Theo Epstein Rumors

Front Office Notes: Red Sox, Minaya, Cashman

The Cubs and Red Sox introduced the new leaders of their respective baseball operations departments today. Theo Epstein met with the media in Chicago and Ben Cherington did the same in Boston. Here are some more notes from front offices around MLB…

  • Epstein sounded extremely confident in Cherington’s ability to bring the Red Sox back to the playoffs. “He’s had such a well-rounded development,” Epstein said of Cherington. “He’s got so much integrity. He’s so bright. He’s got great management skills of people. This guy is going to do a fantastic job.” Alex Speier of WEEI.com has more quotes from Epstein.
  • Speier hears from an insider who won't be surprised if the Red Sox and Cubs need the help of the commissioner's office to resolve the issue of compensation for Epstein.
  • Former Mets and Expos GM Omar Minaya is one of top candidates for the Angels’ GM job, according to Jim Bowden of ESPN.com (on Twitter).
  • The Yankees expect to have a new deal with GM Brian Cashman by Monday, according to Andrew Marchand and Wallace Matthews of ESPNNewYork.com.
  • Newsday's Ken Davidoff explains that Rangers executive A.J. Preller rooted for the Yankees before getting his first job in professional baseball. MLBTR's Tim Dierkes spoke to Preller earlier this month for our GM Candidates series.
  • The Diamondbacks announced that they promoted Junior Noboa to VP of Latin Operations. Noboa, Arizona's first ever international hire, enters his 18th season with the organization. He has overseen the acquisition of players such as Miguel Montero and Gerardo Parra.
  • For the latest on the Orioles’ GM search, click here, for notes on MLB managers click here and for more front office rumors click here.

Theo Epstein Press Conference Quotes

We've heard a lot from new Cubs president Theo Epstein today, as the team held a press conference this morning.

  • "It truly feels great to be a Cub today," said Epstein at the introductory press conference.  He considers his new job "the ultimate challenge."
  • "Our goal will be to build the best scouting department in the game," explained Epstein.  He stressed "sustained success" and noted that the Cubs' 2011 draft marked a "clear philosophical change" in his eyes.  Epstein will also be able to grow the Cubs' baseball operations staff.
  • As a first step with the Cubs managerial situation, Epstein intends to meet with Mike Quade in person over the next week.  Epstein also intends to "take a creative look at the big league team."
  • A third party may ultimately be required to determine the compensation Boston receives, but Epstein considers the teams' relations to be amicable.
  • Cubs owner Tom Ricketts said today in a welcome statement, "In his new role, Theo will be given the resources and opportunity to build a strong foundation and the winning culture that our organization and fans deserve."  At the process conference Ricketts added, "I simply cannot imagine a better person for this job than Theo Epstein."
  • The following bullet points are highlights from an op-ed piece Epstein wrote for the Boston Globe.  Epstein writes, "The reason I am leaving has nothing to do with power, pressure, money, or relationships. It has nothing to do with September, either."  Instead, he points to a Bill Walsh suggestion that coaches and executives should seek change after ten years with a team, to create a new challenge for the individual and a fresh perspective for the team.  Initially, the plan was for assistant GM Ben Cherington to take over the Red Sox after the 2012 season, and those discussions with ownership began this summer while the team was thriving.
  • The combination of the Red Sox needing a new manager for the long-term and the challenge presented by the Cubs prompted Epstein to leave earlier than he initially planned.  Epstein has complete confidence in Cherington to address Boston's clubhouse issues.  Epstein admits, "Things did indeed happen in the clubhouse that do not have a place at the Red Sox or anywhere in sports. But the reports about team-wide apathy and indulgence are exaggerated."
  • Epstein feels that Cherington is more prepared for the GM job than Epstein was nine years ago, and the Red Sox "remain one of the preeminent organizations in baseball, with an extremely bright future."

