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.