No sign of Epstein in Chicago
AP Sports Writer
CHICAGO (AP) – There is still no sign of Theo Epstein in Chicago.
It has been more than a week since word leaked that Epstein was headed to Chicago to join the Cubs after nine years with the Boston Red Sox.
It may take even longer for an official announcement.
Major League Baseball prohibits major news announcements during the World Series, which kicks off Wednesday in St. Louis as the Cardinals host the Texas Rangers in Game 1.
A person familiar with the negotiations has told The Associated Press that Epstein has agreed to a contract with the Cubs with a year left on his general manager contract in Boston. The person says compensation issues must be worked out, speaking on condition of anonymity because there has not been an announcement.
Two years ago, a news conference was held to announce that the Ricketts family had acquired the Cubs from Tribune Co. But even that came on a travel day for the World Series teams and it involved a multimillion-dollar deal.
On a cloudy Tuesday near Wrigley Field, the grounds crew was readying the playing field for the winter ahead while other workers repaired lights in the grandstand. No news conference, and no word on Epstein.
The Cubs have declined comment. Red Sox owner John Henry said last week that he wanted Epstein to stay with the Red Sox, while acknowledging the stress of being the Red Sox GM.
If and when Epstein arrives in Chicago, he will have his work cut out for him. The club has chewed up and spit out managers and general managers for decades.
Can Epstein be the guy to end the mind-boggling run of mediocrity, ineptitude, bad luck, strange karma and missed chances, one that has reached 103 years without a World Series winner? Chairman Tom Ricketts apparently thinks so and is ready to hand the 37-year-old Epstein a five-year deal reportedly worth $15 million to $18.5 million.
Epstein was running the Red Sox when they won it all in 2004 to end an 86-year World Series championship drought. And Boston added another title, with Epstein at the helm, three years later.
Once Epstein departs, the Red Sox are expected to announce assistant GM Ben Cherington as his replacement. The Red Sox, who collapsed in September and missed the playoffs for a second straight year, must also find a new manager to replace Terry Francona.
One of the first chores in Chicago is the future of manager Mike Quade, who piloted the team to a 71-91 record in his first full season. He has another year left on his deal.