Front Office Notes: Orioles, Cashman, Cubs, Padres

Theo Epstein is officially the Cubs' president of baseball operations and the Red Sox have announced that Ben Cherington will be Boston's next GM, but there's still lots of front office turnover on the horizon. Here are the latest details from around MLB:

  • De Jon Watson's interview for the Orioles' GM job will take place on Wednesday, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun (on Twitter). I spoke to Watson, the Dodgers' assistant GM, last month. He's up against Jerry Dipoto of the Diamondbacks and Tony LaCava of the Blue Jays.
  • Chase Headley and Heath Bell told Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune that they expect a smooth transition from Jed Hoyer to Josh Byrnes when Hoyer leaves the Padres to become the Cubs' new GM.
  • Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune explains that Cubs president Crane Kenney will move exclusively to the business side now that Epstein is the club's president of baseball operations. Kenney is a polarizing figure in Chicago and the role he played in obtaining Epstein is unclear, according to Sullivan.
  • Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times says letting assistant GM Randy Bush go would be a mistake for the Cubs.
  • Yankees GM Brian Cashman met with Hal Steinbrenner in New York today and Joel Sherman of the New York Post says the sides expect to be able to complete a new deal for Cashman with relative ease (Twitter link).


Quick Hits: Padres, Orioles, Wilson, Sizemore

Here are some Quick Hits as the Rangers have evened up the World Series 2-2..

  • Even though Padres GM Jed Hoyer and assistant GM Jason McLeod are headed to the Cubs, Baseball America's Jim Callis told Dan Hayes of the North County Times that the club should still be able to maintain their strong farm system.
  • When speaking to reporters, Commissioner Bud Selig didn't rule out the possibility of a collective bargaining agreement announcement before the end of the World Series, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.
  • Orioles manager Buck Showalter is a big admirer of what the Blue Jays do which leads many to think that Tony LaCava will land the GM job, tweets Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated.  Jerry Dipoto is also in the mix for the job.
  • C.J. Wilson is well aware that his scheduled start in Game 5 of the World Series could be his last with the Rangers, but his impending free agency is the furthest thing from Wilson's mind, writes Anthony Andro of FOX Sports Southwest.
  • Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster hopes that Theo Epstein sparks a cultural shift in Chicago, writes Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune.
  • The Indians' biggest need this winter is a productive hitter that they can slide into the middle of the order, writes Paul Hoynes of The Plain Dealer.  Preferably, that hitter would play first base, third base, left field, or right field.
  • It could be worthwhile for a team such as the Giants to take a one-year flier on center fielder Grady Sizemore, writes John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle.  Shea also runs down his predictions for many of this winter's top free agents including Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder, and C.J. Wilson.
  • If Cardinals Chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. lets  Albert Pujols walk now after his mythical Game 3 performance an angry uprising from St. Louis fans is inevitable, writes Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/ct-spt-1024-cubs-epstein-dempster–20111024,0,3092647.story

Epstein, Hoyer, Cubs Links: Saturday

The Red Sox officially announced last night that GM Theo Epstein had resigned from his position to take over as the the Cubs president of baseball operations. Both teams will hold press conferences on Tuesday; the Cubs to introduce Epstein, and the Sox to likely announce that Ben Cherington is taking over as GM. The two sides have "reached an agreement regarding a process by which appropriate compensation will be determined" and the issue will be "resolved in the near term."

Meanwhile, the Padres have officially granted the Cubs permission to speak to GM Jed Hoyer and assistant GM Jason McLeod. San Diego has already agreed to a list of players from which they will choose their compensation package. Former Diamondbacks GM Josh Byrnes is expected to replace Hoyer after the World Series, and the Cubs will not raid the Padres' front office any further. As news trickles in about the three-way GM carousel, we'll keep track of it all right here, with the latest up top…

  • Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe cautions Red Sox fans not to expect a "windfall" in exchange for Epstein. Abraham expects Boston to receive two or three prospects, or one prospect and a complementary Major Leaguer like Jeff Baker.
  • Dan Hayes of The North County Times says (on Twitter) we're unlikely the learn the full list of players the Padres can choose from, but a source confirmed that Starlin Castro and Andrew Cashner are not on it. That's not surprising, the Padres are expected to receive minor leaguers in exchange for letting Hoyer and McLeod leave.
  • In a pair of tweets, WEEI.com's Alex Speier notes that because he is coming in as an outsider, Epstein is likely to value the Cubs' prospects differently than those already in the organization. That could lead to a swift resolution of the Cubs-Red Sox compensation talks.
  • ESPN's Buster Olney points out (on Twitter) that Epstein will cost the Cubs about the same as what Alfonso Soriano makes per month. He calls it a "huge per-dollar talent grab" for the north siders.
  • With a handful of front-office types and a manager changing teams this offseason despite being under contract, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe wonders whether the Red Sox could seek another team's manager to be their next skipper (Twitter).

