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If there was ever a report that confirms that the Chicago Cubs have spoken to Boston Red Sox General Manager Theo Epstein about their GM opening, and that Epstein is at least thinking about leaving Boston, this is it.

From WEEI in Boston:

According to a major league source, the Red Sox — who are currently performing due diligence on potential managerial candidates — will not bring in candidates to interview for the position until after the status of GM Theo Epstein is resolved.

Epstein’s future with the Sox, after 10 seasons with the organization and nine as general manager, is uncertain at the moment, at a time when the Cubs have requested permission to talk to him and there is a report of his being seen in a Chicago Starbucks. Given the importance of the relationship between the manager and general manager, the Sox appear set to wait until the identity of the GM is determined before they bring in candidates to investigate their fit for the job.

To be sure, the Red Sox may be forced to wait to interview certain candidates until after the playoffs are over, because those candidates might be on teams still playing. But not all of the candidates are still involved in the playoffs, and, by waiting, the Red Sox can only hurt their chances of landing the candidate of their choice.

That means, as the WEEI report indicates, the Red Sox would be waiting to interview managerial candidates only if they believed Epstein might not be the new guy’s boss. Drawing logical conclusions therefrom, it seems highly likely that, if this report is accurate, the Cubs have received permission to speak to Epstein, which would confirm a CSNNE report from this weekend.

It would further suggest that Epstein has told the Red Sox he is strongly considering leaving, if he hasn’t accepting a new job already (which announcement could be held in abeyance until the two LCS are over). It doesn’t, of course, mean that Epstein is definitely coming to Chicago. But it’s another step in the right direction.

For those eager to have this resolved, the feeling is understandable. But, you have to understand the many layers of decisions that have to be made before things can be finalized. Do the Cubs want to interview anyone else? Does Epstein want to live and work in Chicago? Does his family? Is the offer to Epstein enough? What is Chicago offering Boston in terms of compensation? Is it enough? And so on, and so on.

I’m a junkie for these Epstein tidbits, so even I have to remind myself to be patient, and let the process run its course.

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