Theo Epstein Compensation Links: Saturday

It's been three days since Red Sox GM Theo Epstein agreed to a five-year contract worth $18.5MM to take over as GM of the Cubs, and now the two teams are discussing compensation for Boston letting Epstein out of the final year of his contract. Yesterday we learned that the Cubs would like to complete the deal with just cash, but the Sox want "something real" in return. Let's keep track of today's compensation talk news here, with the latest up top…

  • Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe hears from a source that talks are "business-like, civil and moving forward over the weekend." (Twitter link)
  • Brett Jackson will not head to Boston as compensation, tweets's Carrie Muskat.
  • At the moment, no other Red Sox personnel will be joining Epstein in Chicago, tweets Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.
  • David Kaplan of reports that talks between the two sides have grown "increasingly contentious." A source told Kaplan that Boston president Larry Lucchino is "trying to make it very difficult for Epstein to accept his dream situation in Chicago because of his fractured relationship with his one-time protege."
  • The Red Sox "are believed to be requesting at least two top players from the Cubs’ farm system," according to Scott Lauber of The Boston Herald.
  • Paul Sullivan of The Chicago Tribune says talks are not expected to be completed this weekend.

MLBTR's Mark Polishuk also contributed to this post

307 Responses to Theo Epstein Compensation Links: Saturday Leave a Reply

  1. start_wearing_purple
    start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

    Sigh…Ok I’m going to tell all of you the spoilers in advance:

    Cubs fan: Damn it, we want Theo!
    Excitable Red Sox fan who believes in sportswriters: Yes! We’re getting Jackson and then some!
    Anti Red Sox fanatic: Red Sawx fans suck, you’ll never get anything for Theo!
    Red Sox fan: No, we have the leverage!
    Cubs fan and anti Red Sox fanatics: No, the Cubs have the leverage!

    Annnnnnnnnd… scene.

    • Cosmo3 4 years ago

      This is literally how every one of these threads have gone the past three days. 

    • bacboris 4 years ago

      I agree but I think it has nothing to do with either teams. From the Red Sox side, its like history has never happened and that this is the first time that an mlb employee has gotten out of his contract to get a lateral promotion on another team.

      For my fellow cubs fans, everytime some hack bostron rag writer (dont worry not an insult we have more than our fair share) comes out and gives some ‘Scoop’ they believe it. The Red Sox front officer leaks like a sieve, and most of it is just for minor pr value or vanity.

      • johnsilver 4 years ago

        This is sooo FUNNY! While really agree that the NE area writers are pretty much all hacks, posting that with the biggest hack at the moment currently in DC from Chicago was pretty brave.

    • bust0ff 4 years ago

      I wish we could incorporate bashing Felger and Mazz into the script.

    • Guest 4 years ago

      For once you said something that I can laugh at. 

      Still, the truth is, the Red Sox have zero leverage in this situation and anyone who thinks they do, is outtatheirmind..

      • True or false…you are a Yankee fan who makes 95% of his comments about anti-Red Sox situations.  So, um, maybe your just biased and everyone isn’t “outtatheirmind”.  Seeing as the Red Sox can stretch this out as long as they want, they have leverage guy.  It’s simple, and it isn’t arguable.  Theo’s contract isn’t big, they can simply tell him to go sit at home for a year before being a FA.  They might as well do that in the attempt that the Cubs will cave than take non prospects…it’s pretty simple.

        • sourbob 4 years ago

          Even so, he’s totally right. The Cubs ‘ options are: a) pay a fair price for Theo; b) move on to their second choice without losing a penny. The Sox options are: a) get what the Cubs think is fair for Theo; b) bring back a GM who will hate them; c) pay Theo millions to do nothing.

          On what planet is that leverage?

          • John Arguello 4 years ago

            I agree with you sourbob, but the Red Sox have no problem treating their employees thi s way.  I don’t think Lucchino would care if Epstein sat and did nothing for a year.  Leverage is still with the Red Sox, if only because their ownership is capable of absolutely anything, no matter how it looks to other people.

        • MikhelB 4 years ago

          That’s precisely the leverage Cubs have, to say:

          ok i’ll wait until Theo’s contract runs out, in the meanwhile you’ll have to pay him, we’ll give him 5 millions next year and you won’t get compensation… ooh yeah and good luck with your newly appointed GM and with Epstein’s buddy Lucchino… SEEEYAAA!

          It is not as if the Cubs had a great year, they can wait, the sox, nope.

          To think that Bosox control the situation is plainly stupid when their owner yesterday roasted Epstein on radio saying he called the shots on the Crawfor deal that most every bosox fanboy hates. Will Epstein return to the sox as if nothing bad happened even after Henry threw him under the bus? guess again.

          • SmokinGun 4 years ago

            Talk about outtaofyourmind.  Who’s gonna want to keep seat warm for a year?  Ownership gonna let some temp (Maybe BOB from Accounting) to possibly run team into ground.  At which point Epstein may/may not take job.  Just so they dont have to give up 2 prospects.   Dont think so.

          • xcal1br 4 years ago

            Pretty sure they would just let Randy Bush keep Theo’s seat warm for a year.  Maybe even bring in Byrnes for a year to lay the groundwork.

            Bob from accounting, lol.

    • MikhelB 4 years ago

      You forgot the part where the bosox fanboys say “Cubs have nothing, Brett Jackson is not good, give him to us!” and the Cubbies fans answer “if he is not good then we’ll give you somebody else” and bosox fans go “oooh.. errr.. we want Jacksonnnn!!”

      • johnsilver 4 years ago

        Might be right about that. My preference is to just give the Cubs lackey rather than take anything.. Case settled and he can join Soriano and Zambrano to join the Big 3.

        • ctothed 4 years ago

          That will never ever happen.  You want The Cubs to take on Lackey’s contract to take on Epsteins contract?  You’re nuts.  What on this planet makes you think The Cubs are going to take your garbage to have someone they can just sign in a year without giving up anything or taking anything?

          • Fifty_Five 4 years ago

            I think he was just saying how he’d rather give away Lackey than be given a “top” prospect.

          • ctothed 4 years ago

            That’s not an option.  No chance of The Cubs taking that on..

          • imachainsaw 4 years ago

            you took that too seriously bro.

    • jb226 4 years ago

      And the irony is that both sides are right (or wrong depending on your view), but typically too stubborn-headed to admit it.

      My position (as a Cubs fan) on the whole thing has pretty much remained the same: Petty vengeance from people like Lucchino aside, both sides need this deal to work.  No to Jackson, no to Szczur, if we’re including major-leaguers no to Starlin Castro.  I can’t think of anything else that is absolutely off-limits.  Some of them (McNutt as one example) would be very hard sells, but it’s not an off-limits situation.  Sean Marshall is in play so far as I am concerned.  Wheelbarrows full of money are in play.  I’m not even completely opposed to taking Lackey, though I would hesitate to take the WHOLE contract.

      The Sox will get some good players, they just won’t get to indulge in the fantasy some share that they can just walk through the Cubs’ system pointing at what they like and they’ll be waiting with leashes on when they’re ready to go.

      But hell, none of this riles up some of the really annoying Sox fans on this board so.. THE CUBS HAVE ALL THE LEVERAGE.  ROOOOOAR.

      • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

        you and i would have worked this out so easily

        marshall. congrats and good luck

        • johnsilver 4 years ago

          Off top of my head.. I only recall the 1970’s Tanner (manager) to the Pirates for 1 year past AS manny Sanguillen. do you recall any other manager/GM who were coveted being swapped?

          If so..I would be curious if they were swapped for cheap baggage and not something definitely worthwhile.

          Edit: scrolled down further and was reminded of Quillen just happening.. That adds even more reason to get more, or for the Cubs to take lackey.

  2. start_wearing_purple
    start_wearing_purple 4 years ago

    If you go away I’ll give you a cookie.

  3. gradylittle 4 years ago

    God I hate Lucchino

  4. Bones 4 years ago

    Two top prospects for one year of Epstein? Nope. Let him go back and sit for a year and then come sign here next year. Go ahead and sign Sandberg and lay the foundation. Let Bush stay one for one year and do nothing. It is going to be a oat year anyway.

    • StanelyHudson 4 years ago

      Actually Epstein already agreed to a 5 year offer from the Cubs.

      • WesBowman 4 years ago

        Agreed to the principal. The compensation is because hes still under contract with the BoSoxs. You cant just leave because someone gives you a better deal. Both sides have to agree on this.

        • StanelyHudson 4 years ago

          I’m aware. But should the deal get done, the cubs wouldn’t have him for just one year, they’d have him for 5.

          • But the Cubs are only compensating Boston for one year of Epstein.

          • Bones 4 years ago

            But for Boston, no matter what, they would only have Theo for only one more year. He is leaving one way or another. Either now to the Cubs or next year to the Cubs after his contract with Boston is over. We are only talking , as far as Boston is concerned, is one year. One year for two top prospects is crazy. Not worth it when Theo will just end up here anyway next year.

          • sweetcaroline2011 4 years ago

             I disagree……if the organization comes in next year with the right manager…….and they win a world series……Theo will stay because winning solves a lot of problems…..and if you think Boston is not going to come back motivated your crazy……Like him or not Lester, Beckett, Youk, Pedroia, Gonzalez, Crawford, Ellsbury and  with several contracts coming off of the books…….The ball is in there court as to who they want to sign to help fix some of the problem……We get rid of lackey, get a couple of veteran pitchers and a decent RF in a trade…….the sox will be in the playoffs…..they will be winning and all of this criticism will go away. If that happens Theo might want to stay……and Chicago knows that…..Thats why they want him now…..

          • Bones 4 years ago

            Willing to take that chance. Remember, there is a young GM in Tampa that we could ho get also. How about Billy Bean? If Theo decides to stay in Bos the Cubs will be just fine.

          • FamousGrouse 4 years ago

            There is also the serious risk that Theo will have an extra year of access to sensitive information and bring that with him to his next job. That would be a huge blow to Boston. 

          • MaineSox 4 years ago

            Theo already knows everything there is to know about Boston’s front office

          • FamousGrouse 4 years ago

            I know your making a joke but giving someone an extra year of access to your resources is a huge mistake. Letting him sit on the sidelines is fine, but the post replied to was about bringing him back to work in full capacity for another year.

          • MaineSox 4 years ago

            I wasn’t making a joke.  Theo isn’t going to come back and actually run anything at this point, but even if he did he wouldn’t learn anything in his 10th year that he doesn’t already know from his first 9 years.

          • If that’s the case, it’s a choice between letting Theo go and receiving cash and a mediocre prospect in return, or virtually letting Theo go and paying him to do nothing for a year.  Are they really going to pick option B out of spite for a person who helped them win 2 world series?

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago


          • MaineSox 4 years ago

            not out of spite, but in spite of. yes probably.

          • xcal1br 4 years ago

            Dude, I never thought of that angle.  That is a huge incentive to move Theo out.  The kind of information he could garner is very valuable to any team he would join.  Information such as the extent of injuries to players up and down the system for instance.  LIKE!

          • Epstein is already gone. He will never work for the Red Sox again. The only question now is if Lucchino & Henry are stubborn enough to pay the 3.7 million golden parachute plus Epstein’s 2012 salary just to hurt Epstein.

          • smairs 4 years ago

            Bones….I disagree with you….the White Sox for Ozzie( who was simply a manager) got two prospects, and a General Manager is more vital to an organization than a manager. The problem is that this has already leaked out to the public, so what will the Cub fans do if they have to wait a year? That will sit your rebuilding back by a year, and who knows….maybe Theo changes his mind and opts to stay a year from now…or some other GM post opens…

            If you want him so bad, and he is your savior, the Redsox should hold firm. What is the worst thing that can happen to the Redsox….they keep Theo and give Ben a year with a mentor….that is not too bad of an issue to have…. 

          • Sky14 4 years ago

            Stop comparing Ozzie to Theo it is a lot different. The Marlins could not wait out Ozzies contract in the first year of their new stadium.

          • The White Sox got 2 low level prospects & no cash for WS winning manager. The Red Sox are asking for Cubs to pay 3.7 million golden parachute AND send back top prospects. The Red Sox owners are either deluded or just being pricks

          • Guest 4 years ago

            Wrong way of looking at it, homey..

      • Which means nothing if Boston doesn’t let him out of the contract.

    • Except Theo would be a year late in fixing the team in an obvious rebuilding effort.  The Cubs are two seasons away from contending.  There is also a decent chance that next year another team with a better situation could open up and intrigue Epstein even more.

      • imachainsaw 4 years ago

        the chance to be the guy to end a 103 year drought with fatass payroll space and many prospects on their way to the majors is not the best situation?

  5. EdinsonPickle 4 years ago

    Despite having the leverage in this situation, the Cubs are probably going to cave and give up Jackson. That sounds like the Cub thing to do. Too bad we don’t have Epstein as our GM so he could decide not to do something like this.

    • NomarGarciaparra 4 years ago

      In cases like this, doesn’t Theo negotiate on behalf of the Cubs in terms of compensation?

      Because I remember reading an article about Billy Beane coming to Boston. Oakland wants Kevin Youkilis, but Billy Beane didn’t want to give up Youkilis.

    • Cubs have already said no to Jackson, Carpenter, Cashner, Vitters, Mcnutt & several others as well as any ML players.

  6.  What’s being forgotten here is that some of Theo’s staff is also in the mix–and what value does Ricketts place on one of the supposedly top GM’s in the league? So it boils down to Theo and a few of his current staff—–for two minor leaguers?  If the players were THAT good, they’d be on the losing big league team. So the problem is……….?

    • Baseballfan83 4 years ago

      Just because they haven’t made the bigs yet doesn’t mean they are not good. You don’t rush players up because your losing, that’s just a good way to assure your self of continued losing. And the problem is you don’t gut your farm system when its already weak for an executive.

    • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

      I’m sure if it were just “two minor leaguers” then the deal would’ve been done. It’s more likely that they are demanding at least one of the systems top 5 prospects.

      Ppl keep using the Guillen situation as an example and it’s inappropriate. The Marlins have a horrible system and the two guys they traded were NOT high on the systems rankings. Doesn’t mean they don’t have SOME potential, but they are long shots to be major impact guys.

      Jhan Martinez: Career relief pitcher with a 4.17 ERA and at age 23 has never pitched above AA. Osvaldo Martinez: Career middle infielder who turns 24 in May. 6 years in the minors with a career .331 OBP and a .618 OPS. Most likely will be a utility guy.

      BA: Neither guy is a top 100 prospect.

      John Sickles” #7 and #10 on his pre-season organization list. Both listed as C prospecets.

      Asking for the one or more of the Cubs top 5 is much different.

      BA: #1 Archer (traded) , #2 Jackson (#38 overall), #3 McNutt (#48 overall), #4 Lee (traded), #5 Vitters (not ranked this year but ranked top 100 from 2008-2010).

      John Sickles: All ranked as B+ (Jackson, McNutt) to B- (Vitters)

      Anyway you look at it top 5 Cubs > top 5 Marlins and ppl have to get past rankings and focus on the talent level of either.

