Theo Epstein said Thursday he is not sure if the Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox can resolve their compensation issue without the help of Major League Baseball.
The two clubs agreed there would be some sort of compensation for Epstein, who left his job as Boston general manager to be the Cubs president of baseball operations in October.
"Well you have to put it in context," Epstein said on "The Dennis & Callahan Morning Show" on Boston sports radio WEEI. "In the history of baseball of all the baseball executives who have left teams, only a handful of them have been awarded compensation. We did agree that compensation would be a part of it, but there is no precedent for major, major compensation. I think the expectations were different when Andy MacPhail left the Minnesota Twins to take the Cubs general manager job after winning two World series. On a lateral move in 1994, the compensation was a 30th-ranked prospect and a little bit of cash [$200,000, according to an ESPNChicago.com source].
"We need to figure this out. Both sides are working on it. [Red Sox GM] Ben [Cherington] and I have been trying to work it out and you know normally Ben and I could work it out, but it's a little bit of a different perspective where the expectations were kind of different at the time. It's been discussed a lot more in the media than it has with the clubs. Ben and I have had five conversations with it in the last few months. We've gotten close, but we just haven't gotten it done. Maybe we will need some help to get it done. I want both sides to be happy if possible."
That help would come from Major League Baseball, which insisted earlier in the process that if it had to get involved it would. Commissioner Bud Selig has told both sides that it's in the best interest of the teams to get the compensation done themselves.