This picture and wonderfully informative caption from The Boston Herald accompanies a breaking news story titled “Theo Epstein on brink of joining Cubs.”

The article goes on to inform us that the Boston Red Sox GM is set to leave the team he’s guided since 2003 and led to two World Series titles in order to join the Chicago Cubs, a team that hasn’t won a World Series since 1908.

It’s believed that the appeal for such a switch would be more autonomy with the Cubs than Epstein has enjoyed during his time with the Red Sox.

There remain a few kinks to iron out, but the teams could make an announcement as soon as tomorrow.

According to The Herald’s Steve Buckley:

The hangup in the negotiations has been twofold. One of them is that Red Sox ownership was still hoping to have Epstein remain with the team. The other is compensation: If Epstein is to leave Boston, said one source with knowledge of the negotiations, the Red Sox are going to want “something real.”

I’m not sure if this means the general manager will be counted on by both teams to negotiate the compensation with himself.

Epstein came under fire after Boston’s colossal collapse in the last month of the season, that was brought on by sub par performances from players that the general manager had recently given multi-year free agent contracts. In the uber-competitive American League East, Epstein’s harshest critics wondered if his approach had grown stale.

While that remains to be seen, it would seem like a very National League move to pay a large compensation price for a front office leader believed to be innovative, but whose methods are actually past their prime.

I think the Chicago Cubs are best summed up by Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors, who while previewing the team’s coming off season, wrote:

The Cubs were a $134MM disaster in 2011.

Comments (6)

  1. While the Crawford and Lackey signings look bad right now, I don’t think trading for guys like Gonzalez and developing starts like Ellsbury, Lester and Bucholz will “grow stale” any time soon.

  2. I hear you, but to play devil’s advocate, the Rays and hopefully the Blue Jays too, are showing that you can put together highly competitive teams in a far less expensive manner.

    • But if you can do what the Rays and Jays are trying to do AND have the money to go after FAs, wouldn’t you be stupid not to?

  3. parkes… when the jays are competitive you can make comments like that..

    jays payroll will eventually go up

  4. I’ll just be glad to see Epstein out of the division. He’s a good GM with a fairly good record for getting talent via the draft or trades. Free agency has tended to be his weak point, but even then its not like he’s signed horrible players (other than Lackey). The team had a horrible run of injuries and still finished with 90 wins and one game out of a playoff spot. I guess we will see who they replace him and Francona with, but for the moment as a Jays fan I can’t believe my luck.

  5. I’m not trying to be a douche, but what elements of Eptein’s methods are past their prime? Notwithstanding his trips to the free agent market, the vast majority of his personnel decisions have been sound. Is his demise – if you can even call it a demise – simply just additional evidence of the riskiness of free agents?

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