Sources: Tom Ricketts Has List of Prospects Being Evaluated for Possible Trade to Boston

It appears that compensation talks in the Theo Epstein deal are moving along, albeit slowly.

According to sources, today Cubs’ Owner and Chairman Tom Ricketts, who is overseeing those compensation talks, turned over a list of prospects to Scouting Director Tim Wilken and Farm Director Oneri Fleita (see, he kept those guys for a reason), as well as interim GM Randy Bush, to determine which players on the list they would be comfortable trading for Epstein.

That list, mind you, was just as likely generated by Boston scouts as it was by Ricketts, himself. Indeed, those scouts probably have a number of under-the-radar types that they’d like to sneak away from the Cubs.

That there is a list needing evaluation should tell you that tip top prospects like Brett Jackson and Trey McNutt, for example, are probably not on it. (That is to say, I don’t think anyone needs to “evaluate” whether they want to trade Brett Jackson – they don’t.)

Further, as I suggested earlier today, the compensation talks also include discussions of which Boston employees will be heading over to Chicago with Epstein, so that could increase the amount/level of prospects being dealt.

There is no timetable for these discussions, though I would expect both sides would want things wrapped up as soon as possible. I would tentatively expect the final announcement coming after the LCS end.

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

80 responses to “Sources: Tom Ricketts Has List of Prospects Being Evaluated for Possible Trade to Boston”

  1. TWC

    Odd choice of a pic to accompany the article, Bert.

    A Spanish-language planning meeting to-do list?

    ¡Dios mio, man!

  2. Toosh

    It’s actually “poring” over, Brett.

    1. TWC

      But it’s pronounced to rhyme with “sure”…

      1. Internet Random

        But the “k” is silent.

        1. Joe Cartwright

          Grammar nazis….

          1. Internet Random

            FYI, “Nazis” should be capitalized.

            1. Internet Random

              Actually, in that sense, maybe not… but I couldn’t resist the timeliness of the comment anyway.

              1. TWC

                Timeliness nazi….

  3. die hard

    No players!…..also we are saving Boston the last year of Theo’s contract. Cant anyone in he Cubs front office understand this?…If not, then walk away and Theo will be there next year and we can get him for no compensation and on our terms….Keep team as is with Quade and write off next least will be less expensive…and may be better than expected.

    1. TWC

      Iced animal cookies are delicious.

      1. Joe Cartwright

        Random comment on a crazy comment? You’re thinking outside the box, TWC. I like it.

      2. MichiganGoat

        I like to bite the head off of my animal cookies first. It makes me feel like a god.

        1. JulioZuleta

          Haha niice

        2. Ian Afterbirth

          I like to wait for my animal crackers to evolve into human crackers so I can feel like a Darwin.

          1. MichiganGoat

            Now that’s wit everybody, well played Ian, well played. I like your jokes because they are short yet informative.

            1. Ian Afterbirth

              Thanks, MG – I wish my classmates and professors felt the same way.

    2. ben


  4. LouCub

    Off limits, B Jax, Vitters, Sczur, McNutt, Candelario, Baez, Maples, Dunston Jr, Vogelbach any one i’m missing??

    1. JulioZuleta

      None of the last 4 can be traded until next August, so they’re out of the question more than likely. I saw random Red Sox blog where the fans were saying they hope they can “pull Chris Rusin away from us”. That would be more than fine with me.

  5. Vinestal

    I dont mind giving up some mid level prospects if Theo can bring some of his inner circle with him. Mike Hazen (vice president of player development and amateur scouting) would be nice. Dave Finley and Craig Shipley are also nice pieces. Its hard to imagine Boston allowing us to take Hazen but the other 2 are possible I guess.

  6. JP

    I hope they do the official press conference with Theo being introduced as our new GM minutes after the NLCS is over…. Then Theo and Ricketts announce Ryno as the new manager minutes after Brew/Cards win the World Series. If you can’t beat them at least steal their moment.

    1. Jed

      I’d rather see Texas win it

      1. Lou


  7. Vinestal

    Apparently according to Boston we are playing hardball during negotiations for comp so far:
    Which is good we shouldn’t be caving to demands right from the get go. Its a give and take till they get it worked out and probably over dramatized by the drama queen Boston media types.

