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Epstein said that the decision to cut ties with manager Terry Francona after the season played a significant role in his decision to accept the job with the Cubs. He suggested that a managerial search led by him, entering his final year as Red Sox GM, would have been "awkward at best, disastrous at worst," and acknowledged that had Francona returned to the Sox for a ninth season, he "probably" would have remained with the Sox to conclude his contract.
Epstein declined to discuss whether he would hire Francona, since Mike Quade remains the Cubs GM, and will meet with Epstein in the coming days. However, Epstein did say that he has "a close personal relationship" and "a tremendous amount of personal respect" for Francona.
Epstein said he could not comment on the number of Red Sox employees he would bring with him to Chicago, but noted how important it was for new Sox GM Ben Cherington to have staff continuity.
"There's not going to be any raid," Epstein suggested.
After the way the Red Sox failed to make the playoffs, on the final night of the regular season, and Francona's departure that came shortly after, Epstein said he was initially too emotional to decide his future. After taking 72 hours to become more objective, he called his decision to join Chicago "well-reasoned."
Epstein said there was some truth to the reports of an unseemly Red Sox clubhouse last season, but "there was a lot of exaggeration, too." Epstein said he is ultimately responsible for any repeated misbehavior that took place in Boston's clubhouse, but noted that any incidents were "not team-wide indulgences. There was not team-wide apathy."
The Red Sox have seen their share of turmoil in the past weeks, but Epstein believes there is no better successor for him than new Red Sox GM Ben Cherington.
"Ben is more qualified than anyone in the game to take this job over," Epstein said. "I know I'm biased, because I'm a close, loyal friend, but he is really the best guy for the job."
The two met for the first time when Cherington was a scout, and after discussing organizational philosophies with Cherington, Epstein knew he needed Cherington in a bigger role.
"I realized we need this guy impacting the bigger picture of the organization," said Epstein. "So we moved him over to player development. He went on to become the farm director. He was as responsible as anybody for the great things that have happened in player development for the Red Sox. Then we realized that he would someday be a GM. We created a next step for him where he was in not only player development but also amateur scouting. He was involved in a couple great drafts. Then, as I realized my time might be coming to an end at some point with the Red Sox, we realized that Ben hadn't had the exposure to the major league side. The last couple years, he's immersed himself in the big league side.
"He's had such a well-rounded development. He's got so much integrity. He's so bright. He's got great management skills of people. This guy is going to do a fantastic job. I'm excited to see it happen. I wouldn't have left the Red Sox if he weren't the guy who was going to take over, and if I wouldn't have had assurance that there would be continuity with the whole baseball operations team."
Ben Cherington has been named the new General Manager of the Boston Red Sox, confirming speculation that he would succeed Theo Epstein. Cherington was serving as the team's Senior Vice President and Assistant General Manager.
Theo Epstein was officially introduced as the President of Baseball Operations for the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday afternoon at Wrigley Field in Chicago. In his press conference, Epstein expressed his thanks to the Cubs owners and the entire Boston Red Sox organization, where he served as general manager for nine seasons.
"I've waited a few weeks to say this, but it truly feels great to be a Cub today," Epstein said, who agreed to a five-year deal for a reported $18.5 million. (via ESPN Boston)
Epstein went on to talk about how he alone will not be able to bring the Cubs their first World Series title in 103 years, instead pointing to the importance of teamwork, saying that bringing a championship back to Wrigley will take a team effort. Of course, Epstein knows it will not be any easy task, and noted that baseball is best when you're winning.
"Baseball is best of all when you win. That's why I'm here today," Epstein said, vowing to build a better scouting and farm system for the Cubs. "We won't rest until there is a steady stream of talent" coming to Wrigley Field from the minors. "We're going to have to grind our way to the top," he said.
Epstein brought two World Series titles to Boston, including the franchises' first in 86 years in 2004, during his tenure with the Red Sox. In addition, the Red Sox won 90 games or more in eight seasons under Epstein's guidance.
