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UPDATE: Theo, Hoyer to the Cubs is ALMOST a done deal

Oct 20, 2011, 4:12 PM EDT

Theo Epstein

UPDATE:  OK, not everything is done. Edes just updated his tweet:

To clarify: Hoyer as Cubs GM, Byrnes as Padres GM is done. Epstein to Chi not yet resolved per compensation. Review of medicals remains

So, yeah, not quite yet the big news we expect.

3:25 PMGordon Edes of ESPN Boston just tweeted that the deal is done: Theo Epstein is President of the Cubs, Jed Hoyer moves from the GM chair in San Diego to Chicago, and Padres vice president Josh Byrnes will replace Hoyer as GM with the Padres.

So, with Hoyer and Epstein coworkers once again like they were back in Boston during the good old days, how long before they truly get the band back together and hire Terry Francona?  And sign Mark Bellhorn for that matter?

OK, maybe not.  But whatever else happens, the Chicago Cubs are about to embark on a bold new era. An executive structure with stellar baseball bona fides. An owner who, according to’s report yesterday, seems committed to building the franchise from the farm up and plans to spare no expense to do it.

The Cubs have long been a sleeping giant in the National League. The giant, it stirs.

  1. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Oct 20, 2011 at 3:32 PM

    Congrats to Theo. He’s worked hard and definitely deserves this. Red Sox fans (reasonable ones anyway) appreciate everything he did for their team and wish him all the best

    • Chip Caray's Eyebrows - Oct 20, 2011 at 3:39 PM

      I sometimes wonder how many of those exist these days, but I truly have to believe that deep down inside, a majority of the fan base probably feels the way you do.

    • mabunar - Oct 20, 2011 at 3:52 PM

      As long as the owner doesn’t get shy about money, should be an interesting project over there.
      Maybe I missed it before this week, but the whole being the Pres and getting Hoyer was fairly new to me. Seems like maybe those two were talking bout this for months.
      Great move for Hoyer.

    • aceshigh11 - Oct 20, 2011 at 3:59 PM

      I agree 100%.

  2. Francisco (FC) - Oct 20, 2011 at 3:35 PM

    They might as well toss Quade aside and bring Francona aboard. Knowing what you know now and how much time it will take to fix the Cubs can you honestly say they’ll pick up Quade’s option? If they don’t, what’s the point of having a lame duck manager in 2012?

    • El Bravo - Oct 20, 2011 at 3:39 PM

      I was so sure Quade was gone already! I can’t see any reason he stays. That’d be their first dumb move, if they do in fact keep him for another season.

    • mabunar - Oct 20, 2011 at 3:41 PM

      Can they hire anyone other than Sandberg?

      • El Bravo - Oct 20, 2011 at 4:15 PM

        I really have no idea. I’m sure Sandberg is on speed dial though.

  3. Kyle - Oct 20, 2011 at 3:38 PM

    Cubs fans rejoice. Two super smart and talented guys. It will be very interesting to watch what they do over there.

    • rc33 - Oct 20, 2011 at 4:53 PM

      Super smart?

      Matt Clement, Mike Cameron, John Lackey, Bobby Jenks, Julio Lugo, Dice K, J D Drew, etc… all agree.

      • El Bravo - Oct 20, 2011 at 5:00 PM


  4. El Bravo - Oct 20, 2011 at 3:40 PM

    I dare say I’m proud of the Cubs and Mr. Ricketts.

  5. brucewaynewins - Oct 20, 2011 at 3:40 PM

    Steve Bartman and The Goat approve.

    • El Bravo - Oct 20, 2011 at 3:54 PM

      Bruce Wayne kicks as in Arkham City for Xbox 360. You better buy it with that name!

      • brucewaynewins - Oct 20, 2011 at 4:00 PM

        Playing it tonight for the first time.

      • El Bravo - Oct 20, 2011 at 4:14 PM

        Put five hrs in last night. Thing you MUST do prior to playing is enter the code to play the catwoman missions. This will incorporate her missions into the campaign seamlessly, otherwise you have to do them invidually and out of sync with the story, which is lame. Also, I just bought Gears 3, Rage and Forza 4, and this one is the best. You have much to look forward to. That said, Forza 4 is still the best racing game ever made by far.

  6. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Oct 20, 2011 at 3:49 PM

    I totally want to leave my cubicle right now and dance like a fricking idiot. In all the years we’ve had so many fools run my favorite team, I could kiss Tom Ricketts’ feet right now for doing the smartest thing ANY Cubs owner has done in generations.

