With the Chicago Cubs officially announcing Theo Epstein as their President of Baseball Operations last week, some may have forgot that the Cubs and Red Sox are in a staring contest regarding the compensation being sent to the Boston Red Sox for allowing Epstein to join the Cubs’ front office. With Epstein now running the baseball operations, there were some reporters that felt the compensation issue would be resolved quickly considering Epstein may not have a close connection to the Cubs’ prospects as other members of the team’s front office. If such a deal is going to happen, it is going to have be finalized quickly.
MLB Commissioner Bud Selig has sat on the sidelines observing the negotiations between the Red Sox and Cubs. There is talk that Selig is not too pleased with either organization for the compensation negotiations dragging out as long as they have. If you ask most Red Sox sources, they would point the finger at newly appointed Cubs’ President of Business Operations Crane Kenney. But if you ask most Cubs’ sources, they would put the blame on Red Sox team president Larry Lucchino. No matter who’s to blame, Selig has put a deadline for when a deal must be finalized between the two organizations.
Epstein quit Boston with a year on his contract to became the president of baseball operations for the Cubs. If Boston and Chicago can’t reach an agreement by Tuesday, the issue goes to Selig.
“If I had to guess today, it’ll be another thing that I have to deal with on November 1st,” Selig said Friday night before Game 7 of the World Series. ESPN Chicago
At this point, a Selig intervention would seem to be the only way a deal will get finalized between the Red Sox and Cubs. While there have been no recent reports on where things stand in the negotiations between the two sides, it is believed that the Red Sox remain intent on landing the Cubs’ top pitching prospect Trey McNutt. The Red Sox demand of McNutt, comes after Lucchino originally requested starting pitcher Matt Garza or Andrew Cashner. While there were reports that suggested that Cubs’ owner Tom Ricketts constructed a list of prospects that the Cubs would be willing to part with, there have not been any reports to reveal who may be on that list. What is known is that the Cubs are not going to send Brett Jackson, McNutt, or Cashner to Boston.
It will be interesting to see how Selig resolves the issue between the Red Sox and Cubs. For one, I am fairly certain that Selig does not have first-hand knowledge of the Cubs’ farm system, so I wouldn’t expect him to just automatically force the Cubs into giving up a prospect that they had no intentions of giving up. Selig will likely try to find the common ground between the two organization, and from there will determine what prospects the Cubs will send to Boston. It also is possible that Selig could talk to talent evaluators around the league, and determine what the fair compensation would be for Epstein.
In any event, the negotiations between the Red Sox and Cubs will likely come to an end this week as Selig will be the one to make the final decision.