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Cubs and Red Sox still haven’t figured out compensation for Theo Epstein

Dec 9, 2011, 10:47 AM EDT

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

It’s been nearly two months since Theo Epstein left the Red Sox for the Cubs and the two sides still haven’t come to an agreement on compensation, with Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe reporting that they “seem disinterested in settling the issue.”

There was speculation all along that the agreement wouldn’t come until after the Rule 5 draft because the Red Sox wanted to acquire players without having to protect them with 40-man roster spots, but the draft took place yesterday and Boston general manager Ben Cherington said only that “we’ll resolve it at some point.”

Meanwhile, according to Abraham the Red Sox have allowed Epstein to use their offices to “conduct business while he’s in town.” Whenever they do decide to figure out the compensation, maybe the Red Sox should tack some rent money onto the Cubs’ bill.

  1. dlevalley - Dec 9, 2011 at 11:13 AM

    Wouldn’t it be great if they couldn’t figure it out, and he had to be returned right before the season started? Awkward!

    • randygnyc - Dec 9, 2011 at 12:19 PM

      I heard the two teams have agreed the red sox will take on Alfonso soriano and his contract.

  2. Alex K - Dec 9, 2011 at 11:14 AM

    This has gotten silly. I will be surprised if the Cubs send more than a little bit of money to the Red Sox. There is no reason the Cubs shoud send them anything of great value.

    It also seems strange to me that there needs to be compensation since Theo got a promotion.

    • Joe - Dec 9, 2011 at 11:44 AM

      There needs to be compensation because Theo was under contract with the Red Sox through 2012. Getting a promotion doesn’t allow you to break a contract.

      • Alex K - Dec 9, 2011 at 11:52 AM

        So you think that every time an assistant GM or scouting director take a GM job there should be compensation? Should the Cubs compensate the Brewers because they hired their hitting coach to be the manager?

        There is no precedent that I know of where a non lateral move was compensated.

      • crpls - Dec 9, 2011 at 3:03 PM

        If they’re under contract and there is nothing in the contract that states you’re free to leave for a promotion, then yes there should be compensation.

        It’s not about precedent. It’s about the contract or a team’s willingness to let someone move. If your contract states you can’t even leave for a lateral move, then compensation should be required, unless the team freely lets you go for whatever reason.

      • Alex K - Dec 9, 2011 at 3:29 PM

        There is precedent in baseball that non lateral moves are allowed by teams without compensation. Can you name one time when a non lateral move was compensated? Overall this just makes the Red Sox look petty.

        I understand that leagally the precedent doesn’t matter. Does anyone know if there is standard language in baseball executive’s contracts covering moves to different teams?

  3. trevorb06 - Dec 9, 2011 at 11:21 AM

    It’s great that these two teams can obviously act civil and let Theo use the offices and what not. It’s not like he spurned the Sox and left dead fish behind the stairwell when he left. This just goes to show that usually it’s only the fans who are the only ones who ‘hate’ other teams. This isn’t war, it’s a game that we all enjoy.

    I hope that when the Cubs eventually go to Boston Theo can walk out on the field, wave to the crowd and get a nice warm welcome to the place he called home for so long. I hope that when the Angels eventually go to St. Louis Albert can tip his cap to the fans that once hailed him as a hero and get a nice warm welcome. Heck, I was one of the first people to cheer when Torii Hunter first came back to Minnesota because of all he did for Minnesota baseball.

    • bigharold - Dec 9, 2011 at 11:38 AM

      “It’s not like he spurned the Sox and left dead fish behind the stairwell when he left.”

      Nah, .. he just left them with Crawford, Lacky and Beckett. Frankly, I think i’d rather thje dead fish.

      “I hope that when the Cubs eventually go to Boston Theo can walk out on the field, wave to the crowd .. ”

      Sure he’ll be able to do that, .. as long as he brings a full face motorcycle helmet, a rain slicker and ear plugs. it;ll all good!

