Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Epstein talks still at stalemate
By Gordon Edes
The Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs remained stalemated Tuesday on compensation negotiations for general manager Theo Epstein, which suggests that it will be at least Friday, an off-day in the World Series, before an announcement is forthcoming -- and then only with the permission of baseball commissioner Bud Selig.
There appears to be resolution on at least one issue, according to a baseball source who has spoken with Red Sox officials. As things stand now, Epstein will be permitted to take one prominent member of the Sox organization with him to Chicago.
One surprising name that has surfaced, according to the source, is Jonathan Gilula, who would not come from the baseball side but is the executive vice president of business affairs. Gilula, who has been in MLB for 14 seasons and with the Red Sox for nine, played a major role in the renovations, remodeling and expansion of Fenway Park, and with the Cubs looking to do the same with Wrigley Field, Epstein might invite Gilula to join him in Chicago.
Trainer Mike Reinold, whose importance to the Red Sox goes beyond the major league clubhouse, may also be in play, the source said. The Boston Herald first raised the possibility that Reinold might join Epstein in Chicago. Not believed to be in play are existing department heads on the baseball operations side, including Mike Hazen, director of player development, or Amiel Sawdaye, director of amateur scouting. The possibility remains that Epstein could ask special assistant Dave Finley or assistant to the GM Allard Baird to join him.
According to the same source, while there is still some uncertainty what title Epstein will have in Chicago, there is credence to reports that Epstein would become president and hire a general manager rather than hold dual titles. If that is the case, Epstein could look to former aides currently outside of the Red Sox organization, with three of his top aides now in San Diego -- GM Jed Hoyer, VP/baseball operations Josh Byrnes, and VP/assistant GM, player development and scouting Jason McLeod. Jon Heyman of SI.com was the first to report that Epstein may be targeting Hoyer, who just completed his second season as Padres GM and is signed through 2013, with an option for 2014.
Byrnes was the GM for the Diamondbacks for 4½ seasons, from November 2005 to July 2010. Reports out of San Diego indicated that the Cubs have not yet sought permission to talk to any of the Padres executives.