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Hold onto your butts.

According to two sources cited by the Boston Herald, current Boston Red Sox General Manager Theo Epstein is close to jumping ship in favor of the Chicago Cubs.

The sources say a number of things:

(1) A deal is very close, and likely to be announced within the next 24 to 48 hours;

(2) Epstein is believed to be receiving “powers greater than he has in Boston;”

(3) One hangup in the deal has been Boston ownership’s efforts to keep Epstein; and

(4) Another hangup has been the amount of/type of compensation going back to Boston should Epstein decide to leave for the Cubs. The sources could not say whether the compensation would be a player, money, or both.

In any event, one of the sources said “this is going to be resolved very soon.”

I’d say you can set your phasers to “excited.” Keep in mind, these are still “rumors” (though they comport with everything else we’ve heard and everything the logical centers of our brains tell us), and anything could happen. Indeed, the compensation piece could still derail things. It’s going to be a crazy week.

As I said: hold onto your butts.

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UPDATE: Peter Gammons, still considered a Boston insider, just tweeted to Paul Sullivan, “It could happen, but reports are far ahead of decisions,” implying that, while things are close, it could still go either way.

  • Tyler

    So he will be the President and GM, what will Kenney be then?

    • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

      President of Business Operations. Also known as “The Guy Who Shakes Hands And Kisses Babies In Arizona And The Dominican Republic While Getting New Facilities Built, And Eventually Finds The Necessary Leverage In Chicago To Get Some Work Done On Wrigley.”

      Or, TGWSHAKBIAATDRWGNFB,AEFTNLICTGSWDOW for short.

  • Vinestal

    Flipping burgers Tyler… flipping burgers

    • Tyler

      That would be fine

       

  • Nebraska Cubs

    Welcome, Theo! Can’t wait for this to be completely done and for the FA time to start!!!

  • A_Mazz_ing

    HOLY CRAP!! Please let these sources be right!! And please let the compensation not be Castro or Garza!

    • bacboris

      Maybe they’ll just give them Kenney and Dewitt. Even stevens.

    • Cub Realist

      Have no fear, the only idiots who think it would be Garza or Castro are the morons in the Boston Press.

  • Moms A Cubs Fan

    Couldn’t Crane be Pres. of Business Operations and Theo Pres. of Baseball Operations?

  • Deez

    Looks like a done deal, but it all comes down to compensation.
    What does the Red Sox want & the talk is “something BIG!”

  • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

    I posted this comment a couple of articles below but its a question I’m curious if anyone can answer:

    “It the “something real” that concerns me, I’d hope it’s money more than prospects. Does anyone know of something comparable that has happened in the few decades? Specifically a executive that left before his contract was up and any compensation that resulted from that. I’d like to hope (and honestly believe) that Ricketts had such a hard-on for Theo that he’d offer a top 25 prospect.”

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      When the Cubs got Andy MacPhail in the early 90s, it cost them a top tenish prospect.

      • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

        Well I hope Theo gets to pick who is sent…

      • Sam

        I think that if Epstein wants out the Red Sox will let him leave. The last thing that the Sox want is to have a disgruntled GM. That being said I think the compensation will more than likely involve a top SS prospect (Hopefully it won’t be Baez), cash, and John Lackey (Please god no!). By the way does anybody know if the rumors about John Lackey being part of the Epstein deal has any truth to it?

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          I’ve not seen anyone quote a “source” as having Lackey in the deal. Just speculation. Maybe thoughtful speculation, but speculation just the same.

          (Btw, Baez can’t be traded until August 15, 2012.)

    • Deez

      It’s Garza! No doubt in my mind it’s Garza & a minor league pitcher possibly McNutt!

      • Tyler

        If it’s that then the Red Sox can keep him

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Nah.

      • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

        Won’t happen. If the Red Sox demanded that much, the Cubs would just keep their Interim GM for a year and pick up Theo when his deal with Boston runs out.

