The silence emanating from Fenway Park is deafening these days. After nearly 48 hours of screaming headlines across New England through the Midwest reporting that the Cubs have merely asked for permission to speak to Red Sox rock star GM Theo Epstein, the Boston media blackout thus far speaks volumes.
The Red Sox could’ve easily come out by now and simply said “no.” End of story… Nothing to see here… Everyone can go home now. But since they haven’t done so, speculation has run rampant.
Really, what’s the big deal in letting the Cubs at least talk to him? It would be common business courtesy by Boston to let Epstein explore his options. He’s given more to the franchise and the city than anyone could’ve dreamt of. Why not just come out and say it?
There are really only two possible explanations at this point. Either the Red Sox can’t decide what to do (very unlikely that a proud organization such as the Red Sox can’t get their shit together by now) or they have already accepted the Cubs request and simply haven’t announced it for any number of reasons.
Since Epstein still has one year left on his four-year extension, Boston could be demanding compensation for even speaking to their GM, let alone stealing him away from them. If that’s the case, it may take them awhile to figure out what they would even want from the Cubs considering their dearth of talent.
Some have suggested that the Red Sox would only let Epstein out of his deal if the Cubs agree to take on the contract of pitching disaster John Lackey. I think it’d be worth it—no matter how bad Lackey has been, he might benefit from a move to the NL.
There’s also the possibility that the Cubs and Red Sox have cleared all the hurdles and Tom Ricketts is in Boston speaking to Theo right now. Maybe there’s already a deal on the table and Epstein is simply mulling things over. It would make sense for the Red Sox to bite their tongue until they know what Theo really wants to do.
But just because the Red Sox may have allowed the Cubs to speak to their beloved GM, it doesn’t necessarily mean Theo wants to come to Chicago. There’s always the possibility Epstein could simply be using the Cubs as leverage against the Red Sox to get a better deal after his current one expires next year.
Whatever is happening, the Red Sox are certainly holding their cards close to the vest. It’s not difficult to deduce something big could be happening in the very near future.