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?

Al Avila on trading Ian Kinsler: “We’ve gotten to the point where names have been exchanged.”

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Tigers GM Al Avila said on Tuesday, via MLB.com’s Jason Beck, that there’s been significant headway made in the quest to trade second baseman Ian Kinsler. He said, “We’ve gotten to the point where names have been exchanged. We just can’t agree.”

Kinsler, 35, is in the last year of his contract with the Tigers, earning $10 million for this coming season. In 2017, the veteran batted .236/.313/.412 with 22 home runs, 52 RBI, and 90 runs scored in 613 plate appearances.

It’s not known yet which team (or teams) have gotten far in discussions with the Tigers, but the Angels have been suggested as a good fit given their need for a second baseman.