Our four-month nightmare is finally, mostly, at a close.

Today, the Cubs and Red Sox decided – on their own – that the Cubs would send relief pitcher Chris Carpenter and a player to be named later to the Boston Red Sox as compensation for the Cubs hiring Theo Epstein back in October.

The Cubs will also get a PTBNL. Note that 2011 Draft picks can now be included in deals as PTBNLs, so it’s possible that’s what we’re looking at here. It’s also possible that the sides felt they were so close that they wanted to move on, and tie up loose ends later (that always works). (UPDATE: it sounds like both sides expect the PTBNL situation to be resolved by the end of Spring Training, so it isn’t going to involve any 2011 Draft picks.)

It sucks to lose Carpenter, who was expected to be an important part of the pen this year, but I suppose it could havebeen worse. The Red Sox, however, should be mighty happy – they just got a better prospect than Hector Trinidad.

It’s important to keep a proper perspective here.

First, and foremost: we don’t know everything. As much as this story has been reported (and re-reported, and regurgitated, and repackaged, and poured over), there are still a number of crucial details we may never know. What exactly did the Cubs (via Crane Kenney, we think) say to the Red Sox about a possible interview with Theo? How exactly did the chain of events play out? Did the Cubs ask about Theo as a GM, and then later decided to give him the Presidency? Were names ever exchanged? If so, how many? Which ones? Was there ever an allegation of tampering? Do the Cubs value Carpenter less than we think?

I could go on.

Secondly: the Cubs are paying for what they got, and not what Boston gave up. That is, of course, backwards, but this whole process has been backwards. The Cubs got a completely remade front office for at leave five years, and that’s the story Boston effectively sold to the media for months. Instead, the story should have been what Boston lost: one year of a disgruntled Theo Epstein, offset by the promotion of Ben Cherington and millions of dollars saved. The Boston front office, by way of the Boston media, “won” the public relations battle. And it probably got them a slightly better prospect than they otherwise would have gotten.

Thirdly: the Cubs were always operating at a surplus. I know it’s easy to look at this like, “the Cubs just lost a great prospect today for nothing.” But, really, it’s more like the credit line just got called. Compensation was always owed. This day, however far off it seemed every time someone said a decision was “coming soon,” was indeed always coming.

It’s not all bad news. The move conveniently opens up a 40-man roster spot so that the Cubs can officially add Cuban pitcher Gerardo Concepcion at their leisure.

  • die hard

    does Carpenter make Bosox 25?…If not then this blows over…but if he does, then somebody messed up on his upside…in any event, when Cubs win WS in 2015, all of this is color bubbles to quote the jury fixer Gene Hackman in Runaway Jury…

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Whether you mean Boston’s 25 man roster or Top 25 prospects, the answer is yes either way.  But I don’t think anyone has messed up on his upside despite that.

      Today, Carpenter is a useful middle reliever with a great fastball but serious control issues who was unlikely to make the Cubs bullpen out of spring training.  Boston is not as deep in relievers as the Cubs are, so in Boston he has a much better chance to break camp with the team.

      In terms of prospect rankings, analysts don’t agree on Carpenter.  Those who focus on his fastball see him as a future closer and rank him highly.  Those (including myself) who put more weight on his inconsistency and his age rank him much, much lower.  No one argues that he has an upside as a closer, and a good one.  The difference comes in how likely he is to reach that potential.  But regardless of that upside, the Cubs lost a reliever who was unlikely to make the major league roster this spring and was about to get buried by other, more promising relievers coming out of the minors.

  • Cliffy

    QT @Buster_ESPN: About the Theo compensation: Boston’s ownership made a mistake in not settling compensation before he walked out the door.

  • Don

    Can’t wait to hear Peter Gammon’s take on Carpenter. He’ll probably spin it like “Sox acquire Cub’s top pitching prospect”. Hate to lose Carp, but it could have been a whole lot worse. Time to move on and name Sori as the PTBNL to Sox.

