Results tagged ‘ Red Sox ’

10/19 Gammons on Cubs-Red Sox talks

MLB Network’s Peter Gammons had some interesting comments on Boston’s WEEI radio Wednesday regarding the lengthy negotiations between Red Sox and Cubs over compensation for Theo Epstein. Here’s a transcript:

“This thing with the Cubs, they don’t actually have anyone negotiating that actually has been in development, so they don’t know the players the Red Sox talk about,” Gammons said. “They have the CEO of business, and the assistant general mnager, who wasn’t actually involved in the farm system. So, it’s been a difficult negotiation. And frankly, I think everyone involved knows the Cubs are a bottom-three farm system. Trey McNutt would be Red Sox prospect [No.] 25. For the Cubs to act like they’re giving up the next Billy Williams is kind of absurd.

“But at the same time, holding that thing up has also hurt the Cubs, because they need Theo there building the organization,” he said. “There isn’t a lot there. They need him to go out and not only find a manager, but to fill several roles in scouting, development and all the rest. The absurdity has hurt the Cubs, and it’s certainly hurt the Red Sox, because they need to move on and let Ben [Cherington] take over, Ben and Mike Hazen, be running the organization and get the right people in place. …

“It’s so silly,” he said. “The rebuilding process that Theo is going to undertake in Chicago is far greater than the job that he inherited as the general manager of the Red Sox. Far greater. And it’s going to take a long time. They’re not talking about guys that are franchise pieces. They should get it done from both sides and move on. …

“The [Cubs] need to move on, making this a long, long process, the Red Sox hold the cards in this situation, except for the fact that the Red Sox need to move on, too,” Gammons said. “I actually think it might get done today at some point. I think if they get the thing done, then they can anounce it Friday and then it’s all fine. By then, Theo can have things lined up and start talking to people about whether it’s Jed Hoyer or Josh Byrnes he brings in, who he brings into scouting.”

— Carrie Muskat


10/18 Could Hoyer join Theo with Cubs?

If Theo Epstein can’t bring any of his staff from the Red Sox, he may try to bring current Padres GM Jed Hoyer to Chicago. According to’s Jon Heyman, the Cubs and Epstein are interested in having Hoyer join the baseball operations department. If Hoyer did go to Chicago, Josh Byrnes would be elevated to Padres GM.

Heyman says a move by Hoyer, 37, would be seen as “shocking” because he’s already a GM. The Cubs, however, could give him the same title and name Epstein team president. If not Hoyer, Heyman says Byrnes could be the one to go to Chicago with him. Byrnes has been working as VP of baseball operations in San Diego.

The Cubs and Red Sox are still trying to agree on compensation for Epstein, who reportedly agreed to an $18.5 million, five-year deal last week. However, what Heyman didn’t mention is that Hoyer is two years into a four-year contract with the Padres, with a club option for 2014. The Cubs may have to compensate the Padres as well, which would be costly considering the length of his contract.

Hoyer became the Padres GM in late 2009 after having served as an assistant for Epstein in Boston. Byrnes also worked as Epstein’s assistant before becoming GM of the Diamondbacks, who he led to the NLCS in 2007 before being dismissed during the 2010 season.

— Carrie Muskat

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

10/14 Waiting for Theo, Day 3

The Red Sox apparently want a prospect or two from the Cubs as compensation for Theo Epstein. The two teams continued negotiations Friday over a package to free Epstein from the final year of his contract in Boston and allow him to take over baseball operations in Chicago.

Is Epstein worth Brett Jackson, the Cubs’ highly touted outfield prospect who was the No. 1 pick in 2009? Or do the Red Sox want Matt Szczur, another top Minor Leaguer?

The Cubs and Epstein have reportedly agreed in principle on a five-year deal, believed to be worth $15 million to $18.5 million. But because Epstein has one year remaining on his contract, the Cubs must compensate the Red Sox, and the value was expected to depend on the number of staffers Epstein would take with him to Chicago.

In recent years, when two of Epstein’s co-workers left, they were each allowed to take two Red Sox staffers with them. Josh Byrnes went to the Diamondbacks in 2005, and took two people, including Peter Woodfork, then director of baseball operations. In 2009, Jed Hoyer was able to take scouting director Jason McLeod and Sam Ray, now assistant to the scouting director, when Hoyer went to the Padres.

