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Compensation talks for Epstein are moving forward

By Peter Abraham
Globe Staff / October 16, 2011

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It has been four days since Theo Epstein agreed on a five-year deal to run the baseball operations of the Chicago Cubs. But he remains - technically at least - in the employ of the Red Sox as compensation talks continue.

An executive familiar with the negotiations described them as “business-like, civil and moving forward over the weekend.’’ There were no indications that the talks would break down.

Sox owner John Henry said during a radio interview on Friday that Epstein had left the team even though he wanted him to stay on as general manager. The Red Sox and Cubs have been discussing proper compensation since.

Because Epstein has a year remaining on his contract, the Red Sox are seeking top prospects from the Cubs. A Red Sox source indicated it was unlikely any of Epstein’s assistants would follow him to Chicago immediately, although that could change once their contracts expire.

With the World Series set to start on Wednesday, the teams have an informal deadline to complete the process. Major League Baseball prohibits important announcements during the Series.

A report from Comcast Sports Chicago suggested that Red Sox president Larry Lucchino was holding up the talks. But there was no independent confirmation of that report.

Ben Cherington, who is set to replace Epstein, is reportedly discussing prospects with the Cubs. Lucchino would have to sign off on any deal.

Carrie Muskat,’s Cubs beat writer, reported that outfield prospect Brett Jackson would not be part of any compensation package.

Nick Cafardo of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Peter Abraham can be reached at

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