Ok, so yesterday’s conclusion to the Theo Epstein compensation drama wasn’t really the *last* time we’re going to talk about it. (Heck, it wasn’t even really the “conclusion,” as each side still has to come up with a player to be named later to send to the other side.) There are a number of reactions worth reviewing, including those from the men involved, as well as a handful of takes on who “won” the dispute. Unsurprisingly, there remain disagreements.

  • First, from the man for whom the Cubs kinda just traded … four months after they hired him. “I am relieved that this process is over and particularly pleased that the teams were able to reach agreement on their own without intervention from MLB,” Theo Epstein said via a prepared statement. “I truly hope and believe that this resolution will benefit both clubs, as well as Chris, who is an extremely talented reliever joining a great organization at a time when there’s some opportunity in the Major League bullpen.” I genuinely believe it would make Epstein very happy if Carpenter emerges as a contributor in the Red Sox’s pen, even if it might make us kick a rock or two.
  • Cubs GM Jed Hoyer also shared his thoughts. “The reason the Commissioner was potentially involved at any point was because there is such a lack of precedent,” Hoyer said. “It’s such an unusual move. I think both sides are very happy that he didn’t have to decide the matter and the two teams decided the matter themselves …. It wasn’t a guy we were hoping to give up. We knew there would be compensation and both sides deemed that fair …. Chris is a very good reliever and a difficult guy to lose. I think we all realized we would lose something of significant value when Theo came over here. I hope Chris has a lot of success over there. Obviously, the Cubs are excited about the new management team with Theo leading it. There was a price to be paid for that and that price is Chris and we all felt that was fair. He is talented and we wish him luck.” It’s funny to hear Jed speaking about knowing “we would lose something of significant value when Theo came over here,” given that Jed didn’t join the Cubs until several days after Epstein.
  • Speaking of the Commissioner, you can bet he was thrilled he didn’t have to set a precedent and piss off two organizations in the process. “I am pleased that the Cubs and the Red Sox have resolved this matter,” Bud Selig said via a prepared statement. “It has always been my preference that Clubs resolve matters like this amongst themselves, as they understand their unique circumstances better than anyone else could. Though the matter required time, both Clubs demonstrated professionalism throughout their discussions, and I appreciate their persistence in finding common ground.”
  • Carpenter recognizes that he’s now a part of history (30 years from now, when the Las Vegas Rollers hire Beckett Hoyer away from the Boston Red Sox, who demand five top prospects, Rollers’ fans are going to be saying, “wait a minute! When the Cubs hired Theo Epstein, the Red Sox only got one 13th ranked prospect!” But then Red Sox fans will say that Rollers’ Business President Blaine Kennedy offered “massive” compensation … ). “As soon as they called me into the coaches office, I kind of had a feeling about what was going on,” Carpenter said. “I can’t say anything bad – I appreciate everything the Cubs have done for me. It’s been a great organization over the past four years. I’m looking to going to Boston and helping them win now.”
  • Cubs manager Dale Sveum on his now departed reliever: “Unfortunately we lost a great arm in Chris. Fortunately for him, it came from a team that wanted him really, really, really bad. He’s going to fall into some competition over there to make the team, as well as he would’ve here. He gets to go to a great organization and a great city too. So that’s not a bad time to be traded for the first time.”
  • Red Sox GM Ben Cherington, who’s already been unfairly maligned for “not getting enough,” according to a large swath of Red Sox fans, is doing his best to talk up the move. “We’ve scouted Chris since his amateur days at [Kent] State,’’ said Cherington. “We saw a lot last year, including the fall league. We felt he was making good adjustments there. We’re happy to have him, a young, power-arm reliever who can be a big league pitcher …. It’s easier to assign value to figure out what’s fair and not fair. In this case, it was tougher because it involved an executive and a friend. We can now move forward.’’ I continue to have a feeling that, with all respect due Cherington, he wasn’t one the driving this train from the Red Sox’s perspective.
  • As for one particular of the trade, it sounds like the PTBNLs in the deal are merely a procedural inclusion (required to make this a player for player trade), and will not be anyone notable on either side. So, while the issue is not at a close, for all purposes that will plausibly impact us as fans, it is.
  • Now for the pundit reactions. Dave Kaplan says swapping Carpenter for Epstein was “worth it,” which is, of course, very true. The more difficult question, however, is whether Carpenter was too much compensation, given how things played out. And, on that question, Phil Rogers says the Cubs were the big winner here, giving up less compensation than they probably should have, thanks to the Commissioner’s Office allowing Epstein to join the Cubs before compensation was determined. Bruce Levine, on the other hand, emphatically says Carpenter was way too much compensation. “Giving up a young pitcher such as Carpenter was too much in this case,” Levine writes. “A lower-level player and cash would have been proper compensation. There is no doubt that Epstein is a great talent, but as he said, he has never played one inning of organized baseball. Why should any team give up a player for a suit?” Levine’s position is that the compensation should always have only been cash. I’m not sure I agree with him there, but I do agree that, even though I previously guessed that Carpenter would be the compensation, giving up a high-upside, ML-ready reliever was probably a hair too much for one-year of a GM whom the Red Sox didn’t even want anymore (and on whom the Red Sox saved millions by making the deal).
  • One other random reaction to the move: I’d think Jeff Samardzija’s chance to grab a rotation spot just got slightly more difficult. Carpenter was not expected to be a top setup guy in the pen for the Cubs, but it was definitely a possibility. Without that possibility, the chances that the Cubs will need Samardzija in the pen just went up a bit.
  • Da Cubs

