A Rundown of All Things Theo Epstein: At Least One Source Says It’s a “Done Deal”

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.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

133 responses to “A Rundown of All Things Theo Epstein: At Least One Source Says It’s a “Done Deal””

  1. MichiganGoat

    Damn, ESPN just brought up the Billy Goat curse, come on Theo save us goats!

  2. bacboris

    Brett, on a non Theo note. I tried stealing my heart but now where do I put it?

    1. Fishin Phil

      Take it to the nearest organ pawn shop.

    2. Ian Afterbirth

      Isn’t it “steeling” not “stealing”?

  3. DRock

    Is this for real? A couple of months ago, Theo Epstein was a pipe-dream, now we are talking like it might actually happen…I am trying not to get too excited yet, but can’t help to think about Epstein as GM/President courting Fielder or Pujols. If the Cubs are somehow able to get the best GM in baseball, why couldn’t we get the best 1B in the league too?

    1. EQ76

      especially with 50-60 mil to spend.. there’s no doubt we can get one of them.. but will we?

    2. Lou

      Puljos isn’t going to help this team. Fielder might though.

  4. die hard

    Mr. Ricketts’ man crush is affecting his good judgment..

    1. MichiganGoat

      Oh die hard, you are the Grinch of this Christmas Day.

      1. Joe Cartwright

        Once we get into the playoffs, his heart will grow three sizes.

  5. MightyBear

    If this turns out to be true, Christmas came early. My dream scenario is Epstein GM/Sandberg Manager.

    1. Cubs Realist

      Bingo Mighty Bear!

  6. MichiganGoat

    Today is an amazing day iOS5 is released today and Theo is coming… Apple and Cub geekness in full affect baby

  7. ISU Birds

    In the words of George W. “We Got Him!”

  8. ISU Birds

    Imagine if Mark Cuban owned this team now with Theo. * Stares longingly at a the Mavericks Championship picture.*

  9. MichiganGoat

    I just went to MLBTR and see that the Theo to Chicago post has been removed.  Interesting?

    1. ISU Birds

      Nah it’s still there.

      1. MichiganGoat

        Your right, I swear I just refreshed it multple times and it wasn’t there any more and now its back… I’m such a loser today OR the site was so bombarded that it was behind.

  10. Ol'CharlieBrown

    Something tells me this is more of an assumption than actual fact, but the a headline on MSN.com under the Sports section says: Report: Red Sox GM joins Cubs

    “It looks like Red Sox GM Theo Epstein is off to try to end another curse, reportedly agreeing to a deal with the Chicago Cubs.”

    Like I said, I don’t believe this is necessarily “confirmed”, but signs, signs, everywhere are signs…

    1. Ol'CharlieBrown

      MLBTR also has a post this morning titled: Cubs Agree To Deal With Theo Epstein

      “Theo Epstein has agreed on a five-year deal worth more than $15MM with the Cubs, according to WEEI’s John Dennis.”

      Holy cow!

  11. Sam

    I think today calls for my Ron Santo jersey.

    1. Fishin Phil

      And a bottle of Champagne!

      1. MichiganGoat
        1. Sam

          I like your style MG

  12. Robbo

    No way Cubs give up any decent prospects to bring in Theo. Epstein is going to have a 103 lb goat on his back from day 1, he doesn’t want to have the added pressure of giving up an MLB ready prospect in exchange for him to come here. Cash and maybe a low-level prospect at best.

  13. die hard

    Theo not going to get anything done cause other GMs know hes trying to make a splash and they will drain the pool

    1. Cheryl

      Actually the other GMs may think they can get someone cheap and they probably can.

    2. Rancelot

      Dude, I’m convinced that you would piss on a stack of $100 bills because you would rather be paid in gold coins. Can’t us Cubs fans be happy for one damn day? Is that asking for too much?

      1. MichiganGoat

        Trolls need gold

  14. Curt

    Right next to davey jones heart on the flying dutchman

  15. Cheryl

    It still looks like one major prospect to me and cash.

  16. Fishin Phil

    Here’s is Kaplan’s report – http://bit.ly/oWsAFm

  17. MichiganGoat

    Carrie Muskat retweeted the WEEI report “Theo to Cubs is a done deal. Sox just working out compensation. #TheotoCubs” She typically doesn’t retweet rumors unless they are no longer rumors.

  18. Matt

    There was another story linked from the first story Phil posted.   Looks like we don’t need to worry about budget cuts to much.  Ricketts is willing to spend if the situation calls for it.  http://www.csnchicago.com/baseball-chicago-cubs/news/Kaplan-Epstein-blown-away-by-Ricketts-co?blockID=576086&feedID=619

    1. Ron

      I am very happy, this was a great read. very happy indeed.

  19. NL_Cubs

    Reinsdorf must have known this was going to break soon, thus the Ventura press conf. yesterday ahead of the Theo announcement.

    “Cubs Trump White Sox News with Theo Catch”

  20. MichiganGoat

    Courtesy of Matt Clapp from The Friendly Blogfines on twitter:

    This is what I did when I woke up and saw the #TheoToCubs news

    I wouldn’t typically post info from another blog, but I know that BN and Clapp’s blogs are friends.

  21. Can We Pretend Things Besides Theo Epstein Matter? and Other Bullets | Bleacher Nation | Chicago Cubs News, Rumors, and Commentary

    [...] to Chicago for five years, and something north of $15 million (which report I listened to live, and wrote about some four hours ago, but whateves). That rumor/news makes the rest of what’s going on in the [...]

  22. T Wags

    I’m so freaking happy right now!! Ricketts is the man. Period. If Theo hires Ryno as manager I’ll shit a chicken! And the most encouraging thing i read all day was in the Kaplan article telling how Ricketts wants to rebuild the organization the right way and build through the farm system.

    1. NL_Cubs

      I was thinking the same thing. I’m very encouraged by reading how the talks between Ricketts and Epstein went smoothly and that the long term “plan” is one that both sides agreed on and is one to make the Chicago Cubs Baseball Club a “heavyweight”.  Full steam ahead.

  23. Bails17

    Would that be a whole, live chicken with feathers and all?  Or like the ones you get at the grocery that are prepackaged and already in pieces?  Just sayin!

    1. T Wags

      Full, live, feathered, chicken. And then I’m gonna dance with it. Just sayin!

      1. Bails17

        Careful of the beak and claws as that clucker comes out!!

  24. Sam

    Just incase you were wondering Theo Epstein to the Cubs is now wikipedia official

  25. die hard

    5 years!!!!!….taking bets hes gone before then….not sustainable….should have been a show me what you can do one year contract with mutual option

    1. JulioZuleta

      Is that a joke? So he would leave a place with one year left on his deal to go to another place with one year on his deal? Also, you’re nuts if you think this team can be completely fixed in a year. Sometimes I’m not sure if you’re serious or not

    2. Lou

      You have to give credit where credit is due with the Ricketts though, dont you? I mean Epstein went to Yale and then law school. He was impressed with the research and commitment the Ricketts family are investing in this team. Even for someone who’s more realistic about things like me, THAT’S A MAJOR WOW FACTOR!

    3. Cubs Realist

      die hard do you know anything about business? About Baseball? About anything?

  26. dreese

    just got a text from ESPN buster onley says that thei has left the red sox for the cub and he got a 5 yrear deal worth nearly 20…

  27. Dan

    Im fine with this but I still rather have Friedman