Theo Epstein To Officially Join Cubs

The Red Sox and Cubs have announced that, effective immediately, Theo Epstein will take over as the Cubs' new President of Baseball Operations, according to a joint press release by the two clubs.  Both organizations will forego further comment until Tuesday, which is the next scheduled non-game day in the World Series.

The press release indicates that the two sides have "reached an agreement regarding a process by which appropriate compensation will be determined" and the issue will be "resolved in the near term."  If the two sides cannot work out an agreement in the next few days, Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com (via Twitter) hears that Bud Selig could step in and act as an arbitrator.

The Red Sox will announce their next GM at a presser Tuesday and it is expected to be Assistant General Manager Ben Cherington.  Meanwhile, Padres GM Jed Hoyer is expected to leave San Diego in order to assume the same title under Epstein.  Hoyer will reportedly bring assistant GM Jason McLeod along as well.

The Padres have granted permission to the Cubs to speak with Hoyer and McLeod, tweets Dan Hayes of the North County Times.  The Padres have a pre-agreed list of Cubs players to choose from as compensation and no other employees will be taken, Hayes tweets.  Meanwhile, San Diego won't officially christen Josh Byrnes as GM until after the end of the World Series, says Hayes (via Twitter).


Theo Epstein Rumors: Friday

The Cubs and Red Sox have been working toward compensation for Theo Epstein for days without resolution. The Padres are heavily implicated as well, since it appears likely that GM Jed Hoyer and assistant GM Jason McLeod will join Epstein in Chicago with Josh Byrnes becoming San Diego's new GM. Though today's World Series off-day would be an ideal time to announce an agreement, we'll have to wait if there's nothing for the sides to announce. We'll keep track of the latest rumors right here with the most recent rumors up top:

  • Commissioner Bud Selig has not yet interceded in the talks between the Cubs and Red Sox, tweets Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe.
  • The Red Sox and Cubs are working hard to complete a deal and there appears to be some progress, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe (Twitter links). There's lots of optimism that the sides will complete a deal.
  • It's "doubtful" that the sides will resolve the deal today, according to Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald.

Cubs, Red Sox Nearing Epstein Deal

The Red Sox and Cubs are working toward an agreement that would send Theo Epstein to Chicago and one or more prospects to Boston. We learned earlier in the week that Epstein could bring former colleagues and current Padres executives with him to Chicago in a separate deal. Jed Hoyer, Josh Byrnes and Jason McLeod of the Padres worked with Epstein in Boston. Here's the latest on the negotiations with the most recent updates up top:

  • "A lot would have to happen" for a final deal to be announced tomorrow, a source tells Scott Miller of CBSSports.com, though it's still possible.  Miller also reports that Hoyer will receive a five-year contract, just like Epstein, and the Cubs will send the Padres "one or two lower-level minor leaguers" as compensation for Hoyer.
  • The sides have agreed to "nothing" in terms of compensation, according to Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com.
  • Epstein has been working at his Red Sox office all day, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe (on Twitter).
  • Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that Padres assistant general manager Jason McLeod will join Hoyer and Epstein in Chicago. McLeod was Boston's amateur scouting director under Epstein before leaving for San Diego with Hoyer after the 2009 season.
  • The Red Sox are less optimistic than the Cubs that a deal for Epstein is near, according to Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. "There seems to be a fundamental divide in the way the two clubs look at this," said Silverman's source.
  • The Red Sox and Cubs are "finalizing" the deal, according to Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com. They're expected to announce the deal tomorrow. It would not include Brett Jackson, Trey McNutt, Matt Szczur or cash. MLB has told the Cubs they can have a news conference tomorrow, a World Series travel day, according to Levine. 
  • However, Red Sox assistant GM Ben Cherington told Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe that reports of a deal are "premature" (Twitter link). Cherington says there's nothing new to report this morning.
  • The Cubs will name Jed Hoyer their GM within a few days, according to Levine (Epstein would be the club's president of baseball operations). However, the Cubs have not officially asked for permission to interview Hoyer. The Padres will make Josh Byrnes their GM and won't demand compensation for losing Hoyer, according to Levine.
  • The Red Sox and Cubs are making progress and the sides could announce a deal by tomorrow, according to Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe. Commissioner Bud Selig may allow the teams to make an announcement during the World Series so they can proceed with their offseason planning. The Red Sox are optimistic about reaching a settlement soon.

