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This is in no way intended to upstage a World Series in which the Cardinals are leading 1-0…

  • Today was, perhaps, the most frustrating in the entire Theo Epstein saga. It started off well enough, with multiple reports that the compensation deal for Theo would be completed today (primarily originating with Bruce Levine and Dave Kaplan), and he would be announced as the Cubs’ President of Baseball Operations tomorrow. Moreover, Jed Hoyer would be joining Epstein as the Cubs’ new GM. Squeal Watch was as close to a full-on squeal as its yet been (I even prepared the post). And then all hell broke loose. I spent the entire day tracking rumors, counter-rumors, reports, thoughts, speculation, and utter bullshit.
  • Multiple Boston sources got chippy when their Chicago counterparts reported that the deal was done this morning. They’d heard no such thing from Red Sox sources, and one even went so far as to say there remained a “fundamental divide” between the two sides on compensation. Red Sox owner John Henry said the two sides were “not close.” Paul Sullivan went so far as to suggest that Henry was affirmatively upset by the “premature” reports, and postulated that the Red Sox might try to “punish” the Cubs for the reports.
  • So where do things stand now? The deal could still be done today or early tomorrow, and then announced tomorrow. Gordon Edes says the deal has been pretty much completed, but the Red Sox still have to review the medical information of the prospects involved. Nick Cafardo, who’s become quite the mouthpiece for the Red Sox, says both sides are still “dug in” over compensation.
  • I asked Dave Kaplan what changed between his original report and the revelation that the Sox weren’t quite yet on board, and he called the turnabout “last minute posturing,” but no reason for concern.
  • Bruce Levine stands by his original report that a deal will get done, but is no longer convinced a press conference will happen tomorrow. If the deal is finalized, though, Levine says the Cubs and Sox have permission from MLB to announce the deal. In a radio interview mid-day, Levine made it pretty clear that he believes the problem lies with the Red Sox, who he says aren’t acting reasonably or professionally. Call it confirmation bias, but I believe him. (I mean, heck, just look at how smoothly the Cubs’ apparent discussions are going with the Padres with respect to Jed Hoyer – a guy who would be coming over in a lateral move.)
  • As I suggested earlier today in various places, including Facebook and Twitter (eh hem), it remains possible that the Red Sox are denying the reports publicly because MLB didn’t want the news to leak today, a World Series game day. We never heard official word from the Cubs, so it’s possible they would have said the same.
  • Speaking of MLB, on the radio today, Bud Selig apparently conceded that he may have to get involved to get the deal done. “It is a possibility. No question, it is a possibility.”
  • As for compensation, no one yet seems to know whom the Red Sox are getting. Bruce Levine still says Brett Jackson, Matt Szczur and Trey McNutt are off the table, but Dave Kaplan says only Jackson is off the table.
  • The good news is that no one is backing off the report that Jed Hoyer will be the Cubs’ new GM. Even better, it looks like scouting/drafting guru Jason McLeod – another former Epstein underling – will be coming to the Cubs with Hoyer.
  • Most sources still believe that the Padres will not require compensation for Hoyer’s (and McLeod’s) hire, but at least one report, from CBSSports, says the Padres will receive “one or two low level minor leaguers” for Hoyer and McLeod. It seemed a bit generous that the Cubs would get both for nothing, so we’ll see what happens.
  • The only teeny, tiny disconcerting part of the prospective Hoyer hire is a report by Bruce Levine that Epstein originally preferred Josh Byrnes to be his GM, and Byrnes declined. Thereafter, Epstein turned to Hoyer, who didn’t immediately jump on the opportunity. Instead, he asked for a five-year extension from the Padres, who said it wouldn’t happen, and gently encouraged him to move on to the Cubs. Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled to get Hoyer. But, I guess there’s a part of me that wishes he was jumping and screaming (squealing?) at the prospect of joining the Chicago Cubs as GM, rather than seeing it as something of an excellent back-up plan.
  • Then again, I’m not so sure I can blame him. Have you ever been to San Diego? There’s a reason people go there and never come back – it’s the best city in the USA, hands down. Chicago is a close second, naturally.
  • Laura

    Brett, my guess would be that Hoyer’s request was a token request. He knew he wasn’t going to get a 5-year extension, especially since his current contract runs through 2014 or 2015, doesn’t it? Regardless, however he did the approach, he seems to have secured his release without burning any bridges, which is usually a wise move. Probably much easier to do with non-psychodrama-queen, non-Boston ownership.

  • hansman1982

    I think the Epstein will go down as follows (times not meant to be a prediction just a reference)

    10:15: @Cafardo #Red Sox walking away from table – compensation not enough

    10:16: @BleacherNation RT @Cafardo SCREW YOU ASSHOLES #RedSoxSuck

    10:21: @TheKapman #Cubs announce 2:30 presser

    10:22: @Cafardo #Red Sox announce 2:30 presser and I am quitting my job

    2:30: @Cubs Epstein new PBO, Hoyer new GM #SQUEALAWAY

    2:30: @RedSox Cherington officially GM, @Cafardo new beat writer

    I still like that Hoyer went to the Padres for the extension – and he may have been miffed that he was #2 but I think in the end this is a great month to be a Cubs fan

    • Internet Random

      2:31: Quade officially fired. #Rejoice #DanceNakedInTheStreets

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        2:32: Reports out of Boston that the Red Sox are standing in Cubs’ way of firing Quade.