In 2002, the Red Sox offered Billy Beane the GM job and were prepared to deal Double-A third baseman Kevin Youkilis to the Athletics as compensation. But Beane opted to stay in Oakland. Last month, the White Sox received two of the Marlins’ top five prospects in exchange for letting Ozzie Guillen out of his contract to manage the Florida team.

The Cubs would not comment on the GM search, and the Red Sox declined to comment on Epstein’s status.

The Cubs have been looking for a new GM since Aug. 19 when chairman Tom Ricketts dismissed Jim Hendry. An announcement could come early next week. Major League Baseball discourages teams from making announcements during the World Series, which begins Wednesday.

Ricketts was handling the negotiations with Red Sox president/CEO Larry Lucchino, and discussing the targeted players with Cubs interim GM Randy Bush, player development director Oneri Fleita, and scouting director Tim Wilken.

The Cubs farm system was depleted earlier this year when the team acquired Matt Garza from the Rays in exchange for five players, including Chris Archer, Brandon Guyer and Hak-Ju Lee. Jackson, 23, was playing for Team USA now after batting .297 at Triple-A Iowa; Szczur, 22, batted .260 at Class A Daytona. The top pitching prospects include Trey McNutt, 22, who is pitching in the Arizona Fall League now, and Jeff Beliveau, 24, who posted a 1.89 ERA in 41 games at Double-A Tennessee.

— Carrie Muskat

10/13 Cubs, Red Sox talking re: compensation

Theo Epstein can’t simply pack up his office at Fenway Park and move his belongings to Wrigley Field. Epstein has reportedly agreed in principle to a five-year deal to join the Cubs, worth between $15 million and $18.5 million. But because he has one year remaining on his contract with the Red Sox, the two teams must resolve compensation and who, if anybody, can accompany Epstein from Boston.

According to sources Thursday, Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts is handling the negotiations with the Red Sox regarding possible players who could be exchanged. The Cubs also could send cash, or a combination of players and cash. According to reports, the Cubs will not surrender any Major League players.

Assistant GM Ben Cherington was expected to take over as Red Sox general manager if Epstein leaves. But Epstein would most likely want others from the Boston staff as well.

The Cubs declined to comment Thursday on the reports or the general manager search.

— Carrie Muskat

10/11 Epstein decision could be soon

The Cubs have no comment on the latest report out of Boston that Theo Epstein will make a decision soon regarding the team’s vacant GM job. The Boston Herald is reporting that Epstein is “on the cusp” of leaving the Red Sox to take a job with the Cubs that would give him more power than he had in Boston. The newspaper reported an announcement was expected “in the next 24 to 48 hours.” The Cubs have been looking for a new general manager since Jim Hendry was dismissed Aug. 19.

A Cubs spokesman said Tuesday night they will not comment on the search.

The Herald said the Red Sox are still trying to keep Epstein in Boston. If he does go, the Red Sox will want compensation that’s “something real,” according to the newspaper. That could mean a player, money or a combination of the two. Another source told the Herald “this is going to be resolved very soon.”

Comcast Sports Net New England reported Tuesday the Epstein-to-the-Cubs deal is “close, but it’s not done yet.” Epstein has one year remaining on his contract with the Red Sox but a baseball source told CSNNE that compensation was not the sticking point, adding, “It’s a little more complicated than that.” The issue is believed to be more personal. Epstein must decide if he wants to leave Boston.

Epstein joined the Red Sox in 2002 at the age of 28, and put together teams that won the World Series in 2004 and ’07. Boston reached the playoffs in six of his nine seasons, but this year’s team went 7-20 in September and blew a nine-game lead in the American League Wild Card. Manager Terry Francona resigned two days after the Red Sox’s season ended.

Epstein would face another tough task with the Cubs, who are coming off a 91-loss season, and have an even longer drought since winning a World Series than the Red Sox. The Cubs have not won the championship since 1908.

— Carrie Muskat

10/4 Boston report: Cubs ask to talk to Epstein

The Boston Globe reported the Cubs have asked the Red Sox permission to speak to Theo Epstein about the GM job. According to the Globe’s Dan Shaughness, there were meetings at Fenway Park Tuesday regarding the Red Sox’s response to the request. Because Epstein is under contract, the Red Sox would have the right to refuse such a request. However, they could grant it with the condition that some sort of compensation be made in exchange for hiring Epstein. Or Epstein could decline the interest. Epstein, who turns 38 in December, is two months away from the ninth anniversary of his hiring as the Red Sox GM. A Cubs spokesman said the team will have no comment on the GM search.

