10/16 Waiting for Theo, Day 5
Wrigleyville was ready for Theo Epstein to take over the Cubs as some businesses around Wrigley Field posted “Welcome Theo” signs in anticipation. Epstein, 37, and the Cubs have agreed in principle on a five-year deal, believed to be worth $15 million to $18.5 million, for him to take charge of the baseball operations. But the Red Sox want something in return for the GM who led the team to two World Series titles, and details have yet to be finalized. Talks continued over the weekend between the two teams.
An announcement may come Tuesday. Major League Baseball discourages teams from making announcements during the World Series, which begins Wednesday.
The Boston Globe reported Sunday that it was possible none of Epstein’s assistants would follow him to Chicago, although that could change once their contracts expire. The Red Sox are seeking a player, or players, in exchange for Epstein, who has one year remaining on his contract in Boston. No Major League players will be included.
There were reports that Brett Jackson, the Cubs’ No. 1 pick in the 2009 Draft, was a possible piece in the compensation package, but sources said the outfielder will not be included. Jackson was currently playing for Team USA, which just finished the 2011 Baseball World Cup in Panama City, Panama, and was headed to Mexico for the Pan American Games.
The Cubs would not comment on the GM search, and the Red Sox declined to comment on Epstein’s status. Red Sox owner John Henry did speak of Epstein in past tense during a radio interview Friday.
“I’d love to have Theo back,” Henry told CBS Radio in Boston. “I would have loved for Theo to have been our general manager for the next 20 years. That was my hope. That would have been my hope. But you don’t always get what you want.”
– Carrie Muskat