Epstein compensation deadline near
BOSTON -- The stalemate between the Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox on determining the compensation the Cubs owe the Sox for losing Theo Epstein continues, with Tuesday the deadline for the clubs striking a deal before commissioner Bud Selig intervenes.
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"We've always felt like that was a possibility," new Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said of Selig's potential involvement as arbiter. "It's a difficult deal to work out. It's hard to quantify the value of a Theo Epstein. I have an idea of it, and Theo doesn't think he's worth as much as I think he is, and we haven't bridged that gap."
Epstein introduced his new GM, Jed Hoyer, in Chicago Tuesday and said that the commissioner might have to step in.
"There hasn't been a resolution yet," he said. "Either it will be turned over to Major League Baseball at the end of the day (Tuesday) and then baseball will go through their process which will probably take a certain amount of time or there will be an extension of the window for the clubs to continue to talk. It's not clear which of those two routes to take."
Although Cherington had chuckled when talking about Epstein's perceived value, the sides have yet to come to an agreement on what is meant by "significant" compensation, which is what the teams agreed upon when the Sox granted the Cubs permission to hire Epstein away as their president of baseball operations. Epstein had one year remaining on his contract as Red Sox GM.
If an agreement is not reached, Cherington said he expects both sides will be given a chance to argue their case before Selig and his staff at an undetermined date, with Selig then rendering a decision. Cherington said the sides have reached an understanding regarding any additional staff members leaving the Red Sox to join Epstein.
"If there's an opportunity for one person (to go to) Chicago that's clearly a better opportunity, then that's good, we don't want to stand in anyone's way," Cherington said. "There's an understanding the Cubs won't raid the Red Sox and the Red Sox aren't going to raid the Cubs. It should be a good relationship going forward."
It has not yet been determined, Cherington said, whether such an opportunity exists for a current member of the Sox staff to join Epstein. Potential candidates include special assistant Dave Finley, director of baseball operations Brian O'Halloran, trainer Mike Reinold, or executive VP of business affairs Jonathan Gilula, a longshot.
Gordon Edes covers the Red Sox for ESPNBoston.com.