Theo off to Cubbies; Cherington to be unveiled Tuesday
Finally, it’s done. After multiple weeks of heavy speculation, and over a week since Theo Epstein agreed on a contract with the Chicago Cubs, he is now the president of baseball operations for a team that hasn’t won the World Series since 1908.
Because of the World Series, both teams will hold off on press conferences until Tuesday, at which time perhaps the compensation package coming to the Red Sox will be revealed.
Ben Cherington, Epstein’s long-time lieutenant, will also be unveiled as general manager of the Red Sox at that time.
Epstein’s tenure with the Red Sox — which lasted a month short of nine years if you take away his two-month sabbatical — was certainly a memorable one.
At the age of 28, Epstein, the youngest general manager in baseball history, vowed he would turn the Red Sox into scouting and player development machine. He vowed to turn them into a team that was competitive year in and year out. More or less, he accomplished his goals, albeit with more success in his first six seasons in office than his last three.
In Epstein’s first six years, the Sox made it to the ALCS four times, won two World Series, made the playoffs five times and posted an October record of 34-20. Over his last three seasons, the Sox made the playoffs just once, going 0-3.
Now, Epstein will try to turn the Cubs into a scouting and player development machine, and end their World Series that stretches back to 1908.
It will be interesting to see what Cherington will do as the GM. At the age of 37, he is well groomed for his new role.
Cherington has long worked under Epstein. He actually predates his former boss in the Red Sox organization.
Cherington was hired by the Red Sox in 1999 as a mid-Atlantic area scout and joined the baseball operations department in May of that year. The New Hampshire native was named the club’s director of player development in 2002 and served in that role until December, 2005, when he became co-GM of the Red Sox, along with Jed Hoyer, when Epstein resigned from the GM post for two months. Cherington worked as vice president of player personnel for three years before being promoted to the role of assistant GM in January 2009.
He has quite the offseason in front of him. First of all, there is the task of finding a new manager.
Then there are key personnel decisions. Do the Sox keep David Ortiz and Jonathan Papelbon? What to do about right field and shortstop? Do you let the old guard of Tim Wakefield and Jason Varitek go?
All this and more will be answered in the coming weeks, as the Cherington regime commences.