    1. King

      Does anyone else have a nagging feeling that this deal might blow up?

      1. Dave

        I’ve certainly been cautiously optimistic, but I’m not going to get too excited until there is a press conference and Theo puts on a Cubs hat.

      2. Internet Random

        I think it highly improbable, but the fear is there, yes.  Until there’s an official announcement from the Cubs or Muskat saying it’s a done deal, it’s not.

        1. King

          Maybe I am reading too much into it, but there is this report on the teams being far apart on compensation and this ESPN report ( suggesting that Theo is still working and hasn’t even informed his FO that he is leaving. I just get the suspicion that this all ends with an extension in Boston. . .

          1. Cliffy

            In reply to King, Theo’s heart might still be in boston but his head is in chicago. Once you have made your mind up onsuch a decision the wheels are turning as to what he will need to do. As a past entrenuer thats how you roll.

          2. hansman1982

            beh, I read that article and it just made me feel that ESPN is either:

            A: Clueless on what they report on their website unless it involves the Red Sox/Yankees/Rays/Orioles gaining

            B: Just trying to pander to Boston readers

            C3PO: Just clueless all around…

          3. Internet Random

            On the outside chance that the deal doesn’t go through, I view Epstein’s staying in Boston as all but impossible.  I find it much more likely that Boston would pay him to do nothing (which I think also unlikely in the overall scheme of things).

    2. JulioZuleta

      This is good news. If we are offering cash only at this point, there is no way it gets to the upper level prospects. I also don’t think there is any way that the deal falls through at this point. It would be in no one’s best interests.

  8. MrCubs73

    WEEI is claiming a snag in the negotiations. I cannot image they let this stop Theo from coming to Chicago.

    1. JulioZuleta

      Nah, BoSox have taken a few hits recently between the awful finish, trashing Francona after he left, the beer, chicken, videogames revelation, Big Papi saying he will consider the Yankees this offseason. It’s been a pretty embarrassing run for the ownership lately and I can’t see them risking anymore bad PR amongst the league and the other owners. If they don’t accept the compensation, they are basically blocking a guy who did a lot for them from getting a promotion. Baseball is a tight knit community, and that’s considered pretty bad form. It’ll get done, hopefully at a discounted price.

      1. King

        What about the PR move of a 12th hour offer of a promotion and extension to keep Theo in Boston?

        1. JulioZuleta

          There would be absolute uproar among the fanbase. A lot of them blame Theo for the collapse. Promoting a guy that you were just about to move on from? Try selling that to the fans. Theo wants a new challenge anyways, I’m assuming.

          1. hansman1982

            It really does seem that the fanbase has soured more on Theo than we had on Hendry…they really need to go on a 10-15 year tear of not making the playoffs

            1. TWC

              More than we had on Hendry? Really, Hans? Seems like they’re down on Theo, sure, but I remember the eternal flame of burning Hendry effigies that shone pretty much all summer (season) long.

        2. MrCubs73

          If you watch this video of Lucchino, it almost sounds like the Red Sox may have a change of heart. The biggest priority is hiring a new manager, does he sound like a guy that has totally given up on keeping Theo? Maybe, I just hope this don’t turn into a Billy Beene situation.

          1. juliozuleta

            the biggest priority is hiring a manager bc they know theo is gone and they have his replacement in house.

            1. MrCubs73

              I sure hope!! Theo is a Boston guy and if they came to him with an extension and more money, who knows, it is hard to leave home sometimes. For what it’s worth, I don’t think this deal with fall apart. It just seems to me that the Sox may be having some remorse.

  9. Irish cub

    Was Ben wells the one that threw the no hitter

  10. Cheryl

    Boston management may wish they kept Theo on but I can’t see him continuing with them. He’s gone too far. If he tried to go back he’d place himself in a position where he has no alternatives but to take what they give him.

    1. TWC

      Exactly! Now that he knows Chicago has a Starbucks, you think he’s gonna go back to Boston?

