If you’re anything like me, you’re sick of hearing about the Theo Epstein compensation fight with the Red Sox.

It was a necessary piece of the Theo-to-the-Cubs puzzle back when, so it was compelling for a while. “Leverage” and all that. Even after Epstein officially came to the Cubs, it was an interesting issue – how much would Epstein say he’s worth? Will the Commissioner be forced to settle the issue? Which prospect might the Cubs lose?

Well, that was a while ago. And the issue drags on. At last check, the Cubs and Red Sox were meeting on the fight this week at the GM meetings, but, apparently, the Commissioner is no closer to interceding. As long as the discussion progress amicably, there are extensions aplenty.

But, despite those amicable discussions between the actual parties, some in the Boston media are still beating the war drums as if it were mid-October, and Theo Epstein were still doing paperwork on Yawkey Way. From the Globe:

The Red Sox asked for ace righthander Matt Garza. They asked for young shortstop Starlin Castro, as this correspondent had proposed.

They were rebuffed on those requests, but when the agreement was reached to let Epstein go, as a Red Sox source reiterated yesterday, the understanding was that Boston would receive a “significant’’ return….

The last thing MLB wants is to set a precedent in such matters by reassigning a player.

It’s difficult to predict whether MLB would want to discourage the future raiding of staffs by making the Cubs surrender a significant player, or whether they would go the midrange prospect route, which may upset the Red Sox but satisfy the Cubs….

The Cubs need to protect some of their better players or get top value for them in trade. Epstein could be open to dealing Garza, for instance, but he would have to get a great return. Would this type of deal constitute compensation?

The Cubs have other intriguing players, such as closer Carlos Marmol, who blew 10 saves last season but has electric stuff. Marshall is an intriguing setup man, and outfielder Tyler Colvin, a lefthanded hitter, belted 20 homers in part-time duty two years ago, though he has yet to really blossom.

Would righty Jeff Samardzija be considered “significant’’? Samardzija went 8-4 with a 2.97 ERA in 75 games with a WHIP of 1.29. He has been a reliever but is projected by some as a future starter. At age 26, the former Notre Dame receiver could be an intriguing player to the Red Sox.

There is a prospect in Chris Carpenter, who could be a starter or a reliever. Or the Sox could take a chance on returning starter Andrew Cashner.

There are just so many things glaringly wrong with those excerpts. I can handle only a couple.

The Red Sox are not – I don’t know how many times this must be said – going to get a meaningful player from the Cubs’ big league roster. It simply isn’t going to happen. Sure, the two sides could broker a trade, in which the compensation issue is subsumed, but getting Samardzija or Cashner straight up as compensation for Epstein? Utterly ridiculous.

It’s difficult to predict whether MLB would want to discourage future raiding of staffs? Seriously? That’s how you frame the issue? MLB isn’t worried about “raiding of staffs” for promotions! MLB is worried about teams like the Red Sox hoarding talent and then demanding “significant” compensation when they try to leave for a promotion. Do you really have to ask how MLB would prefer this to play out? If you do, you either haven’t been paying attention … or you’re hopelessly biased.

The Red Sox deserve compensation for Epstein. No one disputes that. And the compensation should be on the order of a good prospect or two – I said as much the day Epstein was rumored to be coming to the Cubs, and nothing has changed since then. Hell, I’m probably being generous, given the dramatic shift in “leverage.”

But, however it plays out – and however long it takes – the ridiculousness must stop. If for no other reason than ridiculous statements about the compensation issue force me to write about it, and force you to read about it. And, I think we can all agree: we’re tired of it.

  • http://justinjabs.com/blog Justin Jabs

    Hey guys, I just wanted to say a big thank you for the information on the GM meeting in Milwaukee. I got Theo’s autograph and I’m still glowing. For anyone who wants to read or see the pictures, I wrote about it here: http://www.justinjabs.com/blog/?p=597

    (Also, if linking other blogs in comments is frowned upon, let me know and I’ll take it down. Thanks in advance!)


    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      That’s awesome, man. Very glad that worked out. That’s a cool memory you’ll always have (and the ball is nice, too).

  • Aaron

    I think it’s safe to assume that Theo & Co. actually WANT Selig to step into this. Boston is, naturally, being ridiculous.

  • Katie

    Boston can suck my left one.

    • Hawkeye


    • hansman1982

      not sure how to take this news that you have any let alone a left one…

      • Katie

        Boobage, not nuts. Although I’ve been told by several spurned men over the years that I have balls that clank.

