Epstein Compensation In Selig’s Hands

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.


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103 Comments on "Epstein Compensation In Selig’s Hands"


Jason
3 years 7 months ago

It was a promotion, if anything they should get a 40 year old A ball player.

101andCounting
3 years 7 months ago

But if Crash Davis goes to the Red Sox, who’ll teach Nuke LaLoosh how to pitch?!

llyolf
3 years 7 months ago

Can we send them Bobby Scales or Ready Freddy Bynum?

3 years 7 months ago

How can going to the Cubs be considered a promotion?  Sounds like a demotion.

tfsmag
3 years 7 months ago

lolz… red sox are gonna get a 30 year old AAA guy now.

3 years 7 months ago

It was a promotion in which the Sox did not have to grant him the chance to get….But none the less they did with an understanding that compensation would come out of it. Key point here is he was still under contract with the Red Sox

jb226
3 years 7 months ago

Key point here is he was still under contract with the Red Sox

Yes, that’s the reason the Red Sox are getting compensation at all.  If you think anything significant is going to come of it at this point, I would advise not holding your breath.

(Edit) Honestly, why don’t the Red Sox take money at this point? Rumor was that was what the Cubs wanted to do from the get-go, the Cubs have it with all the not-spent money that came off the books this season, it would allow the Red Sox to consider more seriously a move for somebody like Roy Oswalt to counter the pitching the Yankees have acquired, and quite frankly it may be more valuable than the player they get back with Selig now in charge.

start_wearing_purple
start_wearing_purple
3 years 7 months ago

The issue isn’t really about the Sox not having the money to add to payroll. It’s about being under the luxury tax line so they don’t have to pay more money in the future.

I was hoping to get a reliever out of the deal but at this point I’m just tired of hearing the whole issue.

jb226
3 years 7 months ago

Fair enough.  Have they succeeded in getting under? I assume if they’re going to be over anyway the cash would still help.

On a semi-related note, Lackey’s injury triggered an option at major league minimum right?  My napkin math says that should lower the AAV of the contract by around $2.7MM, that should certainly help.

Kurt
3 years 7 months ago

Not until he misses the allotted time.

Sourbob
3 years 7 months ago

That makes a ton of sense.

3 years 7 months ago

I agree.  Have the Cubs pay the Sox 30 million for Theo and call it a day.  

jb226
3 years 7 months ago

*blinks*

30 million?  I assume you’re joking.  Theo Epstein’s entire contract is worth slightly more than half of that, there is no way his compensation outstrips his value. The most I could see is essentially one year’s worth of his contract since that is what he was let out of, which comes to about $3.7MM.

StanleyHudson
3 years 7 months ago

And the Theo’s reception by the Cubs ownership proves just how valuable the see him.

643dp
3 years 7 months ago

Obviously they thought he was valuable, that is why they hired him.  People seem to forget that it was a promotion!

Sully65
3 years 7 months ago

I believe the wording was ‘significant compensation’ was used from the Cubs if the Sox let Theo go.

harmony55
3 years 7 months ago

When the Cubs and Red Sox announced Theo Epstein’s hiring, the joint media release referred to “approrpriate” compensation. The media have since cited unidentified Red Sox sources who refer to “significant” compensation.

3 years 7 months ago

I am sure that  Allan Huber “Bud” Selig will handle this situation with The Wisdom of King Solomon!
Snicker, Snicker! =P

3 years 7 months ago

Yep:  two large Chicago-style pizzas any way Cherington wants them, plus a six pack of Milwaukee’s Finest.

cubsfanraysaddict
3 years 7 months ago

Old-Style!

3 years 7 months ago

Deal!

101andCounting
3 years 7 months ago

Only if they’re Old Style tall boys. 12 ounces? What is this, amateur hour? 

3 years 7 months ago

Yes, I could go for that myself right now!
Make it a case though! =P

Sully65
3 years 7 months ago

Yeah, we can go look at that shoulder shrug from the ASG running out of pitchers picture.

3 years 7 months ago

Why should there be any compensation? He had a job he was contracted for, asked for and got permission to pursue another job. Now if they wanted to do it where they got something they should have made it a trade.

