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A few thoughts to chew on this evening as the Theo Epstein drama continues to unfold…

The word of the day, apparently, is leverage. Specifically, the issue is whether leverage exists in the present discussions between the Chicago Cubs and the Boston Red Sox regarding compensation in exchange for Epstein’s services in 2012, and, if so, who has it. Because discussions have degraded considerably in the last two days (reports say Red Sox President Larry Lucchino is taking things personally, and is out for blood), whichever side has the stronger fallback position probably has the upper hand in negotiations.

According to the Boston media, any leverage that exists falls in the Red Sox’s favor. Case in point, Peter Abraham today writes that “the Sox have all the cards. Ben Cherington is running the baseball operations department and appears to have the full confidence of ownership. They can let Epstein and the Cubs stew as long as they want.”

Thus, those falling on this side of the leverage question would say, “the Red Sox would be wise to let the Cubs twist in the wind until they acquiesce and offer up the pick of the prospect litter.”

And yet, I keep coming back to the same thought: would the Red Sox actually risk the financial, public relations, and prospect hit by cutting off discussions with the Cubs?

Red Sox owner John Henry has already publicly said that Theo Epstein is leaving Boston. He’s also already started the local narrative that things need to change for 2012. It is unfathomable that Epstein could return to the Boston in any meaningful role.

In other words, the only real “leverage” the Red Sox have is to break off talks with the Cubs, let Cherington continue on as GM, force Epstein to sit out the 2012 season (or “work in the mail room”), and pay him his $3+ million salary in addition to his $3.5 million “closure” bonus. Oh, and did I mention that they’d make themselves out to look like the greatest villains in all of sports? Can that really be called leverage?

I’d call it a nuclear option.

But it exists, and, when framed that way, I suppose the Red Sox do “hold all the cards.” After all, there’s no response to it. Right?

Well, if we’re getting extreme, how about this response?

What if the Cubs were to reach out – quickly, if not already – to a prospective GM candidate who, regardless of his role, would like to work with the Cubs and for Theo Epstein? What if the Cubs were to bring that candidate on board now – role to be determine – leaving them with a visible back-up plan for 2012, should Theo be forced to sit out next year and sign with the Cubs after the season? After all, if Ben Cherington’s presence gives the Red Sox leverage, would not, for example, Rick Hahn or Josh Byrnes’ or Dan Evans’ presence on the Cubs neutralize that leverage? The rub, of course, is finding a guy who would be willing to play that part, and who is adequately accomplished to actually run the Cubs for a year (read: not Randy Bush). A second rub, I suppose, is the presumption that Epstein is indeed willing to come to the Cubs in 2013, rather than kicking the tires on any other open gigs.

If the Cubs could find the right guy, then the worst case scenario is a 2012 season run by a kind of interim GM, who knows that, come 2013, he’ll be serving under Epstein. The titles could be tricky, but are, in most respects, entirely academic. Whether the interim guy is the “General Manager,” and Theo comes in as the “President of Baseball Operations,” or the interim guy is actually just called the “Interim General Manager,” is largely a matter of semantics. The point is: the Cubs would have a legitimate fallback plan to which to point if the Red Sox continue to puff up and threaten the Cubs to sweeten the pot.

This would undoubtedly change all questions of “leverage,” and could leave the Cubs sitting pretty. It could swing things so decidedly in the Cubs’ favor that, not only do the Cubs give up less in terms of prospects, but Epstein may also be able to choose a couple of his favorite Red Sox employees to come on over with him to Chicago. And, they’d have a GM-calibre front office talent ready and waiting to work alongside Epstein. Win-win-win.

You’ll note, making this kind of move is more about putting the Cubs in the best possible position to call the Red Sox’s bluff (in case, you know, it isn’t a bluff) than it is about actually bringing someone else on board to run the team in 2012. It hinges on having an attractive GM candidate not named Theo Epstein willing to come to the Cubs under these complex circumstances.

Maybe it’s a pipe dream, and maybe the differential in prospects is not worth the effort. Or maybe I’m just looking to take my mind off of Michigan’s atrocious performance at Michigan State today. But if the Red Sox’s demands are outrageous, here’s hoping that the machinery is in motion.

It’s at least worth discussing, eh?

  • funkster

    I find it interesting that everyone on NSBB is resolved to move on at this point…

  • Cliffy

    Carfardo was on weei not much new to report. he still thinks the deal gets done monday or tuesday.

