Theo Epstein Compensation Links: Sunday

Yesterday it was reported that talks have grown "increasingly contentious" between the Red Sox and the Cubs as they try to figure out what Boston will receive for relinquishing the rights to Theo Epstein.  The Red Sox are looking to get prospects in return for their former GM while the Cubs want to complete the deal with just cash.  Here's the latest on the talks..

  • A deal might not get done by Tuesday but the Red Sox think that the compensation talks with the Cubs will end before the World Series begins on Wednesday evening, writes Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald.
  • All signs point toward a resolution by Tuesday, the day after a potential NLCS Game 7 and the day before Game 1 of the World Series, writes Silverman.  The asking price for Epstein could increase as it is believed that he is looking to bring some BoSox staffers with him to Chicago.  As of yesterday, there were no plans in place for any other Red Sox personnel to join the Cubs.


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49 Comments on "Theo Epstein Compensation Links: Sunday"


dc21892
3 years 9 months ago

I would rather the Sox just take less compensation at this point. Theo isn’t coming back, no matter how this turns out. Less is more right now. Why lose more staff for PROSPECTS, which the staff has done well helping draft over the years? The suspense is killing me. Let it be over. He’s gone, and we need to get ourselves a manager.

3 years 9 months ago

I read somewhere that they typically let 2 staffers go with a new GM hire in the past.  Wish I had the link but I don’t think losing 2 staffers will kill the team.  Cherington will manage I think.

Redsoxn8tion
3 years 9 months ago

I agree with the Sox stance on nor making this easy on him to leave. He clearly can’t handle the heat with a losing large payroll team. How is he going to handle losing every year with a small payroll team?

Howie Handles
3 years 9 months ago

Small payroll team? The Cubs payroll was 125mm. Hardly small. And based on what do you reason that he can’t handle the heat with losing a large payroll team? Your opinion are illogical. 

Redsoxn8tion
3 years 9 months ago

I meant to write smaller. So sorry. My opinion is just that, an opinion. I feel Theo wanted out of Boston as he was sick of being the scapegoat. Is that illogical?

jb226
3 years 9 months ago

Not at all, but I wouldn’t call that not being able to “handle the heat.”  I’m also not sure it’s accurate; I think his problems in Boston are more ones of how much power he has and how much power he might be able to wrest from Lucchino going forward than it is about getting blamed.  It seems like he didn’t feel he would ever have more control than he does now and he wasn’t happy with it, so he looked for an opportunity where he could be even more autonomous.

Also, I know it’s hip to hate on the Cubs, but there’s no reason to assume he’s going to be “losing every year” with them.  They have fielded a lot of strong teams in very recent history, they just haven’t been able to sustain their success — and I think a large part of that is because they didn’t have a consistent vision at the top of the organization for how to do that.  Jim Hendry was more of a “plug the holes that pop up” kind of guy than a big-picture thinker, and he was too willing to defer to people like Lou Pinella (“we need more left handed hitters!”) instead of sticking with a long-term plan.

johnsilver
3 years 9 months ago

It’s not hip to hate on Cubbies by any means there. Just these comp stories have gotten kind of heated. both sides kind of set in what they think/want and it’s just going to have to play out with the ones in charge to decide before everyone is satisfied it looks like.

Epstein will be rebuilding that team, please try to think in that direction however and how fast he can do it will depend on how much $$$ Rickets will let him spend. He probably is not going to be able to move a couple of obvious contracts on the books of course, but hopefully Rickets will let him blow up and start over perhaps on how a minor league/farm system development/scouting machine is ran and go world wide. Not just some parts of Lain America, but have scouting systems as far as some Asian countries as well like he had in place before.

jb226
3 years 9 months ago

I fully HOPE that he opts to rebuild the team.  My worst fear at this point is that he thinks a quick turnaround is possible and goes spending crazy.

johnsilver
3 years 9 months ago

Just a quickie example of how he went about it in Boston if not looked.

