When the Cubs asked permission of the Red Sox to speak to general manager Theo Epstein, it was granted with the stipulation that “significant” compensation would be expected in return if Epstein were hired away.
But what is significant to the Cubs does not match up with the expectations of the Red Sox.
A tedious process will go on, the sides getting permission from Major League Baseball today to keep talking.
“We’re going to have a little more time to work it out, not sure exactly how much, at least a week I would guess,” new Sox GM Ben Cherington said tonight. “It’s just sort of a practical decision with everything going on for Theo in Chicago and us here. We just haven’t had a lot of time to spend on it.
“It was mutually agreed upon to give ourselves at least another week before we turn it over (to MLB).”
The teams have been dickering over compensation since Oct. 12, when Epstein agreed to a five-year contract with the Cubs.
Epstein was allowed to resign on Oct. 21 in the belief that a deal would eventually be struck. Two days later, commissioner Bud Selig set a Nov. 1 deadline for the issue to be decided or he would step in and mediate.
Now there is an amorphous deadline as both clubs work on hiring a manager while dealing with free agents.
But the Sox remain firm in their commitment to get something tangible in return.
“There aren’t a lot of managerial precedents as far as compensation and even less on the executive side. Because of that, our position as been that we have to look at this particular circumstance,” Cherington said.
“There was an understanding, again, at the very beginning that the Red Sox would get significant compensation if Theo left to go to Chicago. That’s been the challenge, agreeing on what significant means.”
Cherington said that Red Sox ownership did not want Epstein to leave given the team’s September collapse and the departure of Terry Francona.
“There were a lot of things that were going on at the time that made him leaving perhaps challenging,” Cherington said. “That’s why our ownership feels they need to be compensated for that.”