As is always the case with rumors, this comes with the necessary rumor mongering caveats. This comes from a source I trust – one who is in a position to know these things – and is his best estimation of how things are shaking out. I know how anonymous sources are regarded, of course, so I would encourage you to raise a suspicious eye as you find it necessary.
A non-Cubs front office source tells me that, in addition to the Boston Globe’s report that compensation talks between the Red Sox and Cubs were proceeding in a “civil” and “business-like” manner, the talks actually advanced considerably late yesterday. Indeed, they advanced to the point where things look good for an early week announcement, before the Wednesday start of the World Series. The source doesn’t have a perfect read on what the compensation will be (few do), but the names he’s been hearing are Matt Szczur, Jay Jackson, and Ryan Flaherty. The source cautions that it’s not likely the Cubs would send all three, and he’s not sure whether that would mean additional employees would be coming over from the Red Sox.
Moreover, it looks like Josh Byrnes, currently the VP of Baseball Operations with the Padres, will be joining Epstein in the Cubs’ front office. We’ve heard rumors to that effect for a few days now, but this source says it’s going to happen. “It looks like everything is going to fall into place,” were his exact words.
If accurate, Epstein and Byrnes would be the foundations of a truly impressive front office, one markedly different from the Cubs’ brass over the last 10+ years. Oh, and I would do a happy dance.
Either way, and as I’ve said since the beginning of these discussions, it remains highly unlikely that the compensation issue will derail Epstein coming to the Cubs. Instead, the compensation issue has likely been an overblown flash point for the Boston media to flap its collective gums.
But if the drama served as a vehicle by which the Cubs were able to pull in someone like Byrnes to join Epstein? Sign me up for drama.