      Never has there been a case where a GM has netted high end prospects. The Winn to the M’s is a whole other case because a) Winn was a year away from free agency and the Rays weren’t going to pay him and b) because the M’s also sent a REAL prospect who was BA ranked at #52 that year in Antonie Perez. He ended up doing nothing but he WAS a top 60 prospect and 22 yo at the time. BIG difference.

      I can understand the Sox wanting something but the reality is, what can they do? Does he really want Theo back after all that has been said? Does he really want a GM at the helm who will be unhappy because he was maliciously blocked from taking a dream job that probably won’t be there next year? How realistic is to expect the Cubs to go a whole year with an interim GM? More than likely they’ll move down the page to their #2 option if they can’t come to an agreement with the Sox on compensation.

      So, KEEPING Theo is going to further what’s already become a “somewhat” (and saying it with all due respect to the fan base) dysfunctional organization. 

      ON THE FIELD, the talent is still their, but off the field there’s been a lot said and a lot of distractions and denying Theo the chance to move on and bringing him back sounds impossible (Theo can just resign and sit out a year and still find a job in 2013) and very stupid because you will have a fractured front office and locker room between the Theo faction and the Owners faction. Dysfunction beyond belief. 

      Settle on some combo of a lesser prospect and some cash and move on with preparing for 2012 would be the wisest choice.

      • Steve_in_MA 4 years ago

        No, I think we’ll just push ahead and get just compensation.  If not, we’ll make them wait.  Its time for the Cubs to grow up and act like Bears.  This is a business deal and we are demanding top prospects.  They don’t have to pay it, but they do need to quit whining about how we are not letting them have our GM for free. 

        As for your analysis on the Marlins prospects, Guillen ain’t Theo either.  And only B-Jax is a truly valuable commodity, so others like McNutt and Carpenter are about equal to the Marlins prospects.

        Being a NY fan, I’m sure you remember the compensation to the Jets when Bellichik left for the Pats.  It was a First Round Pick and $500K.  There’s lots of precedent throughout sports for this kind of demand.

        • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

          You simply can not compare the NFL and MLB situations. Not at all.

          All-Star caliber players get traded in the NFL for 6th and 7th round picks whereas all-star players in the majors get traded for 2 or 3 top 100 players. Can’t compare the two. A NFL coach creates the entire identity of the team and has more of a direct effect on the team’s outcome moreso than a mlb manager.

          • Steve_in_MA 4 years ago

            You make my point for me.  The trade values in baseball are even higher than in the NFL.  I argue that Theo is equivalent to an all-star player and commands 2 or 3 top 100 prospects. 

            A baseball GM/President not only creates the entire identity of the team on the field, choosing the players and the manager, but creates the identity of the entire organization, including player evaluation, player development, and club facilities. He’s even more integral to the organization than a football coach is to his team.  Even Bellichick doesn’t have a say in Gillette Stadium.  Theo will revamp Wrigley.

          • ctothed 4 years ago

            Equates to an ALL-STAR???????  Wow, you are f’n nuts. 

          • wsc_cubs 4 years ago

            There is a big difference in what someone is worth and what the market value is. While top execs might be worth top prospects or all-star players, thats not their market value. Couple of mid level prospects, or maybe 3-5 mil, and that might be too much. And cubs have all the leverage now, specially since they named cherrington the GM.

          • Steve_in_MA 4 years ago

            That makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.  What one is worth is what their market value is.  They are synonymous terms.  A top exec worth top prospects has a market value equal to “top prospects.”  The Sox have all the leverage for three reasons: (i) they are willing to walk away from the table and eat Theo’s contract; (ii) the Cubs have committed to Theo and Theo only; and (iii) the Cubs need a GM now, not a year from now.  If you really think the Cubs have the leverage, please encourage Mr. Ricketts to walk away from the deal.  I’d love to see that happen.

            As it stands, I believe that significant progress has been made in the talks.  Ricketts now understands that he will have to give up significant talent.  The Sox are trying to accommodate the most palatable combination of talent that will work for both sides.

          • wsc_cubs 4 years ago

            There is a difference in what a player is worth and what you need to give up to get them. Depending on the demand/supply, necessity and other factors you need to overpay or underpay. For ex. a player can be worth 7mil according to WAR and other stats, but getting paid 1mil. There is no precedent for trading top prospects for execs or managers, and the prospects for guillen are not top level. Top execs maybe worth top prospects, but as of now nobody is willing to pay that price. Execs will probably never be paid what they are worth. Right now top execs should be paid atleast 5mil/year, probably closer to 10mil. But there are way more near 1mil than 5mil.

            As far as leverage goes, here is my analysis. Cubs options: Buckle to red sox demands and give prospects/ hold their ground and wait for red sox to lower their demands/ move on to choice #2/ make asst. gm as interim gm for a year and sign theo for next year. (There are probably couple of other options but these are probably the most likely) Rex sox options: Buckle to Cubs demand and accept a few mil/ Hold ground and hope cubs buckle/ Pay Theo 6.7mil to sit at home or become a consultant for ESPN and listen to him bash on Red sox execs. Now that Henry has named Cherrington the GM there is no space for Theo. It seems like Cubs have more options and can choose to walk away from Theo as noone has signed yet. Clearly Cubs have more leverage since the moment Cherrington was named GM.

            If I was Ricketts, I would say interview other people to put pressure on Red sox, hope that they lower their demands and move on to other qualified options. Theo is good maybe great but not the holy grail of execs.

          • Steve_in_MA 4 years ago

            I now get your point, even though you sort of hid it in here.  You mean “the value of one’s productivity” does not equal fair value in trade.  That I understand and agree with. But still, there is a correlation between productivity and trade or market value.  The players with the highest WAR levels over a sustained period have the highest salaries, and garner the better compensation in trade when they are traded. 

            The same principle applies to top executives, although the “formula” and “factors” for calculating their value in trade is far different.  It is extraordinarily difficult to measure or quantify the impact of the GM/President of Baseball Operations on the club.  And yes, traditionally, their salaried compensation is much lower than that of star players.  But I think we all agree that Theo is somewhere amongst the top 5 of GM’s in terms of positive impact on his organization.  Some could argue top 7, some top 10, I guess.  But that still means we are discussing trading one of the best GM’s in baseball.  His strengths are highly desireable commodities.  His price in trade correlates to the high level of his desireability (supply/demand).

            The Cubs really only have two options:  Pay with sufficient talent or walk away and wait. I really don’t see that the second option is viable for Ricketts.  If this deal falls through, the Cubs faithful will go bonkers on him.  He pinned himself in by only interviewing one candidate and announcing he was his choice.  The Sox have only two options as well: Work out a deal for sufficient talent or walk away and let Theo’s contract run out.  Both options for the Sox are palatable, where no one will riot if they choose the latter option. That doesn’t mean we don’t want a deal here.  It just means that we don’t need a deal, whereas the Cubs “have to have” a deal done. 

          • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

            Dude…. architects who graduated from fancy schools are going to revamp Wrigley. Get real please.

          • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

            Janet Marie Smith…..she is the person who oversaw the remodeling of Fenway Park. She currently works for the Orioles but maybe the Cubs can work something out with them. I’m sure they won’t demand Brett Jackson at all.

          • Steve_in_MA 4 years ago

            Dude, architects draw stuff up to meet client desires.  Guys like Larry Lucchino and Theo Epstein hire them to meet their demands, but ultimately, they are the ones that know what works and what doesn’t.  Maybe Ms. Smith has learned much from her two engagements with Mr. Lucchino, who designed and oversaw the remodeling of both Camden Yards and Fenway Park (not Ms. Smith), with Theo as first his intern and then GM, but I doubt she knows how to best adapt Wrigley like Theo now does.  Only a baseball guy/girl could develop the plan to modernize a ball park.  The architect can translate that onto paper, but can’t come up with the plan on their own.

          • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

            Dude….get real. It’s about maximizing space. You’re acting as if Theo invented fire.

          • Steve_in_MA 4 years ago

            I’m not overly crediting Theo.  What I’m saying is look at what Camden Yards is now, look at what Fenway is now, compared to what they were.  And look at the revenue stream from the facilities now, as opposed to then.  Lucchino, with help from Theo, renovated these small, old ballparks into beautiful money machines, while preserving the historical properties of both places.  Its no small feat.

        • John Arguello 4 years ago

          Did you forget what the Cub paid to get Andy McPhail, also a 2 time WS champion?
          Hector Trinidad, who was the Cubs #10 prospect at the time.  There is no precedent for a team getting a top 100 prospect for a GM.

          So yeah, I’m fine with precedent here.  A good prospect or two is fair, but not a “top” prospect.

          • Steve_in_MA 4 years ago

            Let’s not kid ourselves about the values of the Cubs’ prospects here.  B-Jax projects as a solid regular, not a perennial all-star or HOF’er.  Despite his top 50 status, he’s not a future star in the eyes of the scouts.  McNutt had injury problems and a mediocre to mildly poor 2011.  All you have is merely “good” prospects.  You don’t have any great ones; at least not yet.  That may change as some of the guys in the lower levels develop.  But what could have been termed as great for the present time got traded away to the Rays for Garza (Archer; Hak Ju Lee). 

            I like Andy, but he ain’t no Theo.  Theo is a far better talent evaluator and developer.  Theo is also a guy skilled in renovation of a small, old ball park, which McPhail is not.

            Our price is multiple top prospects. Its a take it or leave it proposition. The Cubs get to make the call on whether to pay it or not, but they don’t get to set the price.

          • John Arguello 4 years ago

            Actually, it isn’t that different.  And McPhail at that time was very comparable to what Epstein is now.  And you may not think of Jackson as a top prospect, but Kevin Goldstein, who is no big fan of Jackson, has said that Jackson would be at or near the top of Boston’s prospect list.  Remember that your organization isn’t exactly bustling with elite talent either.

            Carrie Muskat has also just confirmed via twitter that Jackson won’t be part of any compensation package.

            So there’s that.

          • Steve_in_MA 4 years ago

            No, Andy has never been comparable to what Theo is or was.  Our organization would be a top 10 system if Theo’s draftees that were used for trade bait (for A-Gonz and V-Mart) were still in the system.  And this is despite being in the bottom of the draft for the last 7 or so years.

            Sure, B-Jax would probably move immediately into our top 5 prospects.  But that’s a non-issue here.  We are trying to match value to value.  Theo is a top 5 GM, with strong player development skills and skill in renovating a small, old ballpark.  He has tremendous value, on par with that of a perennial all-star player.  Say someone like Kevin Youkilis, perhaps.  The Cubs should have to pay in prospects a similar price as they would to acquire Youk with one year remaining on his contract.

            I do respect Carrie, but no reporter is always correct.  I doubt that Lucchino would agree that B-Jax is off the table.  That may be what her source thinks or desires.  Its certainly not conclusive.  But B-Jax is by no means an absolute necessity if the package includes enough other top prospects.  It remains to be seen.

          • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

            Ummm….the Cubs were listed at #8 by Baseball America prior to the Garza trade. Afterwards, BA ranked them #16…… ahead of the Red Sox (after the Agonz trade). 

          • Steve_in_MA 4 years ago

            Yes, but the Cubs have had the benefit (a somewhat backhanded statement) of holding a somewhat higher draft position over the years than the Sox have.  And if you exclude the loss of talent from trades from both farm systems, they come up about equal.  Also, match up the MLB talent that graduated from each farm system and I think you would have to agree that the Sox have the better graduated talent in Pedroia, Lester, Youk, Ellsbury, Bard, Buchholz and Papelbon. 

          • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

            I’m not sure if you’re serious. So because a guy doesn’t project to make an all-star team for the majority of his career or become a future HOF then he isn’t valuable?

            First, a team only has the rights to a player for 6 years.

            Ellsbury- 2011
            Buchholz- 2010
            Bard- 0
            Youkillis- 3 in 6 years

            So, simply because they weren’t perennial all-stars and future HOF’s then they shouldn’t be coveted as prospects back when they were prospects?

          • Steve_in_MA 4 years ago

            I didn’t say they shouldn’t be coveted as prospects.  Its a matter of degree in coveting.  When a prospect is rated A+, 9-10, then that is a prospect to covet where they are untouchable, even though the odds of them reaching that potential are only 15%.  Here, we are talking about a prospect rated B+, 7-8, who is projected as a MLB regular, non-all-star, although the odds of that projection coming true are probably in the range of 40%.  B-Jax is a decent prospect.  He could be the centerpiece in a player transaction.  But he’s not in the untouchable category, nor even in the category where one refrains from moving him except for a superstar.

          • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

            I seriously can’t figure out how someone as smart as you can minimize a prospect. Do you know how many hitters were ranked higher than a B+? Here’s the John Sickels list, and yes he’s not the end all be all but others have Jackson ranked high as well.

            Reviewing Top 50 Hitting Prospects for 2011 
            1) Bryce Harper, OF, Washington Nationals, Grade A: Hit .318/.423/.554 with 14 homers and 19 steals in Low-A, then .256/.329/.395 with seven steals in Double-A, at age 18. Still the best overall prospect in baseball with this very impressive debut.

            2) Domonic Brown, OF, Philadelphia Phillies, Grade A: Hit .261/.391/.370 with 12 steals in Triple-A, then.245/.333/.394 in 184 major league at-bats. He’ll be fine, he just needs to play.3) Jesus Montero, C, New York Yankees, Grade A: Hit .288/.348/.467 in Triple-A, then .328/.406/.590 for the Yankees in September. He’s clearly ready for a major league job offensively, and should be the next great Yankee slugger.

            4) Mike Trout, OF, Los Angeles Angels, Grade A: Hit .326/.414/.544 with 33 steals in Double-A, then .220/.281/.390 in 123 major league at-bats. He was rushed a bit at age 20, but all the markers of stardom are still here.5) Mike Moustakas, 3B, Kansas City Royals, Grade A: Hit .287/.347/.498 in Triple-A, then .263/.309/.367 in 338 major league at-bats. The power will come eventually.6) Eric Hosmer, 1B, Kansas City Royals, Grade A: Hit .439/.535/.582 in a month of Triple-A, brushing aside Kila Ka’aihue, then hit .293/.334/.465 with 11 steals and 19 homers in the majors. All systems go.

            7) Wil Myers, C-OF, Kansas City Royals, Grade A: Hit .254/.353/.393 with 52 walks in 354 at-bats in Double-A. Did not meet expectations in power department, but was young for the level at 20 and was nagged by injuries. Still a top prospect.8) Freddie Freeman, 1B, Atlanta Braves, Grade A-: Hit .282/.346/.448 with 21 homers, 32 doubles, 53 walks, 142 strikeouts in 571 major league at-bats. Obviously a successful rookie year and should continue to improve.9) Manny Machado, SS, Baltimore Orioles, Grade A-: Hit .276/.376/.483 in Low-A then .245/.308/.384 in High-A, overall .257/.335/.421 with 11 homers, 11 steals. Good plate discipline, just needs more experience and a season of full health.

