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Red Sox, Cubs table Epstein compensation talks

Nov 17, 2011, 1:45 PM EDT

Chicago Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein speaks at a news conference at Wrigley Field in Chicago Reuters

Remember that Nov. 1 deadline for the Theo Epstein compensation to be worked out? It’s going to take a whole lot longer.

The Red Sox and Cubs have decided to halt their talks until after the Rule 5 draft takes place on Dec. 8.

The Boston Globe reported today that the Red Sox are still insisting on a “significant” return for Epstein. They initially proposed a swap of either Starlin Castro or Matt Garza for their general manager. Reports indicated that MLB would step in and decide the compensation if nothing had been worked out by Nov. 1, but the league decided against taking such an action. Now the issue will linger into next month.

  1. mss16 - Nov 17, 2011 at 1:57 PM

    Leave it to the Red Sox to be greedy d*#&s about this. I mean you seriously think a GM is worth the Cubs’ best position player or pitcher. Just go away.

    • aceshigh11 - Nov 17, 2011 at 1:59 PM

      Yeah, but on the other hand…Theo is a dreamboat. I mean…look at that hairline. You can’t BUY looks like that.

    • brucewaynewins - Nov 17, 2011 at 2:16 PM


      If Theo is as good as most Cubs fans believe/say and he was as responsible for the recent success and World Series win(s) for the Red Sox….Then yes he would be worth something significant. If he isn’t then why are Cubs fans so excited? You don’t get so excited over something average or unproven.

      • Old Gator - Nov 17, 2011 at 11:21 PM

        Why are Cubs fans so excited? Because he isn’t Jim Hendry. Think about it.

      • brucewaynewins - Nov 17, 2011 at 11:35 PM

        @old gator

        If that’s the case then why didn’t the Cubs hire Jim Bowden. He isn’t Jim Hendry…. /sarcasm

      • headbeeguy - Nov 18, 2011 at 9:36 AM

        @brucewayne: At least they’d lead the league in OPSBIs

    • Matt Aromando - Nov 17, 2011 at 2:30 PM

      This is how negotiating works, Red Sox start high, Cubs start low, and they reach middle ground.

      • Old Gator - Nov 17, 2011 at 11:21 PM

        Right. The Cubs will wind up giving the Beanbags Aramis Ramirez.

  2. shaggylocks - Nov 17, 2011 at 2:05 PM

    To be honest, I kind of don’t understand why a throw-away prospect is considered a fair trade for the team’s chief architect. Why is asking for a major league player so unreasonable? Someone please tell me; I’m really asking.

    • Alex K - Nov 17, 2011 at 2:14 PM

      If the reports are true then the Sox didn’t just ask for any major league player(s). They asked for either the teams best pitcher or position player.

      It’s all about value over a replacement. It is easier to find someone who has Theo’s skillset than it is to find someone who is as good at baseball as Castro or Garza.

      • shaggylocks - Nov 17, 2011 at 3:07 PM

        Fine, asking for Garza or Castro is asking for a lot. But why is everyone saying that they’ll most likely settle on a minor leaguer or two? Why not, say, a bullpen pitcher or bench player?

      • Alex K - Nov 17, 2011 at 3:27 PM

        It all depends on the player. It isn’t unreasonable to ask for something like that. I think the Red Sox would rather get a minor leaguer at that point. They would be more valuable (more years of control). Any major leaguer the Red Sox would want is most likely too valuable for Epstein.

      • headbeeguy - Nov 18, 2011 at 9:44 AM

        @shaggylocks: The Sox would probably help their negotiating leverage if they weren’t torpedoing the reputation of the asset they’re trying to get compensation for. What are they going to say? “Give us Garza or we’re taking him back”?

  3. rdssc - Nov 17, 2011 at 2:13 PM

    He was a GM in Boston and is now President of Baseball operations in Chicago. In most cases executives and coaches are let out of their contracts with no compensation to take on a position higher up the management chain. Boston is being ridiculous with their demands. They should just be happy he changed leagues, and focus on finding a new manager. Seeing how they have handled their business since the last month of the season Red Sox fans can look forward to a lot more years of no WS rings.