After weeks of haggling between the Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox, new Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein has finally made it to the Windy City, according to a Monday afternoon report from the Chicago Tribune.
The report stated that the ex-Red Sox general manager met with Cubs owners at Wrigley Field before having lunch at a nearby restaurant with a group of Cubs baseball operations staffers that included Randy Bush, Oneri Fleita, Chuck Wasserstrom, Jimmy Bank, Ari Kaplan and Scott Nelson.
Epstein will return to Wrigley Field at 11 a.m. Tuesday for his introductory news conference, which can be watched live online at www.chicagotribune.com/sports. The conference will be held even though the two teams have not yet decided what the Cubs will send the Red Sox as compensation for Epstein. The teams released a joint statement Friday night saying they "have reached an agreement regarding a process by which appropriate compensation will be determined for the Red Sox and that issue will be resolved in the near term."
Though a deal has not yet been ironed out, commissioner Bud Selig told CSNNE.com Sunday that he would set the terms of compensation if the two teams did not do so themselves before Nov. 1.
"They have until Nov. 1 -- Theo and (new Red Sox GM) Ben (Cherington) and all the other parties involved," Selig said. "Hopefully they can get things done. I always encourage clubs to try to get things done between themselves. Somehow, the commissioner has enough things of controversy (to deal with).
"They'll either get it done or they won't. If they don't, then I will."
Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig is putting his foot down in the Theo Epstein saga. Selig set a November 1 deadline for the Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs to work out compensation for Epstein, who recently resigned his post as general manager of the Red Sox to become the President of Baseball Operations for the Cubs.
Selig said that if the two teams can't work out a deal by then, he will have to step in.
"They have until Nov. 1, Theo and Ben and all the other parties involved," Selig said, according to Comcast Sports Net New England. "Hopefully they can get things done. I always encourage clubs to try to get things done between themselves. Somehow, the commissioner has enough things of controversy [to deal with]. ... They'll either get it done or they won't. If they don't, then I will." (via WEEI)
Epstein is set to be introduced by the Cubs in a press conference in Chicago on Tuesday.
According to a joint press release by the Cubs and Red Sox Friday night, Theo Epstein has resigned as Boston's general manager and will be introduced as the new President of Baseball Operations in Chicago on Tuesday. The Red Sox' new GM--by all accounts Ben Cherington--will be introduced at the same time in Boston.
The upshot of all this is simply that a deadline and process for agreement has been set. There is still no deal on compensation, and the Cubs and Sox will be left to hash out the details, likely with Theo and Cherington at opposite ends of the bargaining table as it should be.
If no agreement can be reached by Tuesday, presumably there's an agreement on what will happen then. It's quite possible that this will mean Bud Selig's intervention as an arbitrator, but one would hope that's as a result of an invitation from the team. There's dangerous precedent, after all, in the commissioner of baseball forcing himself into the middle of what is essentially a trade negotiation.
One way or another, this long, convoluted process is finally nearing its end.
A report from ESPN.com says that the Red Sox and Cubs have agreed on compensation for Theo Epstein, and that the deal will be officially announced Friday.
While it comes a bit later than Bud Selig would have liked--the World Series will be two games in by that point, and it's likely because of the off-day that this deal is being announced on Friday--the Cubs and Sox have come a long way in just a few days, closing a gap in expectations which had the Cubs front office balking (in a non-baseball sense).
What's still unclear is who, exactly, will be joining the Red Sox before the week ends. While the Sox had been asking for Matt Garza, and the idea with the most steam for much of the week seemed to be 22-year-old pitching prospect Trey McNutt, the ESPN source claims that's off the table:
the expected agreement will include Cubs minor leaguers, although not top prospects Brett Jackson, Trey McNutt and Matt Szczur
If this is the case, it's hard to see this as much of a win for the Red Sox. While they did know that Theo Epstein would be leaving at the end of 2012 no matter what, it seems like the Sox were in a position to hold out on the Cubs until desperation set in. It's hard to imagine that this package of supposedly middling prospects--whoever they may be--is worth the potential that they could have acquired a top name with more time.