  • die hard

    Not good cause sounds like run out of Boston…we will find out why too late…too bad

  • Vinestal

    Boston is Boston, they will paint the picture that he is run out of Boston because they are disgruntled that they lost him.

  • Derek

    I bet we end up taking Lackey

  • Robbo

    Theo wouldn’t have been my top choice for GM, but not bad so long Cubs don’t give up anything significant to the BoSox as compensation. Should be some oh-by-the-way player to complete the deal. Let the rebuild begin

  • http://Swag Cubbies

    Swaggggeeeerrrr

  • Josh Z

    I would rather take on Lackey then give up a guy like Garza. They should send Byrd, a minor league player and take on Lackey’s contract. JD Drew is definitely not coming back so they could use Byrd. Maybe even Soto or Marmol. I would be ok with anybody except Castro, Garza, or Cashner. Those should be the only major league players off limits. They could use Dempster as well so it will be intersting to see what they want. If they want Garza or Castro I would go after Billy Beane or Andrew Freidman and safe the compensation. How is Boston’s minor league system anyway?

  • rocky8263

    I can’t believe T.R. would give up Garza or Castro. People don’t give this man enough credit as a businessman. Where are the Cubs without Garza? His whole thing is building from within and he knows what the Cub’s gave for Garza. I love the Idea of cash, he’s got piles of it. Plus Garza appears to be too cool, makes a better face of the organization than Castro.

    • Deez

      Where are the Cubs w/ Garza (or Castro)?
      If Theo is “the man” & the asset you think he is to lead this team to the World Series, isn’t he worth the risk?

      • Boogens

        Interesting logic there. So you’re suggesting the compensation shouldn’t be related in any way to the supply, demand and value of GMs in the market but should be related to us thinking that he’s the man so let’s take a risk by giving up more than we need to. Good luck with that one.

      • Cub Realist

        No he is not, because its just too ridicoulously stupid to do what you suggest.

        • Joe Cartwright

          There might be a better reason than that.

      • Deez

        It’s not what “WE” think, it’s what TR thinks.
        He’s the man who writes the checks & “ultimately” makes the decision.

  • MrCubs73

    Send Marmol and Barney as compensation. Marmol gives the Sox the closer they need when Papelbon leaves for the Cubs and the Shortstop they need in Barney. The cubs sign Papelbon, who was quoted as he was there for Theo if he ever needed anything. He would need a closer if Marmol was sent packing. Cubs have LeMahieu who can play second equally as well as Barney and Barney is a natural shortstop. Just don’t let it be Castro or Garza!!!!

    • Sam

      I think that is realistically what could happen and it works for everyone. Losing Marmol and Barney won’t really hurt the cubs, but they could help the soxs.

      • Toosh

        The A’s and Red Sox agreed on (then still in the minors) Kevin Youkilis before Beane changed his mind and stayed in Oakland.

        • MrCubs73

          That is where a guy like Brett Jackson comes into play. I would rather see them send Marmol and Barney. Beene never had the two World Series wins, so the Sox may demand more. You then have Cashner, Lake, McNutt and Szczur who are all potential players in demand, but I am betting they want someone close to the majors, if not already in the majors.

        • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

          Remember, at the time Youkilis was more of a fringe guy than a top prospect. A comparable player in the Cubs system might be Rebel Ridling or Greg Rohan. Maybe Ryan Flaherty.

          Of course Youkilis eventually turned himself into the player he is today, but that’s not the guy the Red Sox agreed to give up.

  • rocky8263

    You still have to field a team while on the way to the promised land.

  • Toosh

    When Billy Beane was temporarily the new GM of the Red Sox HE was in charge of deciding what to send to Oakland as compensation for letting him leave. If Epstein comes to the Cubs it might be up to him to work out the possible compensation with the Red Sox.

    • Joe Cartwright

      Yeah but I’m sure he wouldn’t be a complete prick about it.
      Epstein(now Cubs GM): You get……….(throws dart at minor league roster) Trey Mc..er..Jeff Stevens!

