Two baseball sources have confirmed that Theo Epstein is on the cusp of leaving his job as general manager of the Red Sox [team stats] to accept a position with the Chicago Cubs that is believed to include powers greater than he has in Boston, with an announcement expected to be made “within the next 24 to 48 hours.”
The hangup in the negotiations has been twofold. One of them is that Red Sox ownership was still hoping to have Epstein remain with the team. The other is compensation: If Epstein is to leave Boston, said one source with knowledge of the negotiations, the Red Sox are going to want “something real.”
Whether that involves a player, money or a combination of the two remains unclear.
“But this is going to be resolved very soon,” said a second baseball source.
Well there you have it. It's seemed the last couple weeks that Theo already had one foot out the door. Theo hasn't been happy working under Larry Lucchino in a LONG time and Theo doesn't like all the attention he gets in Boston. The attention thing sounds similar to one Manny Ramirez, but sometimes people have to learn for themselves that the grass isn't always greener. Wrigley Field has some nice green grass, but while Theo might have more power, he'll have less cash to spend on his team. Don't get me wrong, Chicago is a great city. Just saying Theo didn't have it all that bad in his hometown.
Expect the Sox to promote Ben Cherington, but don't be surprised to see them meet with some other candidates first.
This is Boston sports though, so despite the Herald's 24-48 hour proclamation, this could drag on to the weekend or next week, or might not even happen. Doubtful though. Theo wants to move on and this time he won't even need his gorilla suit.
"We are not commenting on that type of issue unless and until there is a resolution. That has been a consistent policy and practice of the Red Sox for years," Lucchino said.
The issue of Epstein to the Cubs is far from black and white. It's an extremely emotional issue for Epstein, who grew up a short distance from Fenway Park and rose to be the head of baseball for his hometown team. And led them to two World Series.
Easy to walk away from?
"Before this is truly resolved, I think Theo will change his mind a few times," said one of his Red Sox employees.
Cherington and Lucchino are negotiating the compensation on Boston's behalf.