When the Theo Epstein rumors and then negotiations began the Boston Red Sox had all the power at the bargaining table, but as the process dragged on it’s shifted to Tom Ricketts and the Chicago Cubs. If I were Ricketts, I would tell Boston to take what I’m offering or leave it.
With Epstein assuming the role of President and the Cubs rumored to have hired Jed Hoyer as GM and Jason McLeod in some capacity, who under Epstein in Boston drafted Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Elsbury, Clay Buckholtz, Daniel Bard, and Justin Masterson, the Cubs will have a strongly upgraded front office with or without Epstein this season.
Epstein’s contract ends at the end of 2012, so why give up anything for him, the only thing it will slow down for the Cubs will be the renovation of Wrigley Field that a lot of hardcore fans will not mind being delayed.
Hoyer and McLeod can begin building Epstein’s vision while the Cubs wait to sign him in 2013 with their farm system entirely intact. The Red Sox’ inability to budge has effectively backed them into a corner they can not get out of at this point. Let’s hypothetically say my scenario plays out and the deal falls through for Epstein with the Cubs knowing that they can sign him in 2013, what does Boston do at that point?
Reports have Epstein working at the Red Sox’ offices as he would any other day if this was not happening. I feel it’s more like a two-week notice, and he has been uploading the “Carmine” player analyzation system to his iDisk as a file named, “The Woo-Woo.”
Would Boston let him finish out his tenure knowing that next season he will be leaving to become President of the Chicago Cubs, or would they send him home thus letting him unofficially begin his role with the Cubs? Their would be a lot of damage control that the Red Sox would have to deal with if they refuse to take what Ricketts has offered.
I have to give Ricketts a ton of credit on this one as he’s handled the situation flawlessly letting the Red Sox play right into his hands. It’s one of best moves ever by a Chicago team owner that I can remember, and if I’m a Cubs’ fan I’m pretty excited and happy that he bought the team. Of course, the pessimist might say these are all only rumors and nothing has been officially announced. Wait until Tuesday my fellow sports fans and you will see the Cubs beginning to form one of the best front offices in baseball.