Also joining the Cubs will be former second-in-command Jed Hoyer, who only two years ago jumped ship from the Sox to become the Padre's GM. With Theo Epstein likely to take a higher position, Hoyer would fill the role of GM for Chicago.
WHDH-TV in Boston reported Tuesday that two team employees said they had seen the now-infamous trio of Josh Beckett, John Lackey and Jon Lester drinking beer inside the Red Sox dugout on multiple occasions.
According to a report Monday from ESPN Chicago, the Red Sox had originally asked the Cubs for right-handed starter Matt Garza as compensation for general manager Theo Epstein. The Cubs refused, and the teams have since been discussing minor league prospects, with Double-A starter Trey McNutt most recently linked to Boston.
It's no surprised the Cubs balked at giving away such a valuable player. The 27-year-old enjoyed a breakout season in 2011, his first with Chicago. Garza went 10-10, but posted a career-best 3.32 ERA to go along with nine strikeouts per nine innings, also a career high.
Sources told ESPN Boston that talks between the Red Sox and Cubs began about a week ago, and that the teams have agreed in principle to a five-year deal worth between $15-20 million. The teams are expected to come to an agreement sometime Tuesday afternoon, after which they would need to get special permission from Major League Baseball in order to announce such a deal.
Check back here throughout the next few days as this story unfolds, and be sure to visit Over the Monster for Boston Red Sox coverage throughout the offseason. For Cubs news and information, head over to Bleed Cubbie Blue.
Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling blasted his former owner, as well as members of this year's team, in a radio interview Monday. Schilling absolved his former manager Terry Francona of most of the blame, but said that certain players quit on the team.
According to a Monday report from CSN Chicago, the Boston Red Sox are looking at right-handed starter Trey McNutt as compensation for general manager Theo Epstein, who is expected to leave for the Chicago Cubs within the next two days.
A 32nd-round pick in 2009, McNutt is ranked as the Cubs' fourth-best prospect and second-best pitching prospect by MLB.com, in large due to a dominant rookie season spent mostly at the Single-A level. But after posting a 2.48 ERA to go along with a 10-1 record in 2010, McNutt struggled this past season in acclimating to Double-A. Hampered by injuries, McNutt went 5-6 with a 4.55 ERA in 22 starts this year with the Tennessee Smokies of the Southern League.
Still, McNutt came into the year ranked No. 48 among MLB prospects by Baseball America and boasts a power breaking ball to go with his plus fastball. How he develops as a potential starter will hinge in large part on whether he is able to cultivate his changeup into a Major League caliber pitch.
According to Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe, the Red Sox and Cubs are expected to have a deal worked out by Tuesday afternoon, otherwise they would need special permission from Major League Baseball to announce Epstein's move during the World Series.
Now it is being reported by Carrie Muskat of MLB.com that Cubs' top prospect, Brett Jackson will not be involved in the Red Sox compensation package. She was asked on Twitter whether or not she knew exactly what the Red Sox were asking for from the Cubs. Her response:
No. But do know #Cubs Brett Jackson is not in the package
Jackson is a 23 year-old outfielder who was ranked as the 37th best prospect by Jim Callis of Baseball America in their most recent prospect handbook. Jackson, however; did not crack Keith Law's updated top 50 prospects for ESPN in July.
Jackson had a combined 20 home runs and 21 steals in 115 games between AA and AAA last season, with a cumulative batting average of .274 and on-base percentage of .379.
According to David Kaplan of CSN Chicago negotiations between the Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox have turned "contentious" in regards to the compensation the Red Sox are asking for in return for Theo Epstein.