      And, wow, talk about ‘how much do you think you’re worth?’!

  • Sam

    Cue the benny hill theme music

  • die hard

    Mr. Ricketts….please demand compensation for taking Theo off their hands….anything less is unacceptable

  • http://TheoWaiting Cheryl

    How about Marmol and Byrd? Or, if like others suggest Marmol and Barney?

  • Mike Foster

    Let ‘em have Marmol, I can’t stand to see him throw another wild pitch unless he’s in someone else’s uniform.

  • Waveland Ave

    If I am the Red Sox I ask for Junior Lake because he is a SS prospect with a lot of upside and a lot of tools but yet to develop.

    If they ask for Matt S I will have a heart attack or if they ask for Brett Jackson because they need a OF very likely senario
    Also Major league players are never included in these types of deals

  • Cub Realist

    I am always amazed at how dumb people are. The idiots here hoping its not Garza or Castro? How dumb are you guys? Some idiot in Boston last week says the Red Sox should ask for that and morons think the Cubs are going to give us Garza or Castro (some morons thing both?) for Epstein. I do not know if I should laugh or cry at the lack of knowledge. Wow morons! Yeah, Ricketts is going to send Garza or Castro over, …… yeah right …… what a bunch of clowns …….. who think that.

    • MrCubs73

      There is no way they give up Castro of Garza, that would be absurd. Castro is the last guy Ricketts will give up, he 2012 promotions are built around and he has to much value to the Cubs for him to even be considered. Look what the Cubs gave up for Garza, you would never give that much for a GM, not even Theo

  • http://TheoWaiting Cheryl

    If major league players aren’t included and no recent draftees can be included (Thank goodness) they may ask for Jackson and Lake. The cubs may be able to negotiate and only give up one major prospect like Lake and a AAA pitcher. But if I were Boston I’d ask for both Jackson and Lake.

    • Waveland Ave

      Compare the package marlins gave to white sox for ozzie now the marlins overpaid bc people think they were tampering with ozzie so the White Sox had some leverage and they got 2 of marlins top 5 prospects. Neither are in top 100 prospects

      Now Brett Jackson is a top 50 prospect and so is Matt S now you have to ask your self is theo worth lets say around double ozzie I say yes because Theo has to build a team ozzie just has to arrange pieces I feel like the discussion is going back forth between B jackson or Mcnutt with just lake as floor but i think lake and someone else gets included in this deal

  • die hard

    as compensation give us Will Middlebrooks……and Boston pays 1/3 of Theo’s first year salary….thats fair

  • Sam

    McNutt is our top pitching prospect there is no way we will deal him and lake.

    • Waveland Ave

      People are saying unless Mcnutt changes his delivery he is a reliever and Lake has big upside but could also be big bust

      • Joe Cartwright

        Yep! OUR top prospects!

  • Vlad

    In ESPN said that a major league player is not a option, base on past situation like this one.

    • MrCubs73

      Too bad it won’t be from the MLB roster, I would like to see half of those guys go and we might just get luckly. As long as it’s not Jackson, Szczur or Vitters I am ok with it. Someone suggested Lake, that could be a real possibility, since he is a shortstop and he has a solid bat. If a second player goes, the prospect will be a lower tier and will not be McNutt.

  • Larry

    Brett,

    I have heard/read that one thing Theo might/would have insisted on in signing with the Cubs was a guarantee that the Cubs have a payroll close to what he worked with in Boston. Have you heard anything that would support this claim? And if it is true, with the weak overall crop of free agents this year, where/how would Theo spend the money?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I have read it, but I doubt it to be true. For what it’s worth, there are opposite rumors out there as well (i.e., that there’s an understanding the payroll will drop to closer to $100 mill).

  • Seth Majewski

    Now only if Theo could bring Pedroia or Ellsbury.

  • Serio

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