Theo Epstein would “embrace the challenge” of taking over the Cubs

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With Terry Francona going bye-bye, it’s probably worth Red Sox’ fans time to turn their pitchforks and torches toward Theo Epstein’s house because, hey, what else is there to do? Cheer for the Yankees?

To that end, there’s a goodly bit of low-level rumor-churning going on in the past 24 hours. First came Buster Olney’s thing yesterday in which “friends of Theo Epstein” say that “he would embrace the opportunity to go to the Cubs.”  Today Gordon Wittenmyer takes that and does a little more speculatin’ about hypotheses on the subject:

With Epstein potentially available for an interview — not to mention his future with Boston questioned in the aftermath of the biggest September collapse in baseball history — the Cubs are expected to make a run at him.

Usual caveats apply: why would Epstein leave Boston, why would Boston let him out of his contract, etc.  But then again, no one thought Terry Francona was going anyplace a couple of days ago either, so who knows?

Phillies sign Trevor Plouffe to minor league deal

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Infielder Trevor Plouffe has signed a minor league deal with the Phillies, Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News reports. Plouffe asked for and was granted his release from the Rangers earlier this month.

Plouffe, 31, had a double and a home run in 17 plate appearances with Triple-A Round Rock to start the 2018 season. He spent last year with the Athletics and Rays, putting up a meager .198/.272/.318 batting line in 100 games.

Plouffe has mostly played third base throughout his career, but can also handle the other three infield spots and both outfield corners, so he’ll serve as organizational depth at Triple-A Lehigh Valley for the Phillies.