Love baseball but one problem I have is everyone always feels like they need to get something but of course the other side doesn’t feel like they should give up anything…or anything worthwhile. Like most people are joking, it’ll probably be some prospect or old Minor League player that will either never see the majors or will likely never be a big impact if they do.

andrewyf
3 years 7 months ago

Yep, there’s no written rule that requires a team to compensate for getting someone out of their contract. Basically, Theo quit his current job (which he was free to do at any time, forfeiting the rest of his salary…just like the Red Sox were free to fire him at any time, while paying the rest of his salary), and signed with a different team. There were no ‘non-compete’ clauses of any kind, either. Basically, the Red Sox want a free handout from Uncle Bud Selig. I mean, he gave John Henry the team before, why wouldn’t he continue to help the guy out?

ellisburks
3 years 7 months ago

However, the Cubs wanted to talk to Theo while he was still employed by the Red Sox and before Theo quit his job, in order for this to happen the Cubs had to ask permission and when they did they said if they hire him they will compensate the Red Sox. If they didn’t do that then they couldn’t talk to him as it would have been tampering. So the Cubs agreed to compensate the Red Sox and they are still waiting for that compensation. Seems logical to me.

diddykong
3 years 7 months ago

Don’t even bother…in andrewyf’s world sports contracts are the same as working at burger king. Maybe Garza should quit the Cubs and seek a higher paying job elsewhere…best thing about this compensation thing being resolved will be not having to listen to Cubs fans stand on the only soapbox they’ve had for years. As a Red Sox fan, this whole compensation issue has made me a diehard Cardinals fan when it comes to the National League. I’ll take beer and chicken jokes any day over their beer hazed logic.

BDLugz
3 years 7 months ago

Although I agree with you regarding Andrewyf being horribly incorrect, I’d argue the Red Sox stance on this entire compensation issue is much more out of hand than from the Cubs.  Starting talks of with Castro or Garza?  That’s laughable.  There is almost no precedent for something like this, and traditionally promotions from current positions have not required compensation.

To use your Garza example, it would be like Garza quitting the Cubs and becoming a pitching coach for another team.  Something that he would be allowed to do.  The Red Sox may have had ground to stand on if Epstein was only moved to the Cubs GM spot, but the fact he was given a promotion removes almost all their leverage.

I expect this to be done with one prospect on the Cubs that’s somewhere between 30-40 in their system depth and both teams just move on.

3 years 7 months ago

Just give them a 6 pack and a bucket of KFC

3 years 7 months ago

and CEO Larry Lucchino has at various points floated the names of Matt Garza and Brett Jackson.

At various points, CEO Larry Lucchino has been floating in an opium cloud.

3 years 7 months ago

They should put them through the arbitration system.

M_Harden
3 years 7 months ago

What about the Padres?

101andCounting
3 years 7 months ago

I don’t believe the Cubs ever stipulated that they would compensate the Padres in order to speak to Hoyer/McLeod. I’m not sure of that though, just speculation.

3 years 7 months ago

It would be bad for baseball if any player of value was returned to Boston for a GM.  That said, watch Selig give Boston Garza and a high future draft pick!

flickadave
3 years 7 months ago

Why would it be bad for baseball? I would argue all day that the most valuable person in baseball is Tampa’s GM. Why shouldn’t a team be compensated with someone of equal value as the exec they acquire? MLB is the only business I can think of where you can steal another businesses talented execs that are under contract without compensation as long as you give the person a better job title.

3 years 7 months ago

Why would it be bad? Let’s see, it would set a terrible precedent in which FRONT OFFICE workers can be traded for players! Do we really want to see that!?!? I’ll trade you our scout in the dominican republic for ryan raburn, do we have a deal?!? It’s a slippery slope that could quickly turn into a DISASTER!

xcal1br
3 years 7 months ago

Whoa, whoa, whoa.  Nobody stole anything.  Let’s all calm down here.

If Boston still wanted Theo to work for them, then he would be working for them.  It is that simple.  It was Mr. Henry’s choice to let him go.  Theo was under contract and was therefore unable to be “stolen” from the Red Sox.