    • http://Www.campvegetable.com camp vegetable

      Perhaps the Red Sox diminished the value of the compensation by asking for a “major league ready” minor leaguer. At 26, Carpenter best get his control issues settled or else the Sox missed out on a promising opportunity.

  • Curt

    and if, ifs and butts were candy and nuts it’d be Xmas all yr long , this is still b.s. this whole thing leaves a bad taste in yr mouth if they didn’t want to give theo up then when we asked for permission , this is very simple to me, just say no refuse permission, done we move on. I hate giving those douschebags anything. but at least we get to move on the only positive I see .

  • rbreeze

    I think Bud Selig finally came to his senses and said to both teams, you guys figure this out on your own!

    I f”d up when I declared home field advantage for the World Seriesgoes to the All-Star game winning league!  I don’t want Cubs and Red Sox nation on my ass!!!

  • cjdubbya

    Only thought is that I feel bad for Carpenter, just arriving to ST in Arizona…but now he has to pack up (again) and head east to FL. Hopefully he didn’t have all his stuff unpacked.

    • Toosh

      Good point. The issue should have been resolved long ago.

    • Cubbie Blues

      Or drive there. Some of the players that live close by did. I remember one tweeted that he drove 6 hours to get there so he would have his car during camp. That would truly suck to have to drive another 6 hours just to get on a plane.

  • gritsngravy

    Carpenter is def. alot to give up but it could have been alot worse for sure. I just want it to be over first and foremost so that we can move on and get excited about the 3 year plan once again without worrying who we are going to lose. Let’s face it we picked up a top of the line front office revamp for a good pitching prospect. I say it’s a fair trade on our end.

  • Cubs 2015
  • Edgar

    Im just glad its over. Actually glad it was Carpenter. Now please extend Garza.

    • SirCub

      This really feels like a bookend to me. Now we turn to the next chapter.

  • Ivy Walls

    Carpenter has the talent (100 MPH FB) and a wicked breaking pitch but neither did he have command or the ability to spot his pitch in a player’s weakness. Can coaching cure this—maybe and Carpenter fulfills BOSOX’s claim they wanted someone who could contribute at the MLB level. He is not ready or polished and may I recall a few shots onto Sheffield on national TV as someone turned around a 99 MPH FB after a walk or two.

    I am happy it is not McNutt or Vitters or Castillo or Clevenger or Lake, let alone BJackson or Barney or Wood or Castro or Baez or Bellivue, all rumored. Carpenter was in the 8/9th-12th category, probably more like 7-8-9-10 ranking and therefore slightly higher ranking than a 15th—-and therefore why the exchange of PTBNL, Boston wanted someone now so they gave up on some lower A prospect exchange—my guess.

    I am happy it is over.

  • Tim

    It is nice that it is done, but Carp is too much to give along with a player PTBNL? We did receive Theo (theoretically in the return) which is worth more, but let’s be honest, he was at the end of his tenure and the club was falling on it’s face at very little fault of his own. Just not one of the names I expected. I was hoping for much less. But as we all know, you can wish in one hand and sh*t in the other and see which one fills up first.

  • MightyBear

    Fucking bullshit. Cubs should have never lost Carpenter, I don’t care if he never pitches in the majors. Bud Selig is a fucking idiot and Larry Lucchino is a major league douche bag. What else do you expect from lawyers.

  • TeddyBallGame

    Jeez, tell us what you really think…so, you’d give Theo back to the Red Sox for Carpenter?? C’mon playa! Carpenter is a decent arm, but we knew it’d take something of subtance to get this done. Carpenter is pretty much already forgotten in my mind,.time to move on and get ready for the season!!

    • MightyBear

      No and that’s a stupid argument. The Cubs were never going to “give Theo back”. It’s about compensation for someone who got a promotion. 30th ranked prospect and cash at best.

      • BetterNews

        MightyBear-This deal was mutually agreed upon by the Cubs and Sawx. I don’t like it either, but apparently Theo is O.K. with it so it’s time to move on.

