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Red Sox wanted Matt Garza from Cubs for Theo Epstein

Oct 17, 2011, 5:42 PM EDT

Cincinnati Reds v Chicago Cubs Getty Images

There are varying reports about how negotiations between the Red Sox and Cubs for general manager Theo Epstein have gone, but here’s something new: According to Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago the initial asking price was Matt Garza.

Realistically that was never going to happen, but it wouldn’t be shocking if the Red Sox figured they might as well start the process by requesting one of the Cubs’ few good, relatively young big leaguers.

Last offseason Chicago gave up a ton to get Garza from Tampa Bay and he had a strong first season with the Cubs, throwing 198 innings with a 3.20 ERA and 197 strikeouts. He’s also just 27 years old and under team control through 2014, so … well, it just wasn’t gonna happen.

Assuming the negotiations for Epstein eventually lead to a deal expect the compensation to be a non-elite minor leaguer or two.

  1. Ben - Oct 17, 2011 at 5:46 PM

    lul wut?

  2. florida727 - Oct 17, 2011 at 5:50 PM

    “Assuming the negotiations for Epstein eventually lead to a deal expect the compensation to be a non-elite minor leaguer or two.”
    …and cash. That precedent has already been set. The Red Sox will never get an elite player in this scenario. Certainly not one of Garza’s stature. My daughter was crushed when he left Tampa. He used to shop at her grocery store. She absolutely LOVED Matt Garza.

    • cubsrice - Oct 17, 2011 at 6:12 PM

      Tell your daughter that some of us here in Chicago really like Matt Garza too. But only in a platonic way.

  3. baseballisboring - Oct 17, 2011 at 5:56 PM

    Not to mention they drained their farm system to acquire him too.

    • paperlions - Oct 17, 2011 at 6:04 PM

      In fairness, their farm system was about as full as an abandoned kiddie pool in the desert.

      • Kevin S. - Oct 18, 2011 at 8:36 AM

        And yet the Rays still managed to squeeze water out of the cactus.

  4. lazlosother - Oct 17, 2011 at 5:59 PM

    So are the Sox negotiating compensation for Epstein with Epstein?

  5. bigharold - Oct 17, 2011 at 6:13 PM

    See and it was reported that the Rs were being unreasonable with their compensation request from the Cubs, .. not true! Delusional perhaps but not unreasonable.

  6. aaronzona2011 - Oct 17, 2011 at 6:25 PM

    during these negotiations does theo jump from the red sox side of the table to the cubs side and say there’s no way in hell we’re giving up garza?

  7. apgreco - Oct 17, 2011 at 6:27 PM

    After hearing this nonsense, I am thinking that Lucchino, Henry and Werner have been drinking beer and over dosing on fried chicken in the clubhouse as they are delirious. The RedSox are proving to be a 2nd class organization with zero credibility. They continue to show how classless they are and how impressed they are with themselves. Would any free agent want to play for this organization? They threw Francona under the bus, next is Epstein when and if this deal is consummated.

    • bigleagues - Oct 18, 2011 at 7:19 AM

      Not for nothing, but do you have any concept how negotiation works?
      – You’ll never get what you don’t ask for.
      – Determine the minimum you will accept. Do not settle for any less than this.
      – Shoot for the moon with your first offer (you probably won’t get it, but you’ll set the high end of the negotiations).
      – Always be prepared to walk away.

      Lucchino views the Epstein situation as setting a new precedent in terms of an executive swap. Not only are the Red Sox letting Epstein out of his contract to take what is believed to be a CEO type role, but he is expected to bring some of his trusted staff with him.

      This isn’t simply a field manager under contract, this is the guy who Tom Ricketts expects to run his whole organization . . . not just assembling the team on the field.

      There is ZERO evidence that the Francona stuff came from the front office (even Bob Hohler has said his source was not ownership). Did it come from someone within the Red Sox organization? Yes, probably. Did it come from Henry, Werner or Lucchino? No. So you can cease with that mistruth.