  • Hangman

    Brett didn’t you say Theo was interest in bring Josh Byrnes with him? Why not give Byrnes the title of GM and next year (if it comes to that) Theo comes in as President Of Baseball Ops? If Theo wanted to bring him in any ways why not?

    • Beckham

      Well, you’d get a year of Josh Byrnes (and a staff of people who would be picked by him), instead of a year of Theo making decisions. That’s a pretty huge deal.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      As a back up plan, I’d say that sounds as good as any.

  • Beckham

    John Henry has said he doesn’t want Theo to leave, he wants him in Boston for another 10 years, so no PR problems would develop. They could let him sit out for the year, or have him operate as a consultant and that money doesn’t effect an organization like the Red Sox. You forget, by allowing Theo to leave they lose the sole formula for their metrics, and that is worth more than the salary relief Theo leaving would offer. Also, Theo could change his mind and decide to stay with the Red Sox in a few months…this is a guy who resigned with the Red Sox only to retun a few weeks later.

    The Cubs have a choice…walk away from Theo or pay a hefty price. I really doubt the Red Sox will take 2 non elite prospects and allow him to leave. If the price is too high, just walk away. They shouldn’t have leaked the contract announcement if they didn’t know what the Red Sox would ask for. Assuming a team like the Red Sox would let their GM leave, while under contract, and not get anything decent for him, is ignorant.

    • Alex

      Two words as to why Theo wouldn’t want to stay in Boston. Larry Lucchino.

      Yeah.. Theo resigned a few years ago for a couple of months and came back with more power. But he was still under Lucchino. It’s a different scenario now. Even with a promotion and more money, there is zero chance he would be at the same level or higher than Lucchino moving forward. Larry will always be over him. Theo already told John Henry (even before the Cubs asked for permission) that he would be leaving after next year. Do you think it’s because he has problems with Henry?

      As for the Cubs, they won’t be walking away from Theo; they would be walking away from Lucchino’s crazy demands.

      Since no one is expecting the Cubs to contend in 2012, there’s no need to have him here right away. And without an agreement for Theo to raid the Red Sox staff; they are free to leave as they please when their contracts are up. In the future, I can’t wait to see bright, energetic front office staffers decide whether to work for Theo or Lucchino who would possibly hold them back from future advancement in their careers..

      So bring in Josh Byrnes right away to run the Cubs next year and continue to negotiate with the Red Sox through the entire off season and into the 2012 season. Then watch Lucchino cave and try to get what he can.

      Walk away from Lucchino and wait out Theo’s contract. Have him come in next year and work together with Byrnes.  And he has the bonus from being far, far away from Lucchino.

      I’m all for fair compensation to the Red Sox. But anyone who thinks were are going to overpay or quake in our boots that we don’t get Theo today, is in their own right ignorant.

  • Beckham

    Also, Ben Cherrington has been with the Red Sox since 1999, and that whole front office (player development, scouting, drafting) has been there for a LONG time. They have a crazy huge expensive FO. Theo can leave because they have everyone in place…the Cubs have no one. They don’t know who Theo would like to work with, and even then they’d have to make their own decision without Theo. They’d lose a year of signing FA’s, making trades, a draft, international free agents, a year of minor league development…isn’t that worth something pretty big? Assuming Theo would still want to come a year later is also chancing it, even if you didn’t care about being in purgatory for a whole year just to save one non top 25 prospect. Look at Theo’s drafts, he has 3-5 stud prospects in all of them.

    • Jeff

      “They don’t know who Theo would like to work with”

      There is a list of former Epstein assistants, and I”m sure that’s an easy place to start looking.  I’m sure that Epstein and Ricketts had to discuss their plans for filling out the front office during their meeting, I don’t think they would have agreed to a contract if they hadn’t.  The Cubs have Oneri Flieta in place for the international scouting, who is easily as good as anyone Theo would bring with him.  Tom Wilken is still here, along with Kaplan and Fleita, I think they could handle next years draft, much the same way they handled this year.  There is also the fact that aside form two or three players, there are no long term building blocks in free agency, so putting off the major spending for a year makes more sense than not.  Also, from what I hear, it’s not saving one non top 25 prospect, it’s saving the Cubs top prospect, as well as a few others that rank highly in their system.

    • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

      This is a bit of an overstatement. Even without Epstein, it isn’t like the Cubs are going to be dead in the water for a year.
      – Oneri Fleita will still be there, so the minor league system won’t miss a beat. Player development operations will be just fine.

      – Tim Wilkens will still be around, so the Cubs will still be in great hands for the draft. With Wilkens and Fleita’s staff of scouts in the Dominican, the Cubs will still be major players on the international free agent front. Again, the Cubs will be fine.

      – This is a fairly weak free agent class anyway (other than first base), so even if the Cubs do simply resign their own guys (that they want), they won’t be missing a huge opportunity. That plan could actually be a good thing because it would give the Cubs a chance to get more of their players like Flaherty, LaHair, Castillo and Clevenger out of the minors and into Wrigley. That would give the team… including Epstein when he arrives… a pretty good idea what they have to work with going forward.

      In short, the Cubs will be fine without Epstein for a season. They will certainly be better with Epstein, but it isn’t like the Cubs are in some sort of crisis mode. There were a lot of very good people working for Hendry, and those people are still under contract. If they need to wait a year to bring Theo on board, I think we can reasonably expect that the Cubs will have another very good draft and sign some high quality international talent. A few major league free agent signings wouldn’t surprise me at all either.

  • Vinestal

    Brett, nice to see you pitching the idea I’ve been preaching for the last few days on NSBB. I like the idea of brining in a Theo approved front office guy to run things for a year, if it comes to that. It’s an idea that has a lot of merits and makes sense on a number of levels. Josh Byrnes was already rumored to be coming to join Theo’s front office in Chicago and once he sees how Boston is trying to screw his old pal from their early Boston days I could see how he might warm to the idea of preparing things while we wait for Theo’s contract to expire. Without a clause in a trade Boston has no way to protect the complete pillaging of it’s front office at that time as well. I’m sure there are plenty of Boston’s people who are loyal to Theo and tired of the drama and the way they have treated their people.

  • Jeff

    Tom Ricketts is on record saying he likes the two headed monster front office.  He referenced Florida and Boston who have both operated that way.  If the Cubs and Epstein are solid with each other, and Boston continues to be unreasonable, this course makes too much sense not to investigate.  There are several guys out there with connection to Theo who would probably jump at the gm seat in Chicago,even if it means a year of no major moves while waiting on Theo.  I agree that there is almost no chance that Theo could return to his job as gm in Boston, and it would be the ultimate pie in the face for the Cubs to call his bluff and watch the Red Sox eat 6+ million dollars and be shut out of getting any return, only to lose Epstein anyway.  Josh Byrnes makes a lot of sense for this role, and I think he would love to get a full year to spread his wings as the main baseball decision maker in Chicago next year.

    The worst thing about this is, last week, the Red Sox were all about letting Theo go after a promotion.  I’m thinking that they thought there was no way he was leaving the almighty Red Sox nation, and they got caught with their pants down, and now they are just making asses of themselves trying to cover themselves.(Asking for Matt Garza, seriously, these guys are out of their minds.)

  • Vinestal

    Beckham, you really think Theo is going to want to sign an extention with Boston after they screw him out of a PBO position. I’m sure Theo is sick to death of Luccino at this point and ready to move on. Boston has become a 3 ring circus. The Cubs weren’t going to be able to field a competitive team this year anyway and most people had been saying they would not be very active in the free agent market this year anyway as far as the big name players. Another year of Wilken’s picks is not the end of the year on the draft side of things. no sense of throwing away 2 or 3 of your top prospects when you can wait a year and have Theo for free with whoever he wants to bring along.

  • Mike

    I thought I heard the commissioners office was going to get involved in this issue?

    • Ron Swanson

      Seriously, MLB has to get inolved here shortly.

  • Miguel Ramirez

    WoW I was gone to Guatemala for a week (a couple of days because of mudslides) and we almost have Theo signed and Brett changed his profile pic (of which I still cant figure out how to do) and the Cards beat the Phil’s and are almost in the World Series. I knew the world was coming to an end!

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I wondered where you’d been, Miggy.

      gravatar.com for your picture. Just set up an account (super easy), and then you’ve got the picture here, and many other places on the web. Very handy service.

      • http://www.frenchrocks.net Ian Afterbirth

        Ya know I’m totally signed up with gravatar and my photo never shows up here anymore.

        Then you may have gotten sick of seeing my bloody face and blocked it….

