What's the next challenge for a GM who brought a championship to a famously cursed franchise? Doing it again somewhere else, apparently. Theo Epstein, who for now is the GM of the Boston Red Sox, is apparently close to joining the Chicago Cubs as their general manager. From Steve Buckley of the Boston Herald:
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."
Bombshell. The 37-year-old Epstein became GM of the Red Sox after the 2002 season, and in 2004 the team he built won the team's first championship since 1918. After the 2005 season, Epstein resigned, but before the 2006 season started, he rejoined the organization as GM and Executive Vice President.
He will reportedly replace Jim Hendry, who was hired by the Cubs just months before Epstein began his GM duties with the Red Sox in 2002.
According to Buckley, one of the holdups is that the Red Sox are expecting a hefty return from the Cubs for giving up their general manager. Carlos Zambrano is a hefty return if you think about it, but I wouldn't want to speculate. There's no word on whether the return the Red Sox are expecting is supposed to be a player, prospect, or money.