Boston Red Sox: Why a Decision on Theo Epstein Needs to Be Made Soon

Justin Keith@justin5keithCorrespondent IOctober 8, 2011

BOSTON, MA - DECEMBER 11:  Theo Epstein, general manager of the Boston Red Sox, answers questions about Carl Crawford during a press conference on December 11,  2010 at the Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

With perhaps the most important offseason in many years looming for the Boston Red Sox, the future of General Manager Theo Epstein is still up in the air. The Chicago Cubs reportedly asked the Red Sox for permission to speak with Epstein, and many reports have Theo willing to leave for the Windy City.

Red Sox owner John Henry said yesterday that "Theo is not going to be the general manager forever," hinting that Theo's time may be up in Beantown. However, he is still under contract with the team, and if he were to leave for the Cubs, the Red Sox would demand some sort of compensation in return.

It is important for the Red Sox to make a decision as quickly as possible so they can start focusing on the issues that derailed this team down the stretch run. A new manager is a top priority for the club, and stability at general manager is a must when searching and interviewing candidates.

Once a manager is hired, the attention turns to how to make the team better through free agency, trades, etc. The Red Sox are almost assuredly going to make some big moves this winter, whether it be bringing players in or letting players go, making it essential to have stability in the front office.

While the Sox have an up-and-coming front office whiz in Ben Cherington, Theo is too valuable to this franchise to just let him leave to another organization.

The Red Sox would be better off by retaining Epstein, but after a monumental collapse, nobody's job is safe.