            10) Dustin Ackley, 2B, Seattle Mariners, Grade A-: Hit .303/.421/.487 in Triple-A, then .273/.348/.417 with 40 walks in 333 major league at-bats. I expect he’ll be an on-base machine with decent power.

            11) Brandon Belt, 1B, San Francisco Giants, Grade A-: Couldn’t hold Opening Day job and ended up back in Triple-A (.320/.461/.528), then moved back up to the majors and hit .225/.306/.412 overall with nine homers in 187 at-bats. I expect he’ll be fine.12) Brett Lawrie, 2B, Toronto Blue Jays, Grade B+: Mashed with the bat, .347/.414/.647 in Triple-A, then .293/.373/.580 with seven steals in 43 major league games. Also adapted rapidly to new position at third base and performed quite well. Superstar in the making. Regarded as an incarnation of Krishna by Hindus world-wide. Chuck Norris fears him. The Most Interesting Man in the World buys him drinks. 

            13) Desmond Jennings, OF, Tampa Bay Rays, Grade B+: Hit .275/.374/.456 with 17 steals in 89 Triple-A games, then .259/.356/.449 with 10 homers and 20 steals in 63 major league games. No problems here, does everything well except hit for a high batting average, and that could still happen.
            14) Brett Jackson, OF, Chicago Cubs, Grade B+: Hit .256/.373/.443 in Double-A, .297/.388/.551 in Triple-A, combined for 20 homers, 21 steals, 73 walks. Main risk is high strikeout rate, but has  broad skill base.

            15) Devon Mesoraco, C, Cincinnati Reds, Grade B+: Hit .289/.371/.484 with 15 homers in Triple-A, .180/.226/.360 in 18 major league games. Inside track for the catching job.

            16) Yonder Alonso, 1B, Cincinnati Reds, Grade B+: Hit .296/.374/.486 in Triple-A, then .330/.398/.545 in 88 major league at-bats. Can’t complain here, just needs a job.

            17) Gary Sanchez, C, New York Yankees, Grade B+: Hit .256/.335/.485 with 17 homers in Low-A at age 18. Very young, loads of power, strikes out more than once per game but overall an impressive campaign.

            18) Jonathan Singleton, 1B, Philadelphia Phillies, Grade B+: Hit .284/.387/.413 in the Florida State League, then .333/.405/.512 in the friendlier California League following trade to Houston. Scouting reports remain positive and he’s just 20.

            19) Jurickson Profar, SS, Texas Rangers, Grade B+: Hit .286/.390/.493 with 12 homers, 65 walks, 23 steals in 430 at-bats in Low-A at age 18. Stock way up, and it was pretty high to begin with.

            20) Lonnie Chisenhall, 3B, Cleveland Indians, Grade B+: Hit .267/.353/.431 in Triple-A, then .255/.284/.415 with eight walks, 49 strikeouts in 212 major league at-bats. He’s got some zone issues to work on, but I still expect him to be a solid regular, though not a star.

            21) Billy Hamilton, 2B-SS, Cincinnati Reds, Grade B+: Hit .278/.340/.360 with 52 walks, 133 strikeouts, and an incredible 103 steals in 550 at-bats in Low-A. Raw, but likely the fastest man in professional baseball and he knows how to use it.22) Wilmer Flores, SS, New York Mets, Grade B+: Hit .269/.309/.380 with nine homers in 516 at-bats in High-A. Performance OK but not terrific, however he’s still just 19 years old.23) Yasmani Grandal, C, Cincinnati Reds, Grade B+: Hit .296/.410/.510 in High-A, then .301/.360/.474 in Double-A. Power, patience, good glove. If Mesoraco doesn’t seize the Cincy catching job, Grandal will.

            24) Jason Kipnis, 2B, Cleveland Indians, Grade B+:  Hit .280/.362/.484 in Triple-A, then .272/.333/.507 in 136 major league at-bats. Unusual power for a middle infielder. I like him a lot.

            25) Derek Norris, C, Washington Nationals, Grade B+: Hit .210/.367/.446, 20 homers, 77 walks in Double-A . Still just 22. Defense is gradually improving. New Mickey Tettleton?26) Nick Franklin, SS, Seattle Mariners, Grade B: Limited to 88 games by injuries, hit .275/.356/.411 in High-A, .325/.371/.482 in 21 games in Double-A. I still believe in him. Stole 18 bases.27) Grant Green, SS, Oakland Athletics, Grade B: Hit .291/.343/.408 in Double-A, nine homers, 39 walks, 119 strikeouts in 530 at-bats. Converted to outfield, which increases the pressure on his bat. Stock down.

            28) Wilin Rosario, C, Colorado Rockies, Grade B: Hit .249/.284/.457 with 21 homers in Double-A, .204/.228/.463 in 54 major league at-bats. Power looks good, but plate discipline is becoming a significant problem. Still young at 22.

            29) Jean Segura, 2B, Los Angeles Angels, Grade B: Conversion to shortstop was going OK until season aborted by injury. Hit .281/.337/.422 with 18 steals in 44 games in High-A.

            30) Jaff Decker, OF, San Diego Padres, Grade B: Hit .236/.373/.417 with 19 homers, 103 walks, 145 strikeouts in 496 at-bats in Double-A. Loads of walks but too patient.

            31) Chris Carter, 1B-OF, Oakland Athletics, Grade B: Hit .274/.366/.530 with 18 homers, 42 walks, 85 strikeouts in 75 games in Triple-A, then .136/.174/.136 with 20 strikeouts in 44 major league at-bats. Contact problems threatening his career.

            32) Dee Gordon, SS, Los Angeles Dodgers, Grade B:  Hit .333/.373/.410 with 30 steals in 70 games in Triple-A, then .304/.325/.362 with 24 steals in 56 games in the majors. Still rather raw but making progress, could use more patience.

            33) Brent Morel, 3B, Chicago White Sox, Grade B: Hit .245/.287/.366 with 10 homers, 22 walks, 57 strikeouts in 413 major league at-bats. Capable of better, could sneak up on us in a year or two.

            34) Nick Castellanos, 3B, Detroit Tigers, Grade B: Overcame slow start to hit .312/.367/.436 in Low-A. Homers disappointing with just seven but hit 36 doubles, just 19 years old.

            35) Tony Sanchez, C, Pittsburgh Pirates, Grade B: Disappointing in Double-A, hit .241/.340/.318, threw out 22% of runners. I expected better. Stock down.

            36) Aaron Hicks, OF, Minnesota Twins, Grade B: Hit .242/.354/.368 with 78 walks, 17 steals in High-A. Excellent tools, gets on base, but power remains missing. Not sure what to make of him at this point.37) Miguel Sano, 3B, Minnesota Twins, Grade B: Hit .292/.352/.637 with 20 homers in 66 games in rookie ball, with 77 strikeouts. Contact might preclude a high batting average, but he has enormous power and is just 18 years old.38) Danny Espinosa, SS-2B, Washington Nationals, Grade B: Hit .236/.323/.414 with 21 homers, 17 steals, 166 strikeouts in 573 major league at-bats. Very useful power/speed combo, just don’t expect a good batting average.

            39) Jerry Sands, OF-1B, Los Angeles Dodgers, Grade B: Hit .278/.344/.586 with 29 homers in 94 Triple-A games, .253/.338/.389 in 198 major league at-bats. He showed some signs of life and I think he will improve.

            40) Nolan Arenado, 3B, Colorado Rockies, Grade B: Hit .298/.349/.487 with 20 homers, 47 walks, 53 strikeouts in 517 at-bats in High-A. Defense improving. I expect a big breakout in 2012. Stock up.41) Trayvon Robinson, OF, Los Angeles Dodgers, Grade B: Hit .289/.374/.552 with 26 homers in Triple-A, traded to Mariners, hit .210/.250/.336 in the majors with serious contact issues (61 strikeouts in 143 at-bats). Boosted power at expense of contact.42) Josh Sale, OF, Tampa Bay Rays, Grade B: High school star from 2010 draft was surprisingly weak in rookie ball, hitting just .210/.289/.346 in the Appy League. No one is giving up yet but stock down.

            43) Michael Choice, OF, Oakland Athletics, Grade B: Hit .285/.376/.542 with 30 homers, 61 walks, 134 strikeouts in California League. Love the power, but contact could be problematic.44) Jose Iglesias, SS, Boston Red Sox, Grade B: Hit .235/.285/.269 in 357 at-bats in Triple-A. Red Sox propaganda says he will hit, but I don’t see any evidence of it, and no matter how good his glove is, he’s got to do better than this. Turns 22 in January.

            45) Anthony Rizzo, 1B, San Diego Padres, Grade B: Killed Triple-A pitching at friendly Tucson (.331/.404/.652) but couldn’t bring this to the majors (.141/.281/.242). Will get more chances.

            46) Brett Eibner, OF, Kansas City Royals,  Grade B: Injury-plagued season in Low-A, hit .213/.340/.408 with 12 homers, 48 walks, 90 strikeouts in 272 at-bats. Power/walks look good, but big-time contact issues.

            47) Hak-Ju Lee, SS, Tampa Bay Rays, Grade B: Hit .318/.389/.443 in High-A, .190/.272/.310 in 100 at-bats in Double-A. Glove and speed look good, will have to prove he can hit better pitching, but just 21 years old for 2012.
            48) Matt Lipka, SS-2B, Atlanta Braves, Grade B: Hit .247/.305/.304 with 28 steals, 42 walks, 83 strikeouts in 530 at-bats in Low-A. Lack of power is a significant concern here, but young at age 19.
            49) Christian Colon, SS-2B, Kansas City Royals, Grade B: Hit .257/.325/.342 with 17 steals, 46 walks, 51 strikeouts in 491 at-bats in Double-A. Steady defense. Disappointing season, but low strikeout rate is marker of possible improvement to come.
            50) Carlos Perez, C, Toronto Blue Jays, Grade B: Hit .256/.320/.355 in Low-A, bat stagnated, and even defense slipped, but was just 20 years old. Still has time but stock down.

          • Steve_in_MA 4 years ago

            I appreciate your exhaustive reply.  I’m not minimizing him.  I’m just keeping his talent level in the proper perspective.  The guys listed as 1-11 are “untouchables.”  The guys listed as 13-47 are potential trade centerpieces.  What is so wrong with that characterization that you find it objectionable?

          • xcal1br 4 years ago

            Are you in on the negotiations?  Seriously, I’m asking, because you seem oddly adamant that this is happening or that won’t happen.  What gives?  Are you Ben Cherrington?????   Tell us!!!

          • Steve_in_MA 4 years ago

            I’m not Ben Cherington or personally in on the negotiations.  Let me just say I’m encouraged as to where the talks are now going.  The Cubs understand that they will have to pay with significant talent, and the Sox are exploring alternatives that are somewhat more palatable to them.  It may include MLB-ready talent, as opposed to prospects.  But what I’ve said is true.  There will be significant talent exchanged.

        • Bob George 4 years ago

          Brendan Jackson is not equal to the Marlins prospects. There is debate on how good he will be in the majors, but even Keith Law, who is down on Jackson compared to other national evaluators agrees that Jackson will at least be an average everyday major league player. The two players the Marlins gave up are not expected to be major leaguers, and are fringe prospects at best. They may have been rated 4th and 5th best Marlins prospects, but their farm system is a ghost town. 4th and 5th best turds are still turds.

          There’s also one major difference that most people aren’t pointing out: The Marlins were facing possible tampering charges with Guillen, so they moved quickly to reach a deal on compensation and get it over with.

          If the Cubs tampered with Epstein, of course it will cost them more. But otherwise, the Red Sox have already burned their bridges with Theo, and they aren’t going to A) want a lame-duck GM running the show for a year, and B) they want Cherington as GM. So what are they going to do, eat $6.7 mil of Theo’s last year of his deal plus his departure bonus because they can’t agree on compensation with the Cubs? Not going to happen. If either side has more leverage than the other in this situation it’s the Cubs.

          • Steve_in_MA 4 years ago

            What I will say is that Theo is worth 10 times what Guillen is worth.  So B-Jax wouldn’t be enough, no matter how he was construed by scouts.  Furthermore, the Sox have not burned their bridge with Theo.  Theo came to the Sox, asking to leave early.  The Sox begged him to stay.  What happened with Tito is not in any way what happened with Theo.  You are very wrong about that. Theo is a business man, and understands that the Sox have to be highly compensated for letting him out of his contract early.  Your guilt trip is a ploy to get the Cubs an unfair discount, and everyone knows it.

            The Sox remain committed to obtaining high value talent in return from the Cubs, and are willing to walk away from the table, pay Theo and wait out 2012.  The choice is vested in the Cubs about whether to pay up or walk away.

            All the above having been said, I am encouraged that progress has been made in the talks.  I believe the Cubs understand that they will have to pay with serious talent.  The Sox are willing to work around issues if serious talent is coming their way.  I believe both sides now have a proper viewpoint.

    • xcal1br 4 years ago

      Agreed.  If it is just Theo coming over, then one or two middling prospects would do.  If he is being permitted to poach some of his golden children from the front office, then significant (and worthy) compensation should be returned to Boston.

  7. The Red Sox organisation, in both character and deed, has proven itself to be a comedy of errors. It is truly incredible that the team’s classless spirit, pervasive from the owners through to the players, prevents them from handling with dignity even the attempted exit of one of the few members who is actually worthy of admiration.

    It takes a special kind of meta-classlessness not only to drive away a guy like Epstein, but then to make his departure as painful and confusing a process as possible for all involved.

    • CooperMurray16 4 years ago

      You hit the nail on the head with this one. I just can’t believe that any organization can be as dysfunctional and classless as the red sox are proving to be. First they throw Terry under the bus and now their making it hell for Theo. That’s just sad and pathetic.

      • sweetcaroline2011 4 years ago

        No unlike the loser Cubs……the sox know that they have leverage and red sox ownership, in regards to getting prospects in return, and getting good ones…….is doing what they should do. Looking out for the fans and getting something to help out our organization and not just giving the guy away for free…….if you want to take our GM a year early and he wants to do that…..well then it is fine……but its gonna cost ya a couple of prospects………otherwise you can get in line and make a bid for his services next season. Sox are doing the right thing by acquiring prospects instead of cash…….besides when all of this is said and done……if the sox get the right coach in there the sox have a lot of talent already there……they will atleast compete next year… mark my words the cubs will not and when Theo Epstein acts like a diva like he did the last 5 years for Boston and makes several mistakes with bad contracts…….his legacy will be tarnished and wont be worth anything. Sox on the other hand still have a lot of money to spend and will continue to be successful without him.

        • CooperMurray16 4 years ago

          Unlike the loser cubs? Well aren’t you real mature. Yeah your team will be good next year because your team is stacked and it’s all because of Theo and your whole comment about bad contracts, how bout you tell me one gm that has a huge money to spend that dosent miss on alot of contracts. The fact of the matter is that he put together one hell of a team for y’all and I have no problem giving the sox something for compensation but them asking for 2 of our top prospects is ridiculous when we take into consideration that we can have him next year and not have to give up anything. At this point I would rather do that than give anything to the red sox.

        • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

          So in the same sentence you acknowledge that the Sox are loaded with talent (that aside from Beckett he helped acquire) and then call him a Diva. Great.

          As for leverage. Here’s what it boils down to.

          “Theo. I know you wanted to go to Chicago and take your dream job. I know a lot has been said about you and we sort of thru you under the bus about the Crawford signing. We know you don’t want to stay…..but, we’re not letting you go. Soooo….. come back and run the team for us in 2012″.


          “No I quit. I would rather forfeit my salary for 2012 and just wait a year and get a gig elsewhere because someone is always looking for a new GM” or “Heeeeyyyy….(insert any GM in his rolodex)…I’m looking to deal!!! Whatcha want? Pick a player”.

          Of course his boss (bosses) can veto anything he proposes but why put yourself in that situation where they might question the motive behind any and all moves Theo might suggest. Not saying Theo would be that unprofessional but why even create that atmosphere of distrust?

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            …because it’s preferable to letting him walk away (with a bunch of valuable staff, no less) for peanuts? surprised you had to ask

          • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

            Honeslty, do you really think this boils down to who Theo wants to bring with him? Do you really think the Cubs and Theo wouldn’t agree to cash compensation and Theo takes no one with him? C’mon dude. Theo is the rock star and everyone else is Tito, Marlon and Jermaine.

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            it doesn’t boil down to cash; it boils down to commodities. theo is a valuable one and one that they own. they want value back if they’re going to let him leave early. pretty straightforward

          • MaineSox 4 years ago

            That’s not how it would go down and you know it.  If Theo comes back he’s not going to run the team, ownership and Cherington will run the team while Theo does essentially nothing.  And even if Theo wanted to be that unprofessional about it (which he wouldn’t), he would keep himself from doing it anyway; do you think any team would be interested in a GM who would actually pull crap like that?

          • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

            I said, he probably wouldn’t do that. Did you not read the “Not saying Theo would be that unprofessional but why even create that atmosphere of distrust?” line? My point is why create the atmosphere of keeping someone who doesn’t want to be there and who has just been maligned (indirectly) by his employer? 

          • MaineSox 4 years ago

            Because it’s better than letting him (and potentially other members of you front office) walk away for nothing useful.

          • Steve_in_MA 4 years ago

            Because it will prevent the Cubs from being unjustly enriched.  We are not giving them Theo on a platter for free.  They will have to cough up top prospects or wait a year.  Its their call, but nothing less will do.

        • disgustedcubfan 4 years ago

          So Theo is a diva and handed out several bad contracts and his legacy will be tarnished, yet he is worth a couple of good prospects?
          You can’t have it both ways. You are arguing against yourself. Which is it?

    • flickadave 4 years ago

      Or maybe the “guy like Epstein” happens to be under contract with the Red Sox for another year and the Red Sox would like to maximize the return they get for letting him out of his contract. Do you even know what “negotiation” means? Further, if the team’s classless spirit really does pervade “from the owners through to the players” wouldn’t that include Theo seeing as he is directly in the middle between the owners and players? I don’t know why I even let trolls like you get me going…

      • CooperMurray16 4 years ago

        Personally I think that the red sox players are fine and I like a great deal of the sox players and I think for the most part that sox employees are fine. Honestly I just think that the owners are the most classless group arrogant a**holes that I’ve ever seen. They don’t take responsibility for anything and they take pleasure out of making life hard on other people. I don’t see how any Decent red sox fan could support that kind of behavior.

    • MaineSox 4 years ago

      I can see how someone could think say that based on how things went with Tito leaving, but I don’t see how these negotiations make them look bad; ultimately baseball is a business, Theo is an asset, and the Cubs are essentially trying to buy said asset from the Red Sox.  The Sox don’t particularly need to sell said asset, but the Cubs really want it, so the Sox are trying to get as much as they can out of it.

      • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

        it’s just pile-on time. whether the things that get thrown on the pile are true or not, they’ve earned the pile-on at this point

        • MaineSox 4 years ago

          Yeah, the ownership has definitely earned it.  I just have a hard time not putting my opinion out there about things…

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            sorry i can’t help, i’m not familiar with that problem

          • MaineSox 4 years ago

            haha, right…

      • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

        You really don’t? Theo wants to leave, his bosses have bad mouthed him and thrown him under the bus for the Crawford signing and now they are standing in the way of him taking his dream job to an out of town team in a different division. Organization men leaving one team to go to another while still under contract is not a rarity. Probably happens every year. Asking, no demanding, prospects in return is a relative new one. The ChiSox didn’t ask for industry rated top prospects like it seems the Sox are.

        If Oppenheimer were to get an offer to GM and the Yanks demanded a teams top prospects in return…OMG (like my daughter says) there would be 10 page threads and a system crash caused by commentors crucifying the Yanks for being mean spirited and greedy.

        • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

          why would you compare oppenheimer to epstein. go apples to apples and compare cashman

          • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

            Even though Epstein is more highly regarded vs Oppenheimer it doesn’t negate the idea. The Sox might be asking for $100 in value and the Yanks (in the case of Opp who has been granted permission to be spoken to) might be valued at $30 by the Yanks. The point is still valid.

            Besides, the way fans are talking, Epstein’s strength has been drafting players and developing the farm. Little credit for the signings though. 

        • MaineSox 4 years ago

          First, that’s not what happened (re: ownership trashing Theo).

          Second, no I really don’t think so; yes they are pushing for everything they can get, but really, why shouldn’t they?  Business is business and the Sox are trying to make as much as they can off of the transaction. 

          And really, I wouldn’t be surprised if they are kinda pissed at Chicago, after all, they did make it known that they wanted Theo a month before the season even ended and long before they asked to talk to him.  I can’t imagine that would (or should) sit well with Boston, and given Henry’s “I don’t care that much about [the Cubs]” comment I wouldn’t be surprised if that were the case.

        • MaineSox 4 years ago

          Also, if Theo were staying and Cherington got an offer to GM for someone I guarantee that this wouldn’t be happening (see the Padres and Hoyer for reference).

    • Steve_in_MA 4 years ago

      Oh cry me a river.  Poor Theo.  He had the best job in baseball, walked right into a WS championship, and is under contract for millions in pay to manage a baseball operation. We have no obligation to make his own chosen departure easy for him.  And we have no obligation to make the cost light on the Cubs.  Just pay up, welchers, and he’s yours.  He’s not coming for anything less than serious talent in return.

      • disgustedcubfan 4 years ago

        Again, it’s the 1 year remaining on Theo’s contract that hurts Boston’s position.
        Would you empty your farm system for a pitcher who is going to be an unrestricted free agent in a year. Of course not.

  8. DunkinDonuts 4 years ago

    I tried to check out your blog, but the background made my eyes bleed.  Once I had wiped away the blood, I was greeted with a post about how you were making initial preparations to think about getting ready to start possibly talking about the Red Sox, but only after other people sent you ideas.

  9. ophaq2 4 years ago

    I hope Ricketts holds his ground, tells Boston you can get cash now or we are willing to wait a year until Theo is out of his contract.  Boston asking for one top prospect is way too much for one year of Theo, which is essentially what it is.  Pound sand Boston….give us Theo or you get nothing in a year.

    • smairs 4 years ago

      Ophaq2…I hope you are correct….Boston keeps Theo for atleast a year, and the Cub fan base can wonder what he hell….your rebuilding can take another year wait. What do the Cubs do for the next year? What about the draft? Free Agent period??? If you really want to “wait a year”….go for it

      • ophaq2 4 years ago

        That’s fine….rebuilding doesn’t take place in one year and if you give up a prospect like Brett Jackson, you’ve just set yourself back two years.  So the draft would be a waste anyway, you’re trying to replace what you’ve lost because Boston is being a-holes.  At the risk of giving up good prospects, yep, I’d wait and sign Theo next year and let Boston suck on that year of Theo getting nothing in return for him….letting him rot in their offices. 

        • Steve_in_MA 4 years ago

          The one thing about rebuilding is that the sooner you start, the sooner you see results.  Assuming Theo can turn things around in a 5 year period, what is it worth to your organization to have that first big successful year be 2016, instead of 2017, with some mildly successful years in between?

          One thing I can tell you is that delaying implementation of Theo’s expertise, taught entirely to him by none other than Larry Lucchino of the BoSox, in renovating old, small ballparks for revenue maximization and positive fan experience, will cost Ricketts many millions of dollars (perhaps as much as $100MM).  Those are dollars that can be reinvested in the draft, in player development, in scouting, in free agents, and such.  Suggesting the Cubs can delay a year to avoid coughing up some marginal prospects makes you very shortsighted.

          • ophaq2 4 years ago

            Wrong….and it’s not shortsighted.  They are asking for two top prospects.  That would set the Cubs back a year or two anyways.  So either pay up for Theo and lose prospects and cash, or wait a year, keep your guys, one who is Brett Jackson and ready to start in the majors now, and have those pieces when Theo comes next year.  I’d wait and I’ll bet Ricketts is willing to do the same.  Theo is not the only quality GM available.

          • Steve_in_MA 4 years ago

            That is certainly the Cubs prerogative, and they can take that course if they wish.  That will be fine with us, too.  There are no other quality GM’s out there, available, with successful experience in renovating old, small ballparks.  And it may not be that you are waiting a year for Theo.  He may never come to the Cubs if you choose to wait.  He will be a completely free agent then, and if the Dodgers decide to replace Colletti then, or any other team decides to get in on Theo, you will have to compete for him.

          • ophaq2 4 years ago

            That’s the thing, they have already replaced Theo.  That was a huge mistake and now they’d just be stuck with him.  A disgruntled employee walking the halls is not good for your system.  And Theo was leaving the Red Sox for the Cubs….a chance to get his name in the hall of fame.  Doing that for the Dodgers doesn’t have near the impact.  He’d wait for the Cubs…… 

      • Epstein is NOT coming back in any capacity with the Red Sox and they will pay him $3.7 million to NOT be their GM if they continue to be reticent in this matter.

        When all is said and done Epstein is gone and the Red Sox pay him a bunch of money OR they allow the Cubs to pay him the $3.7 million and move on.

        But Both Henry and Lucchino do not seem to be willing to let anyone go without a parting shot at them. Sad little men.

    • Steve_in_MA 4 years ago

      Well, we are not gonna “give” you Theo.  We will gladly let him wallow for a year and when his contract expires, he can field offers from all teams that are then looking for a new GM.  So you can pound sand.

      • ophaq2 4 years ago

        Again, Theo is not the only quality GM out there.  And currently Theo staying will only be bad for Boston.  Let him rot for a year in the offices and they can show their fans and employees they are willing to prevent their ballclub from getting anything at all because they are salty Theo wants to leave.  There’s a great message!  The same Sox fans all over this board are saying he’s overrated are the same ones saying that he’s worth two top prospects.  So which is it?  Theo is not returning top prospects…I guarantee it. 
        And what’s this “we’re not gonna give you”.  Are you personally part of negotiations?  Nobody is asking for Theo for free.  The Cubs have cash on the table….Boston is being dickholes because Theo wants to leave. 

        • Steve_in_MA 4 years ago

          Again, Theo is the ONLY available GM with successful renovation experience on an old, small ball park. He is also one of the best player development GM’s in MLB; there are few comparable to him in that department.  If we hadn’t used some of his draft picks for trade bait, we’d have a top 10 farm system right now, even with having our draft position consistently near the bottom in each of the last 7 drafts.

          We don’t care what the “message” is.  We want fair compensation.  We get to set the price.  You get to decide whether to pay it or not.  You can offer us something less or different, but we are not obligated to agree to take it.  We have plenty of cash of our own.  We want top prospects.  That’s the price.  Pay it or walk.

          This is a business deal.  We are not being dickholes.  The Cubs are being crybabies because they magically just discovered that they will have to pay to add talent to their organization.  Its the same as the Garza deal.  It takes valuable talent in trade to add talent. 

          You’ve been telling us what we should take as compensation for Theo.  I’m telling you that the answer to that will be “no.”  Since you are making guarantees, I will guarantee you that Theo is not coming over unless and until Ricketts agrees to cough up top prospects.  That’s the price.  Again, pay it or walk.

          • ophaq2 4 years ago

            Lol.  You threatening me?  You gonna talk to Henry about this yourself?  Haha.  You are really talking like you’re part of the decisions here.  Come back and talk once the deal is done and i’ll give you a ‘told you so’.  I’m not saying I’m part of the decisions here, I’m using common sense.

          • Steve_in_MA 4 years ago

            Of course I’m not threatening you.  I’m simply telling you how it is.  We’re gonna set the price.  I’m not talking like I am the decision maker.  I’m merely repeating the attitude of the decision maker, Larry Lucchino.  When the deal is done, if there is one, the Cubs will be lighter by at least two top prospects.  You’re not using common sense.  You’re thinking that this is a game where your side can get everything it wants for whatever you want to pay.  That’s not how this works.  We own the commodity that you desire.  You have to pay what we will accept.  You can bargain at it, but ultimately, unless the compensation package meets our needs/desires, you don’t get the commodity that you desire.

          • jayrig5 4 years ago

            And that’s absolutely true, for this one transaction.

            However, it’s incredibly short-sighted, since how the Red Sox handle this transaction has an obvious impact on many future transactions.  

            Therefore, the ownership and leadership of the Red Sox should be thinking about what they can do to ensure the greatest overall benefit to their organization going forward.

            To me, it seems like acting somewhat gracious towards talented employees and taking a fair compensation would seem like a much more desirable path to take than Lucchino jumping up and down like a little kid, screaming “It’s my ball, so I make the rules!”, forcing Theo to sit out a year, paying $6.5 million (and that’s most of a draft-class worth of signings, folks) instead of receiving a few million (a net loss of $10 million) and getting zero prospects after next season, instead of one or two mid-level prospects right now.  

            And, as I posted earlier, there’s no better way to turn off potential employees who are extremely talented than by demonstrating a willingness to jerk them around in the future.  If you’re young and talented, you’re ambitious by definition.  You don’t think potential managers saw how the Red Sox handled Francona’s departure?  You don’t think potential executives are watching how the Red Sox are handling Theo’s?

          • Steve_in_MA 4 years ago

            Thank you for a thoughtful reply. 

            What I will say to you is that I agree as to Tito and thoroughly disagree as to Theo. 

            Tito is a field manager whose contract was up.  We had an obligation to treat him with class on his way out the door, and we didn’t do him justice.  Tito is a class act and everything that was alleged about him IS UNTRUE, in the sense that he was not in the least distracted by any of those things.  We are heartbroken at the callousness of the allegations made. 

            From the BoSox viewpoint, Tito was on top of his game, even if he was admittedly incapable of correcting the major problems in front of him.  Tito gave his utmost devotion and attention to our club. He is a superstar of a manager, albeit he is not the best tactician or disciplinarian around.  But nevertheless, SHAME ON US for the way he ended up exiting. We own that.