Since Theo still has a year remaining on his contract the Red Sox hold negotiating power over the Cubs. Below is a quote from a baseball executive Kaplan spoke with:
"The Red Sox hold the cards here because they have their new GM in Ben Cherington and they control Theo for the next 12 months. If they want they can force Theo to stay in Boston or on the sidelines for the next year. Can the Cubs go without a GM for the next 12 months? That would be an incredibly gutsy move but also a very risky one."
The same exec believes Red Sox President Larry Lucchino is the one making negotiations so difficult.
"Larry Lucchino is one of the most unreasonable people I have ever dealt with and because of his frayed relationship with Theo Epstein he is looking to make a point at the expense of Theo's happiness and his desire to go to Chicago ... They are furious that he wants out and they are trying to make a point."
The Boston Red Sox are seeking only prospects in return from the Chicago Cubs as compensation for releasing general manager Theo Epstein from his contract so that he can move to Chicago, according to a WEEI report.
An ESPN report yesterday cited two league sources saying that Chicago owner Tom Rickets has turned over a list of Cubs players to interim general manager Randy Bush, director of player personnel Oneri Fleita and scouting director Tim Wilken to evaluate for compensation for Epstein. The Cubs staff is supposed to report back to Rickets and tell him which players they feel comfortable trading.
The ESPN report also mentioned that another discussion in the compensation talks is how many Red Sox employees Epstein will be allowed to bring with him to Chicago.
The deal is still expected to get done, but the Red Sox are "entitled to be satisfied with compensation," according to the ESPN report.
The Boston Red Sox have told Ben Cherington he will replace Theo Epstein as Boston Red Sox GM, according to a report by Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports.
Cherington had been Boston's Vice President of Player Personnel, and served briefly as co-general manager when Epstein briefly left the team in 2005. He was originally hired by the team in 1997 by Dan Duquette.
"He has great leadership skills and is very authentic," O'Dowd told the Boston Herald by phone. "It hasn't shocked me that he has gone on and done what he has done with Theo. I'm sure he would do a great job as a general manager there."
"I always tell people, imagine what it was like at Microsoft or Google now. There were a lot of similarities to what we had going on in Cleveland as it relates to creative ideas, and in that environment, Ben was right up near the top," O'Dowd said. "He would sit in the room and absorb a ton of information. He did a fantastic job. He was thorough, but very concise, and he picked up on things exceptionally well."
After lots of speculation, sources within the Boston Red Sox organization confirmed that general manager Theo Epstein will officially leave the team to become the new general manager of the Chicago Cubs, per Peter Abraham.
Two team sources confirmed reports that Theo Epstein has reached agreement with the Cubs on a five-year contract and will officially leave the Red Sox before the end of the week. The deal is believed to be worth $15 million with Epstein receiving what amounts to a $3.5 million signing bonus. (via Boston Globe)
Abraham writes that the Red Sox will receive compensation (either prospects or cash) for Epstein, who still had one year remaining on his current contract with the team. Many believe that Ben Cherington, currently the Vice President of Player Personnel of the Red Sox, is likely the top pick by the organization to replace Epstein. During his tenure in Boston, Epstein guided the Red Sox to two World Series titles in 2004 and 2007.
Theo Epstein is still officially a member of the Boston Red Sox staff, but has unofficially left the building hours ago. Epstein has reportedly come to an agreement on a five-year deal worth $15 million to become the new general manager of the Chicago Cubs, a move that has been rumored since the late summer.
However, as of 4:00 p.m. EDT on Wedesday, Epstein is still under contract with the team. Epstein still has one year left on his current contract, but it's rumored that the Red Sox brass will let him go in exchange for cash or prospects from the Cubs. Joe Amorosino of WHDH has the latest on the Epstein saga with the following update on his Facebook page.
