A rundown of what I’ve gleaned from reading, tweeting, watching, and radio listening since this morning. (Ed. note: few links are included, as many of the bullets are surmised from multiple sources, or were on TV/radio. You’ll forgive the slight breach in etiquette given the circumstances.)

  • Everyone and their brother has seized on this morning’s WEEI report, and is reporting that Theo Epstein to the Chicago Cubs is a “done deal.” If it falls through at this point, it would be on the order of “Dewey Defeats Truman.” Probably worse.
  • The original report had the deal at five years, and something over $15 million. Buster Olney has reported that the deal is actually for a total nearing $20 million, because there’s a $3.5 million bonus Epstein was to collect from the Red Sox, which will now be covered by the Cubs.
  • I’m reading more reports – particularly those out of Boston – that the biggest holdup has been about which Boston employees Epstein could take with him to Chicago.
  • Compensation to the Red Sox remains undetermined. There are rumors that, if Epstein is indeed promoted to a President-level position, the Cubs will not owe the Red Sox any compensation. It seems to me that such a thing can’t be a “rule” (Epstein is under contract; if the Cubs want to “take” him, the Red Sox can ask for compensation), but is instead a courtesy. I find it interesting that Bruce Levine reported that the Cubs have reached out to MLB to review the compensation piece. Could it be that the Cubs don’t want to have to give up much, considering Epstein is being promoted, and are thus asking for help from MLB?
  • Relatedly, or unrelatedly, Olney says MLB has been monitoring the entire process very closely, primarily out of concern that Epstein’s pay would amp up the executive compensation market. (Think of it this way: many believe executive compensation is one of the last remaining exploitable inefficiencies. So, with MLB always concerned about competitive balance, they don’t want a big market team to pay an absurd amount for its executives, lest the little guys can’t keep up.)
  • Thing is, at this point, the Cubs and Epstein have all the leverage in the compensation discussions. It would be very, very, very hard for Epstein to return to Boston now.
  • My guess on Epstein’s title? Something like President of Baseball Operations and General Manager. If the “President” word is too dicey, it could be “Director.” Peter Abraham (Boston Globe) was just on SportsCenter speculating that Epstein would just be “President,” and would have to hire a general manager. I doubt that will ultimately be the case, but it’s interesting.
  • Dave Kaplan has a solid write-up on the Epstein-Ricketts connection, and where we go from here. It will almost certainly get its own, full post, but I thought I’d pass it on now if you’d like to read.
  • Various media keep mentioning the idea that bringing Epstein on board will help force the city to open its tax coiffeurs and help with the Wrigley Field renovation. I suppose I understand the narrative appeal of that argument (Cubs are on upswing, have good leadership, seems like a better investment, etc.), but I’m not sure I agree. I think the money was going to be there anyway. I am, however, intrigued by the idea that Epstein was instrumental in the actual renovation of Fenway Park, and in the ways to use that renovation to open up new revenue streams. More money for the Cubs means a better product on the field in the long run.
  • The way-too-early next discussion? Who’s the manager? It isn’t going to be Mike Quade. Gordon Edes says it won’t be Terry Francona, either, but might be Ryne Sandberg. However, in initial conversations Epstein had with other Cubs’ officials about the manager job, sources say Sandberg’s name did not come up.
  • For an early read on Epstein’s various philosophies, check out this 2009 piece. I’m not sure I could like this guy more.
  • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

    • Glenallen’s One Homer

  • Fishin Phil

  • Cliffy


    Live blog chat at 11 with joe sullivan boston globe maybe some new nuggets

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

    Updated to reflect Peter Abraham’s comments on SportsCenter (just now) that he could see Epstein coming in as just the President, and then hiring a GM. Phil Rogers has said this previously, but I still doubt it.

  • ISU Birds

    Mike Quade better start looking for D-2 coaching jobs now.

  • ISU Birds

    Hulk Hogan is going to be on SportsCenter amongst all the Theo talks. I’m curious as to what he has heard on the subject.

    • JulioZuleta

      “What, that guy is in charge of the Cubs?! He looks almost as young as that kid that was bangin my wife.”

  • dreese

    I dont have class till 12 which means I dont normally wake up till 11:15 but when I got that text from ESPN at 10:24 I shot right up and danced!!