    On one hand I think the Cubs gave up too much.On the other hand I am glad its done and over with.Lets figure out what we have and play some baseball!

  • Chris

    I must say it could have been a lot worse. Correct me if I am wrong but don’t we still owe the Padres compensation as well? If so based off of this compensation what are we looking a losing to them?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Yes, Cubs do still owe compensation. Jed said yesterday that will be a player not on the 40-man roster (which doesn’t necessarily mean it isn’t a good player).

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

    On the other hand, if Dolis and Lendy Castillo look good (or in Castillo’s case, at least somewhat good) in the spring, the Cubs shouldn’t have any trouble letting Samardzija start.  Whether the bullpen is six or seven, Marmol, K.Wood, Russell, Second Lefty, Dolis, Castillo, Mateo, Wells/Volstead, and the pool of veteran non-roster invitees create a fairly deep list of candidates.

  • Spencer

    What did everyone’s favorite Boston beat writer have to say? I’m too stubborn to actually read his column and give it views.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      He actually was perfectly ambivalent – no reaction either way. Based on what he’s said before, however, I’d imagine that he was pissed.

      • King Jeff

        Carpenter is ranked as high as 8th in the Boston system, how pissed can that moron be?

    • Andrew

      grumble grumble grumble

  • oswego chris

    I think if this compensation was done right away….like as we actually got Theo, I might look at it differently…it’s hard to assess it after having Theo for the past 4 months, it seems like too much because the thrill and shock of the chance of getting Theo is pretty much over….

    simply put….wish we wouldn’t have had to give them anyone in the top 30
    realistically…if someone would have told me last summer the Cubs can acquire Theo Epstein for Chris Carpenter…I would have said “Hell yes!”

  • Smitty

    A little help please. Let’s say that Wood and Samardzija get the 4 and 5th spot. Would you say that Wells and Volstad will go to Iowa and remain starters, or whould they make one of htem that middle reliever.

    I agree that Jeff’s chances of being a starter got slimmer, but I would have to imagine that if he shows he is the guy, they will let him be that starter considering nobody outiside of Garza is top 3 rotation level.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Wells could go to Iowa, but he could also be traded or sent to the pen. Ditto Volstad, I suppose, but I think he gets a rotation spot.

    • RoughRiider

      I know that realistically this is a different organization with all the changes in management and coaching but, even if Samardzija pitches very well in spring training as a starter it doesn’t mean he will get to start in the regular season. Just ask Sean Marshall he was one of if not the best starter a couple of years in Spring Training but still was sent to the bullpen because that’s where they needed him.

    • Andrew

      I think Sveum’s gonna be smart about this and just go with the best pitchers for the job. If Samardzija projects to have a 3.50 ERA as a starter in Sveum’s eyes, you can’t pass up those potential 200 innings of pretty good starting pitching for 70 innings or so of great relief pitching.

      • JR

        It will be interesting to see how things play out. Wells has been a solid contributor as a back end starter while Samardzija has continually floundered in that role. It’s not clear to me why people seem so smitten with Samardzija’s potential, though I suspect Notre Dame plays as much a role as his physique. Sports are full of guys who looked the part, were 5 tool guys, threw 100 mph fastballs (Farnsworth anyone?) and just could not get it done on the field. I’m thrilled he grew into a solid reliever last year and do not understand the need to once again explore starting. I felt the same about Cashner last year though, obviously, we’ll never know how that would have turned out given his early injury.

        • Andrew

          Relievers are just so much less valuable than starters. A good reliever can keep you from losing games while a good starter can win you games. He seems to have worked harder towards starting this year than any other year. Since last year we actually started to see his potential come to fruition, why not see if this thing has any legs by giving him a good chance. He’s got the most upside of any of our pitchers right now so if he gives a good showing in spring, he should be the guy. He’d be one of the few starters that the cubs can actually build a rotation around if he does it this year so I’m rooting for him.

