Red Sox Have Upper Hand in Theo Compensation Talks


The Red Sox want prospects while the Cubs want to give cash.  That’s the dilema that has caused the Theo Epstein to the Cubs announcement to be put on hold.  Although it’s no secret that Epstein will trade in his Massachusetts area code for one in Illinois, the deal hasn’t been finalized just yet.

According to many reports out of Chicago, the Red Sox owners, namely Larry Lucchino are not making this an easy process for Cubs owner Tom Ricketts.  If Epstein wants out of Boston, then the Cubs group will have to pay the piper.  The only problem is, the Red Sox want prospects, nothing else and they’ve made that abundantly clear.

Earlier today it was reported by Alex Speier of WEEI that Cubs prospect Brett Jackson was not available as part of the compensation package for Epstein.  This came from Carrie Muskrat of via Twitter.  Jackson was rumored to be the front runner as to who the Red Sox would want from Chicago, but it appears that option has hit a dead end.  That’s probably better for Boston as their centerfield is pretty solid right now.

As the negotiations continue between the Cubs and Red Sox, it is clear that Boston’s owners have the upper hand.  They can play a little hardball with Ricketts and stick to their guns, holding out for prospects in exchange for the boy wonder known as Theo.  What good does cash do for Boston?  Absolutely nothing, thats what.  This organization needs prospects to help replenish a depleted farm system that brought in slugger Adrian Gonzalez

But Ricketts doesn’t want to part ways with any of his high prized youngsters.  The Cubs are in a similar situation to Boston as their farm system has become quite thin on high end talent, thanks to the Matt Garza deal last offseason. 

The longer this deal is put on hold, the better it is for the Red Sox.  Right now the city of Chicago and Cubs fans everywhere are overjoyed about the announcement that Epstein has been offered the GM job to try and turn things around for the lovable losers.  But if Ricketts and the Red Sox owners can’t come to terms on a compensation package, then perhaps the deal never happens and the Cubs have to wait a year until Epstein’s contract is up in Boston.  Think of how Cubs fans would react to that news.  Talk about teasing a fan base that has already endured a century of misery and now this?  Ricketts would have a major catastrophy on his hands and suddenly Steve Bartman would not be the most hated man in Chicago.

The way it looks right now is that Ricketts is going to have to ship over some prospects in order to get his man.  Lucchino is making things difficult, but at the same time he and the other owners still have a business and a ballclub to run.  I’m not saying it’s right that Lucchino be this difficult, but I do agree with being adamant on receving some players back in return for the man who helped build the Red Sox to the elite level that they reached over the past nine years.

As it stands right now for the battle of Theo Epstein, the advantage goes to Boston.  They’re in a position to receive what they want, so take advantage of it.

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