Let’s run down some facts and rumors of the Theo Epstein to Chicago Talk in the past 24 hours-
- Congrats to the Boston Herald for first breaking the news by says Theo Epstein is on the “cusp of leaving his job as general manager of the Red Sox to accept a position with the Chicago Cubs that is believed to include powers greater than he has in Boston.” This set the blog and twitter world on fire and created the domino effect that we witness last night into today.
- Epstein did not originally agree to the complete deal as reported last night; just the parameters but the deal was signed this morning.
- Many reports stated it was a “done-deal” and to a certain extent they were right. Saying that is basically like asking the hottest girl to prom and getting shut down and taking her best friend. You are still going to the Prom with a date she is just the original hot girl you were going with.
- An announcement could be as early as Thursday but Friday seems like it is getting the most buzz.
- Crane Kenney got blasted by some baseball execs and the media was there to report them. Here is what they said-
*****Epstein's responsibilities and title would "assure that Epstein would have the authority to keep meddlesome Cubs' president Crane Kenney out of baseball business."
*****Multiple high-level execs from other organizations view Kenney "as an interfering, credit-seeking suit with little baseball acumen and an impediment to landing a top general manager."
- Despite the criticism from execs, Ricketts said Crane Kenney was involved in the process and applauded him for doing a good job.
- Mike Quade was not informed or in on any discussions regarding the GM search. Is anyone really surprised? Sometimes I wondered if Quade was ever informed he was a ML Manager throughout this season.
- The Cubs contacted several other GMs while trying to land Theo Epstein and they were Andrew Friedman, Rick Hahn, Dan Evans, Jerry Dipoto, and Kim Ng. But the Cubs got their first choice as GM.
- The Cubs will not give up Brett Jackson or Starlin Castro as compensation to the Red Sox. Several reports indicated last night and early this morning that the Cubs would pay cash and maybe give a minor league player not on the 40 man roster.
- It looked originally like the Cubs would sign Theo to a 3 or 4 year deal but Epstein expressed interest in building a team not purchasing one so the Cubs added a year.
- Theo and Tom have the same outlook/vision for the Cubs in the next 5 years. It was originally rumored that Ricketts would have to increase payroll to have Theo come aboard but that report was proven false.
- Theo Epstein will have to ask permission from the Boston Brass to take current Red Sox employees with him.
- Red Sox owner John Henry has an opportunity to stop the bleeding by signing Epstein to an extension and granting him a promotion but chose not to because he did not want to keep an employee that does not want to be there.
- Theo Epstein approved of the extension for Fleita and retaining Tim Wilken. He has high praise for both!
- Epstein met with the Cubs front office on two occasions that included Tom Ricketts, Crane Kenney, Tim Wilken, Oneri Fleita, Ari Kaplan, and others. Quade was not in any meetings.
- The Cubs signed Theo to a 5 year 20 million dollar contract which includes the Cubs picking up the conclusion bonus in Theo’s Red Sox deal.
- Theo Epstein will likely have the title of General Manager and President of Baseball Operations for the Chicago Cubs. Theo will only have one man above him in his field and that is owner Tom Ricketts. Crane Kenney will have no say in the Baseball Operations side of things and Theo Epstein will have no say in the Business Operations side of things. Crane Kenney will have his title adjusted from Team President to President of Business Operations for the Chicago Cubs.
- If Tom Ricketts hired a GM like Rick Hahn then he would have likely hired a separate President like a Pat Gillick.
- After the dust has settled and Theo is named the Cubs GM at his introductory press conference he along with other Cub officials will decide on Mike Quade’s fate with the Cubs.
- It should be noted that Theo Epstein was seeking Ryne Sandberg to come to Boston last season to manage their AAA affiliate. So it is likely; because of Sandberg’s connection to the city of Chicago, the Cubs, and the fan base, that Ryno is the favorite to be hired as manager once Quade is presumably dismissed.
- Rumors are out there that Theo Epstein will go level by level to determine who to keep and who should pack their bags. The entire coaching staff for the ML Cubs is likely to be dismissed even Rudy Jaramillo.
- Some reports are that Theo Epstein will change the dynamic throughout the Cubs system to make them a more of a complete team. Revamps include promoting and putting coaches in place that teach good plate discipline, better fundamentals, better defense, and a winning attitude.
- Theo is rumored to wanting to create a family feel much like what the Phillies model but would like to keep the Cubs “in the family” according to sources. This is one of the many things Tom and Theo agreed upon and got both very excited about. The premise is that the Cubs front office would like to put together a Cubs family throughout the entire minor league system starting at the top and going down to A ball. Which means the idea of having Ryne Sandberg as you manager, a former Cub like Mark Grace at hitting coach, and pitching Coach Rick Sutcliffe would not be out of the realm of possibility. It also could mean bringing back more former players for ST and to bring in former players and/or coaches in positions in the minor leagues. It should be interesting and exciting to see the changes coming up in the Cubs organization.
Until Next Time…