            I want you to think carefully about who has an agenda to slam Tito at this juncture in time.  I am not washing our hands of blame, but merely implying that others, beyond management or ownership, had a vested interest in poking at him. 

            Theo is a different case entirely.  He is a current employee with a year left on his contract.  He’s also in the business end of the operation, albeit the baseball business end.  He’s not a former player and a true “baseball” guy.  He’s a business manager and statistician, as most GM’s are. 

            We raised him from an intern into what he is.  He benefited mightily from what our organization taught him, and the Cubs will soon have the benefit of our organization’s teachings to him.  This is not to downplay in any way his innate abilities, but rather to claim appropriate credit for taking a very smart guy, and making him into a genius in our field. 

            We do not owe Theo anything at all.  He came to us, looking to leave.  We begged him to stay, and I mean that in every sense of the word.  We allowed him to talk with the Cubs out of duty to an employee, and promised to release him from his contract ONLY on the condition that the Cubs met our compensation demands. 

            Other GM’s around baseball understand this situation entirely.  Why, you may ask?  Because they could just as well be in Ben Cherington’s position as in Theo’s.  If they were the incoming GM, they’d want us to maximize the return to the club, and Theo’s interests be damned.  Even Theo understands this.  Its not a slight on him, as has been portrayed in the media; mostly by Cubs’ benefactors hoping to reap an unfair reward by playing a ridiculous guilt card.  In reality, its just a business deal.

            In case you care, I am for the first time encouraged that a deal will get done here.  I believe significant progress has been made in terms of viewpoints.  The Cubs realize that they will have to pay with significant talent.  The Sox are willing to look beyond minor league talent, where that is more palatable to Ricketts.  When both sides view the issue as a problem to be resolved, rather than a negotiation to win, the positive end is near.

          • disgustedcubfan 4 years ago

            You’re forgetting the Red Sox lose a ton of leverage based on Theo already being done in Boston and only having 1 year remaining on his contract.
            If he had 4 or 5 more years, it would be a different story.
            The Cubs can be patient and realistic here. We are going no where in 2012. Everyone knows that.
            Theo is who Ricketts wanted all along. If he has to wait a year and move forward on some of Theo’s unofficial, off the record recommendations on his own for a year, and save his prospects at the same time, so be it.

        • disgustedcubfan 4 years ago

          Boston”s people are smart enough to know the basic rules. When an unhappy employee wants to leave, you let him leave.
          Forcing him to stay or screwing him over on his way out is real bad for business, current and future.
          Both teams need to take the high road,  work out some fair compensation, and move forward.

      • disgustedcubfan 4 years ago

        I see your point. However, smart business management would say it’s better to get something now than nothing later.   Sour grapes does not = wins.

  10. DunkinDonuts 4 years ago

    All leverage debate aside, let’s not pretend that installing a lame-duck, stopgap GM for a year is clearly preferable to giving up a potential 4th OFer or 4A middle reliever.  Don’t underestimate the value in giving Theo an extra year to start building a player development machine from scratch.

    2012 may be a development year for the Cubs, but it could be a lost development year if the Cubs don’t manage to install an interim GM whose policies are in lockstep with Theo’s.  There are many important questions this year… what, if anything, to do with Zambrano, Soriano, Ramirez, and whether someone with foresight can figure out how to add by subtraction.  There’s also going to be an amateur draft in the interim, and the Cubs will not have the option of deferring those picks to 2012.

    The Cubs would benefit from an immediate plan of attack and a front office with a clear hierarchy in place.  That might not be worth a king’s ransom in talent, but it is certainly worth more than the people suggesting that the Cubs can just “wait a year” are acknowledging.

    • MikhelB 4 years ago

      That’s the spin Boston wants to put in all this, but:

      Since when have the Cubs waited to have a GM who can develop young talent? For as long as you can remember.

      Can they wait a year more? Yes.

      Is Theo bringing with him the bosox scouts and his personal assistants? No.

      Is Theo bringing with him the monetary power he has in Boston? No

      Oh yeah, that whole “Their best prospect is not very good and will be a 4th OF at the most” turns to moot when you see that he’s even better than the first 10 prospects of the Bosox, and clearly better than the two current candidates to occupy RF at Boston, and since Jackson is young and at AAA, they would love to have him and promote him by mid July.

      • disgustedcubfan 4 years ago

        I think the Cubs would rather wait than hand over Jackson.

    • Steve_in_MA 4 years ago

      Right on.  But don’t simply focus on the player development machine.  What about Theo’s skills, learned from the BoSox, on how to renovate a small, old ball park for revenue maximization.  A year’s delay in undertaking that will cost many millions in lost revenues and increasing construction costs.

  11. mister_rob 4 years ago

    There was already a rumor that Theo would bring in Josh Byrnes. So if Lucchino wants to be a jag about this, Cubs sign Byrnes as the interim GM until THeo’s contract is up, and then next winter THeo and Byrnes can give themselves whatever titles they want
    Meanwhile Larry can have Theo sitting there doing nothing for the next 12 months, and pay his remaining salary, while looking like the biggest tool in the game to everyone in the baseball world

    • Bones 4 years ago

      I am all for that. The Cubs hold all the cards. Boston just keeps looking worse and worse in this offseason. Mr. Ricketts, stand firm and if Boston asks for the moon and stars give them the finger. You get who you want reguardless.

    • DunkinDonuts 4 years ago

      If there is truth that rumor, and Byrnes is willing to accept that role, then that would absolutely be the best-case scenario for the Cubs.  Then Red Sox ownership’s reward for its petulance would be paying Theo’s 2012 salary (plus a reported $3.5 million conclusion bonus) to watch him play with tiddliwinks in a corner.

    • MikhelB 4 years ago

      But Jed Hoyer only answers to his old boss Theo, and the San Diego Padres ownership does whatever Hoyer asks them to do; Hoyer wouldn’t allow Byrnes to go from San Diego to Chicago if his old pal to whom he owes so much is still with the sox (because Byrnes then would be alone once again… and Theo’s boys act like a group, always), and specially not after he salvaged his old pal Byrnes when he failed at Arizona.

    • disgustedcubfan 4 years ago

      I know it would break MLB rules, but Theo could instruct any lame duck Cubs GM, for a year, from his cell phone.

  12. BoSoxSam 4 years ago

    Dammit Lucchino.

  13. MetsFanXXIII 4 years ago

    If talks were to hypothetically break down, would the Sox then have to demote Cherington again, or “promote” Theo for a year? Epstein would have to have some kind of title and duties right, it seems like if they were to just have him sit home for a year that should qualify as a “release”, thus they shouldn’t be able to hold him hostage. Keep in mind, the Red Sox have to honor Epstein’s contract as well if he is to remain their exclusive property at the moment. This seems like a losing battle from Boston’s perspective.

    • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

      only from a PR standpoint. the main motivation for epstein leaving boston in the first place was a lack of autonomy and power over baseball operations. he can be the nominal GM without being the de facto GM

      not something i’d recommend, but don’t assume the boston brass is above it

      • MikhelB 4 years ago

        He wouldn’t be the “de facto” GM because he would do nothing, and by law he is still the GM, the “de facto” thus being Cherington because he is doint the duties of the GM without being ordained by the law nor being the official GM.

    • Theo has a Golden Parachute clause in his contract that if he is fired or chooses to walk away that the Red Sox pay him $3.7 million as basically a going away present.

      He will not be back in any capacity for the Red sox in 2012. That much is a certainty.

      All the delay is doing is one more attempt by Henry & Lucchino to assert control and we have already seen what Henry and Lucchino control has done since 2007.

      I feel sorry for Red Sox fans.

  14. FamousGrouse 4 years ago

    The Red Sox are about to bring another curse on themselves.

  15. agastonguay13 4 years ago

    When they say “top prospects” they mean Cubs prospects. Those same guys would slot in the seven to ten area of the Red Sox prospects chart. And the cubs need to realize, Epstein isn’t going to hang on to any of these guys. He hates having guys on his team he (Carmine, a computer program owned by the Red Sox) didn’t draft/develop or sign. On top of that, look at the Red Sox roster, they have home grown guys (Youkilis, Papelbon, Lester, Pedroia, Ellsbury, Buchholz) but Epstein didn’t draft Youkilis, and the only other guy not drafted in the first two rounds was Papelbon(4). Cubs fans don’t realize that the majority of the Red Sox team is built on SAFE drafting in the early rounds and overpumping the tires of prospects thay have but know are never going to make it. How many Epstein-drafted players are out there not on the Red Sox right now? Quite a bit. How many are major parts of teams? NONE. IMO Ben Cherington is a better option for us right now because for whatever reason Epstein isn’t good at keeping a team on top, Cherington is willing to make the necessary moves to keep at team going.

    • BoSoxSam 4 years ago

      How do you have any idea that Cherington would be able to make the “necessary” moves as compared to Theo? You do realize they’ve worked together for a while, right? If you’re looking to get something different than the style of managing that Theo has, it’s an odd choice to suggest his ASSISTANT.

      • agastonguay13 4 years ago

        Cherington made the deal for Beckett/ Lowell. Arguably one of the best moves of “Epstein’s” tenure, when he was off having his mid-contract hissy fit.

        • MaineSox 4 years ago

          Cherington was the acting GM at the time, but don’t think for a second that that deal didn’t have ownership’s (Lucchino’s to be specific) fingerprints all over it.

          • slider32 4 years ago

            If I were the Sox I would worry more about the attitude of their signed players and figure how to improve their pitching staff for next year. There front office is looking like a bunce of fools.

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            not fools. just dbags

          • MaineSox 4 years ago

            Okay… but what does that have to do with my comment about who made a deal that happened 6 years ago?

    • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

      You are sooooo egotistical aren’t you?

      BA Rankings from March (after the Garza trade)

      1. Kansas City Royals
      2. Tampa Bay Rays
      3. Atlanta Braves
      4. Toronto Blue Jays
      5. New York Yankees
      6. Cincinnati Reds
      7. Cleveland Indians
      8. San Diego Padres
      9. Colorado Rockies
      10. Philadelphia Phillies
      11. Los Angeles Dodgers
      12. Minnesota Twins
      13. Washington Nationals
      14. Texas Rangers
      15. Los Angeles Angels
      16. Chicago Cubs
      17. Boston Red Sox
      18. Seattle Mariners
      19. Pittsburgh Pirates
      20. New York Mets
      21. Baltimore Orioles
      22. Arizona Diamondbacks
      23. San Francisco Giants
      24. St. Louis Cardinals
      25. Detroit Tigers
      26. Houston Astros
      27. Chicago White Sox
      28. Oakland Athletics
      29. Florida Marlins
      30. Milwaukee Brewers

      In addition, the Cubs have Jackson @ #38 and McNutt @ #48 while the Sox have Iglesias @ #52, Ranuado @ #67 and Britton  #97. I would say the stock on Jackson and Ranuado have remained solid where as the others have had their issues in 2011. The Sox have had some good prospects raise their stock as well.

      But ask yourself this……if the Cubs system is as bad as you say it is, then why would they want to give up the couple of prospects they do have?

      • John Arguello 4 years ago

        I think it’s funny that Red Sox fans feel like they still have good prospects and have the right to criticize other farm systems.  Even their 17th ranking seems high, more based on past reputation than anything.

        • MaineSox 4 years ago

          I’m going to assume, based on your comment, that you don’t know any more about the Red Sox farm system than these people trashing the Cubs farm system.  Infact, based on your comment on the next page (about it being enjoyable to watch as “the Red Sox empire goes down in flames) I’m going to assume that you are just the Cubs equivalent of those jokers.

          • John Arguello 4 years ago

            Assume what you want.

          • MaineSox 4 years ago

            I will because “this speculation fits a past pattern”

          • John Arguello 4 years ago

            Ad hominem attacks?  Thought you were better than that.

          • MaineSox 4 years ago

            I was trying to prove a point to you.  Just because you already have an opinion about someone from past experience doesn’t mean that what you speculate about them thinking or doing is correct.

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            same dude from the other cubs thread who only acknowledges scouting information (re: jackson) that validates his bias. you know the drill

      • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

        …to get a GM revered for his ability to acquire and develop way better prospects

        if they already had a sweet farm and development process, they wouldn’t want theo so badly in the first place

        • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

          Hahaha….wow.. The Cubs system was ranked 8th overall by Baseball America prior to the Garza trade.

          “Baseball America’s annual farm system rankings are out, with a few changes from their 2011 Handbook due to the Matt Garza trade.  The Rays’ haul pushed them to #2 over the Braves, while the Cubs’ losses knocked them from #8 to #16″.

          The farm was pretty good DESPITE Hendry. It was the bad free agent contracts and mlb extensions that hurt this team.

          My point is that the Cubs system is top heavy and they don’t want to give up one or two of their best to get Theo. Keep in mind, they won’t be able to add new talent until next summer, unless they make trades for prospects.

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            …which they are almost certain to do

            baseball america isn’t the only game in town and you know that. the cubs system was ranked 23rd, 20th, and 19th by BP, law, and hulet. the hardballtimes had them 25th, piliere of AOL had them 21st. BA is the the clear minority and it’s irresponsible to cite them without acknowledging that

          • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

            Of course BA isn’t the end all be all but they are by far the most referred to of the “experts”. It’s not gospel but they are respected for a reason and the point was to say that the Cubs were a top 10 system prior to the Garza trade. The other guy made a point of saying how high the Sox system was PRIOR to the Agonz trade. I made a point of saying how high the Cubs were PRIOR to the Garza trade. 

  16. East Coast Bias 4 years ago

    What a mess!

    • Guest 4 years ago

      Please defrost me. I’ve seen enough. It’s over. 

      – Ted Williams 

  17. FrankRoo 4 years ago

    As others have said. Why the hell should CHC give BOS anything more than a few bucks? Like they are going to bring Epstein back or force him to sit out a year and make bank.

  18. agastonguay13 4 years ago

    Because of the money they’ll save themselves with a “good” year of drafting over another Cubs year of drafting. Last year on their one first round pick they spent 2.65 million dollars, and if he doesn’t pan out(as many a Cub first round pick) that’s 2.65 million dollars down the tubes, and the investments teams make in draftees are a lot more important to them because those players won’t make any kind of impact (financially or on the field) for at least three years, if at all. a 2.65 million dollar free agent will contribute more than the draftee will in one year. It’s all about the long run.

  19. gradylittle 4 years ago

    Like many others have said, this probably isn’t about prospects right now, it’s about front office personnel that Theo wants to bring with him and the Sox aren’t willing to let go of. 

  20. NomarGarciaparra 4 years ago

    I’m a Sox fan, but I don’t see how the Sox have leverage. Honestly, if the Cubs stand still, what can Boston do? Take back Theo after all this??? That would just turn out to be a very awkward season in the front office for everyone.

    • Guest 4 years ago

      Don’t know where you got your rationality from, but it could be profitable for you to bottle that up and sell it on Yawkey way, like now. 