Red_Line_9
3 years 7 months ago

Well, if it’s in Selig’s hands now…there’s a chance for a resolution sometime between now and East Hell.  Guessing with the Oakland-San Jose situation on the front burner….old Bud hasn’t much time to look around at what’s thawing on the warmer.

3 years 7 months ago

Do the Cubs owe the Padres anything for Hoyer and McLeod?

Mike1L
3 years 7 months ago

The likelihood is that this will not end well-at least one team is going to be dissatisfied.  Lost in the discussion was Theo’s old contract, which had what amounted to a large roster bonus if he stayed his last year.  Boston didn’t have to pay it-Chicago made it up to Theo in his new deal.  Now, if time wasn’t an issue, and if Boston really didn’t care if Theo went or stayed (but didn’t mind cleaning house after the collapse last year) the negotiations would probably have been something along the lines of the Cubs offering less than the Sox wanted, the Sox saying they would only go for Garza-like compensation, and the Cubs just saying “nope, can’t make the deal, enjoy paying Theo his roster bonus.”  Then they would have settled on something more reasonable.  But time was a consideration-for all three parties-for the Cubs (who wanted a new GM) the Sox (who probably were happy to see him go) and for Selig (who wanted the issue off the front pages and for both teams to make fresh starts).  If this is the case (and I realize I’m speculating, but I think it’s likely) there was a presumption that the parties would deal in good faith and that compensation would be reasonable.  If the resolution is not a fair one, that’s going to cause some real trouble.

SierraM363
3 years 7 months ago

Time for Selig to decide the meaning of “significant compensation”.

Jeff Jones
3 years 7 months ago

Yes Theo was under contracy but for 1 more year. The Cubs could have stayed staus quo with Crane Kenney and waited for Theo to fufill his obligations. Theo then would have gone to the Cubs for nothing. Cubs are rebuilding waiting 1 year for a  new president doesnt seem like much time to wait. 

parkdav
3 years 7 months ago

Yeah they could have. Guess what they didn’t. They agreed they would compensate the Sox for Theo of they hired him. All you Cub fans who say the Cubs could have waited drive me crazy. They didn’t wait. This point is moot. Let’s please get this AAAA player and move on.

Jeff Jones
3 years 7 months ago

My point was that the Red Sox dont have as much leverage as they thought and getting a high prospect is out of the question–the Sox
should be happy with a midlevel prospect.

3 years 7 months ago

Thumbs up from a Cubs fan for decrying the idea of “they could have waited”, and also for knowing its going to be a “4A”-type player.  Despite the rhetoric, this isn’t going to be a big deal.

brian_dfhl
3 years 7 months ago

Interesting to see how different clubs handle things like this.  Some say that they will not stand in the way of letting an employee take a better job in another organization and some want compensation to let an employee out of a contract no matter if it is a promotion. 

3 years 7 months ago

Don’t forget, we really don’t have crap down on the farm…..hence the reason they brought in Theo & the boys!

cachhubguy
3 years 7 months ago

As soon as Theo was allowed to leave for Chicago, the Red Sox lost all leaverage. Selig is not going to change the precedent that has already been set for management changing teams. Like it or not, McPhail is the comparison.

cmock
3 years 7 months ago

I was on the bus with sending someone like Jenks to the Cubs and freeing up cash for a run at Oswalt. Hopefully that is still an option, Jenks isn’t going to be much help next year with the injuries, and he is one of Theo’s mistakes, let him atone for it.

3 years 7 months ago

Eew.  Its one thing to send punishment to us along with Theo, but do you have to rub it in by smearing a dirty former ShiteSox player our way?  I think it most likely compensation will be in the form of low-to-mid level prospect(s) and *maybe* a little bit of cash.

ratmoss
3 years 7 months ago

Why don’t the Cubs just give the Sox one of the fringe relievers on the 40 man?  Alberto Cabrera or Lendy Castillo look like Hector Trinidad-like options.  Sox get a moderately useful arm while the Cubs clear a roster spot.