    • Sam

      I was in the library studying when I found out. Now the whole library knows Theo is a cub lol.

  • Joe Cartwright

    So yeah….. This news definitely broke my computer. Typing on my iPad now. My guess is my computer was so happy it froze itself in the exact moment it heard.

  • Bails17

    Theo’s first order of business….trade Ivan DeJesus to the Phillies for Sandburg!!!!  AGAIN!!!

    • Fishin Phil

      That would be hilarious.

  • ReiCow

    I’m in Sawx nation.. so it has been interesting to watch all this unfold. Only person I feel bad for is my thesis advisor, but he is genuinely happy for all us Cub fans.

    I still love this post titlel!

    Le GM est mort, vive le THEO!!

  • Stuart Williams

    If Theo comes to Chicago it will take awhile to change the philosophy of just looking at it from year to year. That is good. Gone will be the days of trades that mortgage the future, overpaying for that free agent who will “fill” the stadiums, and signing one dimensional players.

    It sounds like all aspects of winning will be looked at: Starting pitching, Team defense, Team Speed, On base percentage, situational hitting, etc. The fundamentals will be emphasized (hello Ramirez, Soriano) and players who are ready to start declining will be purged from the team before they actually decline.

    He seems to be an objective decision maker instead of the emotion based decision maker that has made the Cubs a “lovable” loser. Can we just move beyond that and finally have a consistent winner.

  • DaveB23

    I’ve been saying all summer that its gotta be Theo, that anything short of Theo would be a failure, and everybody said I was crazy and that, at best, it had a 1% chance of happening. And now its actually happening. Unreal, maybe I will witness a World Series on the Northside in my lifetime afterall

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      You were crazy. But you were also right.

      And so was Tom Ricketts, it seems. That’s how unlikely all of this was (and how exciting it is now).

      • jstraw

        “anything short of Theo would be a failure”

        Nah, not right.

  • YoungCub

    Theo Nathan Epstein (born December 29, 1973) is the General Manager of the Chicago Cubs and former general manager of the Boston Red Sox.

    This is the first line on Theo Epstein on wikipedia. I have probably read it 1000 times.

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

    Heyman on Twitter says Red Sox are currently deciding between prospects and cash for compensation. They seem to prefer the cash, Heyman says.

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


      • Bails17

        Right!  How much do you think it will take?  My guess….1.5 to 2 mil.

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

          Since it’s reported that the Cubs will pick up a 3.5M bonus that Theo had with the Sox 2M sounds about right.

    • Cedlandrum

      Wow what does that say about our prospects?

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

        Well it might mean that the Red Sox see that they will have 5M+ to use on FA if they collect cash vs a mid-range prospect. I think MLB is really pushing for the compensation to be meager so that a precedent isn’t set.

      • Jason

        It doesn’t really say anything about our prospects. If $1.5-$2.0 million is considered to be the differential compensation required, that amount of money is not going to bring a significant prospect in return. Maybe a C+ guy with upside like the kid we got from the Indians for Fukudome (Abreu?). Our better prosepcts are worth more than that.

      • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

        It says the Red Sox knew they weren’t going to get any of the good prospects anyway. The Cubs and Epstein hold all the cards here.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Hopefully it says only that the Cubs drew the line in the sand at the guys the Red Sox actually wanted, not that the Cubs had NO players the Red Sox wanted…

  • Jason

    Wow. Just wow. I think there was a part of me that never thought this would happen. I was wondering if Theo was using us for negotiating leverage. Doesn’t appear to be the case anymore.

    I don’t know if Theo will be dramatically better than any of the assistants that we could have hired, but he’s demonstrated that he knows how to construct a baseball team while the others have not, so he is at the very least a safer pick. And yes, I’m very happy to have him.

    • Hogie

      I still haven’t seen an Epstein built rotation that wows me, but the results were there for years… so I will still giggle with glee

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

    Someone just asked me if Theo becomes President could we also get Friedman? I told him let’s not get toooooo excited but can you imagine a Epstein+Friedman+Sandburg Dream Team, doubt it could happen but I’m giddy with such a dream.

