I guess we will find out soon enough if Epstein is serious about the Cubs, is using them as leverage with the Red Sox or if the Red Sox are willing to let the Cubs talk to him. Making it known he would be interested ‘if the title of President was added’ for the Cubs or Angels front office position is smart on Epstein’s part. It gains him added financial security and power to leave or leverage to stay. At the very least, he remains in his current role for next year. He knows Ricketts is giddy over the Red Sox way of doing things.  

    Ricketts will do one of these in this order. 1) Simply shift Kenney’s title to President of Business Operations in a non baseball capacity and have Theo President of Baseball Operations. 2) Replace Kenney with Theo 3) Refuse to give another title of President to Theo or anyone.     

    • Tedtop16

      Just get the deal done for a good general manager. We are talking about someone having a positive effect on an organization for the next 10 years. Ball players come and go. A good GM would set us up for a long time.

      • Dorasaga


      • studio179

        I was pointing out Theo is in the drivers seat here and does not need to take another GM job without the title of president attached to it. It is up to Ricketts if he wants to add another president or let Theo be THEE president if it came down to it.

  • nick_ss

    Hey Neil,

    It has been a very long time since I have posted, (unbelievably crazy busy summer) but anyway, I still read the site as much as I can! Just wanted to say to you and everyone who helps make this site as great as it is, Thank you Very much for everything!! 

    Whether we get him or not, it is nice seeing Ricketts going after a top notch GM, hopefully this is a sign of great things to come!! My personal opinion is I would love to have Epstein!  Get it done Tommy Boy!! 

    • Neil

      Nick, great to hear from you. I hope the family is doing well. Thanks for the kind words, I really appreciate them.

  • Cubs_fan_life

    Lets see, curse busted, world series win and appearances during his watch, so why not, cant be any worse than what nwe’ve had for 100+ years.

  • woody34

    There’s one guy that we heard about over and over that the Red Sox wanted at the deadline.  What if we threw them Jeff Baker?  And be done with it.  

    • Tedtop16

      Does anybody have have any sense of the timeline on this? I mean hearing from Epstein. If yes, then when would meetings be scheduled?

      • Neil

        The Boston media speculated this morning that the decision to allow Epstein to interview or not interview would come down today.

        The decision should be very soon on whether they will allow him to interview or not, then Ricketts has to decide if the compensation Boston is asking for is too much if Epstein should take the job.

  • paulcatanese

    If all these GM’s out there are all this great and want compensation, a Presidency etc. Why do all there home papers rap them all the time?

    • Tony_Hall

      Experts are always from out of town!  

      It is an amazing way that people look at people/teams/organizations from afar.  The closer you get, the more you see every mistake.  From afar, you usually just see the good stuff.  

      I measure by the trophy case, as that should be our goal, to actually need to buy a trophy case.  And it sure helps to know how to get there, when you have actually been there!