  11. curt

    ok a question if theo epstein is getting a better title with more power thts not a lateral move why are the redsox entitled to anything just asking

  12. Jake

    What I’ve been hearing this evening on MLB radio, (Sirius/XM), is that Boston is considering their assistant GM as the new general manager.

  13. Mike

    So would the change of heat come before or after they gave the GM job to Ben Cherington. I think people are far too worried about the little blips here and nonsense put out by WEEI. Wait to hear it from the Globe. Could Theo back out? Of course he could, but Lucchino and Warner are still doing all the blabbing and they aren’t saying anything important when they do. The only important things said in a week in Boston came from Henry and he made it clear that Theo wasn’t really going to be there long. That’s all any of us needed to know.

    More to the point. this process is very akin to binding arbitration. The cubs have to provide consideration in their offer, last best to the Red Sox, the Red Sox will counter and provide their last best, at the last moment Lucchino if the Cubs hold firm will come down, because he knows, if it goes to the arbitrator Selig, Lucchino will lose. I believe what is really the glitch is likely who Theo brings, so in the end there may be a prospect or two if the Cubs want some of the front office. But let’s remember it’s come from Garza and Starlin, to Starlin to Jackson and Suzcat, to now a couple of off the radar scout prospects. In other words you’re getting one side of two sided story and the one with the upper hand won’t talk.

    The Cubs still have options in Beane, Friedman and others, Boston has already given the job to Cherington so what the hell leverage do they really have.

  14. Mike

    Tom Ricketts has done a tremendous job here. Whether or not I agreed with hiring Quade, and I think it set the organization back as did not shipping Ramirez at the trade deadline, he’s done a brilliant job here. In a 24/7 news cycle top tier market, he quietly identified his guy, went about the business quietly without fanfare getting him and did what almost no one thought possible.

    Could it come apart? Yes it could, but only Theo could kill it. Lucchino is a weasel and he is behaving like one. And after it’s all said and done and Theo does come, they’ll tar him just as they are with Francona. The stuff they are putting out there now about him are something ethical business people don’t do. They fired him and now they are dragging his family and his medical situation into it. They are window dressing for their fan base and that speaks poorly about their fan base. But no doubt, if Theo were to get cold feet, he could pull out. Don’t think it will happen though.

    All of this is natural for all of us who are long suffering Cub Fans. We’re always looking for the grounder that goes through Leon Durham’s legs in SD, Bartman to reach over the left field wall and then collectively wonder if it ever ends. But it will at some point, and for this moment, I give Ricketts credit for recognizing that he needed to take this bold step, the longest journey always begins with a single step and this is a good step in the right direction.

  15. LouCub

    @ Mike, very well put…I don’t think it’s a deal breaker but Luccino and Henry are 2 pompous sob’s..they have delayed this process first in waiting to give the Cubs permission and now this..If Theo didn’t want to come here, it never would have gotten to this stage..I think the hold up is more over the guys Theo wants to bring than the actual prospects involved and after listening to Hendry and Luccino on WEEI last Friday, i’m convinced those worms are desperate to save face in regqards to this situation and will be deliberate at resolving it…Brett, are the guys the Cubs drafted this summer safe from being dealt or does that not apply in cases of compensation??

  16. Cliffy

    I am unable to get WEEI on internet radio anybody else getting it?

  17. Cliffy

    BTW just found the WEEI android app and am able to listen. There is an on demand link where you can listen to previous segments.

  18. Oswego Chris

    NOTE…in regards to the moniker change….I wanted to avoid the awkward period..where I was known as The Artist Formerly Kown as Philoe Beddoe

    Ok…enough waiting already…let’s get this thing done….

    this is starting to remind me of the 2000 election, pretty soon the Supreme Court is going to decide on compensation

    yes I know, these things take time, yada yada yada..

    this has been two weeks of Christmas morning, you are at the top of the stairs, and your parents are still “checking” if Santa came

    *** and if you do not celebrate Christmas, please fill in your own religious celebration where you get a shitload of presents…