    • dan1111 - Nov 18, 2011 at 6:27 AM

      You can be sure the Sox would not be pursuing this if they did not have contractual authority to do so.

      Would you like it if your team to let its star player walk away before his contract was up, because he decided he wanted to play somewhere else? Why is this situation any different?

    • dan1111 - Nov 18, 2011 at 6:30 AM

      Also, this is quite different from, say, a bench coach or an assistant GM leaving to take over somewhere else.

  4. bigharold - Nov 17, 2011 at 2:17 PM

    Exactly what leverage do the RS have at this point?

    Forget that once Epstein started to negotiate with the Cubs he’s essentially worthless to the RS. Do you really want a guy that is interested in working for another team being the lame duck GM considering all the other things that happened at the end of last season? Now that he’s gone what’s the logic behind the Cubs offering anything important? What, the RS are going to take him back? They’re going to force the Cubs to find another guy? I’d love to be the lawyer billing for that law suit.

    Epstein’s gone and at this point that only hope they have of getting ANYTHING of significance is if Selig steps in and forces the Cubs to part with something important, .. but it sure ain’t going to be Garza. Considering that thanks to Selig the RS to John Henry was pretty much a bag job it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that the Cubs might be forced to over compensate, so a lot is possible.

    This appears to be another chapter in the RS 2011-12 off season misadventure melodrama. They’re worrying about which minor league player they’re going to get from the Cubs while they’re closer just left town, they don’t have a manager and the pitching has more holes in it that a Zucotti Park tent after the NYPD helped the OWS crowd “relocate”.

  5. xpensivewinos - Nov 17, 2011 at 3:49 PM

    It does seem rather peculiar that the level of compensation was not established (in writing) before the Red Sox let Epstein walk out the door.

    The Cubs pulled the same move with the Padres for their front office people.

    Something doesn’t ad up.

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Nov 17, 2011 at 4:38 PM

      You’re right; San Diego let TWO guys walk in a quick swap of pieces, while Boston’s looked like a petty thug for a month.

      If I’m an executive, I’m thinking Moorad > Henry, by a million miles, in terms of good employment.

      Whether San Diego was easily able to replace Hoyer with Byrnes or not doesn’t matter, especially since Cherington was more than ready in Boston.

      The only thought here is that Henry is falling into the Baltimore/Miami-level of attractive employer at this point.

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Nov 17, 2011 at 4:38 PM

      By the way, is your name a Keith Richards reference? Nicely done.

  6. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Nov 17, 2011 at 4:35 PM

    It’s cool how Boston apparently does not care at all how petty they look, and how attractive they want themselves to look in the eyes of future executives.

    While I’m not thrilled the Cubs haven’t finalized it either, I can’t blame them for waiting for Boston to come down to earth after asking for their best players in return for someone who’s never had a plate appearance.

    I understand Theo is an important executive, but this is partially uncharted territory, and the issue is likely that they’re comparing apples to oranges when figuring out compensation; a suit for a bat.

    If I’m the Cubs, I offer a mid-level prospect or 2 high-ceiling prospects and if Boston still says no, then let Old Man Selig get around to it sometime within the next century.

  7. eldon67 - Nov 17, 2011 at 5:02 PM

    Instead of getting a player, the Sox should insist that the Cub’s take Lackey and his contract

  8. shorttracknews - Nov 17, 2011 at 6:29 PM

    Our best pitcher (even though he isn’t showing it) is Carlos Zambrano. So let Boston take him and in fact take our best longball threat to…Soriano is yours as well.

  9. mqcarpenter - Nov 17, 2011 at 6:54 PM

    There is no freaking way they are getting Castro. I do propose a sign and trade for either Zambrano or former all star Sammy Sosa.

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