ESPN’s Buster Olney hints that the Chicago Cubs, who fired their general manager Jim Hendry late last week, could pursue Red Sox GM Theo Epstein as a potential replacement.
Olney suggests that Epstein has viewed the Cubs as an intriguing opportunity in years past:
“Epstein has talked about the Cubs’ organization as a place with extraordinary growth potential and as a unique challenge. When Epstein took over the Red Sox, Boston had had more than eight decades of frustration before it finally won the World Series in 2004.”
With that said, Olney also admits that Epstein’s loyalty and standing in Boston might prevent him from pursuing a job in Chicago:
“Epstein has carved out a strong position under Red Sox owners John Henry and Tom Werner, and friends say he has a deep loyalty to the Boston organization — and keep in mind that Boston is his hometown and that Epstein is in the middle of his current contract.”
Speaking on WEEI radio in Boston on Wednesday, NESN’s Peter Gammons said that Epstein would likely have interest in the opening:
“It’s a great job. Having gone even longer than the Red Sox without winning, if you win in Chicago, win a World Series in the next six or eight years, that city’s yours forever. And that’s not the worst city to have as your own fiefdom.”
Epstein’s contract with the Red Sox runs through the 2012 season. He has won two World Series titles (2004 and 2007) in his tenure as GM.
The Sox hadn’t won a world championship in 86 years before finally breaking their curse in 2004. The Cubs haven’t won the World Series in more than 100 years, the longest drought in baseball.
In order for it to be a step up for Epstein, the Cubs would likely have to offer him a job as their team president, giving him additional influence on the franchise as well as the roster.
Alastair Ingram is the featured Boston Red Sox columnist for RantSports.com. For daily updates, follow him on Twitter at @AlastairIngram, follow the blog at @RedSoxRant, and join the fan page on Facebook.