— Carrie Muskat 

10/2 Epstein & Cubs reports

Could Theo Epstein leave the Red Sox and become the Cubs’ next GM? He has one year left on his contract in Boston but has yet to deny interest in the Cubs. The Boston Globe quoted Major League sources as saying: “The Cubs are obviously interested in Theo and the talk is not going away. I think it’s possible.”

In San Diego last Wednesday, Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts would only say the process is ongoing. That was before Boston manager Terry Francona left on Friday. According to the Globe, Red Sox president Larry Lucchino said he wasn’t prepared to answer whether the team would grant Epstein permission to interview with the Cubs. Then, there was this tweet from national baseball writer Joel Sherman: “I am shocked, but in last 36 hrs every exec [I] talk to says [they] believe #RedSox will give permission and Theo will go to #Cubs to be GM”

Epstein, who turns 38 in December, was able to end the curse in Boston, putting together a World Series team in 2004. Could he do so with the Cubs, who have not been to the World Series since 1945 and have not won since 1908?

— Carrie Muskat

5/21 Pitching and defense

If pitching and defense are keys to a winning season, and most baseball experts  say they are, then the Cubs are headed in the wrong direction. They rank second in the Major Leagues in batting, trailing only the Cardinals. But they are 28th in the Majors in pitching with a 4.72 ERA, and 28th in fielding with 33 errors. The Astros are the only National League team worse than the Cubs in the latter two categories.

Before Friday’s game against the Red Sox, GM Jim Hendry sounded encouraged by what he’d seen in Florida in the two wins over the Marlins.

“I’m hopeful that a lot of our failures early (are over),” Hendry said before the Cubs’ 15-5 loss to the Red Sox. “When you play well against a good team like the Marlins, and in a place until last year we never had any success … What we have is a lot of really solid guys, team-oriented guys, that are trying to hard to be ‘the guy’ and get something going that maybe they’ve pressed themselves into some failures.

“Hopefully, they proved the last couple of days they could relax, play good baseball against a good team, and hopefully we’ll carry that over here and in a big homestand before the end of the month.”

This has been a long, tiring road trip that started in Cincinnati with two losses to the Reds, including a 7-4 loss Monday that prompted a team meeting by manager Mike Quade.

“We gave away a few games,” Hendry said. “Everybody has them. The two in Cincinnati were probably as hard to take as any ones all year. … I think they’re going to grind their way through it and play good baseball.

“The last couple of days [against the Marlins] should show you something because [the losses to the Reds] … were two we really should’ve had. It’s hard to get off the plane the next day on the road, and they really played good baseball for two days [in Florida].”

Unfortunately for the Cubs, that good feeling didn’t last in Fenway Park. They still have not been able to win three in a row.

— Carrie Muskat 

12/21 Go on the road with Cubs

Here’s a great last-minute gift idea — give someone a road trip with the Cubs. The 2011 Cubs Destinations packages provide fans a behind the scenes, VIP experience. The 2011 Cubs Destinations road schedule includes:

* Fenway Park, Boston. The Cubs will play the Red Sox May 20-22 for the first time in Boston since the 1918 World Series.

* Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, June 10-12.

* Busch Stadium, St. Louis, July 29-31.

All standard packages includes tickets to two Cubs games, first class hotel accommodations, a private pre-game reception with a current Cubs player, a VIP tour of the ballpark, a gift bag with Cubs merchandise, dedicated service from our on-site staff and more. You can also choose to include tickets to a third Cubs game, upgrade to a Majestic Replica Cubs jersey, or add additional discounted hotel nights. For more information, call 617-226-6550, e-mail or visit

* If you can’t wait for the regular season, Cubs Destinations can help you get to Mesa, AZ, for Spring Training. The package includes hotel accommodations, tickets to Cactus League games, and a special Cubs event with select players. There will be a new program for Cubs Seniors and the exclusive VIP Batting Practice which allows you to take the field. To make reservations or get more info, call Cubs Destinations at 800-892-7687 or go online at

— Carrie Muskat