While the baseball cosmos remained fixated on the critical ALCS Game 3 bout between the Texas Rangers and Detroit Tigers on Tuesday night, word broke on Red Sox GM Theo Epstein's job status with the club, and how he may be on the cusp of joining the Chicago Cubs.
Rumor has it, we may be just hours away from an official announcement, said Steve Buckley—a Red Sox beat writer for the Boston Herald.
According to the Buckley, the only holdup preventing the deal from materializing is how "the Red Sox are going to want “something real" in return, and how they would ideally still like to keep Epstein as their general manager.
Here's exactly what Buckley had to say:
"Two baseball sources have confirmed that Theo Epstein is on the cusp of leaving his job as general manager of the Red Sox to accept a position with the Chicago Cubs that is believed to include powers greater than he has in Boston, with an announcement expected to be made “within the next 24 to 48 hours.”
Chicago, who fired GM Jim Hendry back in April, are certainly in need of Epstein's services.
If the Cubs are in fact able to corral Epstein to Wrigleyville within the next few days, it may not be out of the question to suggest a colossal free-agent addition to a Chicago clubhouse desperate for leadership in talent within the next few weeks. One notable target, among many, would be free-agent-to-be Prince Fielder.
Let's be honest: without the addition of a home-run threat to their lineup such as Fielder, 2012 doesn't look to be any different than that of 2011. Ranking 19th in MLB in runs scored (654), 20th in home runs (148) and 21st in RBI (610). With Aramis Ramirez likely on his way out, these Cubs will need to upgrade in a huge way offensively this offseason if they expect to contend for a division crown.
Epstein has been known for his gargantuan signings in the past as a member of the Red Sox, and with the amount of payroll he'll be able to fill up this winter, it's certainly a possibility to suggest Fielder could be playing for Mike Quade and company in 2012.