Epstein, Hoyer To Join Cubs; Byrnes In As Padres’ GM

2:18pm: The deal is done, according to Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com (on Twitter). Hoyer will join Epstein in Chicago and Byrnes will become the Padres' new GM.

10:47am: The Red Sox and Cubs are "finalizing" an agreement that would bring longtime Red Sox GM Theo Epstein to Chicago, according to Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com. The teams are expected to announce the deal tomorrow, as MLB has told the Cubs they can hold a news conference during the World Series travel day. Brett JacksonTrey McNutt and Matt Szczur will not join the Red Sox in the trade, but another prospect will, according to Levine. 

The Cubs will name Jed Hoyer their GM within a few days, Levine reports (Epstein would be the club's president of baseball operations). However, the Cubs have not officially asked for permission to interview Hoyer. The Padres will make Josh Byrnes their GM and won't demand compensation for losing Hoyer, according to Levine.

Alex Speier of WEEI.com confirms that Epstein is expected to be named the Cubs' president of baseball operations with Hoyer joining him as general manager. Compensation between the Cubs and Red Sox hasn't been finalized yet, Speier reports. 

Epstein is "close" to joining the Cubs, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports confirms (on Twitter). Jon Heyman of SI.com confirms that Hoyer is also joining the Cubs and notes that Josh Byrnes is becoming San Diego's GM (Twitter links).


Padres Rumors: Front Office, Lackey, Bell

The latest Padres rumors:

  • Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts met with Padres owner Jeff Moorad, Byrnes and Hoyer during the regular season finale, according to Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com.
  • Most baseball people expect Hoyer, not Byrnes, to join Epstein in Chicago, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter).
  • The Padres have internally discussed the possibility of acquiring John Lackey from the Red Sox if Boston takes on most of the right-hander's salary, according to Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune.  Lackey pitched for the Angels when Padres manager Bud Black was the team's pitching coach. 
  • When Theo Epstein joins the Cubs, he'll likely bring along someone from the Padres front office, according to Center.  GM Jed Hoyer, assistant GM Jason McLeod and senior VP of baseball operations Josh Byrnes are candidates to join Epstein in Chicago. 
  • Contract talks have begun between the Padres and Heath Bell, tweets Center.  The Padres are aiming for a two-year deal with an option, while Bell wants three guaranteed years.  He's never had a multiyear deal in his career.  Center recently wrote that the Padres are in the two-year, $15-16MM range.  If no deal can be worked out, the Padres must decide by November 23rd whether to offer arbitration to the Type A reliever.
  • Theo Epstein wouldn't tell the people he'd want to bring to Chicago until he's officially part of the Cubs, a source close to Epstein tells Dan Hayes of the North County Times (Twitter link).  The source believes recent rumors are "just speculation."  Yesterday, SI's Jon Heyman reported that Epstein is interested in poaching some combination of top Padres executives Jed Hoyer, Jason McLeod, and Josh Byrnes.  Today, Heyman writes that Hoyer is "definitely in the mix for a job with the Cubs once Epstein officially goes to Chicago."  
  • Tom Krasovic thinks that if Hoyer joins the Cubs he'd bring McLeod with him.  Byrnes, a favorite of Padres owner Jeff Moorad, would likely become San Diego's GM.