His 1st few drafts he went after mostly college guys to get some upper/more advanced guys. Dustin pedroia and Papelbon comes to mind right away. this allowed him to fill a pretty depleted/barren at the time Sox system that is not unlike the current state of the Cubs system and not a knock on the Cubs, Boston did have Youk and lester currently at the time floating about, but really not much after that. he later on felt safer with taking more risky types of HS players in the higher rounds

Not trying to go off and repeat common RS fan knowledge here, but might give a glimpse for Cubs fans of what to expect. He also had a scouting system in Taiwan, Aussi land, Japan and Boston still has several players from those places. Lin, Dening, Moannara brothers, Tazawa, recently traded Chaing.

Redsoxn8tion
3 years 9 months ago

Great points JB226. Just to be clear, I’m not hating on the Cubs. I have a ton of respect for what Theo did in Boston. Theo would probably not be leaving the Sox this year, had they not suffered the worst collapse in baseball “regular season” history. John Henry just said that he let him make some lucrative signings that he, the owner, did not agree with. So I think Theo had a lot more power than people think he did. The Cubs will definitely be a better team with Theo. It just depends on how much the Cubs ownership is willing to let him spend. I just hope the Cubs fans are patient. Then again 90 years since winning their last championship is pretty patient. Ha ha ah, just kidding guys.

jayrig5
3 years 9 months ago

The Piniella point is a great one.  I was always upset that no one called them on the whole “needing lefty balance” thing, which obviously led to the DeRosa trade and the disastrous Milton Bradley signing.  Because what people for some reason failed to realize was that the last time Piniella wanted his team to be more balanced, he convinced the Yankees to trade away Jay Buhner.  Exact same situation.  Whoops.

You’re also spot on in your assessment of the “plug the holes” mentality.  

All that said, would you be opposed to signing Fielder?  I’ll make my argument for it real quick.  He’s not a stopgap/band-aid player.  You’re getting prime years of one of the best hitters in the game, at a position that is basically barren in your system.  He’ll still be in his prime in a few years.  And you’ll be able to sign him for less money than you had committed to John Grabow, Carlos Pena, and Kosuke Fukudome last year.  You also probably won’t be bidding against a team that can offer more and drive up the price.

I was just curious as to your opinion, we’ve had some back and forth discussions here before about the Cubs.

jb226
3 years 9 months ago

It’s a hard question that I waver back and worth on a  lot.  I’m scared of ANY contracts as long as Fielder is likely to command (6-7 years), and his body type certainly makes it more scary, but I wouldn’t be completely opposed to it.  He’s certainly a nice player, he’s relatively young and he’d be a good fit on the team.  There’s also not a ton of other free agent options in the next two offseasons, so if Theo decides that it’s a need that has to be filled outside the organization, Fielder would probably be the best choice.

That said, my major question would be: When are the Cubs trying to compete?  Not 2012, for sure.  The Cubs might be able to hang around in 2013 (especially with Fielder) but I don’t see them as a major force.  If we’re thinking something like 2014, we’re talking almost a third of a Fielder deal–his best years, in all likelihood–that are basically wasted money, and then the years when the risks start to mount are when the Cubs would be counting on him most.

On the flip side, the farm is barren at first base unless you believe LaHair is for real.  I wonder if the Cubs might be able to front-load a Fielder deal, so that he’s cheapest when the team starts to compete and when the risks start to increase.  That might be worth looking into.  

So what do I think?  It’s hard.  The Cubs need a first baseman at some point, but they also need starting pitching.  Our farm is okay, but it’s not really loaded enough to go out and fill all these needs with trades and the free agent markets don’t inspire a lot of confidence the next couple of years.  I wouldn’t be mad at Theo if he went after Prince, but I guess I’d put all that together and say no, I’d avoid him.  We’re still basically counting on our farm to deliver either way, so I’d rather fill holes once we know what we have rather than spend money and hope the holes fill themselves in later.

This is why I want the whole compensation thing over with, by the way.  I want Theo in here.  I want to hear his introductory press conference, and hopefully get a sense for what he feels he has to work with right now and when he thinks it’s possible to make a push.  Is he going to come in and trade players like Byrd and Baker right away?  Can he get anything for Zambrano?  Can he unload Soriano?  There’s an awful lot to do on this team.

johnsilver
3 years 9 months ago

Would be scared of Fielder also period longer than 3 years max. remember his dad well. he looked like the goodyear blimp at age 30 and Jr. is well on his way, veggie or not.

