Theo Epstein Compensation To Be Decided By Bud Selig


It has been nearly three months since Theo Epstein took control of the Chicago Cubs’ baseball department as the new president of baseball operations. While not because of Epstein’s doing, the 37 year old’s departure from the Boston Red Sox organization was rather controversial. After teetering back and forth between allowing Epstein to interview for the Cubs’ position or rejecting the Cubs request, Red Sox owner John Henry and team president Larry Lucchino eventually granted the Cubs permission to speak with Epstein.

And as the cliche goes, the rest was history. While Epstein has been sitting comfortably as the head of the Cubs’ baseball department, there is still one issue connecting him to the Red Sox. The issue is the yet to be determined compensation to be sent to the Red Sox from the Cubs for allowing Epstein to join the Cubs’ organization. Once Epstein took control of the negotiations from the Cubs’ side and dealing with a friend in Red Sox general manager Jed Hoyer, the both sides were optimistic that an agreement would be in place rather quickly.

Quickly is not the word that should be used to describe the negotiations between the Cubs and Red Sox regarding the Epstein compensation. Despite all the rumors about the Red Sox demanding the likes of Matt Garza, Starlin Castro, Andrew Cashner or Chris Carpenter, the one consistency has been that an agreement between both sides has always been pushed back. Initially, Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig told reporters that he would settle the issue between the Cubs and Red Sox if the two sides had not come to an agreement by November 7. But, Epstein and Cherington convinced Selig to approve an extension and the two organizations felt the compensation would be agreed upon around the same time as the Rule V Draft. Once again, no agreement ever materialized.

With the calender year changing and teams beginning to focus on Spring Training, it appears that both the Cubs and Red Sox are just looking for an end to the long-standing compensation issue. Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun Times is reporting that both the Red Sox and Cubs’ organizations have requested that Bud Selig determine the compensation for the Red Sox allowing Epstein to join the Cubs’ organization. There has been no indication as to what type of compensation will be awarded to the Red Sox.

The Red Sox have sought Garza, Castro, or top prospect Brett Jackson. Though with Epstein already a part of the Cubs’ organization and the Red Sox having essentially no leverage, it is crazy to think that the Cubs will be forced to compensate the Red Sox with any player that has the same stature as Garza, Castro, or Jackson. It is my belief that Selig will probably be hesitant to give away any player from the Cubs’ organization without some type of approval from someone in the Cubs’ front office. With that in mind, I would expect Selig to announce that the Cubs will compensate the Red Sox financially rather than with a player.

In any event, it will be interesting to hear how Selig rationalizes any decision that he makes in regards to the Epstein compensation.