    • El Bravo - Oct 20, 2011 at 3:55 PM

      Very true. After reading the Poz article on the history of the Cubs woes, it only reinforces your comment. Literally, generations….

    • Alex K - Oct 20, 2011 at 4:01 PM

      I’ll up the ante….I want to open mouth kiss his feet.

  7. proudlycanadian - Oct 20, 2011 at 3:58 PM

    So Heyman was right when he broke the story about Hoyer! There are times when I do not care for his reporting; however, I find him to be a lot more reliable than Olney.

  8. buddaley - Oct 20, 2011 at 4:09 PM

    Any news on the compensation to Boston?

  9. bigleagues - Oct 20, 2011 at 4:13 PM

    “An owner who, according to’s report yesterday, seems committed to building the franchise from the farm up and plans to spare no expense to do it.”

    Spare no expense . . .as long as it doesn’t exceed $150,000,000 per year (according to Kaplan and others who have reported this).

    That said, I’m not even gonna front on the Cubs hiring Epstein and Hoyer. This is a reallllly realllly big deal and while no one – except Curt Schilling – can outright promise a World Series title and deliver it . . . hiring Epstein is certainly a step in the right direction.

    I spent a lot of time in Chicago and enjoyed Wrigley immensely. I am very happy for the Cubs fans. I and the old guard of the Red Sox Nation know your pain all to well.

    I’m sad to see Theo go . . . I wish there wasn’t the power battle between Theo and Lucchino – both are tremendous assets to any organization . . . but there comes a day when every bird must leave the nest and spread their wings and soar to new heights on their own. And that time has come to pass for Theo.

    For all the Theo naysayers out there . . . it looks as if you’ll now get a chance to judge the man free from the excuse of executive interference.

    I’m with Craig, the sleeping giant is about to emerge from its long long slumber.

    • bigleagues - Oct 20, 2011 at 7:14 PM

      Again I ignore the golden rule . . . as so eloquently spoken by Yogi Berra . . . “it ain’t over until it’s over.”

      Well, according to Nick Cafardo . . . it ain’t over.

      Theo was still working all day in his office in Boston (although he could have been making transition phone calls for all we know) . . . but not a word about a press conference or The Transaction coming to fruition.

      Cafardo writes:

      The sides remain logjammed over compensation.

      The Red Sox need the Cubs to feel the pain for taking Epstein away and the Cubs need to feel as though they haven’t given much up and still acquired one of the best team builders in the game.

      “Both sides have really dug in with their positions,” said a major league source.

      Who will blink first?

      The solution offered here is allow Epstein to negotiate or have input in who the Cubs give up for him. Epstein wants this done. He’s got bigger problems with the Cubs than the loss of one top prospect.

  10. b7p19 - Oct 20, 2011 at 4:20 PM


    They have to owe the Pads SOMETHING in return right? I mean Hoyer was under contract for a few more years. I F%$^#@ hate baseball right now. I’m gonna go watch some Baske…dammit, nevermind I’m going to sleep.

    • jamie54 - Oct 20, 2011 at 4:23 PM

      I hear JD Drew is available. Whoops, never mind, Theo will pick him up again.

    • schlom - Oct 20, 2011 at 4:31 PM

      You would think that if the Red Sox are getting compensation for hiring lame-duck Theo Epstein the Padres would get more for losing a GM that they wanted to keep (I assume).

      • schlom - Oct 20, 2011 at 4:33 PM

        Actually, according to there will be no compensation for the Padres for losing GM Hoyer and Asst. GM Jason McLeod. They also reported that Epstein first wanted Josh Byrnes but he declined.

      • b7p19 - Oct 20, 2011 at 4:39 PM

        So, really, the only question I have is…WTF?

    • s1att5 - Oct 20, 2011 at 4:39 PM

      I think the Red Sox are looking to send John Lackey to the Pads – there’s your compensation!!

  11. Mark Armour - Oct 20, 2011 at 4:21 PM

    As a Red Sox fan, I have two thoughts:
    1. I am happy for Epstein, who had a great run and helped bring my team to the promised land, twice.
    2. This is wonderful for the Cubs. The important thing is having an ownership who is committed to bringing professionalism to the organization from the top down. Epstein and Hoyer will do that.
    3. The Red Sox will be fine as well. They have a great system, a lot of talent in the front office, and all of the work that Epstein did to build the organization (including the front office and the minor leagues) is still there. His replacement will just keep the ball rolling.