      • Mick

        Where’s Doc Wimsey when you need him? If he were here, he’d explain that this wasn’t a promotion because Theo wasn’t our employee to promote. This was about a club releasing an employee from the last year of his contract in exchange for a “significant” prospect in return. I too think it’s B.S. that we had to part with Carpenter but I’d much rather him since he’s coming from a position of great depth. This would have been a much harder pill to swallow if the compensation was centered around a position player or starting pitcher.

        • BetterNews

          Mick-Well said. I still don’t understand where this PTBNL crap came from! From what I’ve heard these players have already been decided upon by both clubs. Why not release their names now? What a crock!

          • Mick

            From what I gathered, the PTBNL are to constitue an official trade since executives cannot be traded for players.

        • Toosh

          Actually it was a non-lateral move and the compensation was more than in similar cases. However, I won’t lose any sleep over losing Carpenter. It would have been nice if it was totally resolved.

  • Marla Collins Fan Club

    I seen a poll taken in the Boston Globe and just as I expected. The Boston fans are not happy with this deal. They expected more.

  • So Ill Cub Fan

    I saw Carpenter pitch the first 5 innings of a four pitcher No-Hitter for the Peoria Chiefs a few years ago, the only No-Hitter in Chiefs history at that time. He had a dominating fastball even then, but not much else. Hate to lose him, but still pretty cheap considering the chance for Theo to change the course of Cubs’ history!

  • Tim

    Epstein is turning out to be a major wash so far. We’ll give him one year until he’s just another rich-kid who thinks he’s a guru. No magic this winter, just some minor moves and well phrased legal banter for sports writers.

    • BetterNews

      Tim-Come on man! The Cubs haven’t played a single game yet and you have Theo washed up.

      • mac

        Seriously! This sort of negative thinking is exhausting.

    • Mick

      I feel your pain, it’s sort of like finding out Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, or Harry Potter weren’t real. Sort of like your expectations for Theo and his 1 off-season!

  • North Side Irish

    Not really news, but I found this humorous…

    Patrick Mooney @CSNMooney
    McNutt had to call his wife for a ride home because Carpenter drove him to #Cubs complex today: “I feel like I’m in high school.”

    • Dave H

      Too funny!

  • http://www.cubsminorleague.blogspot.com Lothar

    The strength of the Cubs minor league system is power bullpen arms, so it’s not as damaging to the system as losing an SP prospect like McNutt would of been. Carpenter has a great arm, but right now is a two-pitch reliever with control issues. From a fan’s perspective, losing a 7th or maybe 8th inning guy for the amount of excitement and optimism the new regime has brought to Cubs fans this off-season seems like a good deal!

  • Rush

    I am a little upset that Carpenter is gone I really liked him and was hoping to see him full time this season :(

  • J.B. House

    I don’t get the players to be named later bit. Even when its finally decided it’s not decided, frustrating.

  • cubsin

    The PTBNL’s are necessary to make it an acceptable baseball trade. If the Cubs send their 50th-ranked minor leaguer to Boston for their 50th-ranked minor leaguer, with possible minor adjustments either way, it won’t impact the 2015 World Series.

  • Jason “Thundermug”

    Jeff Samardzija’s journey to become a starter just became longer but all in all at this point Chris Carpenter will be missed but rather give up a reliefe pitcher than a starting pitcher or everyday player for compensation. It will be interesting to see what the swap will be I have a feeling we will be getting a pitcher back in return while giving them a position player of somekind. Glad it’s mainly over and didn’t lose Jackson,McNutt,Rizzo, Schzur, Junior Lake, Vitters

  • Bric

    Is this the first we’ve heard it was Kenney doing all the initial talking? If so, I can imagine that all the rumors, speculation, and angst by both sides (especially the Sox) is probably warranted. I can honestly see that used car salesman offering B.Jackson, Rizzo (who wasn’t even on the team yet), or any other top prospect just to get Theo in the door.

