The Red Sox and Cubs began negotiations today about the compensation package required to finalize Theo Epstein's move to Chicago, and WEEI's John Dennis reports that the talks have gotten off to a slow start. The Cubs just want to send money as compensation, while the Red Sox are looking for prospects instead. This seemingly represents a shift in Boston's stance from just yesterday, when SI's Jon Heyman reported the Sox preferred cash.
Here's the latest on those talks and a few other Theo-related items...
- Negotiations between the Cubs and Red Sox "are moving along at a snail's pace," according to Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago. "There's no such thing as a timetable for these transactions," but there doesn't appear to be anything major that would keep Epstein from eventually joining the Cubs.
- Also from Levine, Cubs owner Tom Ricketts has presented a list of players to interim GM Randy Bush, scouting director Tim Wilken and director of player personnel Oneri Fleita. The front office members will report back to Ricketts indicating which of the players they would be comfortable trading to Boston as compensation.
- "The Red Sox like utilityman Jeff Baker," writes Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, though Baker alone wouldn't be suitable compensation. Cafardo says the Sox would also "love" to send John Lackey to the Cubs but unsurprisingly, "that is also a long shot." Cafardo lists a few of the Cubs' notable prospects who could conceivably go to the Sox, though I'd personally be surprised if Chicago would part with top minor leaguers like Brett Jackson or Matt Szczur.
- In addition to taking some Boston front office members with him to Chicago, Epstein may also take some of the Red Sox medical staff, tweets Tony Massarotti of the Boston Globe.
- Mike Quade says he wasn't consulted about the Cubs' pursuit of Epstein, the incumbent manager tells ESPN Chicago, though he has no hard feelings about not being a part of the GM search.
- With no deal finalized yet, it was "business as usual" for Epstein, pending new Red Sox GM Ben Cherington and other front office staffers today, reports Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston.
- Edes notes that the Red Sox gave Jed Hoyer and Josh Byrnes permission to take two front office members each when Hoyer and Byrnes left Boston for the GM jobs in San Diego and Arizona, respectively. Edes believes Mike Hazen, Boston's vice president of player development and amateur scouting, is "untouchable" both because the Red Sox brass his contribution to the club's minor league system and because the Cubs already have Wilken performing similar duties.