You know.. Bad contracts.. Curious if the Chisox are possibly ready yet after just a year to give up on Adam Dunn? Sure cross town trades are rare, but got a feeling getting him back to the NL, plus a super friendly stadium for his bat would work wonders, then he already may do better with Guillen out of town.

I post this all the time here, but would love to see some awesome power hitter like Kong Kingman again, even a lefty like Dunn would be nice to see swatting 450′ blast with regularity and give the Cubbie faithful something to talk about and root for while Epstein is rebuilding.

jb226
3 years 9 months ago

I’m sure that if the White Sox could get rid of Dunn, they would be ecstatic to do so.  I’m just not sure the Cubs would want the contract, at least not without something bad going the other way, like Soriano.  Even then it would depend on Theo’s evaluation of whether or not Dunn can get back on track against NL pitching and while playing the field because there’s little doubt that based on last year and the contracts, Soriano is currently the better value (eeep!).

johnsilver
3 years 9 months ago

That would be the main issue (Soriano and his contract) plus if the Chisox would have a need for an OF, like they did a few years back.. desperately grabbing the very bottom of the barrel with Dewayne Wise as a regular as recall.

Epstein may take the gamble, but you are probably right and let the contracts of Z and soriano play out, or get towards the end and see if Rickets will cut them lose if either really bottoms out.

PlayBoyBuddy Rose
3 years 9 months ago

The Sox owe Theo millions if he doesn’t go… and Cubs know it… 

gradylittle
3 years 9 months ago

You aren’t breaking any new grounds here, you and the other hundreds of yankees, cubs, and the fans of the other 27 teams in the mlb have said something of that sort over and over and over and over again. So, thank you. 

3 years 9 months ago

LOL. A whopping 6-7 mill. Yeah, that would be devastating for the Red Sox

Steve_in_MA
3 years 9 months ago

You’re telling the people who ate contracts in the tens of millions and had to watch those louts (Lugo; Renteria) actually play baseball for other teams as we paid them, that we don’t have the stomach to make Theo sit out a year at a mere cost of $7.5MM?  Laughable.  We eat contracts for breakfast.  Somebody pass the margerine.

3 years 9 months ago

red sox dont een owe him 3 million. lol kenneth they arent concerned about that

NearEastSider
3 years 9 months ago

Actually your wrong there is a contract completion bonus that the Cubs had agreed to pay. It puts Theo’s salary at the end of next year around $7 million. Still might not be a big deal to the Red Sox to just pay it but it is owed to him. 

3 years 9 months ago

Phil. Epstein has a clause in his contract that pays him $3.7 million if the Red Sox fire him OR if he quits.

If they pay hardball with the Cubs, the Red Sox will owe Epstein $6.7 million when you combine his $2.95 million 2012 Salary and his $3.7 million golden parachute

John Arguello
3 years 9 months ago

There was another article by Peter Abraham and Nick Carardo that stated Epstein isn’t likely to bring over any assistants right now but that all bets are off once their contract expire.  Josh Byrnes is quoted by two sources as the guy Epstein may eventually bring to Chicago.  Article also states talks are civil, business-like, and moving forward.

Both these articles also suggest that Brett Jackson won’t be part of the compensation package, which suggests that specific names have already been discussed, and possibly agreed upon.

3 years 9 months ago

Since Josh Byrnes is not with the Red Sox that has no effect on the Cubs/Red Sox negotiations. Byrnes is the Vice President of Baseball Operations for the San Diego Padres.

John Arguello
3 years 9 months ago

Exactly…another ex-Boston guy who might be considered is Peter Woodfork, now with the MLB front office.

CaptainCharisma
3 years 9 months ago

They can always keep Theo around and pay him to do nothing.

Sort of like they already do with Lackey.

BoSoxSam
3 years 9 months ago

If Theo is hoping to bring guys over, I see the logic in Boston asking for someone like Jackson in return. Otherwise, I just want to see this get resolved as soon as possible, I’m not really concerned about the compensation package at this point.

BlueCatuli
3 years 9 months ago

Lame!!!!!

3 years 9 months ago

Why don’t the Red Sox just stipulate that Lackey has to be part of the package?  No Lackey, no Theo.

start_wearing_purple
start_wearing_purple
3 years 9 months ago

Because the Cubs would walk away.