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Nope, not me. Are you still using the same email address in the comments as on your gravatar account? That’s what it goes off of. I’ve changed nothing at BN…

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            Yup, it’s your email address – I went back and looked at your older comments when the picture was showing up, and, at that time, you were listing a different email address.

  • Vinestal

    End of the world not end of the year, for some reason I can never edit post here when I click on edit it goes nowhere.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      If you’re logged in, it should let you edit (if it isn’t working for others, let me know).

  • Mike

    First, I respectfully disagree that anyone has assumed he’s walking away for nothing. Fact 1. Coming to the Cubs he is being clearly promoted. He will not have both Larry Lucchino and Tom Warner in the chain of command above him. So he is receiving a clear promotion in this transaction. Does Boston really want to deny anyone who is working in their organization an opportunity to better themselves? Of course the answer depends out of which side of the collectively crooked mouth Boston ownership decides to talk. Fact 2. While most sports have contracts for executives, most like the NFL either allow uncompensated leave and negate contract personnel compensation when advancement is involved. Most choose to take a dim view of forced job interment or the whole connotations that the public would view such actions by an “arrogant” and out of touch owner. Fact 3. Boston ownership has so many PR issues starting with but limited to more cooks in the kitchen than anyone could explain, a club house completely out of control, as nasty of a public trashing of a fired manager as I can remember and now the beginnings of piss poor handling of the Epstein situation accompanied by constant contradiction.

    Fact 4. Meanwhile Tom Ricketts has conducted himself with complete honor and dignity. Quite the contrary to how Henry and the boys, led by Larry the weasel are conducting themselves, he’s followed what little protocol exists, behaved as the league prescribes, avoided the media at all costs, kept his mouth shut unlike Boston, avoided any negative comments about Boston unlike Henry and acted like an adult focused on the reality of the situation instead of a petulant child in shard contrast of Boston is behaving.

    Fact 5. Boston has a huge pr problem with it’s fan base as they are acting like cowards and children and are burning their own club house and roster. In order to extricate themselves from there mess they take a giant dump on their talent in the media indicting themselves in the process. It’s a strategy that will fun to watch destroy them when they try to work with all those they crapped on. To borrow a phrase, they hold all the leverage, “Who you crapping?”.

    Fact 6. The Chicago Cubs are offering compensation. Of this there is no doubt, financial and players. If they hold tight at some point Bud Selig will come out from under the desk and rule. When presented with the facts, he will rule on the side of the Cubs, Indentured servitude even in MLB is not looked well upon and clearly the Cubs are acting reasonably as compared and contrasted to Boston.

    Finally the only thing indecent and ignorant in this whole process is the way in which the Boston Red Sox have conducted themselves and the demonstration of complete betrayal they have shown in the media. The lengths to which they have gone to destroy Terry Francona, their own club house and now are starting to go with this, are the beginning of a shameful story. Do you really think MLB will let these people take a Nuclear dump on the sport? No Boston is behaving in a fashion deserving to be characterized as ignorant.

  • http://TheoWaiting Cheryl

    I’d say talk to Theo and lay the cards on the table. Tell him you have an alternative or fall-back position like Brett described. The Red Sox may think they’ve got all the cards, but they don’t. If Theo doesn’t like the alternative than tell him you have no choice but to let the Sox have their way. Then move on.

  • kansas cubs fan

    Red sox nation my ass, more like bandwagon nation im sick of boston and there fans.
    On other message boards all they talk about is how there owners are the best and that if the Cubs want Theo they should get Starlin in return.
    If they wont be reasonable then wait till next year and if Theo decides to stay with boston for some reason then I dont want him anyway’s..

  • CH

    Nice post Luke, especially when you consider that if they bring on Josh Byrnes (or similar but better him due to Theo connection), the Sox are now looking at $6.5 million is payments to Theo, plus probably at least a $1 million to Cherington for actually doing the job, no prospects, and undetermined number of staff with cancerous attitudes in the workplace thinking about leaving…not healthy.
    Further, as all lengthy stories like this eventually end up being a quick soundbite over time, the story easily becomes the “results of bitterness”. If i was a Sox fan, the real answer would be that my ownership is more focused on screwing Theo or Ricketts, and not on “how do we move forward from here” which is the actual position they are in today, no matter what happens.

    • Alex

      Good post CH. I agree with everything you said, especially the last sentence.

