According to CSNNE, sources say the Boston Red Sox have granted permission to the Chicago Cubs to speak to incumbent general manager, Theo Epstein, about the Cubs’ open GM position and/or a higher-level position.

The report is relatively spartan, and actually focuses instead on today’s “news” that someone thinks he saw Theo Epstein at a Starbucks in Chicago. More on that in a moment.

As for permission, it’s entirely possible that it came soon after the Cubs’ requested it earlier in the week. Both sides have been exceedingly tight-lipped about the process, so it’s hard to know when permission came – and, indeed, whether Epstein has already been interviewed.

Of course, maybe he’s in town for an interview as we speak. At least, that’s what Lakeview resident Noah Pinzur’s eyewitness report suggests.

Pinzur, a lifelong Cubs fan, says he spotted Epstein at a Lincoln Park Starbucks yesterday.

“It was Theo all right,” said Pinzur. “I’m 99.9 percent sure.”

Pinzur says he exchanged words with maybe-Epstein, who denied that he was, in fact, Theo. Maybe-Epstein said he “gets that a lot,” and then asked Pinzur who Theo Epstein is. I’m not of the mind to put too much stock in this kind of eye-witness ID (though I have no reason to doubt Mr. Pinzur genuinely believes he saw and spoke to Theo Epstein), but the fact that maybe-Epstein slyly asked who Theo Epstein is … well, it makes me wonder if this might be the real McCoy.

That all said, even if Epstein was in town this weekend, that doesn’t guarantee he’ll be the next Cubs GM. He could have been touring the area, visiting the ballpark and front office, and maybe taking an interview. But he could still decline the job.

So, for today, let’s call it cautiously optimistic.



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