By now, you’ve heard the very big news-that-isn’t-quite-yet-news that Boston Red Sox General Manager Theo Epstein is on the “brink” (or “cusp,” or “verge,” or “precipice,” if you prefer) of coming to the Chicago Cubs. Word broke last night, and a few hours of searching, reading, and tweeting later, here’s your rundown of where things stand:
- Most sources (media and baseball) agree that the deal is not quite done, but has reached such an advanced stage that it could be announced at any time.
- WEEI radio reports this morning, however, that it’s a “done deal.” The compensation piece is still being finalized, but they say the deal is done in principal. Epstein will get north of $15 million over five years, and his title will be something more than general manager. The deal, they say, will be announced this week.
- Similarly, the Sun-Times reports that the Cubs have circulated a memo scheduling organizational meetings for the second week of November, which a source tells them the Cubs would not do unless the GM situation was settled, internally.
- Red Sox President Larry Lucchino may as well have confirmed how close a deal was with his tepid denial: “We are not commenting on that type of issue unless and until there is a resolution. That has been a consistent policy and practice of the Red Sox for years.”
- The sense you get from a variety of sources is that Epstein has been weighing the personal cost of leaving his hometown, where he’s happy and his family happy, in favor of the professional challenge (and monetary reward) of Chicago.
- Depending on whom you ask, the last piece to work out (aside from the personal issues) is either the compensation going to the Red Sox, or the other executives coming to Chicago with Epstein. The Boston Globe’s Peter Abraham says it’s the latter, most other media types are saying it’s the former.
- Virtually everyone agrees that no Major League players will be included in a deal for Epstein. At most, it will be prospects and cash.
- The Red Sox are not going to let Epstein raid the front office on his way out the door.
- Jon Heyman, whom I apparently only cite as reliable when he agrees with me, says he’s heard the compensation might only be financial. I reported that possibility via a source last week.
- Multiple sources say the compensation piece is being negotiated not by Epstein, himself, but by Cubs’ interim GM Randy Bush and Red Sox assistant GM Ben Cherington. (Advantage Red Sox.)
- The Cubs have continued the process with other prospective GM candidates in case the Epstein deal falls through. The Sun-Times lists Andrew Friedman, Rick Hahn, and Dan Evans, specifically.
- If Theo takes the job, Gordon Edes says Ryne Sandberg becomes the favorite to get the managerial gig. Epstein has, apparently, been a Sandberg fan for a while, and tried to hire him to manage the Red Sox’s AAA affiliate last year.
- Because it’s the Cubs, and they’ve broken our hearts so many times, I’d recommend stealing your heart for another couple days until the press conference actually happens. Yes, things look very, very good right now. But we’ve been burned before.