Could Theo Epstein and Terry Francona be reunited in Chicago?
Last night via Twitter Pete Abraham learned through Dan Shaughnessy that the Chicago Cubs have asked the Red Sox for permission to speak to Theo Epstein about their vacant General Manager position. Now this wasn't necessarily an unexpected move, as it seemed like only a matter of time before the whispers became something louder. Earlier in the day I was contacted by FOX Business Network who provided a video of Cubs owner Tom Ricketts briefly speaking on Theo's candidacy, and although the Theo portion was fairly brief and vague, it became apparent that the "Theo to Chicago" engine was gaining steam, which was only further validated later in the night by Abraham's tweet.
From Theo's perspective becoming the GM of the Cubs has to be an avenue he'd want to consider. He's already been to the top of the mountain twice with the Red Sox, and If Epstein could duplicate his success with the Cubs, he'd no longer be the Boy Wonder, he'd just be wonderful. If Theo left I wouldn't blame him one bit - he'd not only be the GM in Chicago but also their President, which is a signifigant promotion for him. I know it's become in vogue to blame Theo for September collapse and some of the Free Agent busts the Sox have signed over the years, but there's no GM in the game who bats 1.000 - and I think when looking at the big picture Epstein has been one of the best, if not the best, in the game.
I'll save my full review of Epstein's tenure if and when he decides to leave, but it's safe to say that if he's not with the Sox next year it'll have much great reverberations than Francona leaving, and that's no slight to Tito - it's just Theo's been a principal architect to what the Red Sox have built over the past decade, both the good and the bad - and come Spring I hope he's still in Boston, but it's not looking that way right now for change is in the air, and it's blowing hard.