The Chicago Cubs are hoping that Boston Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein will lead them to their first World Series title since 1908, but before he can do that, the two clubs must reach an agreement to allow Epstein to leave Boston, and the two sides are currently “far apart.”

The Red Sox clearly want a big return for Epstein, who is one of the best general managers in all of baseball. Boston would likely want a top Cubs prospect, lots of money or a combination of the two to let Epstein go. 

However, it’s unlikely the Cubs will part with a top-level prospect for the Red Sox GM.

Red Sox president Larry Lucchino is trying very hard to get the most he can out of the Cubs for Epstein, and he’s making the entire process hard for Chicago.

One baseball executive with knowledge of both teams said the following about Lucchino in an NBC Sports article.

Larry Lucchino is one of the most unreasonable people I have ever dealt with and because of his frayed relationship with Theo Epstein he is looking to make a point at the expense of Theo’s happiness and his desire to go to Chicago. I didn’t believe that ownership group for one second when they said that they wouldn’t stand in Theo’s way if he wanted out of Boston. They are furious that he wants out and they are trying to make a point…

With the Red Sox frustrating the Cubs, it will be interesting to see if Chicago caves to the point where they relinquish a top prospect, or even better for Boston, take on the contract of starting pitcher John Lackey, whose tenure in Boston has been an absolute disgrace.

Without Epstein, the Red Sox will have a difficult time of developing homegrown talent, which has been so key to their success in the last decade. This might be why Boston wants a top prospect from the Cubs in this negotiation.

Epstein is one of the top player development guys in the sport, which is exactly the kind of general manager the Cubs need.

The last hurdle in the Esptein-to-the-Cubs ordeal would be if Theo can take some assistants from Boston with him to Chicago.

 The Boston Globe’s Peter Abraham speculated that head trainer Mike Reinold and VP of baseball operations Brian O’Hallaran could be two guys Epstein would like to bring with him to Chicago.

This certainly isn’t what the Red Sox want to see. Losing Epstein is bad enough, but losing two other important baseball people would be disastrous for a club in disarray.

Theo Epstein will likely join the Chicago Cubs at some point in the next few weeks. He needs a new challenge, and he’s run his course with the Red Sox. 

He brought the city two World Series titles, including their first in 86 years back in 2004, and with all the turmoil surrounding the team, Epstein has every right to make the best decision for his professional career.

Even if that means taking his baseball talents to the Cubs.


Nicholas Goss is a Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter for the latest sports news and updates.  

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