The Red Sox requested in late December that MLB commissioner Bud Selig resolve the Theo Epstein compensation issue, reports Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. The Cubs were granted permission to speak to Epstein by the Red Sox and hired him as president of baseball operations in October. Since then, the two teams have been unable to determine what compensation the Red Sox should receive for Epstein, since he had a year remaining on his contract.
Back on November 17th, Epstein said talks were "very amicable" and lots of jokes were being made on the topic. At that point, the plan was to re-engage after the Rule 5 draft, which happened on December 8th.
Last Thursday on WEEI's Dennis & Callahan show, Epstein said he and new Red Sox GM Ben Cherington were trying to work it out, but they might need some help to get it done. Epstein explained his stance: "Throughout the history of baseball, there's really only a handful of instances in which there's been any compensation whatsoever for executives." He added that in those cases, "compensation has been pretty reasonable. When Andy MacPhail, who had won two World Series, left on a lateral move from Minnesota to Chicago back in '94, his compensation was the 30th-ranked prospect in the Cubs' system [Hector Trinidad] and a little bit of cash." In Epstein's opinion, "There's no precedent for major, major compensation here." The Red Sox feel that Epstein is more valuable than MacPhail or any manager, according to Wittenmyer, and CEO Larry Lucchino has at various points floated the names of Matt Garza and Brett Jackson.