Another day, another set of rumors and news from the Theo Epstein front. Oh to be a fly on the wall…
- ESPNBoston’s Gordon Edes quotes a source (“close to Epstein,” as they all seem to be – Theo must get a ton of birthday presents) who says the chances are about 50/50 that Epstein leaves Boston. If he leaves, it would almost certainly be for Chicago. Given how extremely unlikely Epstein looked as a possibility just a week ago, I’d take 50/50 any day of the week. Seems high.
- The source goes on, “I wouldn’t be shocked either way,” the source said. “I know he’s not dying in the Red Sox job, and if he went to the Cubs and they won, he’d be a Hall of Fame general manager.” (Someone must read Bleacher Nation.)
- Over the weekend, a Major League source told me that the Red Sox are willing to let Epstein interview with the Cubs, if he so desires it. And, if Epstein leaves, the Red Sox are likely to pursue Billy Beane to replace him.
- And, what do you know, other reports are now suggesting the same. WEEI in Boston says Red Sox ownership “is considering” letting Epstein interview with the Cubs. The Gordon Edes piece above notes that the Red Sox might pursue Beane if Epstein leaves. The proverbial smoke continues to bellow.
- Ken Rosenthal also quotes a source who says the Red Sox might let Epstein go. They are in a moment of crisis, his source says, and “all bets are off.”
- Separately, Rosenthal makes an interesting point, suggested to him by another general manager: given the White Sox got a couple prospects for Ozzie Guillen, what might the Cubs have to give up to get Epstein, who’s got one year left on his contract?
- If compensation was required, how much would the Cubs give up to get Epstein? A decent prospect? A couple good ones? Is Epstein worth that much more than the best of the up-and-comers? For my part, I’d have absolutely no issue with the Cubs giving up a couple decent prospects for Epstein, if it came to that. USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, who has been wrong as often as he’s been right recently, says the Red Sox will ask for “stiff compensation.”
- One disconcerting rumor from the Boston Herald: a major league source says “Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts’ recent decision to dole out a four-year contract extension to farm director Oneri Fleita and to retain scouting director Tim Wilken may chase away big-name GM candidates, like Epstein, who likely would want to bring in their own people.” (About that link: if you think the advertising on Bleacher Nation is bad (it’s not), take a look at the Boston Herald. That page has an incomprehensible eight ads and two pop-ups. You’re welcome.) I’m not sure how worried I would be, though – we’ve heard from multiple sources, including Ricketts, himself, that the reaction he’s received from GM candidates has been nothing but positive.
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