  21. smairs 4 years ago

    FamousGrouse….the issue is not that….I believe the issue is on who Theo wants to take with him to Chicago….this also prevents those employees from the Redsox to leave….thus keeping the core intact….

    AND…if they can hold onto Theo for another year….just maybe the young GM in Tampa (that Bones points out) would prefer Boston over Chicago….

  22. MaineSox 4 years ago

    It sounds to me like a lot of speculation when he says that Larry is intentionally making it difficult for Theo to leave, as opposed to Larry simply trying to get everything he can out of the Cubs for baseball/business reasons.

    • John Arguello 4 years ago

      Lucchino has earned that reputation since he was with Baltimore.  The perception of him from people outside the Boston fan base is that he is petty, vindictive, and difficult to work with.  Call it speculation but he’s definitely earned the right to be scrutinized in this way.

      • MaineSox 4 years ago

        There is almost no way that Lucchino’s reputation outside of Boston is worse than it is inside of Boston.  People do not like Lucchino, and I’m one of those people, so I don’t get any joy out of defending him, but there is nothing more than speculation in his statement about Lucchino.  He also works for the Chicago media, so it’s the same as if Cafardo (or some other Boston hack) made some speculative comment about the Cubs owners not actually wanting to fix the team for the fans and only doing this to look like they tried.

        • John Arguello 4 years ago

          Except that this speculation fits a past pattern with Lucchino.

          • MaineSox 4 years ago

            It doesn’t matter, it’s still pure speculation.

          • John Arguello 4 years ago

            It’s not “pure” speculation if there is some past behavior that makes this interpretation more probable.  It’s not fact either, but it’s an educated guess.

          • MaineSox 4 years ago

            Think about it, why would Lucchino (despite what we all know about him) do something specifically to make it almost impossible for Theo to move, when it actually hurts his clubs chances of getting some sort of compensation?  For all of his faults Lucchino is a good business man, and a good baseball guy, if he could get what he thought was reasonable compensation for Theo he would take it, he’s not going to risk losing compensation just to be an A-hole.

          • John Arguello 4 years ago

            I wouldn’t be too sure that Lucchino wouldn’t make Epstein sit out a year to make his point.

            But we’re talking fair compensation here.  Do you know who the Cub gave up to get Andy McPhail, also a 2 time WS winner and former reputed genius?  Hector Trinidad, their #10 prospect.  The Athletics asked Boston for Kevin Youkilis, a good propect at the time, but he didn’t make the top 100 overall.

            If we’re going on past precedent, it cannot be a major league player or a top 100 prospect, so guys like Brett Jackson, Matt Szczur, and Javier Baez shouldn’t be in play.  Anyone else is fair game.  The Red Sox could get themselves a couple of useful players outside that short list.

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            and the athletics were actually turned down on youkilis ftr

          • John Arguello 4 years ago

            Exactly.  It was too much for Boston to give up.  Cubs need to give up something, it just needs to be fair.  I understand Boston can use their leverage to ask for much more, but it doesn’t mean they should.  There are bigger pictures to consider than the difference between a couple of Cubs prospects.

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            at least the cubs and red sox can have a rivalry again i guess

          • John Arguello 4 years ago

            That would be a step up for us. 

          • MaineSox 4 years ago

            I don’t disagree that the compensation only needs to be fair, and I also don’t disagree that the Sox shouldn’t expect Jackson or Szczur or any of those guys, my point is that Lucchino is too smart to risk losing what would be reasonable compensation just to spite Theo, particularly if said compensation is in actual baseball talent.

          • John Arguello 4 years ago

            I agree that in the end, he won’t do that. They’ll come to terms and the deal will be fair on both sides — possibly tilted toward Boston in terms of what has been given for GMs in the past, but something the Cubs could live with.

            Regarding another comment you made regarding cash, that was put out by Paul Sullivan.  I don’t know how much you read Chicago papers but he’s not a guy we take too seriously around here. To be honest, I’m not even sure he takes himself seriously. For the record, Heyman said the opposite, that it’s Boston who wanted cash.  I think they’re both wrong.  Cash might be a part of it, but the focus will be prospects.

          • MaineSox 4 years ago

            I don’t read Chicago papers (I don’t read Boston papers either), but I do know that Heyman is a hack, and that literally everyone else has said the opposite.

  23. Backup_Slider 4 years ago

    I can’t blame Boston’s execs. Who would want an intangible asset like cash anyway?

  24. notsureifsrs 4 years ago

    we know what the sox are proposing, but i’d really like to see the cubs’ current offer. how large is difference between the two non-top prospects they’re offering and two compensation draft picks? not that large, likely

  25. Backup_Slider 4 years ago

    Lucchino: “Cash? We had him last year. He can’t hit or throw a lick. Try again, Tom.”

  26. ophaq2 4 years ago

    If Boston wants to take Theo back, they will have him sit around, make amazing money and do nothing…..that’s called the Union.  There’s a reason the Union’s mascot is a horse…it’s the only animal that can sleep standing up.  God bless America.

    • If they brought him back as a figurehead they would still have to pay him his $3+ million salary AND his $3.7 million Golden Parachute when he leaves in a year.

      • Notin J. Notin 4 years ago

        We’re talking aout a team that once paid over $50mill just so they could talk to Scott Boras about Daisuke Matsuzaka.  Do you really think $7mill is a dangling sword to these people?

  27. I’m sorry, what is this nonsense about the Cubs having leverage? Someone explain to me how it’s detrimental to the Red Sox to pay Theo to sit on the sidelines for a year. Oh, they get no compensation. If the compensation was good then they’d accept it. There is no logical argument against the Red Sox holding all the cards here.

    • MetsFanXXIII 4 years ago

      But are the Sox even contractually permitted to pay Epstein to “sit on the sidelines” WHILE still retaining the exclusive negotiating rights to him? I mean, the Mets are paying Omar Minaya to sit on the sidelines, doesn’t mean they can ask for compensation if he finds a new job (not that anyone would want him). Epstein has to have some kind of role if the Sox are to hang on to him, and I doubt his contract allows for him to be forcibly demoted.

      • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

        no, he’d almost certainly be the nominal GM – just not the de facto GM. figurehead GMs are not uncommon

      • Actually, Epstein can QUIT and the Red Sox are contractually obligated to pay him $3.7 million. THAT is why the Red Sox have no leverage in trying to get prospects from the Cubs in compensation. They either get NOTHING and he sits on the sidelines for a year because he will NOT be back in 2012 or they let him walk and get someone else to pay the $3.7 million.

        • Notin J. Notin 4 years ago

          Actually, he can’t quit.  That’s kind of the whole point of having a contract  – it means he cannot quit and he cannot be fired without receiving full pay for the entire duration of the contract.  (Didn’t you see the Seinfeld when George was trying to get fired by the Yankees?  Similar story here.)

          Now Epstain can ask to be released from his deal. but really, that is essentially where this is right now.  The Red Sox are looking for a reason to release Epstein from his deal.

          And all this quibbling over a prospect or two has to be a LITTLE insulting to Epstein.  The guy is going to build you a whole new farm system.  Let him do it.  He’ll do a lot more for the Cubs that most of the guys Ricketts is insisting the team cannot and will not give up to get him.  

          Thwe dumbest thing was Ricketts insisting the team not give up a major leaguer.  Has this dude ever seen the major leaguers on his team?  Keep Castro? OK.  Keep Garza?  Definitely.  Smardzjia and Cashner should be kept, too.  But the rest?  Who else does this team even have that is important to the future of this club?

    • Wash_Williams 4 years ago

      You have to look at it from the other side as well.  The Cubs have already retained Fleita and Wilken.  So the same guys will be running their scouting and draft whether Epstein is hired or not.

      The major immediate impact of not hiring Epstein is signing FA’s and trades.  And that’s not an immediate need for the Cubs right now.

      Honestly, “leverage” is the wrong term here.  It seems clear that Epstein and the Red Sox need a divorce.  The Cubs need a GM.  So if the Cubs step in and pay the last year of Epstein’s contract and the Red Sox get to make a clean switch to the perfectly competent Cherington one year earlier without the bad PR/lame duck/”will-he-or-won’t-he” drama of Epstein’s last year… why not take it?   Everyone’s a winner.

    • The Red Sox LOSE Epstein AND $3.7 million.

      That is a lose/lose for them AND then they get NOTHING in return and he walks.

      Other than being petulant pricks, what do they gain by taking this stance?

      • Dude, you’re talking in circles. Are you saying Theo can just quit and sign with the Cubs? It doesn’t work like that.

        The Red Sox are losing Theo regardless, that is entirely irrelevant.

        The risk/reward is not even debatable. The “risk” is losing 3.7m (the Red Sox sneeze that kind of money) and getting no compensation. I repeat: if the compensation is some crappy prospect, then you aren’t losing anything, and you stand to gain a legit prospect.

  28. YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

    Hmmmmm…….maybe hire a consultant for a year? The GM has little to do with the actual scouting of players. He HIRES the scouts, gives them organizational directions and negotiates signings but the Cubs can get by if they had some guarantee that Theo would wait and IF, and it’s a big if, they want him that bad.

  29. YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

    We have no idea what prospects are in play but I imagine that the Cubs wouldn’t mind offering a prospect with real talent that just isn’t a top 5 guy right now.

  30. John Arguello 4 years ago

    It’s enjoyable to me to see the Cubs look like the professional organization here while the Red Sox look petty, greedy, and manipulative.  Somewhere Lucchino plays the violin while his Red Sox empire goes down in flames. 

    • GoAwayNow 4 years ago

      Down in flames huh? 5 dollars says we get another world series before you.

  31. Yeah sorry no way you’re getting Brett Jackson and Trey McNutt. Try Chris Carpenter and Welington Castillo.

    • Carpenter is throwing 100 mph with control in the AFL right now. I dont think he will be part of any compensation. In fact if the player is in the top 20 list for any service he will probably not be part of any compensation.

  32. Let me repeat. The Red Sox have ZERO leverage. Epstein is GONE. He is not coming back for 2012. If they play hardball they lose him AND pay him $3.77 million for NOT being the best GM in baseball for them.

    They are being petulant in order to hurt him, which is exactly the lowlife stuff Henry pulled in releasing rumors about Francona.

    Let him go and move on Red Sox.

    • Sawksfan 4 years ago

      Or the Cubs can suck it up, and stop being cheap, give Boston appropriate value then we can all move on.

  33. Nazzi_Muhammad 4 years ago

    Don’t see what the problem is here. The White Sox received 2 prospects from the Marlins for that loser POS Ozzie. Now you loser Cubs fans are complaining about giving up 2 prospects for Theo? GM >>> Manager. Get over it, suck it up, cough up the goods and move on. Remember, Theo is gonna free you from the Goat. LOL

    • The Marlins weren’t paying a $3.7 million golden parachute to take Ozzie.

      The Red Sox pay the $3.7 million whether Epstein is forced to take a year off or he is the GM for another team.

      The Red Sox owners are just being pricks.Trying to punish Epstein. The Red Sox fans will pay the ultimate price because this lack of respect for Francona and Epstein from the ownership of the Red Sox will simply backfire in terms of the already bad attitude of players that remain.

      • Nazzi_Muhammad 4 years ago

        “The Red Sox fans will pay the ultimate price”
        We already have. That’s why I’m glad Theo is heading your way. Hell, we’ll even buy you a new goat, to keep you company for a few more years.

  34. The only way the Red Sox get ANY compensation for Epstein other than the Cubs paying his Golden Parachute is if the Red Sox allow him to take his staff.

    Otherwise they simply do not have the leverage.

  35. “Larry Lucchino is one of the most unreasonable people I have ever dealt
    with and because of his frayed relationship with Theo Epstein he is
    looking to make a point at the expense of Theo’s happiness.”

    This is ALL about the ownership of the Red Sox being pricks. They have no real leverage and they know it. It will cost them Nearly $7 million to keep Epstein from walking, but Lucchino and Henry are obviously that much of jerks.

    If you wonder why the players were not willing to play hard for the Red Sox down the stretch, simply look at ownerships actions towards two guys that have brought them two World Series Championships. 1st Lucchino & Henry release rumors about Francona and now this with Epstein.

    And this is not the beginning of this type of bad juju by Henry and Luchhino. It started in 2007 and continues to this day. Look at what Schilling and others have had to say about them after their departures from the team. Praise for Francona and Epstein, none for ownership.

  36. Drew Tweedie 4 years ago

    Nothing wrong with the Sox asking for compensation for Mr. Epstein, but it does seem backwards to publicly criticize your standing GM and then demand top payment.

  37. andrewyf 4 years ago

    Damn, who will ever want to work under Larry Lucchino ever again? Someone offers you a promotion, and the team even allows you to go ahead and take it, but then makes it completely untenable for the acquiring company? Nice one, Sox ownership. Keep completely screwing your reputation around the league, it will surely serve you well in the end. The Red Sox seem to have limitless capacity to screw themselves over and over again.

    • Right, cause Lucchino had a sparkling reputation before this and it’s really hindered the Red Sox over the last decade.

  38. dc21892 4 years ago

    Can we just end this…? Pick a player and move on. I would like the Sox to actually be able to focus on who their next manager is and not the next prospect they’re going to get in return for Theo.

  39. You guys are right, the Cubs can totally get by without a GM for a year. That’s why they were planning on paying Theo 3-4 million dollars to do that very job next year. Sounds like they’re overvaluing the GM position if they can pay zero dollars and not have it affect them…

  40. “It will cost them Nearly $7 million to keep Epstein from walking”

    Can you back this up with a fact or two or are you going to just keep repeating in the hopes that it will come true. And by the way, even if it was true, they would still have all the leverage because 7 million means nothing to them and the CUBS HAVE TO HAVE EPSTEIN.

    • stewie75 4 years ago

      they have to pay him $3.5MM for finishing his contract, in addition to his salary. so, it isn’t a number pulled from the sky.

    • Guess you havent been paying attention. Epstein has a $3.7 million golden parachute that he gets paid after his tenure is over & his salary is $3 million for 2012.

  41. $17857693 4 years ago

    This is truly irritating, sox want too much and the cubs think he is worth nothing…settle on either baker and 1 other player or go for a reach IMO and take either McNutt or B-JAX( i think b-jax is too much but the sox want a combination like that) settle on one and get this offseason moving!

  42. hawkny1 4 years ago

    Marriage is a contract….
    You break the contract,
    you pay…..
    It is called alimony!
    Pay up Cubbies…

    • Wash_Williams 4 years ago

      Did Theo Epstein and/or the Cubs and/or the Red Sox get married?  Dang, Massachusetts really has gone crazy with the marriage laws.  Your understanding of “alimony” also appears to be off.

      Really, a contract is a contract and when you break the contract you typically have to pay compensation/restitution.  Pretty simple, really.

      Your analogy is as pointless as it was incorrect.  I probably didn’t have to point that out, but I’m feeling a little mean-spirited today.  My apologies.

  43. slider32 4 years ago

    It all started the beginning of September with the Curb Your Enthusiasm show, you got Buckner’d.