    • Mark Armour - Oct 20, 2011 at 4:22 PM

      Apparently, I have three thoughts.

      • acheron2112 - Oct 20, 2011 at 4:54 PM

        And an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope. Four thoughts.

  12. cupofjoe1962 - Oct 20, 2011 at 4:29 PM

    Best of luck with Boy Blunder Chicago.
    The Red Sox won in 2004 & 2007 with a team created by Dan Duquette.

    There was a lot of talk in Chicago about Dan Hampton not going to the White house to meet Obama.

    In 2004 Theo refused to go to the White house because as a Brookline liberal,
    He did not want to meet George Bush.

    Theo is the king of dumb free agent signings.

    JD Drew
    Edgar Renteria
    Matt Clement
    John Lacky
    Jeremy Gianbi
    Bobby Jenks
    Carl Crawford

    • mcsnide - Oct 20, 2011 at 4:55 PM

      Really? Dan Duquette built the 2007 team? The only starting pitcher remaining from his era was Wakefield, and the only two starting position players were Varitek and Manny. Theo doesn’t get credit for Lowell and Beckett, thanks to the gorilla suit episode, but to pretend that wasn’t primarily his team is ridiculous.

      Theo has been bad at big-ticket signings, which even he admits, but you really think it’s fair to lump Clement in there with those other guys? He played quite well until that whole line drive to the face episode.

    • El Bravo - Oct 20, 2011 at 5:08 PM

      I’m sorry but Carl Crawford was NOT a dumb signing. It was as dumb as Adam Dunn’s signing. Hold on now…..both showed great and consistent talent and, in CC’s case, very much has a chance to rebound. There was no reason for either Sox squads to expect a major decline in production out the gate. It’s just the way the cook crumbles. That said, for Dunn? I think he became a basket case and will never return to his unbelievable consistent ways.

    • Alex K - Oct 20, 2011 at 5:16 PM

      Drew has been a fine player for the Red Sox. He was not a mistake.

    • bigleagues - Oct 20, 2011 at 6:55 PM

      Myth. But I don’t have the time or energy to correct you point for point.

    • bigleagues - Oct 20, 2011 at 6:57 PM

      BTW, inquiring minds are dying to know . . . what is your team?

      Go ahead and tell me its the Yankees and I will have a field day explaining what Cashman has or hasn’t been responsible for.

  13. mianfr - Oct 20, 2011 at 4:33 PM

    I’m going to assume that they are reviewing the executives’ medicals, because that’s hilarious.

    • - Oct 20, 2011 at 5:14 PM

      That’s a fairly common practice.

      • tgthree - Oct 20, 2011 at 5:54 PM

        I’m sure it is common practice, and it makes perfect sense given that Epstein is about to be an $18 million investment. Nonetheless, it’s still hilarious in contrast with the normal context in which you read that sort of language (player trades). Gotta make sure he’s not the Moises Alou of GMs.

      • mianfr - Oct 20, 2011 at 7:06 PM

        But like really, what are they going to do?

        “Yeah, Theo, I don’t know what you did at Yale, but you’ve got Hepatitis B and, well… We just can’t have that here.”

  14. jtorrey13 - Oct 20, 2011 at 5:52 PM

    As a Cardinals fan, this move scares me. As a baseball fan, I am excited. Rooting for the Cubs could be like rooting for the Rays now, or rooting for the Royals for the next few years. The Cubs becoming good will be a great thing.

    • mabunar - Oct 20, 2011 at 10:41 PM

      Not sure how rooting for the Cubs can be equated to rooting for the Rays or Royals. The Rays and Royals had the two lowest payrolls in baseball. The Cubs were the sixth highest. I’d say it’s closer to rooting for the White Sox or Red Sox prior to 2005 and 2004 respectively….historic teams with long championship droughts with large fan bases, and are typically not afraid to spend on free agents.
      That said, I agree on the point of a good Cubs team being good for baseball nationally, probably more so than the Royals or Rays.
      [prepares for hipsters with thumbs downs]

  15. bigleagues - Oct 21, 2011 at 2:29 AM

    Bud Selig has ZERO, and I mean ZERO business inserting himself into the Cubs/Red Sox ‘impasse’.

    At some point one of those teams will have to blink, and it will end with either the Cubs giving up what they didn’t want to or the Red Sox pulling Theo off the table.

    In either event, the Commissioner should only be involved in mediating a resolution if both sides agree to it.

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