    “You can only afford $200 a month? No problem…” (As he secretly knows the deal’s going to go south as soon as you step into the finance manager’s office). “Total monthly bill $312.” “But the guy outside said it was only going to be $200 a month…”

    Seriously, we’ve been blaming all this mess on the Sox break down at the end of the season and their spoiled loser mentality. Maybe all this B.S. was actually just Kenney being Kenney, the head of marketing who came up with “Baseball is better!” I could’ve thought that up for a 6 pack Old Style.

  • MJ

    Fucking bullshit. Cubs should have never lost Carpenter, I don’t care if he never pitches in the majors. Bud Selig is a fucking idiot and Larry Lucchino is a major league douche bag.

  • ty

    Privilige of seeing Carpenter pitch many innings ever since being drafted and he is almost always disappointing. When this kid misses the plate, he really misses. Only worry is that our most veteran scout who just joined Boston had input and Maybe Chris can turn it around and have a career.

  • Rick Vaughn

    So glad we didn’t lost McNutt or Vitters. I can handle losing Chris Carpenter. I still think it was more than any front office guy is worth.

    • BetterNews

      Rick-Ya, but still a lot to give up. Down the road we might say what a deal or we might be throwing 4 letter words around.

  • Turn Two

    Why would we be throwing 4 letter words around? We got the opportunity for a culture change in exchange for the opportunity to have a young relief pitcher with a + fastball. Whether or not this works, it is something we should not have to look back on and say “what if”. It is what it is, we have taken our shot, no regrets.

    • MichiganGoat

      It has something to do with bad math and a flawed understanding of basic logic.

    • BetterNews

      Well I remember when Maddux left. Maybe you were just 6 years old back then. People were hopping mad and 4 letter words were flying!(not comparing, just saying)

      • Turn Two

        In what way are you not comparing? Why bring it up then? Not sure how you randomly came up with the age 6 thing or why my age that year might have mattered, but what does matter was Maddux was a Cy Young award winner and Chris Carpenter is a relief pitcher in a system heavy on power pitching relievers. Not to mention, we have a knack for only drafting the injury prone ones.

        • MichiganGoat

          Jinx I owe you a coke.

      • MichiganGoat

        See flawed logic: Maddux leaving after a Cy Young season and Chris Carpenter going to a team in exchange for one of the top baseball minds are absolutely comparable.

        Wait you said “not comparing, just saying.” So your saying here are two entirely different situations that are not at all similar but let me just throw it out to show how little I understand basic logical progression in an conversation. Man you’re on a roll tonight!

        • BetterNews

          I was simply saying Carpenter trade could hurt. Carpenter could turn out to be a big time reliever or closer. Everybody would be up in arms!

          • MichiganGoat

            But again do you see the error in your logic? Or will you never learn?

            • BetterNews

              I really don’t see too many errors in my logic to tell you the truth.

              • MichiganGoat

                Seriously all night long you see no errors in your basic logical premises? This is where psychology is needed.

                • BetterNews

                  I had psychology. One of the professors best students. Want to try something else?

                  • MichiganGoat

                    YOU ARE SICK. You either can’t learn or won’t learn and that is a specific warning sign for medical problems of the brain.

                  • ferrets_bueller

                    …best at what?

                    • MichiganGoat


                    • Featherstone

                      Master Troll hard at work.

                    • MichiganGoat

                      Featherstone you are correct, time to go back to ignore mode (which I should have never unblocked in the first place). Some things cannot be educated.

  • Dave H

    Are you kidding me! This is still going on?! Katie send me a beer, this is gonna take a while!

    • MichiganGoat

      Sorry everyone I should have just given up a long time ago, someday I’ll learn the most difficult thing for us teachers to learn- YOU CAN’T TEACH SOME PEOPLE.

  • MichCubFan

    Here is my question. After giving them Carpenter is the PTBNL swap going to benefit us or them to even out the whole deal?

    If Carpenter is seen as being a little steep of a price are we going to get a little more back in the PTBNL swap, is he a little short so we are going to end up giving a little more in the deal, or do we have different needs in our system and are evenly going to trade the PTBNLs to help eachothers’ needs?

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