Lunchbox45
3 years 9 months ago

not if lackey came with a large suitcase full of millions of dollars.

imachainsaw
3 years 9 months ago

why not just cut him instead?

Howie Handles
3 years 9 months ago

You’re dreaming. If that was a stipulation, the Cubs walk, and pursue other candidates. 

BoSoXaddict
3 years 9 months ago

they have other candidates?

John DiRienzo
3 years 9 months ago

sure doesn’t seem like it. deal falls through, Sox are out a few millions and the Cubs are out a GM at the start of the offseason

but hey they have “all the leverage”

Encarnacion's Parrot
3 years 9 months ago

Ahh the daily Theo update. The one update that actually never has an update, yet they keep updating it. :/

jb226
3 years 9 months ago

Any word as to who Theo might be looking to bring over?

The Cubs front office actually has a number of nice personnel (Wilken and Flieta in particular and Randy Bush seems to be decently well-regarded), and of course there’s also the rumors of Josh Byrnes.  So I’m just curious what kind of positions Epstein is looking to fill.  It just doesn’t seem worth increasing the cost to me.

Steve_in_MA
3 years 9 months ago

One of Theo’s most trusted confidants here in Boston is Mike Reinold, the team trainer, and I’m pretty sure he wants to bring him along.  Another that Theo probably wants but the Sox would never allow to go is Mike Hazen, in charge of player development.

BoSoXaddict
3 years 9 months ago

I’m not one of those guys who is constantly bashing the Red Sox medical staff, but would it REALLY be so bad if we had to get a new team trainer?

Steve_in_MA
3 years 9 months ago

Nope.  I’d let Reinold go in a heartbeat.  I’d just pretend it was killing me and demand more compensation, as I subtley giggled under my breath.

notsureifsrs
3 years 9 months ago

“Yesterday it was reported that talks have grown “increasingly contentious””

and then it was reported that they haven’t. there can’t be that much to argue about anyway, it’s really just a game of chicken

Justanotherfantoo
3 years 9 months ago

It is a game of chicken, all right.  All the Cubs have to do is say keep him around and pay him.  That should be a great thing for the already-in-the-toilet morale and reputation of the Red Sox and build tremendous goodwill with Epstein for the years ahead when he’s in position to be the decision maker for the Cubs when they’re a potential trade partner in future deals.
If I’m Epstein, I’m telling the Cubs that I’d rather them hang tough and give me a better hand when I get there.
And I don’t take any staff with me at first.  I wait a year and take everybody I want when it can’t impact the potential compensation that my team has to pay.

John DiRienzo
3 years 9 months ago

you understand that if Theo goes back to Boston for 2012, he’s likely not going to the Cubs in 2013. i don’t see what’s so hard to understand about this.

Howie Handles
3 years 9 months ago

I’d like to see him offer Duquette a role with the team, and some other former GMs. Never hurts to have too many guys with experience offering help. 

ellisburks
3 years 9 months ago

Except that you are employing people to take over your job. Not many people would do that. And then there is the “too many cooks in the kitchen” theory. But if he can handle that it would be a good move.

cachhubguy
3 years 9 months ago

It’s Sunday. Go watch some football.

Eric Tirrell
3 years 9 months ago

I wouldn’t say either really has the upper hand, Boston knows Theo is going to Chicago and can’t come back now. Both sides are pretty invested in getting a deal done

xcal1br
3 years 9 months ago

Only the nuttiest of Cubs fanboys think the cubs can contend next year, with or without Epstein.  The issue Sox fans can’t seem to grasp is that the Cubs hold all the cards here.  One way or another, Epstein is not staying in Boston.  That is a fact.  The Cubs have the luxury of placing literally ANYONE in the position of GM as a placeholder until Theo is available in one year’s time.  One year is meaningless in the grand scheme of things and Henry has done nothing but shoot himself in both feet with his recent comments in the media.

Btw, there is nothing simple about economics.  :(

Steve_in_MA
3 years 9 months ago

Yeah, I’d just love to see what happens if Ricketts holds a press conference to declare that he couldn’t agree to give up a few minor leaguers to bring Theo over this year, so wait until next year.  They might start calling the reaction “The Great Chicago Fire, Part Deux.”