10/20 Red Sox owner: Solution “not close”
Theo Epstein continued to work at Fenway Park Thursday while the Red Sox and Cubs discussed compensation options to allow the 37-year-old general manager to take over baseball operations in Chicago. No news conference was scheduled at Wrigley Field for Friday, which is the travel day for the World Series. Several reports said Epstein could be introduced at that time, but such an announcement would have to be approved by MLB because of the blackout imposed during the World Series. CBS Sportsline reported Thursday no one from the Cubs had asked MLB for permission to hold a news conference.
Depending on where you were, resolution was either imminent or not close. On Thursday, Comcast Sportsnet Chicago and ESPNChicago.com both reported the two teams were close to finalizing an agreement to bring Epstein to Chicago. ESPNChicago.com quoted a “source with knowledge of the negotiations” as saying, “The two sides are on the 5-yard line.”
However, Red Sox owner John Henry told the Boston Globe Thursday the deal was “not close.” Boston assistant GM Ben Cherington, expected to be promoted when Epstein leaves, also told the Globe that reports of a deal were “premature.” Baseball sources also confirmed to MLB.com that it was too soon to say the deal was complete.
ESPNBoston.com reported the deal was delayed so the Red Sox could review Cubs’ prospects medical exams.
The Cubs would not comment on the reports.
Multiple reports have Epstein hiring Jed Hoyer, currently the Padres’ general manager, to become the Cubs’ GM. The Padres were not expected to ask for compensation for Hoyer. Epstein also was expected to add Padres assistant general manager Jason McLeod to the Cubs staff, according to multiple reports. McLeod was the director of amateur scouting in Boston with Epstein. Among the players he picked in the First-Year Player Draft were Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, Clay Buchholtz, Daniel Bard, and Justin Masterson.
— Carrie Muskat