        • Internet Random

          2:33:  No one surprised by Sawx obstruct-at-all-costs mentality. #IUsedToKindOfLikeTheRedSoxForAnAmericanLeagueTeam #ICan’tBelieveI’mRootingForTheYankees

        • Montellew

          If the sox love Q so much – let them have him as part of their compensation!! LOL

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            2:35 Red Sox demanding Cubs send Quade to Boston on Brett Jackson’s back.

            • Kansas Cubs Fan

              2:36 Aaron K.(Me) gets free 2012 season tickets with plane ticket, room and board paid for!

               

              I can dream cant I?

  • miggy80

    “it remains possible that the Red Sox are denying the reports publicly because MLB didn’t want the news to leak today, a World Series game day”

    So I was watching the pre game on espn BTN and in the side ticker of stories, when they got to “Theo to Cubs” they didn’t even comment on the topic and moved to the next story. Maybe espn was trying not to step on buds toes

  • Dave

    It is possible that Byrnes was the first choice because he isn’t under contract (from what I understand) and wouldn’t be a complicated hire.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Maybe – but the report says Epstein preferred Byrnes. Doubt Epstein was thinking about contract issues in terms of his preference.

  • CCunt

    That’s about how I expect it to go down

  • die hard

    Which makes me wonder if San Diego wanted him to go…as with Theo we wont know all the whys and wherefores until too late when we are stuck with 3-5 yr contracts for each. Doesnt anyone wonder how Cashman suckered Theo into over paying Crawford? Cashman knew Theo has an ego the size of Mt. Rushmore and thus would never be outbid. Mushrooms are content to stay in the dark as long as the crap keeps coming. Need to think critically and ask the right questions without accepting the first or second answers.

  • jfish1219

    per Phil Rodgers ” Selig tells SiriusXM’s “MadDog Radio” he may have to settle Theo standoff. “It is a possibility. No question, it is a possibility.”

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Thanks, jfish. Good update. I’m going to add that.

  • curt

    today is exactly why i dont believe any of it, until i see epstein standing at a press conference i dont buy any thing called a source, and if i were ricketts and im not but even so tell the redsox 2 piss up a damn tree theo will be here next yr his job will be waiting jed hoyer can im sure keep things running till theo ghets here and 1 last thing 2 quote a famous movie willy wonka this 2 john henry and larry lucchino ” good day sirs you get nothing” ass bags anyways

    • hansman1982

      I will believe it when I see Theo walking around Wrigley with Tom and their matching ID tags

      • CubFan Paul

        grrrr@that f’n ID tag! no way Theo is that douchy

  • jfish1219

    You know its bad when Uncle Bud is sick of it and ready to jump in. This has just dragged on way to long

  • jfish1219

    I think its time for a captin and coke

    • CubFan Paul

      Sailor Jerry is better. cheaper. and stronger.

      • jfish1219

        I was tempted to get that at costco but I wasn’t sure how it was. I bought the new bicardi spiced rum last week cause it was cheaper and it freaking sucked balls

        • CubFan Paul

          sailor Jerry is 90proof and the over rated Captain Morgan is only 70proof. i buy my Jerry from Meijer when its on sale (usually once a month or every other month) for $22 – 1.75L

  • Ari Gold

    Brett, so with Mcleod now in the mix, does that mean he’d replace Wilken?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Not necessarily – he could be promoted to Assistant GM.

      • hansman1982

        I think it is time people get acquainted with the Boston FO and their titles (was going to copy and paste but copy and pasting from a MLB team’s roster page is fairly difficult to make it look decent)

        I mean they have 3 people with titles (taken alone) that could easily be translated to them being the top dog…in the ticketing department:

        Senior Vice President/Ticketing – Ron Bumgarner

        Vice President/Ticketing – Richard Beaton

        Director/Ticketing – Naomi Calder

    • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

      It’d be pretty surprising if the Cubs cut Wilkens loose. He is extremely well respected throughout baseball, and in that sense is exactly the sort of mind that Ricketts and Epstein look to be collecting.

  • LouCub

    Uncle Bud should have had his hands on this about 5 days ago when it became apparent that Lucchino and Henry were out for a vendetta against Theo and the Cubs…Ben Cherington should really be concerned about becoming the GM of that team,,they will make his life a living hell those 2 pricks!!! The Boston media especially Cafardo and as Jim Rhome calls him “Andrew” Gammons (resembline Pres Jackson on the $20) can both blow me!!! Cubs writers and fans may be homers but we aren’t ignorant like those 2…I’ve never seen crap like this in 34 years of following baseball, it’s pathetic just like the Red Sox

  • CH

    Cafardo said Theo worked today and seems unlikely that he is flying to Chicago for press conference tomorrow. Boston papers keep harping on McNutt which doesn’t come far off the Garza request when you think about the Garza trade…time has expired on this negotiation and kid of hope Ricketts takes McLeod and Hoyer and waits on Theo and watch how they handle that mess.

