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.
The Athletics appear to be closing in on a deal for Mets’ right-hander Jeurys Familia, according to reports from ESPN’s Buster Olney. Nothing has been finalized just yet, however, as the Mets confirmed that they would not be announcing a trade tonight and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic points out that other teams may still be in the mix for Familia’s services. It’s not clear what the A’s would be giving up in any potential deal for the reliever.
Familia, 28, has been pitching well this season. He currently sports a 2.88 ERA, 3.1 BB/9 and 9.5 SO/9 through 40 2/3 innings — across-the-board improvements from his last run with the Mets in 2017 — and has racked up 17 saves to boot. He’s due another $3 million for the remainder of 2018, and Rosenthal adds that the club is willing to throw some cash in the deal in order to guarantee a better return for the closer.
While the A’s have one of the better bullpens in the American League, sitting seventh-best with a 3.50 ERA and 2.8 fWAR, they still have a ways to go in order to overtake the Mariners and Astros for a postseason berth by season’s end. Familia’s contract expires at the end of the year, but he should provide enough short-term value to give the A’s the boost they need.