Another day, another whirlwind of Theo Epstein/Chicago Cubs rumors.

  • A well-connected tipster tells me that the Red Sox are determined to have the Theo Epstein issue settled, one way or another, by this week. It is causing them issues with respect to their manager search, so they want to nail things down. The decision on Epstein this week may also make the decision on assistant GM Ben Cherington – namely, if the Cubs nab Epstein, Cherington gets promoted. If the Cubs don’t grab Epstein, they may instead get a chance to interview Cherington.
  • Relatedly, Buster Olney says Red Sox brass has already met to discuss what they’ll do if Epstein leaves. Consider this: if they were going to deny Epstein permission to interview, would there be a need to have such a meeting? In other words, the fact that these conversations are even taking place suggests the Red Sox are open to letting Tom Ricketts talk to Epstein. Good sign.
  • The same tipster hears the “compensation” in an Epstein acquisition could just be financial, but cautions that, as we have seen with Tom Ricketts, very few people know anything concrete – tips and rumors, including his own and those from big-time news writers, should be taken with a grain of salt.
  • Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe says the Red Sox should ask for Starlin Castro and Matt Garza in exchange for Epstein. That’s … funny.
  • Gordon Wittenmyer suggests (a bit obtusely – is it based on a source? damned if I can tell) it remains possible that the Cubs could land both Epstein as GM and Terry Francona as manager.
  • Ken Rosenthal says the Red Sox need to quit fooling around, and offer Epstein an extension. Rosenthal sees no reason for the Red Sox to allow Epstein to leave.
  • Jon Heyman says the most likely outcome is that the Red Sox will indeed extend Epstein, and give him a bump in title.
  • Fangraphs put together an interesting writeup on the marginal value of hiring a guy like Theo Epstein over a guy like Rick Hahn, and concludes that, with so many excellent GMs-in-waiting, the Cubs might be wise not to give up a ton to get an established candidate like Epstein. Tucked into the same piece, however, is a discussion of the very reason I think the Cubs would be wise to blow their wad on Epstein: the cream of the crop of up-and-comers are going to want to work for Epstein. Those same whiz kids might not be as interested in working for Rick Hahn.
  • packman711


  • Jason

    “Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe says the Red Sox should ask for Starlin Castro and Matt Garza in exchange for Epstein.”

    That’s it? Why don’t they just ask for the first born child of every Cubs’ fan? The answer to this should be no unless we get Youk and Pedroia in the deal as well.

    • Juan Juan

      Theo and Lackey for Garza and prospects is very, very fair.

      Castro had a great year at the plate, but still had 28 errors. Theo is worth more than any one player. He will rebuild an entire system and create dozens of star caliber players. If I am Ricketts, I do whatever I need to do to get this deal done.

      Because Theo is still under contract – the Sox would be idiots to let him walk for nothing. The Sox hold all the cards, as the Cubs want Theo while he is still under contract. If they waited a year until he is a “free agent” then everything would be different. But wanting him now, they should have to give up something to get him. Remember, the Sox gave up 3 of their best prospects for Adrian Gonzalez, and it should be the same for anyone who wants Theo.

      • Brett


  • philoe beddoe

    great stuff as usual Brett, one of the things I have learned since turning to this site for Cubs news is much of the time the writers don’t know any more than we do….evidence being these Epstein “rumors” being all over the map…

    I totally disagree with the fangraph assessment…while the production and ability a team may get by hiring a Rick Hahn over a Theo Epstein is certainly debatable…the adrenaline shot to the organization in getting a “name” is much more important…

    when Dallas Green came to the Cubs in 1981 it re-energized and excited the base…Ben Cherrington will not do that

    • Brett

      Good point, pb. And, from a simply monetary perspective, there’s value in that to the owners.

      • MichiganGoat

        Absolutely getting Theo will immediately result in a spike of merchandise and ticket sells.

  • Dave

    To the last point, I absolutely agree that Theo would bring in more high quality people (potentially) than just about anyone else.

    And if you’ve ever considered lumping everything from anonymous tipsters under one label, I’d suggest “Just the Tipster”

    • MichiganGoat


    • Brett


  • Toosh

    Go to MLBTR. There’s a history of the starting rotations Epstein has put together. Not too impressive.

    • hansman1982

      so who do you want for GM – who is the perfect candidate that has built the perfect organization and roster?

      • Toosh

        There is no “perfect candidate”. We don’t really know who’s available or who Ricketts is considering. If available, Friedman would be my first choice followed by Coppolella. Ricketts can’t let his boner for all things Boston drain all the blood from his brain and interfere with his thinking.

    • MichiganGoat

      Toosh I have the same concerns. I hope Ricketts and his interview committee asks those questions and is happy with his philosophical approach when it comes to building a staff and signing free agents. There are questions that should be asked before you give him the keys. Theo’s results and accomplishments speak for themselves, but his few failures and poor decisions must be questioned.

    • ari gold

      I’ll still take his 2 world series titles regardless. If he can consistently win in the AL east, he will consistently win here.

  • Jon

    Between all the Cubs rumors and Apple iPhone rumors my head hurts.

    • Brett

      Ha, yeah – it’s a rumor heavy day. At least now we’re getting actual news on the latter story.

      • MichiganGoat

        I can see it now Oct 12 Theo becomes GM and the world upgrades to iOS 5 and my head will explode.

  • JulioZuleta

    Theo Epstein and John Lackey for Matt Garza and Starlin Castro???? And that guy has a job???? I am mad at myself for clicking that link and giving him one more hit. Wow.

  • MightyBear

    Get Epstein if you can. Experience is worth the price ie Quade.

  • MightyBear

    Hey Toosh, two world series rings with an organization that hadn’t won one in over 80 years. Very impressive.

    • MichiganGoat

      Yes very, very impressive but it’s foolish to give him the wheel without seriously and professionally questioning some of his moves and decisions.

  • hardtop

    brett, there have been so many theo epstein posts, you’re cycling through your images. you need some new pics:.

    this one is my favorite! how can you not want a dude you plays an SG through a Marshall stack to lead your ball club into the future?

    this one is awesome too!

    • Brett

      Thanks, ht – I’d been waiting on the “rockstar” image until we were celebrating. :)

  • Dan0mite

    Cafardo sounds like a spurned lover in that article. Saying to make it hurt for the Cubs and there is no reason to be reasonable. Ricketts isn’t sleeping with and stealing the Sox owners wives! He sounds like a major homer and a nut.

  • Brian

    Wth is this talk of Epstein for Castro?? Can you even trade a player for a GM? That sounds like the most absurd thing I’ve ever heard. I do think they’ll let him go to the Cubs, along with Francona. Ep’s assistant will be ushered in in a Red Sox hope that their salary cap will return to their lackluster years.

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