  • Alex

    As far as I’m concerned, neither team has leverage. They are at a standoff.

    Bottom line is that Theo is leaving the Red Sox and joining the Cubs. The question is when. The Red Sox already have Cherington in place and is in off season mode. Right now the Cubs don’t have that luxury.

    I hope the Cubs negotiators lay an ultimatum down to Lucchino. Make the deal by Tuesday or we walk away. The Cubs can’t afford to keep drawing this out past the World Series. The organizational meetings come up right after the World Series is over. I said in a previous post that the Cubs should hire Byrnes as the GM and let Theo have a nice year off and recharge his batteries. Byrnes has worked with Theo and knows how to put the framework in place for when Theo’s contract expires after next season. The Dream Team might not be in place in 2012 like Brett indicated in his previous post, but the wheels will at least be in motion.

    By the time Theo gets comfortable in his new digs at Wrigley, Zambrano’s and Dempster’s contracts come off the books, one less year of Soriano’s contract and another year of experience from the Cubs prospects in the lower levels.

    If this deal doesn’t get done by Tuesday or whenever, it won’t be the first time two organizations haven’t come to an agreement on a deal and it won’t be the last.

    This to me isn’t doom and gloom. Up until yesterday morning I was more concerned that Theo might change his mind and choose to stay in Boston. But after seeing how Lucchino has a hard on against Theo and wants to stick it to him, I’m sure he will be counting down the days on his calendar before he leaves that prison in Boston.

    It’s funny how the Red Sox owners say one thing and completely do another. John Henry said that he wouldn’t get in the way if Theo wants to leave. I guess he’s right; he’s not getting in the way, he is letting Lucchino  do his hatchet work.

    In the end, we may not have Epstein running things today; but he’s coming. AND Theo gets to keep all of our prospects and the Red Sox don’t get any money. Even better, they still lose Theo this year, get NOTHING in return and they have to pay him.

    If a fair deal with the Red Sox is worked out. Theo Epstein, welcome to Chicago.

  • Deez

    We don’t owe Boston shit! I wouldn’t give Boston prospects either.
    Cash compensation should be adequate.
    They don’t want the guy, better yet, he doesn’t want to be there!
    Why keeps someone who’s heart isn’t in running your program?
    MLB needs to step in.
    I will commend TR w/ the way he’s handled the search, but…
    When do pull they pull the plug on the Quade era?
    We still have Quade as our 2012 Field General leading the troops

  • Laura

    “Nucular. It’s pronounced nucular.” -HJS

  • Nomar’s Left Glove

    If the sox want to be douche nozzles, check in on Freidman again. If they thought the Cubs might be content to go some other direction, they might think that they might be stuck with a GM that woyld rather be somewhere else instead of cash or prospects.

    • kansas cubs fan

      Douche nozzles?

      • Joe Cartwright

        You’ve never heard that before?

        • kansas cubs fan

          Nope.
          Im new to this site.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            Welcome.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Some people (notably, Kevin Goldstein) say Friedman already said no.

  • Rooster

    I never knew that you had an interest in the Green and White!  MSU tried to hand the game to Hoke-mania with 2 fumbles that netted zero points.  MSU just finally kept bringing the house because 16 can’t throw on the run.  Great gameplan and now I’m looking forward to 5 in a row…maybe 6, 7, 8.  I’ll stop.  It was nice to see the G&W running game look stellar though.  Denard wasn’t allowed to get into any rhythm…thanks Hoke.  OUT

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I hated watching it, but, yes, it was a great game plan. It was the same way teams have been stopping Michael Vick – strong pressure from the front side. With the wind, it was just brutal.

  • LouCub

    Bottom line is that Lucchino and Henry’s actions threaten to set a bad precedent in the MLB… Every off season guys leave one franchise for another and agree amicably and they bring friends and a limited number of staff with them..When Josh Byrnes and Jed Hoyer, Theo’s assistants left to become GM’s, they were permitted to take 2 staff members, now Theo won’t be permitted to take anyone?? This is assonine and a complete vendetta..According to Bruce Levine this am, Lucchino asked for Garza, The guys got bigger balls than King Kong and Bud needs to castrate this bitch ASAP

  • die hard

    walk away…..revisit after Theo’s contract over…stay as is next year and let our bloated contracts wind down….let as many kids play as possible under Quade et al and hope for the best….Cubs would be smart to knock 25% off all ticket and concessions to say thank you to long suffering fans…lays the groundwork for clean sweep beginning 2013….