  19. juliozuleta

    I’m starting to think the BoSox might drag this out while they simultaneously interview managers. Coming from the same school of thought, there’s a good chance Theo and Cherington have a lot of the same names in mind. It wouldn’t surprise me if they’re just making sure they get first crack at everyone

  20. Oswego Chris

    yes Brett, no longer will I hide behind the facade of a Clint Eastwood character…I figured if I wanted to become rich and famous like you I need to at least use my “real” first name and give a shout out( yuck, I hate that phrase) to my real hometown…

    if the change on the message board  is easy for you to do,  it would be great…if it’s a pain, nevermind

    Brett, can’t thank you enough for running this site and allowing wannabe’s like me the chance to wax philosophically on all things Cub


    1. MichiganGoat

      But, but, but what’s going to happen to your oragatang? This site is going crazy… All this “real” name, “real” picture soon I’ll actual have to know everybody here by an actual name and ‘gasp’ a actual picture. ***SARCASM*** (i wish there was an actual sarcasm font, HTML code etc. yesterday I posted on twitter that I’d been hearing a few rumors about the Theo signing and if it was true- I got 10 confirmations)

      1. TWC

        I read recently that some folks were agitating for making backward italics as the standard for written/internet sarcasm.  I’ve also seen three pound signs (###) used to indicate sarcasm.  Of course, if you need sarcasm to be pointed out to you, one might argue that you’re a douche.  One might.

    2. Frat Rat

      Oswego Chris, beats creating lesson plans……….lol.

      Your reigning ORL Champs……….

  21. Cliffy

    Would any of you be open to the idea of the cubs playing hardball. Dont give up alot, boston wont want to pay theo if his head is in chicago. Theo surely wouldnt want cubs to deplete his future farm system.

    1. Internet Random

      There’s certainly a tendency to think that way, but I think it’s too hard to take a position on something like that without actually being at the table to take stock of the negotiators’ personalities, actions, and reactions.

      1. Fishin Phil

        I think you might want to keep in mind the idea of future deals.  No sense burning the bridge if you don’t have to.

        1. Internet Random

          That should definitely be a factor.  It’s yet another reason I’d want to observe the negotiations directly before taking any certain position.

  22. RoughRiider

    A suit for a suit. Send Kenney.

    1. Robbo

      No you’re talking. Not worth trading good talent for suits.

  23. Theo Epstein Morning Update: Any Reasons for Concern? | Bleacher Nation | Chicago Cubs News, Rumors, and Commentary

    [...] some fear that things will fall through, but, given Bruce Levine’s report yesterday that the Cubs have a list of prospects they’re considering trading to the Red Sox, it sounds like the talks are still [...]

  24. Mike

    Something you all need to understand, we have to be careful and separate John Henry from Larry Lucchino and the rest of the Boston gang. John Henry is not an eastern establishment snob, not an ivy league born with a spoon in his mouth gilded baby. He was born in West Central Illinois and his father and grandfather were friends of my father. They were if I remember farmers and my father told me when the Red Sox won the world series they were very humble, hard working people if I remember correctly. Ultimately I don’t think he will let a weasel like Lucchino do too much damage to this, but in the end even this Dennis character, calls the Red Sox a cesspool. Pretty damn bad situation when he guy your feeding stuff to does this.

    But they are using this to do two things. Excuse what occurred and then once it becomes obvious give themselves a clear out as to having done their best. And there is the factor, obviously the cubs want to walk away with the guys Epstein wants also. Anyway you cut this, the only way this deal falls apart is if Theo Epstein and not the Boston Red Sox changes his mind. They have already told Cherington he’s getting the job, so Lucchino is just trying to hold up the Cubs. That’s something else Dennis from WEEI went on about how Lucchino and Theo basically had the Irrevocable divorce in 2005 only to agree to coexist and then Lucchino who’s basically belittled his contribution up until now is ironically making the case that he’s not replaceable to Boston and we should give them whatever they want. It’s all window dressing, and in the end, the Cubs will pay to get the prospects if they want some people but if my father was correct about Henry God rest his soul, Henry won’t let Lucchino “queer” this deal to borrow a phrase from our buddy Dennis from WEEI.