    • Internet Random

      I don’t see that happening.  I think Epstein wants total control over the baseball side of things, and I don’t think that Friedman would want to just serve in an advisory position.

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

        Agreed, I just got excited by the such a possible dream team

  • Jason

    Friedman isn’t going to come to work for Epstein in any capacity. He can get the same title himself from another team if he wanted it.

  • Matt

    I read somewhere that the main holdup is that the Red Sox want to make sure that Theo doesn’t steal the whole front office away?  Do you suppose that the Red Sox are truly afraid of who Theo may steal from the organization?   Other than Cherington, who would they be worried about losing?  If they are worried about Cherington leaving, does this mean that Theo will be President and will be hiring a GM as well, and the Red Sox want to make sure that it isn’t Cherington?  

    Am I reaching to far on this one?  Please feel free to put me in my place if needs be!

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

      They’re concerned about him taking all the advisory and scout like people, think about losing Wilkens and Fletia (sp?) and all the scouts under them, IF the Cubs won two WS with a GM and his team. Cherrington will stay and be GM, but if Theo takes his guys with him the Sox will have a lot of changes to make quickly

    • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

      If you look at the Cubs current front office list ( http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/team/front_office.jsp?c_id=chc ), you see a number of guys with the ambiguous title “Special Assistant to the GM.” I think these are the type of guys that Boston wants to hang on to. Epstein was the GM there, but around Epstein was a large number of other very smart people that he would like to take with him to Chicago. The Red Sox want to keep their front office intact as much as possible, and so they are working to keep as many of those brains in place as they can.

    • CubFan Paul

      Theo is trying to bring his entourage. sweet. The More nerds, the better.

  • cubsklm

    I just put my seatbelt on!

    Things are going to change at lightning speed!

    Can this anymore exciting?

    Now, do the right thing and hire Ryno as manager, Hale as bench coach.

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

    If you have a twitter account you need to follow the #theodayone hashtag… Some hilarious tweets are being posted

  • JP

    Please don’t let Brett Jackson be part of any compensation deal….Please don’t let Brettt Jackson be part of comp….. Please don’t let… you get the point. I love landing this guy but hoping Boston doesn’t highjack our farm system for him. I could stand maybe McNutt if that was the only one but I’d rather just pay cash compensation but don’t think the Sawx will be ok with that seeing money doesn’t really mean anything to them anyways, just ask John Lackey

    • Toosh

      It looks like the Red Sox would prefer cash as far as any potential compensation goes.

  • SweetJamesJones

    Oh sweet Jesus! Oh happy happy day! What an exciting day for the Cubbies!

    I literally screamed and then pretended to punch Mike Quade in the face.

    Only because I could.

  • JP

    You think? I don’t think they care about the cash comp but they’d like to use this hiring as a chance to boost their farm system. I’m wrong chronically so hope you’re right Toosh.

    • Toosh

      Read it on another ‘site.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        I read it in the comments here. :)

    • Jed

      MLBTradeRumors said that the Red Sox might be looking for Brett Jackson. I don’t think the Cubs would give up Jackson for Epstein. At the most, I’d say maybe Chris Carpenter

      • juliozuleta

        Yeah carpenter sounds good to me

  • JP


    I know you’re about as objective as I am about this subject but what’s your gut tell you?
    I’d like to think the Sawx would just be ready to move on to the next GM but they wouldn’t be a great franchise if they consistently operated under the “we’ll get this one, you get the next one” slogan. This is the same franchise that would bid on players just to drive up the price for the Yanks, they don’t believe in not leveraging everything they can out of any situation.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I think they don’t have any leverage anymore. Theo can’t come back now, so they’ve got to get a deal done. Cubs are probably being obstinate (and rightly so). I think the Red Sox take some cash and maybe a mediocre prospect. If the Cubs leaked this thing to the Boston press, they played it just right (though I think it probably came from the Boston side – but, damn, wouldn’t that have been a savvy move?).

  • JP

    Yeah you’re right, the cubs definitely need to lowball them with Kyler Burke(no offense KB) type prospect and call it a day. I think 1st order of business is bring in Ryno and a 1st baseman. Hopefully we can’t talk to our 1st baseman yet because he’s currently still in the playoffs.