      Oh, and this ownership that you think has no credibility? They are the same ones that bought the team, renovated Fenway, added more than 5,000 new seats, significantly increased revenues, bankrolled two World Series teams . . . and the same guys who were smart enough to hire a 28-year-old GM named Theo Epstein.

      Yeah, the Trio lacks credibility. And Steve Bartman will be the Cubs next Manager.

      • apgreco - Oct 18, 2011 at 9:21 AM

        You have put lipstick on a pig. The RedSox look foolish from the ownership down to the the players. Are you telling me that Tito was not fired? Oh, he quit, right? Which one is it? Is that how you treat a guy that won the first championship in 86 years? Sorry, I don’t think so. He is the only one that has acted classy throughout this whole episode if you ask me. He made no excuses and never said anything bad about upper management, ownership or the players. I just listened to a talk show in Boston that had a guy from comcast sports who said he got the info about Tito from a ‘source in management’. Why even talk such despicable things about a former manager? Is marital issues relevant to anything? One more thing, if Theo is the boy wonder, why is he leaving before his contract is up?

        If you think that the RedSox are not the laughing stock of baseball right now, then you are just kidding yourself. Put down the Koolaid… have had too much already.

      • bigleagues - Oct 18, 2011 at 6:10 PM


        IF the Red Sox are indeed the laughing stock of baseball, then it’s because of folks like you who believe everything you hear or read without thinking it through. Most of what has been “reported” or discussed is columnist and commentator supposition – i.e. speculation.

        First, Bob Hohler is the Globe/ writer who broke the ‘story’ you are crediting (erroneously) to writer. In the 5th paragraph of that now infamous column, Hohler offers this disclaimer, and I quote directly:

        This article is based on a series of interviews the Globe conducted with individuals familiar with the Sox operation at all levels. Most requested anonymity out of concern for their jobs or potential damage to their relationships in the organization. Others refused to comment or did not respond to interview requests.

        The aspect of the article that raises the alleged issues that Francona was having with painkillers and his marriage is credited to
        “Team sources”
        not “a member of Red Sox management” or “according to Red Sox ownership”.

        “Team sources” can be ANYBODY. Hardly the smoking gun that you are being led to by listening to too many sports talk shows.

        But here is the central question that is to inconvenient for the likes of Felcher, Mazzhole, Dousher and Dick to spend too much time on – what could the Red Sox possibly gain by smearing Terry Francona?! NOTHING. So why would the ownership who’s goal each year is to WIN each year – and needs to hire a new manager intentionally create an unattractive toxic environment?

        It is true the Red Sox did not exercise Francona’s options. It is also true that Francona just completed his 8th season in Boston. Francona admitted he lost the players and that he thought it was time to move on. Yes, Francona resigned.

        Why is Theo leaving? You might want to re-read what I wrote above . . . in a nutshell . . . Theo is getting a major raise and promotion that is not otherwise available to him in Boston. It’s not hard to understand if you tune out all the talk show noise in your head and spend a few minutes thinking about the FACTS.

        I don’t drink Koolaid. It’s unhealthy. You and others however seem to enjoy taking liberal hits off the boston media crack pipe.

      • apgreco - Oct 19, 2011 at 2:14 AM


        Some very creative ‘wordsmithing’ on your part. So Terry resigned and was not fired? Wanna bet he got a payoff for leaving the sox? Not sure where you come from, but when someone quits a job and you say he did, that person gets no separation compensation from his employer. The only time that an employee does get compensated is when he is fired. Which one is it? Francona was fired, plain and simple. Stop spinning this as anything but a firing and Francona is the now the scapegoat for the September collapse.

        What ‘team sources’ are being quoted about Tito’s ‘alleged’ pain killer abuse? Why would such despicable information such as this be passed on by ANYONE in an organization? Especially about someone like Francona who has been a loyal employee for 8 years? This is all about character assassination and it is truly despicable.

        The hateful discussion about Francona is just another example of how ex Redsox players, managers are treated when no longer wearing the redsox uniform. It is a classless, cowardly way to treat an ex-employee. If you ask me, the only standup person throughout this whole situation IS Francona!!!