      • trevorb06 - Dec 9, 2011 at 11:46 AM

        You just proved my point. Thank’s man!

        So, you knew that Lackey and Crawford were both going to fall off a cliff in terms of production once they signed with the Sox? Tell me, what are the lotto numbers next week man?

        As for your comment about Theo needing to protect himself, I think you need to move to Philly. #sarcasm

      • bigharold - Dec 9, 2011 at 12:29 PM

        “So, you knew that Lackey and Crawford were both going to fall off a cliff in terms of production once they signed with the Sox?”

        I neither said that nor did I imply that.

        Lacky was a poor signing and that seemed obvious from the start. And, in two years he lived down to my expectations. Now he’ll miss next year with TJ surgery… So it goes.

        Crawford had a subpar year but the jury is still out on him in terms of expected production. But, even if he performs as expected he’s still way over priced. Even if he bounces back he’ll never play up to expectation for the contract given, .. like Drew but for more years at twice the price. And, if he gets off to a slow start next year things could get ugly quick.

        “As for your comment about Theo needing to protect himself, I think you need to move to Philly. #sarcasm”

        My comments were about the Nation, .. you know the same bunch that still refer to Johnny Damon as traitor because he wouldn’t except a contract that wasn’t even worth about two thirds of what the RS paid Drew even after he was an integral part of them winning their first WS in 86 years. Never mind that he was worth more than Drew, playing for other teams, including the Ray last year, EVERY minute on the since he left the RS.

        The notion that Epstein is universally loved in Boston proves that you don’t read the Boston papers.

        And here’s a hint, if you have to type sarcasms, it isn’t .. or at the very least you’re not very good at it.

  4. matthewtrueblood - Dec 9, 2011 at 11:30 AM

    This situation makes me laugh. It’s like a couple that breaks up, but can’t bring themselves to divide up the stuff. It just sits undone.

  5. bigharold - Dec 9, 2011 at 11:33 AM

    The minute the RS allowed Epstein to talk to the Cubs he was as good as gone. The minute he accepted their offer the RS lost all the leverage they had with this situation. They certainly wasn’t bring him back to run the RS if they killed his deal with the Cubs. A lame duck GM in a bad mood because his boss killed his shot at baseball immortality is not exactly who one would want running the team. The RS owners should have agreed upon at least the parameters of the compensation before allowing them to talk to each other. i.e. a utility infielder or a middling AAA prospect or AA prospects and a steak dinner.

    Now they’ll have to settle for the bag of balls and used batting machine the Cubs will be willing to offer. They might as get it over with rather than let this drag on. They really need to put 2011 behind them and this is obviously the last piece of that dismal season.

    I can’t believe that anybody with two brain cells that are at least on speaking terms thought Garza for Epstein made a lick of sense.

    • trevorb06 - Dec 9, 2011 at 11:39 AM

      “this is obviously the last piece of that dismal season.”
      Dismal? They had a winning record… They played some exciting baseball in a very tough division. Do you scoff if you’re given a $100 bill that has a few wrinkles in it, too?

      • bigharold - Dec 9, 2011 at 12:04 PM

        They played pretty good from May to August. Unfortunately that was sandwiched by a horrific start and a finish which can only be described as a historically bad slow motion train wreck of September. Which begat back biting salacious revelations about a dysfunctional, undisciplined and chaotic clubhouse. Each revelation followed by profoundly inept attempts at damage control that only made things worse. The manager, GM and closer all leaving under what can only be described as poor circumstances.

        So yeah, .. I think that qualifies as dismal.

        “Do you scoff if you’re given a $100 bill that has a few wrinkles in it, too?”

        No but if I get a $100 bill that is ripped up and worthless I don’t count myself fortunate either.

  6. sknut - Dec 9, 2011 at 11:34 AM

    Is there no precedent that MLB could at least rely on? This has taken way too long and doesn’t make either side look good, particularly the Sox.

