The Sox have the upper hand here, pretty explicity. Theo is under contract yet it has been made public (if these report are indeed accurate) that he has accepted a job elsewhere. How exactly do Theo and the Cubs have any leverage at all? There is no position for Epstein in Chicago until the Sox agree to allow Theo to go to Chicago.
Sure, there is risk in disallowing this and having a disgruntled, lame duck of a GM, and the message it may send about the practices of this organization to current and/or future employees, but that's ephemeral in my mind - each situation is different. But this caveat doesn't change the overall dynamic, it only mitigates the significant leverage
the Sox have. In any scenario, in my opinion, the Red Sox have the leverage. They should be asking for something significant as it relates to the minimal precedents set for compensation in this scenario. While it may not be Starlin Castro or Matt Garza, it ought to be of sufficient value (even if it is just cash) to give them comfort in allowing Epstein to move on. I say the Sox tell the Cubs a couple of things they want, then tell the Cubs they can choose which one they want in order to secure Epstein's services. I am not saying they act unreasonably, but they should be getting something from the Cubs that matters to the Cubs, since the Sox are giving up someone who matters to them and who is obligated to serve them.
Another question - which team can walk away from this situation? Seems to me like the Cubs cannot, unless they are prepared to hire someone like Billy Beane (who would have the same compensatory issues) or someone else high profile. They went public with this courtship, and now they have to pony up. I hope the Sox have resolve on this one.
Edited by miracleofmidre, 14 October 2011 - 09:48 AM.