      • bigleagues - Oct 19, 2011 at 3:11 PM

        I agree that Francona has handled this situation the best.

        Francona got $700,000 and I’m not trying to make him a scapegoat. There is no scapegoat, but there are a bunch of players who abused Francona’s trust and took advantage of him. This caused dissension in the clubhouse.

        It’s easy to believe that Francona was fired outright. But such assertions are based on circumstantial evidence. The facts are, Francona did not say he was fired. Ownership has denied he was fired. Francona, himself, has admitted that even if he was going to be fired that he didn’t allow them a chance to do it because he offered his resignation at the outset of their post-season meeting.

        As for your laughable “this all about character assassination and its despicable” comment . . . again I ask W-H-Y?!?!?!

        And what could ownership possibly gain other than a major headache by doing such a thing?!?!?!

        And this tradition of trashing a player on his way out of town crap is absurd. Many, if not most, of those well known dust-ups came on the heels of very public contract disputes or other off-field controversy and nearly all of them predate the current ownership.

        Feel free to take your cues from “some guy” you heard on CSNNE or any other talk show . . . and I’ll continue to employ common sense and logic.

    • apgreco - Oct 19, 2011 at 9:22 PM


      I very rarely listen to talk radio but you cannot help but listen it to it lately with the Red Sox soap opera that is playing out on a daily basis. It is quite entertaining!

      One more time for clarity… Tito WAS fired and he received $700,000 in severance, right? Employees who resign, would not get a severance. If that is the case, then why wasn’t management honest and just say that and get it over with? It just does not make sense.

      • bigleagues - Oct 19, 2011 at 10:45 PM

        Francona would have had to be under contract beyond the end of October to have been fired. He wasn’t because the 2 options hadn’t yet been picked up.

        The $700,000 is either the contractual buyout if the last two years of his contract weren’t picked up (which was reported when he was extended in 2008) or the balance of his 2011 pay – which would end in October. He was gonna get it even if he decided to not come back.

        Either way it is far less than the 7-figure hush money that Michael Holley alleges was paid to Grady Little when he was fired.

  8. visnovsky - Oct 17, 2011 at 10:44 PM

    We didn’t need. Signed Gardy and Bill Smith

  9. bigleagues - Oct 17, 2011 at 10:50 PM

    Not to toot my horn, but I apparently called it right when I previously stated that the Red Sox are not going to view this on a par with the Ozzie Guillen or previous management transactions.

    Sean McAdam just posted this on

    • spudchukar - Oct 18, 2011 at 1:57 PM

      Trey McNutt is a far cry from Matt Garza. McNutt is a 32nd round draft pick, who in his currently pitching in relief for AA Tennessee, sporting a 4.55 ERA in 2011.

      • bigleagues - Oct 18, 2011 at 7:13 PM

        I completely agree. All I’ve said was the Red Sox were not likely to settle for 2 mid-level prospects like those in the Ozzie Guillen trade.

        That said McNutt’s draft position appears irrelevant at this stage of his development. He possesses a mid-90’s fastball and was ranked as high as 48th (Baseball America) and as low as 68th (Baseball Prospectus). And despite his 2011 numbers he is still considered the Cubs top pitching prospect projecting as high a #2 SP.

  10. pisano - Oct 18, 2011 at 12:16 AM

    Good luck on that one.(Getting Garza for Theo) I guess they haven’t gotten any smarter in Boston since Boy Blunder got canned. Boston thinks they can make fools out of every team as they did with San Diego in the Adrian Gonzalez screwing.

    • bigleagues - Oct 18, 2011 at 8:48 AM

      Uhhhhm . . . how did San Diego get screwed?

      You think Theo somehow tricked Hoyer, Byrnes and McLeod – all of whom knew the players they were getting better than just about anyone.

      Gonzalez was gonna leave anyway, and instead of 2 draft picks, the Padres received 3 players who instantly became their top 3 prospects.

      Furthermore, how can you possibly make a judgement on that deal after one year?

      I’m getting really tired of people just making stuff up to take shots at the Red Sox.

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