It’s finally done.
Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe reports that the Red Sox and Cubs have agreed to the framework of a deal that will allow Theo Epstein to become the Cubs’ president of baseball operations. Epstein has resigned from his post as Red Sox general manager and will join the Cubs’ front office, effective immediately.
The Cubs will hold a press conference on Tuesday, the next off-day of the World Series, to introduce Epstein while Ben Cherington is expected to be announced as his replacement on the same day in Boston.
Compensation hasn’t been settled yet, but a joint statement from the clubs specifies they have “reached an agreement regarding a process by which appropriate compensation will be determined.” With Epstein now a member of the Cubs’ front office, he will presumably be involved in the negotiations. That’s not awkward at all. According to Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com, if the two sides are unable to reach a satisfactory agreement in the next few days, commissioner Bud Selig could step in as an arbitrator.
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.