  • jfish1219

    God I hope this doesn’t drag on till after the world series.

  • jfish1219

    In other news Jon Heyman is a tool….that is all

  • Gwhiz

    ESPN reporting MLB has given cubs the go ahead on Epstein press conference on Friday.

  • mikey

    this is bullshit, utter bullshit. i’m done.

  • Mike

    I think the other potential here is Selig in effect takes on arbitrating this. He could then ask for there best offer and mediate under a gentleman’s binding agreement. It all depends on how much you trust a used car dealer. It depends on how he approaches it. In the end, Boston may have been very smart in forcing this. They can raise the bar and end up with more from Selig than they would otherwise have received. There is little doubt, the two sides finding a solution is the best possible outcome for both. Otherwise someone will lose in this, and knowing Selig, how he operates, I wouldn’t bet we would win here. The other thing to keep in mind, this could all be fluff and Bud trying to take credit for what is already done. Stay tuned for the late night/early morning of Dark Shadows and Barnibus Collins.

  • DWahl71

    I hope Boston doesnt want a high profile GM or Manager in the near future because if this whole process has shown anything its that Bostons management is as mature as a 9 year old. It’s all about what you have done lately, and even when you are forced out (Tito) they will bash you to hell. I used to respect the Boston way, now i realize thats just the Theo way and Boston really is nothing

  • ashley

    [IMG]http://i458.photobucket.com/albums/qq310/abercrombie_hottie7135/photo-7.jpg[/IMG]

    • DWahl71

      Cards failing is always fun

  • ACS

    Well with this front office all in the house. What is there first order of things todo? Put a dunkin doughnuts in Wrigley. Are Q’s days numbered or are they going to let him manage this team next year. Does Big Z stay in Chicago? Could we also be swaping some players with the Red Sox?
    Sorry, Colvin, Jay Jackson, and Marmol for Beckett, and Crawford.

    • DWahl71

      id take that trade any day but Boston won’t, if you want beckett and crawford you will have to give up another kid named jackson and we all know that wont happen

  • ACS

    Say you throw in Byrd.

  • http://Ehanauer.com Clark Addison

    San Diego calls itself America’s Finest City. I live there and know it’s bullshit. The weather is great, but the potholes don’t get fixed because nobody wants to pay taxes. The city is on the verge of bankruptcy, but they are talking about building a new playpen for the Chargers. It’s a small town mentality. No vision, no real downtown.

    Fans support the Pads only when they win. Nearly everybody is from somewhere else so half the fans root for the visitors. When the Cubs are in town it’s two thirds.

    But the weather is great.

  • die hard

    Bud Selig getting calls from other owners to stop this from going through as bad precedent which could be major reason for hold-up….raiding two front offices, breaking contracts, moving around players, compensation etc…its a s%*t show supreme and not in the best interests of baseball…heck, Bill Veeck and Charley Finley were crucified for less….

  • ACS

    Sorry could put up monster numbers there maybe a .280 batting average with that short porch not to mention 30 smackers or more. He would also get his wish to be on a contending team.

    • DWahl71

      i couldn’t agree more, if somehow you could dump sorry and Byrd for Crawford id jump, fills a lot of needs, i know starlin loves the leadoff spot but he simply doesn’t get on base enough to warrant leadoff on a contender, Crawford in Left, Jackson in Center and Colvin in Right if he rebounds

  • die hard

    Castro is our future right fielder….recall Hank Aaron moving from 2nd to RF

  • ACS

    No love for speedster campana starting. I agree they have to find a different position for castro or they have to teach him to be that shortstop.

    • DWahl71

      dont get me wrong i love campana’s speed, but what good is speed if you arent on enough to make it a valuable weapon. With an outfield of Crawford and Jackson (hypothetically of course) i think you need someone with some pop in that last corner OF spot. And die hard Castro really has too much raw infield range to sacrifice in the outfield in my opinion, maybe move castro to 3B and Vitters down the road to right field if he develops into the 20 HR guy he was supposed to be

  • ACS

    He is raw though. If you move him to third I think he is not as highly rated. Also who would man shortstop Barney and D.J. To second.

  • ACS

    In this case who mans first Prince, Lahair, Pena, D.Lee, kotchman, or none of this list. Oh and catcher Soto or anyone else.

  • DWahl71

    Very true, alright so leave starlin at SS for now, i almost forgot DJ, nice guy, me and my buddies C*** blocked him at the cubs convention last year but thats a story within itself. Line up next year is gonna be dicey either way because i dont see Rami or Pena coming back leaving two holes in our lineup that we have nearly no internal fixes for, and i hate free agents

    1B: Free Agent on 1 year deal, I’m sure LaHair will get a look, or maybe Pena who knows
    2B: I see a spring competition between DJ and Barney with DJ winning
    SS: starlin
    3B: who knows, if Vitters has good spring or solid april/may in minors then Vitters
    LF: Sori
    CF: Jackson
    RF: Colvin
    C: Soto

    Wow I hope not because that lineup sucks! haha

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