          Being a Notre Dame football player probably has a lot to do with why we all want him to succeed, but there’s nothing wrong with that as long as he gets it done in the end.

          • Brian

            Not all of us care about his N.D. football connection.

  • cccubfan

    Maybe the PTBNL will be Soriano for Crawford…..LOL

    • BetterNews

      The PTBNL has already been chosen. Why names aren’t being released I have no clue.

      • BFiddy

        You know this?  Wow!  Who is it?

        • BetterNews

          BFiddy-No I don’t know their names, that info hasn’t been released.. But the players have been decided upon, thats common knowledge.

          • ogyu

            At least, it’s common knowledge among the residents of the padded-wall ward…

          • Ron Swanson

            I suspect there is a decided upon group of players on each side that the other team can choose from after a bit of spring scouting. That is often how PTBNL works.

            • ogyu

              Exactly. Which is not the same as the particular names to be exchanged having already been chosen. Because they very likely haven’t been chosen yet – “common knowledge” to the contrary notwithstanding.

              • BetterNews

                The players have been chosen. That’s fact. Why the names can’t be released is a mystery to me also. All I can think of is an agreement with all concerned that the names SHALL NOT BE RELEASED untill said time and date.

                • ogyu

                  I assume you pull these facts out of the same orifice from which your math issues….

                  • BetterNews

                    Hey meatball, the players have been chosen and will be named later. Which part don’t you understand?

                    • ogyu

                      I understand perfectly. You make crap up and then repeat it endlessly as fact.

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

                      Walk away ogyu there is no logic here.

  • Fishin Phil

    Fishin Phil shared his thoughts as well: “Bite me Bosox!”

    • Wilbur

      Quite eloquently stated Phil

    • ogyu

      “Bite Me Bosox” sounds like a good title for a Broadway musical.

  • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com Norm

    I can’t believe that the Cubs will decide Samardzija’s role based on team need for 2012. If they think he can start, he’ll start.
    If the reason they put him in the bullpen is because they need a power arm this year, I’ll be rather disappointed.

    • BetterNews

      Yes, I too would have have to see justification for starting Volstad before Samardzija or Wells.

      • BFiddy

        How about we make it through Spring Training before we start questioning decisions that, by the way, have not even been made yet?

        • Wilbur

          Nice segue …

      • Brian

        Maybe just because Volstad turns out to be the better pitcher.

  • Adam Kuchan

    I think this turned out okay. Red Sox fans seem more upset about than Cubs fans, which I think is a good early sign. Yesterday on his podcast, Bill Simmons said, somewhat sarcastically, anytime you can trade a two time world series winning executive for a middle relief prospect you have to do it. If Theo and company can recreate the kind of perrinially contending organization they built in Boston, this will be an absolute steal.

    • MightyBear

      This wasn’t a trade!! It was signing an executive who had one year on his contract to a position that was a promotion. If Boston didn’t want to lose Theo, they shouldn’t have let the Cubs talk to him. Better yet Henry and Luccino should have treated him better.

  • Sweetjamesjones

    This link from the Scott Van Pelt Show just enforces my dislike for Red Sox “nation.”


  • 2much2say

    Sign Oswalt and watch Boston burn

  • Freshness21

    Good point about Samardzija. Although I have been rooting for the guy for a while now to make it into the rotation, I think he is best suited in the pen. Unless he developed a solid 3rd pitch (change or splitter) over the winter, it is going to be tough for him to convince the Cubs to move him from a position he excelled at last year while Volstad and Wells are capable and established inning-eaters. I would be surprised if Wells finishes the season with the Cubs. I see him being shipped toa team like the A’s or Pirates (our usual dumping grounds).

  • MightyBear

    I don’t say this often but I totally agree with Levine. It should have been a lower level prospect and some cash. Total f-ing BS. I am totally glad the Cubs got Epstein but they shouldn’t have had to give up Carpenter. They shouldn’t have to give up a player for Hoyer et al only cash. However, because Hoyer was a lateral move, a lower level prospect and some cash is ok. A very lower level prospect.

    Baseball needs to get its act together. It is the poorest run of the major sports. Selig is an idiot and so were his predecessors.

    • Daniel

      Calm down, sheesh…

  • die hard

    can Carpenter be the player to be named later from Bosox back to Cubs in exchange for Barney? …Point is was there a reason to get him off Cubs roster for time being with understanding Bosox would give him back for player they really wanted after things get better sorted out in Cubs camp?

  • ogyu

    Scott Miller of CBSSports.com reports on Twitter that the Cubs and Red Sox have agreed to select the PTBNL from a pre-determined list of 12 or so players.

    Gee, I thought it was common knowledge that the PTBNLs had already been selected? Hmm…