  44. People are completely misinterpreting that Muskat tweet, by the way.

  45. Epstein’s salary for 2012 is not 3 million. You think he’s going to Chicago for a $500,000 raise?

    • Wash_Williams 4 years ago

      Epstein still has a year remaining on his Red Sox deal, at a salary said to be just under $3 million for 2012.Read more: link to
      Not that it really matter what Epstein’s salary is as the Red Sox won’t be paying it.Listen, man.  Just relax.  The Cubs want Epstein, but they don’t HAVE to have Epstein.The Cubs are willing to buy him out so he can start rebuilding earlier.  If they have to give up two top prospects, there is no reason to bring Epstein in this year because he will have nothing to work with.  The Cubs will pay the Red Sox the money necessary to buy out Epstein and throw in a B grade prospect.  It’s fair.  And it lets both clubs move forward.

    • Wash_Williams 4 years ago

      It’s just under 3 million, according to SI.  Tried to post a link, but I guess that requires mod approval.  Just google “Theo Epstein salary 2012.”

  46. If Peter Abraham’s source is saying the talks are business like, civil and moving forward then his source is not part of the talks. Lucchino has been anything but civil.

    • BoSoxSam 4 years ago

      I would like to meet your source. Not saying you’re wrong, but with none of us really knowing for sure, how can you be so confident that the earlier reports are more accurate than this one?

      And plus, I like to imagine that the talks were contentious earlier, but they’ve moved past it and are negotiating more calmly now. That’s just me though. 😛

  47. upsidedown2012 4 years ago

    Why wouldn’t the Red Sox have named their price for Epstein when the Cubs asked permission to speak with him in the first place?  Or, why wouldn’t the Cubs have asked what compensation the Red Sox would want before offering Theo a deal?  Two goofy organizations here.

  48. daveypinstripes 4 years ago

    So what exactly happens if Cubs/Sox don’t agree on compensation? Red Sox already hired a GM. Would they really be willing to A) keep an unhappy Epstein on staff or B) tell Epstein not to show up and pay his millions remaining on his deal?

    Just let the dude go. Move on. Whole thing is ridiculous. Plus whatever Theo is slated to make this year in salary can buy Boston a better prospect in the draft or internationally than what the Cubs can probably offer from that wretched system.

    • SmokinGun 4 years ago

      Cherington would be promoted to position.  So he hasnt been hired as GM yet.  Red Sox dont have much leverage with Epstein.  They dont want lame duck as GM next year.  Of course Cubs fans would think it ridiculous since dragging process on is only pushing price up on the Cubs.  But Red Sox only trying to get best deal they can. And Epstein wants to take those guys with him.

      Also, it isnt so much what Epstein is worth.  More to do with assistants he wants to take with him.  The press talks about all the high profile free agent busts.  While the scouting department has done fantastic drafting players.

      • Wash_Williams 4 years ago

        The Cubs have already given contracts to Tim Wilken and Oneri Fleita who are their Scouting head honchos, and Epstein knew this when he took the job.  So that is fairly settled.

        I have no doubt that Epstein has various confidantes he would like to take with him, that Cherington probably values as well.  But I don’t think the staff issue is a big as it’s being made out to be.

        Then again, I think most of this is overblown.  Of course both sides will posture a little, and of course the media will blow up both sides’ posturing into a huge deal.  And of course the Red Sox writers will say they have all the leverage and the Cubs are being cheap, and the Cubs writers will turn this into the Red Sox being unreasonable.

        I think the Red Sox will probably get a B prospect and the requisite salary/buyout in cash and both sides will be happy and the fans should be too.

        • SmokinGun 4 years ago

          The one thing Epstein looking for is to be in total charge of show.  Something he never had in Boston.  The Cubs ready to eat 30-40 mil of Soriano’s contract.  But wont eat Fleita’s (probably 1-2mil).  Wilken not signed yet (at least i couldnt find anything on it when i googled).

          Every one says Cubs have no talent in minors, yet they want their scouting director back.  Even though their new Prez will most certainly want to bring in his own guys (wouldnt you?).

          The scouts Epstein takes may not be important to Cubs, But its very important to Red Sox.  Their drafts have been spectacular.  Losing those guys much more important than losing a GM they found/created.

          • daveypinstripes 4 years ago

            I disagree Smoking. Losing Theo hurts much more than losing a couple of scouts. GMs are not just created, they are typically the most advanced in baseball operations of any club, and most times they’ve been scouts (and really good ones) in the past as well. Sure, losing scouts hurts, but losing Epstein AND scouts is what burns… 

          • Wash_Williams 4 years ago

            The Cubs system is really not that bad.  They lost some guys when they traded for Garza, which some Cubs fans dislike but I think still may pan out for them.  It’s mostly that they are lacking in MLB-ready talent.  They have some good prospects at the lower level, and they just had a pretty solid draft.  And they spent some money in the international market as well.  I mean, maybe those guys won’t pan out but I think the consensus is they had a pretty good signing period overall last year. 

            Obviously Epstein will want to take his own guys with him both because he thinks they are good and because it will put his stamp on the team.  But by the same token, Cherington probably has some people he wants to bring in to the Red Sox for the same reason.

            And you are right of course that the Cubs would probably eat Wilken and Fleita’s contracts if Epstein insists.  However, I think they probably talked about this before hiring Epstein.  Tim Wilken is a fairly well respected guy around baseball.  And even the Cubs fans for the most part want to keep him around if possible.  My guess is Epstein doesn’t have a major problem with keeping him around if only for a year.

            I’m not trying to say the Cubs hold all the marbles, merely that there is plenty of room for an agreement.  Everyone wants talent, so there are going to be a lot of guys Epstein and Cherington both value.  But there are also probably a few guys that Epstein values and Cherington does not and some guys Cherington really values and Epstein doesn’t care about.  So something can be worked out.

            In the end, the Red Sox will want to keep most of their guys, and I think that
            Epstein and the Cubs will generally be amenable to that as they have
            some decent people in place.   So Theo will maybe only take 1-2 guys with him who are maybe not hi first choice, and the Red Sox will get a decent (but not Brett Jackson unless the Cubs blow this bigtime) prospect. 

  49. Justanotherfantoo 4 years ago

    “Larry Lucchino is one of the most unreasonable people I have ever dealt with and because of his frayed relationship with Theo Epstein he is looking to make a point at the expense of Theo’s happiness and his desire to go to Chicago. I didn’t believe that ownership group for one second when they said that they wouldn’t stand in Theo’s way if he wanted out of Boston. They are furious that he wants out and they are trying to make a point. Theo helped bring them two World Series titles and they have no loyalty to him and his happiness. They messed with Terry Francona and that was just an incredibly pathetic move and now they are trying to make life very tough for Theo,”  he said.
    Stay classy, Red Sox…

    • SmokinGun 4 years ago

      Said the Yankee fan. It tugs my heart to hear how concerned you are about Theo’s happiness.

  50. Kirk Vance 4 years ago

    There’s no way the Cubs back out and let Theo sit for a year, and the odds of the Sox letting that happen is only slightly better.  The Cubs are the only team here that could lose anything, because as many people have pointed out, the Sox were losing Theo at the end of the year.  But if it gets to that point he’s not going to the Cubs, because they’d be insane to play out an entire season with a lame duck GM, even more so when you consider that Theo could end up going elsewhere depending on which teams have GM vacancies after 2012. 

    Based on the fact that the Sox already have their new GM in place, it’s seems pretty clear that if anyone has leverage, it’s the red sox.  If Theo gets paid to sit at home, the red sox don’t get compensation, but everything else goes exactly the same.  The GM will still be Cherington.  For the Cubs, who is your 2nd choice? In terms of baseball operations, going with another option wouldn’t be a huge drop-off, but when the media has basically sold Epstein to the Cubs, and then he doesn’t go there, it will be a PR disaster.  I’m not saying they have the Cubs over a barrel, but it’s not like the Cubs have the Red Sox right where they want them.

    • SmokinGun 4 years ago

      Im Sox fan, but dont agree entirely.  Both need deal to get done.  Sox cant keep Theo just as they cant hold onto Lackey.  Having Theo around all year would be an absolute field day for Boston media.  But losing people from Scouting dept. he will take with him would hurt alot. 

      As far as Cubs concerned.  Moving on in their search isnt end of world.  It is early in the process and there are plenty of qualified people availabe.  Their fans know Epstein under contract.  They can always push the theme that in the end the Red Sox wanted too much in compensation for him.  

      Its more about Scouts he wants to take with him, than it is about him.  Red Sox drafts were much more impressive than Free Agent signings that were made during his years.  

      In the end, if he stays its a media nightmare, but we dont get our Scouting Dept raided.  If he goes Red Sox need to be compensated.

    • Wash_Williams 4 years ago

      The Cubs may have an easy out here if in fact they can hire Josh Byrnes.

      The rumored plan is for Byrnes to take the GM title but Epstein will obviously be calling the shots.  However, should Epstein sit for a year I doubt Byrnes would have a problem being an actual GM instead of GM in name only.  And he wouldn’t be an interim GM because he’d still hold the position after Epstein takes over. 

      The PR disaster risk is really all on the Red Sox.  Cubs fans are just ecstatic that Hendry is gone.  They’d be even happier if Quade was gone.  And they’d be over the moon if Sandberg was hired, which Epstein himself is rumored to be considering.  Alternatively, if the Cubs don’t hire Sandberg but Ricketts needs some goodwill, he could just fire Crane Kenney.  The Cubs fans would go crazy with happiness.

      The Red Sox still have a good team.  And as long as they are winning stuff like this tends to be forgotten.  So they are by no means powerless in the negotiations. However, I also think it’s a risk they don’t need to take.  If the Red Sox start off badly the poo could hit the fan real fast.

      It just makes sense for neither side to try and hold the other hostage.  Find a compromise in what is actually a fairly wide middleground where both sides will be happy and move on.

  51. FS54 4 years ago

    I think Cubs will make a mistake if they are trading prospects for one year of Theo. I am sure even Theo will agree that if going to my new organization cripples them, it is better I wait until next off-season. I am against trading any prospects for a FO guy. That FO guy might sign good FA, develop a better minor league system, but he isn’t going to replace any prospects. Cubs should give Sox money only. 

  52. disgustedcubfan 4 years ago

    Theo is done in Boston. There is a 0% chance the Red Sox will bring him back and let him, as a lame duck, make baseball decisions.
    Boston may pay him to stay home a year, but then they receive nothing for compensation.

    The Cubs will wait a year for Theo if they have to.

    I hope the two teams can agree on a couple of prospects and get on with things.

  53. Remington 4 years ago

    hard to take someone seriously*

  54. DunkinDonuts 4 years ago

    Subject-pronoun agreement, my good man.  Also, he might be British, in which case his spelling is a matter of style, not error.

  55. Guest 4 years ago

    I’ve decided that I want to give you the other half of my heart necklace or a shovel, whichever you prefer. 

  56. Slopeboy 4 years ago

    Your denial of the facts is some what telling, when you focus on his spelling rather than on the substance of his post.

  57. Bones 4 years ago

    Even with Theo it would still be a lost year.

  58. ophaq2 4 years ago

    Theo or no Theo that’s happening regardless.  Why overpay for a guy who’s free to sign wherever he wants in a year.  Hire Sandberg, hold out and wait one more year.  If Boston wants to play hardball, shove their faces in it and piss the fans off even more.  They need to take what the Cubs are offering and step away.  If they Hold on to Theo and get nothing, it will be the biggest mistake they could make.

  59. YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

    Chances are they would have a losing year with Theo anyway. He isn’t expected to come in and turn the Cubs around in 1 year. It’s called rebuilding.

    Your comment screams of a whining child and right now you are making Yankee fans look humble.

  60. ctothed 4 years ago

    Good luck collapsing in September once again.

  61. DunkinDonuts 4 years ago

    Yes!  He will be the highest-paid professional Solitaire player in the world, just ahead of most federal government employees.

  62. MaineSox 4 years ago

    Yeah actually.  Sure, they wont get anything for him in a year, but if the only other option is to just accept what the Cubs offer (a couple mil cash, which the Sox have plenty of) then what’s the difference really?

  63. MaineSox 4 years ago

    Not according to baseball people with knowledge of negotiations (from Kaplan’s article):

    “Another baseball executive I spoke with tonight believes that the Red
    Sox are dealing from a position of strength because of Lucchino and his
    willingness to play extreme hardball in the negotiations.

    ‘The Red Sox hold the cards here because they have their new GM in Ben
    Cherington and they control Theo for the next 12 months. If they want
    they can force Theo to stay in Boston or on the sidelines for the next
    year. Can the Cubs go without a GM for the next 12 months? That would be
    an incredibly gutsy move but also a very risky one.'”

  64. YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

    Ask yourself….if Billy Bean wanted to replace Theo and the A’s demanded one or two of Lavarnway, Middlebrooks, Ranuado and Iglesias would you be so quick to say yes to that deal?

  65. notsureifsrs 4 years ago

    no, because theo is at least as good as beane

    if beane wanted to replace jim hendry after years and years of futility, hell yes

  66. YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

    Honestly, they might. They aren’t going anywhere in 2012. 

    Think about it though. If the Sox play hardball and demand something outrageous, and believe me, their demands will become public and maybe even exaggerated if this deal doesn’t happen, and Theo decides to sit out 2012 rather than come back imagine how BAD the Sox would look and HOW BAD that might turn off perspective employees (established front office ppl who might be available down the road) as well as perspective free agents? 

  67. YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

    And that does what for the Sox?  Nothing but sticks it to the Cubs and makes them look jaded. Where’s the profit in that? 

  68. notsureifsrs 4 years ago

    right, and we all know that epstein is coveted for his ability to put the finishing free agent touches on teams that are already strong, rather than building sustainable cores of young talent

  69. notsureifsrs 4 years ago

    you have successfully analyzed half of the equation. the other half is: what is gained in letting epstein walk out of his contract — with other top baseball people — for peanuts?

    nothing? in fact it’s a loss? ok then

  70. MaineSox 4 years ago

    And the Cubs will look bad when it comes out that they were offering organizational filler for one of the best GMs in baseball and didn’t care enough about making the team better to try to meet the Red Sox in the middle.

  71. YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

    Realistcally, Beane wouldn’t be replacing Theo in that scenario. He would be replacing the options TO Theo. 

    If this deal falls thru do you REALLY expect Theo to return to Boston? After all has been said, my guess is he would quit and sit out 2012. I’m sure he wouldn’t mind waiting because there will be other teams willing to pay him what the Cubs were open to pay, maybe even more.

  72. johnsilver 4 years ago

    Nice one. Half the posters here could have replaced hendry and the rest of the Cub fans would have never noticed how the team was ran…

  73. notsureifsrs 4 years ago

    not really sure how epstein would handle it, but i am pretty sure that’s not a big concern for ownership. as bad as they’ve handled things the last two months, they are marketing machines. they’ll play this as theo wanting to leave the team while under contract, wanting to stiff his old club on compensation, and then quitting when they stood up for themselves

    keep in mind i support theo way more than boston ownership here. but this is how they operate

  74. Steve_in_MA 4 years ago

    That would be fine, and that is precisely why the Sox have the leverage here.  If they try to wait, Theo is an F/A, open to offers from other teams, where they might have to compete for him and lose.

