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.