John Henry and Larry Lucchino revealed very little when asked about Theo Epstein’s status on WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan this morning. The Red Sox principal owner and CEO did not want to discuss whether or not the Cubs are pursuing Theo. However Henry offered one potentially revealing comment
“I think there is a certain shelf life to these jobs … Theo is not going to be GM forever.’’
That statement is sparking rumors that Epstein may indeed be on his way out.
It’s tough to tell what direction the Red Sox are headed in. It seems pretty clear that the Cubs want Theo, but the Sox owners would never feed the media fire surrounding the club during the frenzy that has followed the 2011 season. Up until this morning I was confident that Epstein would stay, but Henry’s comments lead me to believe Theo’s time in Boston may be done. A prestigious opening like the Chicago Cubs job is a rare commodity.
Since Epstein is still under contract for one more year, the Cubbies would have to compensate the Red Sox in order to steal him. Rumors have surfaced about a possible wheel and deal with the Cubs where we send Theo and John Lackey in exchange for Carlos Zambrano and some additional compensation. Dumping Lackey would certainly ease the pain caused by losing the most accomplished GM in franchise history. However this plays out it’s going to be a very interesting off-season for the Red Sox, who are also looking for a new manager. Replacing Terry Francona AND Theo Epstein would be a lot of change, but maybe that’s exactly what the Red Sox need after the 2011 fall fiasco.