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'Comical' Cubs-Red Sox compensation talks still unsettled

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08:42 AM ET 10.22 | A process one major-league source called "comical" Thursday finally took on some formal - if not final - shape with the announcement Friday night that Theo Epstein had resigned from the Boston Red Sox to become the Cubs' president of baseball operations. But the player-compensation negotiations that have held up an announcement for more than a week since the Cubs and Epstein agreed to a five-year, $18.5 million deal remain unresolved. The Cubs' top executives mucked up what figured to be an already-challenging process by agreeing to terms with Epstein before bothering to start compensation talks with the Red Sox. That put the Cubs in the untenable negotiating position of telegraphing their unwillingness to walk away from the bargaining table.

Chicago Sun Times

Theo Epstein, Icon SMI Theo Epstein, Icon SMI
October 22, 2011  08:52 AM ET

I hear that Theo is going to hire a college of coaches.

"The Cubs - Providing Moments Of Glory To Other Teams For Over A Century"

October 22, 2011  09:28 AM ET

It seems to me that the Sox just lost any leverage they had left

October 22, 2011  09:29 AM ET

I wonder if Selig's threat to arbitrate had any influence here.

October 22, 2011  09:34 AM ET

Mucked up? The Cubs got what they wanted, while the Sox haven't been able to land anything they really wanted. Sounds like they played it just right

Comment #7 has been removed
October 22, 2011  10:06 AM ET
QUOTE(#7):

Theo resigned from his contract/position with the Red Sox. He is free do as he pleases.

People only remember this year, but Theo did a lot of ground work with the Red Sox making sense out of the farm system and the like.
All was not rosey when he took over. He will not be tht esy to replace and some things take a few years to show.

Comment #9 has been removed
October 22, 2011  10:58 AM ET
QUOTE(#8):

People only remember this year, but Theo did a lot of ground work with the Red Sox making sense out of the farm system and the like. All was not rosey when he took over. He will not be tht esy to replace and some things take a few years to show.

Judging him by his full run, he owns the last two 3rd place finishes just as much as he owns the two WS wins of 5 and 7 years ago. The team drafted well under him but have more recently used the farm system for trading chips. As a result, the farm system is barren of top tier Major league prospects. Their top prospect right now is a young shortstop who can't hit. He was often adept at picking up useful moneyball type players. But he showed horrible judgement at the top end of the FA market. So, as he walks out the door, he leaves a 3rd place club that is hamstrung by costly long term contracts to under performers and very little down on the farm. I think they'll be able to replace him quite easily. Cherington can carry forward the current scouting/drafting framework and let Theo take his woeful free agent judgement out of town.

October 22, 2011  11:05 AM ET
QUOTE(#7):

Theo resigned from his contract/position with the Red Sox. He is free do as he pleases.

Maybe .... if the contract had a NON-Competition cause in it ...

Comment #13 has been removed
Comment #14 has been removed
October 22, 2011  12:01 PM ET
QUOTE(#13):

good post-he also inherited basically all the central pieces of their first WS teamHim and Cashman are tied at the hip in that both can't be truly judged until they helm teams that don't have massive payrolls

That's silly. Employing your tortured logic, Theo will never have a legacy unless he takes over the Padres or the Pirates or some other small market team.

October 22, 2011  12:49 PM ET

I heard the compensation will be chips and dip...to go with the beer....North Flushing....ya gotta love it....

October 22, 2011  12:49 PM ET

After reading what the Sox wanted it's no wonder this trade never happened. Castro, the Cubs best position player, Garza, best pitcher, three of the Cubs top prospects. Last time I checked, Theo doesn't pick up a bat or throw a ball.

October 22, 2011  12:54 PM ET
QUOTE(#11):

Judging him by his full run, he owns the last two 3rd place finishes just as much as he owns the two WS wins of 5 and 7 years ago. The team drafted well under him but have more recently used the farm system for trading chips. As a result, the farm system is barren of top tier Major league prospects. Their top prospect right now is a young shortstop who can't hit. He was often adept at picking up useful moneyball type players. But he showed horrible judgement at the top end of the FA market. So, as he walks out the door, he leaves a 3rd place club that is hamstrung by costly long term contracts to under performers and very little down on the farm. I think they'll be able to replace him quite easily. Cherington can carry forward the current scouting/drafting framework and let Theo take his woeful free agent judgement out of town.

That Sox team is not depleted of talent. Theo did not leave them hand strung. A good coach with discipline will have them competing for the best record again in baseball. It's all about pitching and the Sox have it, if they aren't being knuckle heads. The loss of Bucholz really hurt that team last year.

October 22, 2011  12:55 PM ET

By the way, Kenny Powers I thought was hilarious in "Your Higness."

Comment #21 has been removed
October 22, 2011  02:17 PM ET
QUOTE(#19):

That Sox team is not depleted of talent. Theo did not leave them hand strung. A good coach with discipline will have them competing for the best record again in baseball. It's all about pitching and the Sox have it, if they aren't being knuckle heads. The loss of Bucholz really hurt that team last year.

I don't share your optimism. I'm a long time Red Sox fan. So, I'll admit that makes me a "glass half empty" kind of guy. Yes, this team has talent. But, to quote another former Boston sports personality, "you are what your record says your are". This is undeniably a 3rd place team. And one that doesn't have a big upside. The farm system is bare of top prospects. The good players are hitting Free Agency (Papelbon this year, Ellsbury next year) while the under performers are locked up for years. It would be easy to blame it on beer drinking and fried chicken and think that a little discipline will cure the pitching staff. But, I'll submit that it is overrated. The current rotation is not a match for Martinez, Schilling, Lowe & Arroyo, et al. The Wakefield of 2011 is not the Wakefield of 04. Buchholz and Dice K have consistently demonstrated that the can't stay healthy over the course of an MLB season. You can't count on them, moving forward. Lackey is wrong, just wrong for this club. Bard, despite his good stuff, had a high blown save count and, has not yet demonstrated that he could reliably fill the closer role if (when) Paps leaves. That leaves Lester and Beckett, who both faded down the stretch, and Thank God for Aceves. They have holes in DH, Closer and RF to fill. And there is much room for improvement at C and SS. Youkilis has been injury prone over the past few years and they desperately need a reliable right handed bat, besides Pedey, in the lineup. I'd trade their 40 man roster, straight up, for the Nationals' 40 man roster. Now that's a 3rd place team with a high upside.

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