In the days since the initial announcement that Theo Epstein would take over the helm of the Chicago Cubs, Tom Ricketts has had his engine open to full throttle. Unfortunately, thanks to the stall tactics and unreasonable demands of the Boston Red Sox, Ricketts and the rest of the Cubs organization has been spinning its wheels in the deep muck of unproductive negotiations.
Call this traction. Epstein's resignation from the Red Sox and assumption of power at Wrigley Field is official, according to a joint press release from the teams Friday.
Compensation does not appear to be finalized, so we won't know how good (or bad) a deal this is for Chicago until those details come to light over the next five days.
Still, with Epstein in the fold, Chicago can proceed with its plan to bring former Epstein assistant and current San Diego Padres GM Jed Hoyer in to fill the same role.
Timing is everything. Getting this front-office shake-up out of the way before the end of the World Series was a critical step. It seems Epstein, Hoyer and Jason McLeod (former Epstein assistant and current Hoyer right-hand man) will have time to get their house in order before the offseason begins in earnest next week.
Meetings must be held; decisions must be made. Epstein, Hoyer and McLeod will need to put their vision for the club's future on the table, but not before hearing from critical incumbent parts Oneri Fleita, Tim Wilken and Ari Kaplan about the current states of the Cubs' minor-league system, organizational hierarchy and big-league roster.
The Cubs figure to be very busy this winter, and they need to act quickly to make sure they have a cohesive operation come mid-November. Here are 10 things that must get done in the next 10 days under the new Cubs regime.