        • Hawkeye

          I think I speak for all of us when I say, “Thank you for the clarification”

          • Katie

            Ha! Yeah sorry. I was referencing an old chick punk band Bikini Kill and their classic ditty, ‘Suck My Left One’. Sorry for any confusion. I have a bit of a potty mouth.

            • Fishin Phil

              Careful Katie, you know that a potty mouth turns hansman on.

              • Katie

                That’s the idea, Phil!

                • Sweetjamesjones

                  Thats hot.

                  But yeah. F Boston.

            • Chris84

              I appreciate the Bikini Kill reference. A+

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

                I’ll second that

  • Jonathan

    I think we should make sure the Red Sox get significant major league players. I suggest a package of Zambrano and Soriano.

  • Sam

    The Boston media is comprised of a bunch of morons. They have this attitude of “We will take no less than… (Insert Cubs Top prospect/Player here)” and its fucking ridiculous. Even if that were even remotely possible at one point, what little leverage the Red Sox had is gone. Epstein is now working at the corner of Clark and Addison not Yawkey Way. What are the Sox going to do… Demand Epstein return to work for them unless they get top talent? No… Just no. I wonder if the Boston media realize how stupid they sound, let alone how stupid they make the Red Sox organization sound when they spout this ridiculous bull shit?

  • JK

    Boston could have refused the Cubs request for an interview with Theo. End of story. No need to cry about sending over Carlos Marmol. Once they allowed that to occur, they exposed an employee to a promotion. The question is what type of precedent does MLB and the baseball industry want to set in these types of scenarios. Send them a bag of balls and a Lou Malnati’s pizza but this is standard procedure. If you don’t want to lose a key employee, than either give them a contract extension, promotion or refuse a team the right to interview. If you don’t take one of those preemptive steps than don’t come crying to me for Starlin Castro.

    • JasonB

      Boston doesn’t deserve Lou Malnatti’s Pizza. Send them some Domino’s

  • Cheryl

    Maybe Boston wants a Christmas present from the cubs. This has dragged on so long is there a possibility it may not be resolved?

    • JulioZuleta

      Nope, it’s not like they could send Theo back now. If I were at the negotiating table for the Cubs, I’d lower my offer. It’s getting evident that Bud is going to have to settle this. You know he wants to low ball the BoSox. Offer them Jay Jackson or Justin Bour.

  • Matt

    Boston lost any leverage they had when they let Theo go before a deal was in place.

    And their expectations seem to be as unrealistic as they ever were.

    • Fearbobafett

      This was a point i was going to comment on, based on the AL exec saying they never should have let him go.  Honestly they had no choice, he was a lame duck in an important role.  No way there were paying him to stay home or sit in the corner.  They could not have this linger through the 2012 season.

      Rickett’s however seemed very content with just riding out the 2012 season with the status que.

      To me once they didn’t say NO, to the interview, they lost leverage.  MLB is not going to want the cost to be high for a promotion.  It would basically screw teams like Tampa, who have a very good GM and that person wants to move on.



  • hansman1982

    I like how the writer makes it sound like the Red Sox would be settling if they got Garza or Castro.

    “Journalist/Columnist” Troll is soooo obvious…

  • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

    Chris Carpenter should be sufficient. If the Red Sox want to pout about that, I’ll throw in Rebel Ridling. That gives them two guys who could contribute to the Red Sox in 2012, one in the bullpen and one as a right handed bat off the bench (though Ridling probably needs at least another half season in the minors).

  • Alex

    I read Cafardo’s article earlier this morning. It was a great laugh to start my day. I really needed a great laugh. My side still hurts.

  • johnbres2

    Boston acts like the compensation question is: what is Theo worth? But the real question is: what is the value differential between Theo and Cherington, over one season? The Red Sox lost Theo for only one year, and what they “lost” amounts to that degree of effectiveness that Epstein has over Cherington, for that one year. To even suggest that Matt Garza is equal to that value is childish and stupid. We definitely should be talking about at best a mid-level prospect. I know the Marlins did give up a lot for Guillen. Frankly, they were desperate and the White Sox kind of fleeced them on that.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Well put.

    • JulioZuleta

      Not to mention the Marlins were clearly guilty of tampering, and they didn’t give up as much as it seems. I believe it was their #4 and #6 prospects, but they have a bottom 3 ish farm system. Contrary to what Cafardo (who can no longer be taken seriously) says, the Cubs do actually have a solid farm system. No way they even approach our #4 and #6 which would be something liek Szczur and Vitters. Not a chance.