    • bigharold - Dec 9, 2011 at 11:44 AM

      Mostly I agree but I’m not sure that the Cubs don’t look good. If, as suggested, they RS started by asking for Garza then I’d have to say that the RS weren’t being reasonable.

      But, the RS really need to get past this and focus on moving forward.

      • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Dec 9, 2011 at 12:15 PM

        Seriously. Ben and Theo need to go to lunch, toss a few decent prospect names around, and decide on one. And then never discuss it again.

      • uyf1950 - Dec 9, 2011 at 1:10 PM

        WhenMatt… – The only problem with your proposal is Cherington has to get Lucchino’s approval before he can say yes to anything.

      • JBerardi - Dec 9, 2011 at 5:11 PM

        Nonsense. Why do they need to get this done now? What’s going to change going forward? This is last on the offseason to-do list for both teams.

  7. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Dec 9, 2011 at 11:39 AM

    Just finish it already, so everyone can consider this case closed.

  8. randygnyc - Dec 9, 2011 at 12:31 PM

    Trevor, dismal? The season abruptly ended with the most historic collapse (failure) in the history of major league baseball. In fact “dismal” is an inadequate adjective. Perhaps “catastrophic”?

    • Ralphie - Dec 9, 2011 at 1:19 PM

      I vote for “dismal”. “Catastrophic” is already taken (by default) with the events that transpired from Sunday, October 17, 2004 through Wednesday, October 20, 2004.

      • bigharold - Dec 9, 2011 at 2:10 PM

        Actually Randy might be correct. I was trying to be evenhanded and look sat the entire season. If one looks solely September than it’s profoundly catastrophic.

        Dismal and disappointing is when a championship caliber team that had already won 4 championships and two pennants in the previous nine years goes cold for a week and loses three straight to get knocked out of the playoffs. Even if it’s the ALCS.

        Catastrophic is when a team in first place to start the month of September loses a NINE GAME lead to the third place team because they clamed up over the course of a month. A slow motion train wreck that even though they realized they were in the midst of nobody can seem to turn around. That even in the last series of the year against a team a team that lost nearly 95 games and that they had a lead in the eighth inning, couldn’t seem to hold it together.

        There is a big difference between going cold for a week and going down in flames over the course of a month. Either way the result was going home early. If you think that it happening in the ALCS between teams that were seemingly equal is a larger failure than it happening over a month and losing the final two out of three against a team that isn’t anywhere near as talented then so be it, .. you are entitled to your opinion. But, you are wrong. Learn to live with it.

      • Ralphie - Dec 9, 2011 at 5:21 PM

        “Dismal and disappointing is when a championship caliber team that had already won 4 championships and two pennants in the previous nine years goes cold for a week and loses three straight to get knocked out of the playoffs. Even if it’s the ALCS.”

        “Cold for a week”? From what I understand they just had 4 days of intense menstrual cramps and Bacterial Vaginosis. Obviously 7 years of intense psychotherapy have healed you my son, because if you can rationalize the greatest collapse in MLB post season history as casually as “they went cold for a week” then you’re cured of all that ills you.

        The Earth is flat by the way.

  9. JBerardi - Dec 9, 2011 at 5:08 PM

    It’s funny that people want to make a story out of this, when the biggest reason it hasn’t gotten done is that neither team can be bothered. Theo is rebuilding an entire organization. Boston just re-structured their entire front office, they’re trying to hire a coaching staff, they’ve yet to make any player acquisitions… negotiating which C-grade prospects the Red Sox are going end up with just isn’t on these guy’s radar screens at the moment. No reason they can’t negotiate it in mid February.

  10. fergie22 - Dec 13, 2011 at 12:17 PM

    are any of the chicago teams even awake? cubs new front office still a load of crap on the field yet no moves

    the bears 19 million dollars in cap space and do nothing to improve team

    the bulls nothing being done to help rose

    and people wonder why we are called the second city!!!!

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