As of 4pm the Red Sox have not granted Theo Epstein permission to leave. This according to a MLB source. While Theo has come to an informal agreement with the Chicago Cubs, he still has one year remaining on his contract with the Red Sox. That's the hold up. The Red Sox and Cubs are working out the details of the exchange. (via Joe Amorosino/WHDH)
Theo Epstein's new deal with the Chicago Cubs is reportedly worth $15 million over three years.
Theo Epstein has a deal in place with the Chicago Cubs, according to a text message SB Nation Boston received from Boston radio station 98.5 The Sports Hub. Epstein's contract is reportedly worth $20 million over five years.
The deal would make Epstein the latest member of the Red Sox organization to leave Boston. He departs following a disastrous season in which Boston finished the 2011 season 7-20, costing the Red Sox a spot in the postseason. In eight season in Boston, the former Red Sox GM orchestrated two World Series Championships, including Boston's first title since 1918.
Rumors and reports about Epstein and the Cubs have been swirling since the Red Sox gave Chicago permission to speak with their former general manager about a front office position last week.
The Red Sox gave Epstein permission to speak with the Cubs last week and Epstein is expected to officially join the front office in Chicago by the end of the week.
The move marks an end to Epstein's nine years as GM in Boston, a tenure in which he was the architect for two World Series Championship seasons for the Red Sox. Epstein joins former manager Terry Francona on the bus out of town after the Red Sox finished the 2011-12 season with an epic collapse to miss the postseason.
That’s because the Boston Red Sox are reportedly interested in keeping the longtime GM in New England — assuming he wants to stay.
Tim Brown from Yahoo Sports has more:
"Hearing Red Sox owners are making play to keep Theo in town, but won’t ask him to continue in job he doesn’t want."
A decision from Epstein, who may be granted additional powers in "Chi-Town," is expected by Friday following several weeks of flirting with the Cubbies.
The powers that be have allowed Epstein, who has called Fenway home since 2002, to engage in negotiations with the National League ball club at the beginning of the month.
Whether or not he accepts the vacant position, or rejects it based on a counter-offer from the Red Sox, remains to be seen. As of now, the organization has yet to make an official statement.
Theo Epstein, currently the general manager of the Boston Red Sox, is reportedly on his way out of town, this time for real. Reports indicated that the longtime Sox GM is on the brink of accepting a position with the Chicago Cubs, possibly higher than his current role in Boston.
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." (via Boston Herald)
Earlier this month, the Cubs received permission from Red Sox brass to talk with Epstein about a potential change in venue. Epstein has been with the Red Sox since 2002 and has served as the team's GM ever since, with a sabbatical between 2005 and 2006. During his tenure, the Red Sox have won two World Series titles.
If the rumors are true, Theo Epstein could be on his way out as the Boston Red Sox general manager, as Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that Epstein will be allowed to forgo the final year of his contract and become the new GM of the Chicago Cubs.
Sherman's report has yet to be confirmed, but it certainly would not be surprising given the events of this past month for the Boston Red Sox and the fact that they recently let go eight-year manager Terry Francona.
Rob Neyer mulled over this potential news and offered his thoughts on why he might go.
Why would Epstein leave?
Remember, he's almost left before. Six years ago, Epstein exited the Red Sox for roughly a month before returning to the fold. Perhaps that was merely a negotiating ploy -- he presumably did well, financially -- but the relationship between Epstein and his bosses has not always been 100-percent highly functional.
I don't know Theo Epstein anything like well enough to read his mind, but it's certainly possible that he's simply ready for a change. I've had two great jobs in my life -- before this one, I mean -- but at some point it's just time to try something different. And what else, really, is there left for Theo Epstein in Boston?
Epstein has been with the Red Sox since 2002 and has served as the team's GM ever since, with a sabbatical between 2005 and 2006. During his tenure, the Red Sox have won two World Series titles.
Boston Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein has reportedly been permission by the Boston Red Sox to forgo the final year of his contract with the team in order to join the Chicago Cubs, according to a New York Post report.