  • JulioZuleta

    Wow, even the guy who made a career out of kissing Red Sox ass is hopping on the critical bandwagon.

    “•Peter Gammons of MLB Network suggests the Red Sox owners are prioritizing experience in the ongoing managerial search. “What a laugh,” Gammons writes after pointing out that all great managers start somewhere”

  • TC


  • TSB

    If one of the peanut vendors at Wrigley moves to Boston, and takes a job at Fenway, can we get Ellsbury as compensation?

    • Ronnie A.

      We should. Nuff said. 😀

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett


      • JulioZuleta

        Speaking of this, I have to ask, does anyone know the old Asian lady that sells peanuts that literally walks around whisssspering “peanuts”??? My friends and I always get a kick out of her. Also, there is a guy that looks exactly like an older Scottie Pippen…which given Scottie’s recent financial situation could be a possibility down the road.

  • Dave H

    This is about as mind numbing as talking about some certain former player becoming a coach. Enough already.

  • Cubbie Blues

    “The Red Sox asked for ace righthander Matt Garza. They asked for young shortstop Starlin Castro, as this correspondent had proposed.”
    Is he supposed to be a journalist or a blogger. He is so self-indulging I didn’t feel like giving them the web hit to find out who he was. Are they serious about this deal? At this point Theo probably is just going to let it drag out until MLB steps in.

    • Internet Random

      You had more sense than I did.  I regretted giving him the click five seconds after the page loaded.

  • Jonathan

    Since Hoyer was hired and it is now a clear promotion the Red Sox should get nothing. If a gm or manager gets fired they get financial compensation. I think it is ridiculous that mlb allows player compensation if they want to leave

  • bacboris


    2 issues with the write up.

    1. I dont think its necessary to even leave the question up, IF Boston rag writers are hopelessly biased? I have more doubts about the sun coming up tomorrow than about a fair word coming out of that group of miscreants.

    2. You said “no one disputes” that Red Sox deserve compensation for Epstein. Wrong, I dispute that. Let them come to Selig and tell their story about how their contracted employee was given a promotion and they want the moon. We come in there and highlight your hoarding argument and that any compensation will drive up the contracts of MLB front office people. Watch how quickly that idiot Henry gets shown the door. I wouldn’t even go so far as to offer Katie’s imaginary left nut but when the Red Sox walk away with a Junior Lake or Jay Jackson they should get on both knees and thank the baseball g-ds.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      On number 2: that’s fair.

  • die hard

    The Red Sox are mad because when they first gave permission to the Cubs to talk to Theo a “gentleman’s agreement” or understanding was reached that a top 10 prospect plus monetary compensation would be made. Now the Cubs are claiming the deal was top 10 prospect OR monetary compensation. Since nothing was in writing it is a he said/she said.

    • http://cubbiescrib.com Luke

      I haven’t seen a single report suggesting anything of this kind. Can you link your source on this? Or are you guessing?

  • Oswego Chris

    Were you there for this, or do you have a very good source?

  • Dumpman

    A deal should have been made before anyone talked to anyone else.. sounds more childish then anything.

    I REALLY feel strongly that we should not compensate the Sox at all. I thought we should give them a mid level prospect IF he took over the role of GM. Thtas not the case. He received a promotion that he wouldn;t have gotten if he stayed with the red sox. Seems cut and dry to me. Hell even the Padres said PTBNL after rule 5 draft. They gave us 2 key FO guys with a lateral move. Dumb.

  • Vinestal

    Carrie Muskat
    Theo says #Cubs and #Redsox will table compensation talks until after Rule 5 Draft

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Thanks, Vine. Good stuff.

      • R.I.P. Santo

        when is the rule 5 draft
        remember when we had Josh Hamilton on our team for 5 minutes

  • Lou

    Well, I can understand why these Boston folks are such obsessive dufuses regarding their Sox. Any trip to New England is confirmation. I went in the midst of football season and the locals were totally into their Red Sox wearing their gear. This was October, mind you, but the Sox didn’t make the playoffs that year. I remember thinking about all the times I’ve spent in Chicago with family. Yes, there’s lots of Cubs fans but people do have the ability to naturally “turn the page” if other sports gauge their interests in Chicago in October and the baseball season’s over (namely the Bears). I think it’s this inability to turn the page that leads to this Red Sox obsession and these crazed comments.

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