  75. YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

    I’m lost. I’m responding to the “have another losing season in 2012″ comment directed towards the Cubs and saying that even with Theo (in Chicago) they were still going to lose in 2012 because Theo ISN’T going to go out and trade/sign a bunch of guys for an automatic fix. He will rebuild thru the system and make trades for the near future. Are you really in dispute of that?

  76. MikhelB 4 years ago

    Yes, Brett Jackson is one of those and highly pursued by the sox brass, he’s the one that redsox fanboys are drooling all over because Gammons said the guy, a top 5 in the minor league he plays on, was not very good.

  77. Jeff 4 years ago

    where do people get that the Cubs have no good prospects?  That is just plain ignorance.  Their farm has been considered by alot of people to be on the rise. and in the top 10 systems in all of baseball. Even with the trade with the Rays last off season they still have quality prospects.  Trey McNutt, Jeff Beliveau, Rafael Dolis, Chris Carpenter, Brett Jackson, Matt Szczur, Junior Lake to name a few and their draft this year was rated very highly this year.

  78. YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

    You and I are not privy to tall the info but I seriously doubt the sticking point is the compensation for the other ppl Theo wants. I can’t imagine that Theo wouldn’t be opposed to hiring new ppl in Chicago if it meant settling this situation now and moving on. I think it’s clear that the compensation demanded is more for Theo and him alone. I’m 90% positive. Obviously, we don’t know but it just seems unlikely.

  79. notsureifsrs 4 years ago

    it has been reported for the past couple of days that one of the major sticking points in fact is who epstein gets to take with him

    not the only point, certainly, but you can see why it would be complicating the compensation issue

  80. notsureifsrs 4 years ago

    i’m disputing the idea that it’s no big deal to not have epstein around for one more year. i know the cubs have been terrible for awhile, but that’s a significant delay for a major market

    if the cubs were contenders, i would understand waiting on theo. but all of theo’s glamor comes from his ability to build a long-term core. delaying the start of that process could be costly

    i’m not pretending the cubs couldn’t just go in other direction with someone else. they could. but waiting another year for epstein seems like an absolute last resort

  81. YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

    They can spin it all they want but the fact is most everyone in baseball is wondering “wtf” are the Sox doing so the only ones that are going to buy the Sox’s marketing spin are the blind fans that are already lost to reality anyway. 

  82. YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

    Chances are Theo would sign with them anyway. He obviously could’ve said no to their offer and waited until 2012 to field offers from others if he wanted to. The Sox have SOME leverage in the sense that they don’t have to say yes but they are using there leverage to what? Stick it to the Cubs and to Theo because in the minds of everyone else the relationship between Theo and the front office has been ruined for 2012 and the near future is concerned. Barring a change in the upper management can you really…honestly see him as a part of the 2012 front office? 

  83. notsureifsrs 4 years ago

    sure, but that’s pretty much all they care about anyway

  84. Daniel Han 4 years ago

    help pay for John Lackey service

  85. MikhelB 4 years ago

    You are forgetting about one thing: Cubs are not the team in desperate need to have a GM who can continue the run of winning seasons, the sox in the other hand… yes, because Cubs know the proccess will be long and can wait.

    PSDon’t trick yourself, Theo’s glamour is not building a “long term core”, he has been able to develop just a bunch of GOOD everyday players (Pedroia and Youkilis, with Ellsbury a distant third until this year). He has pitchers, yeah, Lester and Buchholz who has had just one pretty good season… and that’s it.

    Theo’s fortè is buying players, spending millions upon millions to acquire players, just in the past year he was greenlighted to spend 296 millions on two players (Crawford+Adrián González), to that add the 103 millions he was greenlighted to spend to acquire Matsuzaka (negotiating rights and the actual contract), and the 82 millions to Lackey. That’s 481 million dollars aproved to spend in just 4 players, a whooping 120.25 millions per player acquisition.

    That is:Carl Crawford 142 million / 7 years
    Adrián González 154 million / 7 years
    Daisuke Matsuzaka 103 millions / 6 years
    John Lackey 82 millions / 5 years
    Total: 481 millions / 25 seasons worth of players = 19.24 millions per season of each of those 4 players… an average of almost 20 millions to Lackey, man and i thought that ARod was overvalued, but he actually produces during the season, but Lackey… or for that matter Matsuzaka? YIKES!

  86. jb226 4 years ago

    To play devil’s advocate, the Cubs could do both: Wait for Theo and yet not.

    It seems to be widely expected, for example, that with Cherington being a young, first-year GM that he would not have nearly the authority that Theo did, and that some of that power would be ceded to Lucchino.  The Cubs could go and get a young GM, and in a year bring Theo in in the exact same position/title as we’re offering him now.  Particularly if you grab a young GM who is great at scouting, he could still have a lot of value under Theo.  Or Theo could just dump him; GMs really don’t make enough money to worry about it from that standpoint.

    It’s not exactly unprecedented.  Who’s that GM in Florida again?  I never remember his name, because everybody knows it’s Loria, Beinfest and Samson running that team.

    It’s not a terribly nice thing to do, of course.  But when we hear stories of Lucchino trying to make it hard on Theo to take his dream job out of spite and fans defending that sort of approach as great business, maybe Ricketts doesn’t give a damn.  Maybe getting good talent in at the GM position this year, and then getting the person you’ve always wanted for nothing but money next year is “just good business.”

  87. notsureifsrs 4 years ago

    that’s not what a forte is

    no team in baseball had more production in 2011 from homegrown talent than theo’s red sox. everyone in baseball knows what theo’s strengths are and what is single weakness has been

    name the guy you think is the smartest GM in the game. no matter who you pick, that guy thinks theo is great. figure the rest out for yourself

  88. YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

    Dude….you are wrong in this case. Theo, whether thru his own wisdom or thru his building of a farm staff, has done a great job of developing players. It is probably his greatest strength since most of his free agent signings haven’t gone as well.

  89. John Arguello 4 years ago

    We can’t assume it’s filler, can we?  What the Cubs said is that the compensation should be fair.  I seriously doubt they believe organizational filler is fair. I certainly don’t.  What they should get is a good, near major league ready prospect or two.  The Cubs system is capable of providing that.

  90. ophaq2 4 years ago

    The Cubs won’t look bad.  The Cubs biggest critics are their fans and the fans will applaud them for not meeting those kinds of prices.  You hold out and wait…a full year if you have to and Boston would be showing their fans that instead of getting some cash, they walked away and got nothing.  If Ricketts pays top prospects, it will set us back furthur than it would by waiting a year for Ricketts.

  91. MaineSox 4 years ago

    Maybe, but the last thing that was reported was that they only wanted to give the Red Sox cash, which is about as much help as organizational filler to the Red Sox.

  92. MaineSox 4 years ago

    The Red Sox don’t need a couple million dollars to “help pay for Lackey”

  93. Steve_in_MA 4 years ago

    I honestly see us walking away from the table before the Cubs finally come to their senses and agree to pay a fair price, which is 2-3 top prospects (and maybe some lesser prospects, if we are talking about only 2 top prospects).  But if they don’t, Theo will go on special assignment to Japan for a year, or stay home and play monopoly.  He’s not coming back to Fenway, per se.  Cherington will just be “acting GM” for a year.

    I think you can equate Theo with a top performing player, as I would argue in Cashman’s case, as well.  What would James Shields yield the Rays (with one year left on his contract) if they put him on the market?  That’s a fair price for a guy who can build a reasonably strong player development machine and who can renovate Wrigley for maximum revenue production. Its not unfairly sticking it to the Cubs.  They are not entitled to anything here.

  94. ctothed 4 years ago

    You Sox fans are mental.  You think Theo is worth 2-3 top prospects?  He has ONE year left on his contract.  There is no chance you are getting 2-3 top prospects.  You might get what they will try to spin as top prospects but, you are NOT getting 2-3 top prospects for a guy you guys already shoved out the door.

  95. wsc_cubs 4 years ago

    Executives and players are very different, you cant say theo = shields. Would you pay 10 mil+ to keep theo or any other executive?

  96. YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

    Fans don’t pay $100 to watch Theo scourer the waiver list. Fans aren’t spending crazy money to buy their kids jerseys with his name on the back. Advertisers aren’t paying millions of dollars and radio, tv and billboard advertisements because an all-star GM was at the helm. Get real. Your comparison is a joke. 

    In your world, you just equated Theo Epstein to the Cubs with Adrian Gonzalez to the Red Sox.

  97. Drew Tweedie 4 years ago

    “It will cost them nearly $7 million to keep Epstein from walking”.

  98. What part of NEARLY $7 million do you not understand?

  99. He is already gone. Regardless of what happens Epstein will NOT be the Red Sox GM in 2012.

    The Cubs are offering to pay the $3.7 million Golden Parachute Epstein gets whether he is a part of the Red Sox organization or not. That should be enough payment.

  100. The Cubs HAVE a GM. He has an interim title right now and he can certainly continue in the job for another year. Randy Bush is a good baseball guy and could very well be back in some capacity in 2012 with Epstein as GM also.

  101. godzillacub 4 years ago

    Are you saying I got hosed by buying an Epstein jersey? Cause I’ve already lost that receipt. Son of a . . .

  102. Steve_in_MA 4 years ago

    Yanks, I’m astonished that I have to explain this to you, because I know you are a true fan and a smart baseball guy, but here it goes.

    Every jersey that is bought is half attributable to the GM.  Sure, the player earns the reputation to have his name on it.  But the GM earns his half by having the team’s logo on it.  Let’s take a rosy example of Jesus Montero.  Montero proceeds to hit 35 homers and drive in 100 runs for each of the next 3 years.  That sells 100,000 jerseys.  Those aren’t just Montero jerseys.  They’re Yankees jerseys bearing his name.  Cashman is the guy responsible for the fact that the Montero jerseys sold are Yankee jerseys.  He’s Montero’s equal partner in generating that revenue for the Yankees.

    Likewise, TV and ad revenue are entirely tied to what the GM has done in terms of the team on the field.  Ratings would sag if the team sucked.  Revenues would drop.  But when you sign a guys like Tex and CC, and win your division, ratings stay high and so do revenues.  The GM is more responsible for the overall performance of the product than any one player is.

    The foregoing is not to even mention the immediate financial impact that a GM has on a big-market organization.  He makes payroll decisions that immediately affect $50-$75MM.  He makes draft decisions that can cost up to $15MM. He makes free agent signing decisions in the tens of millions of dollars.   A GM can easily affect the financial performance of an organization by $100MM in a single season. 

    And then there is the long-term effect.  A GM makes draftings/signings that will affect the performance of the organization for a decade or more.  For instance, a draftee who makes it to the bigs has spent 4 years in the minors and has 6 years of MLB eligibility before becoming a free agent.  So drafting a guy like Ellsbury ends up being a decade of commitment to a player, and a six year return on investment, all of which may outlast the GM.  His footprint is at least a decade long, unlike that of almost every player.

    In the end, the GM produces more revenue than any single player ever could, brings in more fans via “providing the team product” than any of the players ever do, and makes more pivotal decisions than any field manager ever can.

    Absolutely, Theo Epstein and Brian Cashman are each worth as much in trade as A-Gonz was.  There’s nothing crazy about that. 

  103. Notin J. Notin 4 years ago

    I don’t think you understand the concept of leverage.

    The Cuba goal is to have Theo Epstein running the organization in 2012.  The Cubs have done everything within their power to make it happen, short of giving the team who controls Epstein’s fate what they want.

    The Red Sox hold Epstein’s rights.  They can release him from their control or exercie their control and merely pay him to do nothing, or allow hm some role as GM since Cherington’s promotion was likely contingent.  After 2012, Epstein can be a free agent and pursue any job he wants for 2013.

    The smart resoltuion would be for Sean Marshall to go to Boston for Epstein.  The Red Sox could use the bullpen help, Marshall is unimportant to the Cubs future sicne he is FA after 2012 anyway, and his FA compensation is also undetermined, as the CBA will investigfate this part this December. 

    It is certainly clear, however, that Cubs fans view this as important to merely win the trade and push getting Epstein back by a full year if necessary.  Hey, why start rebuilding the far system now?   You can tell this from how they change compensation when it turns out the guy they are sending might actually be good.  “Send them Chris CArpenter.”  “No way, he is throwing like 100mph in Arizona.”  “Well, then we can’t trade him.  Send them some 26yo backup SS in high A-ball.  That’s fair, cause we have ALL THE LEVERAGE”
    We’ll see how Cubs fans are in 2017 when Cleveland tries hiring him away, and the Cubs fans will all insist on getting the top 15 prospects in return, as long as an major leaguer they want at any period between now and the year 2525…

  104. MannyOnEBay 4 years ago

    I can’t believe how dense some of these Cubs fans are. The fact that Chicago is paying Theo’s parachute payment is not compensation. It’s not like Theo was about to be fired; if that were the case, Chicago would have just waited for the firing and then scooped him up for nothing. The parachute payment is just part of Chicago’s acquisition cost. Calling picking up that money compensation is like saying, “I’m paying the movers to ship your giant-screen TV to my house. I shouldn’t have to pay you for the actual television.”

    The Red Sox own the rights to an asset Chicago wants. They don’t have to let him go if they don’t want to. Therefore, if Chicago wants him, they have to pony up. The mathematics here is How-badly-Chicago-wants-Theo > How-much-Boston-dreads-eating-another-year-of-Theo’s salary, and that math does not favor Chicago. The Cubs have already practically thrown a parade for the Theo, and for the Sox, eating six or seven million for Theo doesn’t even rise to the level of being a palate cleanser, given how much money they have to eat just this next year for the likes of Lackey and Dice-K. Hell, if Theo comes back, he’ll actually earn some of that money by doing his job, which is more than one can say for Lackey.

    It’s not like Chicago has to give up Starlin Castro, but if they think Theo is valuable, then they definitely have to give them something valuable to get him. If they don’t really want Theo that badly, well, that’s another story.

  105. Steve_in_MA 4 years ago

    I think that those who say you have no good prospects are very wrong, probably because some of the best left in the Garza trade, and because there are very few of them that are near the MLB-ready stage. 

    The strength of your system is a level or two below MLB-ready.  McNutt had an off year and had injury issues.  Carpenter had a bad year and has not yet gotten his slider to work consistently.  Things like that have pushed the quality of the system down in the eyes of some.  But its far from true that the Cubs don’t have good prospects.

  106. Steve_in_MA 4 years ago

    Yes.  In fact, I’m reasonably certain that Theo was offered more money to stay.  When I say more money, I mean more than the $7MM due on his present contract.

  107. wsc_cubs 4 years ago

    I meant 10mil/year for any exec is ridiculous. So you cant compare compensation for players and execs. They are on different scales.

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