    • jfish1219

      cookie cookie cookie cookie

  • ACS

    Rick Hahn or Dan Evans makes sence go cubs nice post Brett good place for cubs info

  • curt

    ask theo 2 wait fr 1 yr say the jobs yrs as soon as next season is done and tell bostont 2 bite yr ass, i hate the yankees but boston might be taking over , talk about no class, the only thing lucchino and henry should get now is a boot in the ass, do not give in to these bitches.

  • jmg

    Mr. Brett if it wasnt for you I’d be reading sawx fans on cubs.com. I only wish I had found this site long ago. Excellent work.
    Now lets all root for the Rangers to whip whoever comes ou the central.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Happy to help, jmg. Stick around. Tell your friends.

  • jmg

    out*

  • cubs4life

    Hopefully something gets done before the world series, if it doesnt ive got a wierd feeling its more likely to fall through.. and if that is the case i wonder if we could possibly prep the front office for him for the following year, assuming he truely want to come to chicago, hire what will be his future assistant gm as our interm for the year, also assuming he is willing to fill such a role. and then hire Theo in next year, and move forward. Boston in return gets nothing in respect to cash or prospects, they look like the vilian in the whole deal, they are on the hook for epsteins bonus at the end of the year, and have somewhat of an akward situation in bostons brass…

    i know a lot of peices would have to fall just right, and probably harder to accomplish than the epstein deal itself, but just a thought….

  • Caleb

    You’re assuming Theo isn’t a professional who would do his job.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Who is?

      You’re crazy if you think the Red Sox would *want* Theo to be the GM next year.

      • Caleb

        No, but if he DID end up in Boston next year (he won’t) he’d still do his best. At least I hope so. Sorry, I was hammered when I typed that last night. Go hawks.

  • Mike

    Hey all….new to the site….but I have been lurking. I have been noticing your comments and I couldn’t help but noticing that a lot of you seem to think that the deal is going to fall through. Not a chance. Even though there has been speculation about prospects and there have been some bumps in the road…..realize every person who reported some strain have all said they expect a deal to get done early this next week. If that doesn’t calm your nerves a bit….check out this article:

    By Peter Abraham and Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff

    It has been four days since Theo Epstein agreed on a five-year deal to run the baseball operations of the Chicago Cubs. But he remains — technically at least — in the employ of the Red Sox as compensation talks continue.

    An executive familiar with the negotiations described them as “business-like, civil and moving forward over the weekend.” There were no indications that the talks would break down.

    Sox owner John Henry admitted during a radio interview on Friday that Epstein had left the team despite his wanting him to stay on as general manager. The Red Sox and Cubs have been discussing proper compensation since.

    A Red Sox source indicated that it was unlikely any of Epstein’s assistants would follow him to Chicago immediately, although that could change once their contracts expire.

    With the World Series set to start on Wednesday, the teams have an informal deadline to complete the process. Major League Baseball prohibits important announcements during the Series.

    A report from Comcast Sports Chicago suggested that Red Sox president Larry Lucchino was holding up the talks. But there was no independent confirmation of that report.

    Carrie Muskat, MLB.com’s well-respected Cubs beat writer, reported that outfield prospect Brett Jackson would not be part of any compensation package.

    Not only that, but everyone is expecting Josh Byrnes to join Theo in Chicago. It isn’t speculation anymore, some people have stated simply that Byrnes WILL be joining Theo in chicago…..no IF a deal gets done…..but WHEN it gets done.

    So breathe people!!! Theo will officially be the GM of the Chicago Cubs!!!

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Welcome, Mike. Thanks for that – I think there’s a great deal of misinformation out there (intentional and unintentional). Hopefully things get done reasonably, and soon. And I hope you’re right about Byrnes.

  • Cliffy

    Wow Brett your up early on a Sunday. I’m listening to WEEI they are rerunning some interviews. Supposedly Theo wanted to bring Allen Baird (top assistant) plus the trainer.

    Not thinking much new to get reported on Sunday but who knows.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Baird would be a great get.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Oh, and The Wife is running in a half-marathon, which is why I was up so early. Note that I am not running.

        • casualcubsfan

          Glad to hear you aren’t running…I thought about jogging once and haven’t caught my breath since…I believe it’s a soft j

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