The End Is In Sight For Epstein Compensation


Mar 12, 2011; Tucson, AZ, USA; Commissioner of major league baseball, Bud Selig is interviewed by the media during a game between the Arizona Diamondbacks and Milwaukee Brewers at the Maryvale Baseball Park. The Brewers won 6-4. Mandatory Credit: Chris Morrison-US PRESSWIRE

The question that has been mentioned in the same line with the new Cubs’ President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein since he took control of the Chicago Cubs’ organization in late October of 2o11 has been how much is Epstein worth. The Boston Red Sox have long-been seeking the answer to that question, as they are set to receive a player from the Cubs for allowing Epstein to opt out of his contract as the Red Sox general manager and join the Cubs’ front office.

The Boston Red Sox have yet to make any significant acquisitions this off-season with the exception being trading for closer Andrew Bailey formerly of the Oakland Athletics. But in the past couple of weeks as the compensation issue has continued it’s lively path, I have engaged in some twitter discussions with various Cubs’ bloggers. We all seem to be in agreeance that the Red Sox were hoping that the player they received from the Cubs would be one of their top acquisitions this off-season. Such a thinking would explain the Red Sox demands of starting pitcher Matt Garza, shortstop Starlin Castro, and more recently starting pitcher Travis Wood or first baseman Anthony Rizzo.

That would at least explain the articles from Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe regarding the likeliness of the Cubs giving a significant player as part of the Theo Epstein compensation. The consensus in the media is that Red Sox president Larry Lucchino speaks through Cafardo. Meaning Cafardo may be getting his information on the Epstein compensation from Lucchino, whom we all know still has it out for Epstein. But one thing that Cafardo as well as the beat reporters for the Cubs are agreeing on is that the compensation issue will be resolved very soon.

In late January it was decided that the Theo Epstein compensation issue will be resolved by Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig. The Cubs and Red Sox have been trying to negotiate an agreement since last November, and Selig, finally decided enough was enough and that he would settle the issue himself. However, both the Red Sox and Cubs will have an input in his decision. Both teams submitted official briefs to Selig this week regarding their take on what the compensation should be. Selig has spent the entirety of this week trying to find the middle between the two briefs, and the commissioner is ready to make a decision. According to all accounts, both in Boston and in Chicago, Selig will make a decision soon. The definition of soon may be open-ended. In Boston, the belief is that soon means before Spring Training. However, Chicago reporters have suggested that soon means by the end of the week.

To settle some worries, the compensation player is not going to be Garza, Castro, Wood, or Rizzo. Nor will it be top prospect Brett Jackson or third base prospect Josh Vitters. Three players that are prime options to be the compensation player would be pitchers Casey Coleman, Chris Carpenter, or catcher Steve Clevenger.