Report: Epstein agrees to five-year deal with Cubs

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Report: Epstein agrees to five-year deal with Cubs

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com

It appears Theo Epstein is headed to Chicago.

Hours after a high-ranking baseball official with knowledge of the situation called Epstein's move to Chicago "close, but . . . not done yet", a report surfaced that the Red Sox' general manager has agreed to a five-year, 15 million contract to head up the Cubs' front office.

WEEI Radio's John Dennis, quoting sources, said the deal would be announced later in the week after the Red Sox and Cubs agree on a compensation package for Epstein. A report in Chicago Tuesday night suggested thatCubs owner Tom Ricketts was turning to Major League Baseball for direction on"compensation protocol", but a baseball industry source said any compensation was an issue between the teams anddidn't warrant any interference from MLB. While the Red Sox have some leverage in these talks -- the White Sox received two top prospects from the Marlins when they allowed manager Ozzie Guillen to break his contract and go to Florida -- it's highly unlikely they'll end up with an established player from the Cubs roster.

Epstein has a year remaining on his Boston currentcontract.

One National League source said the Cubs were prepared to make him president of baseball operations. The Cubs have Crane Kenney as their team president, but indications were that Kenney would be placed in charge of business operations, with Epstein in charge of the franchise's baseball operations.

In an unusual move, Ricketts last month extended the contracts of scouting director Tim Wilken and director of player development Oneri Fleita with new multiyear deals. That means that Epstein won't be able to hand-pick two of his top assistants, though it's likely that Red Sox ownership would have prohibited him from taking any other current Red Sox personnel with him as he exited the organization.

The Boston Herald was the first to report that Epstein was "on the cusp" of joining the Cubs and reported that compensation from the Cubs was the lone remaining sticking point.

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam.

Benintendi, Red Sox hang on to beat Cubs, 5-4

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Benintendi, Red Sox hang on to beat Cubs, 5-4

BOSTON - Andrew Benintendi hit a solo homer off Jake Arrieta during a five-run first inning and the Boston Red Sox held on to beat the Chicago Cubs 5-4 Friday night.

Every Boston starter had at least one hit, and Hanley Ramirez, Mitch Moreland, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Christian Vazquez also drove in a run each.

Left-hander Drew Pomeranz (2-1) got the win with six innings of two-run ball, surrendering solo homers to Kris Bryant and Albert Almora Jr. in the early innings before settling in. He allowed six hits and two walks while striking out seven.

Boston has won its last nine interleague games at Fenway Park.

Arrieta (3-1) logged his shortest start since Aug. 28, 2014, lasting only 4 1/3 innings and giving up 10 hits and three walks with five strikeouts.

Broadcasting role unlikely for Ortiz, who met with Red Sox this week

Broadcasting role unlikely for Ortiz, who met with Red Sox this week

BOSTON - It's a tad ironic the Red Sox met with David Ortiz on Tuesday about his post-playing career, and then the offense went out and did nothing and Xander Bogaerts was publicly lamenting Ortiz's absence two days later.

John Henry, Tom Werner, Ortiz and his agent, Fern Cuza, met at Fenway Park on Tuesday to discuss the retired slugger’s future role with the organization, team president Sam Kennedy said. 

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Nothing's imminent, but there's one thing Ortiz is unlikely to do with the Sox in the near future: broadcasting. He could still do some of that in the postseason for say, FOX, but it appears an arrangement with NESN isn't in the cards for now, per Kennedy.

Ortiz's role with the Red Sox is still expected to be wide-ranging, something bigger than the standard alumnus agreement. He seems set on taking his time, enjoying his retired life, saying over the weekend he wants to be able to give the job the time it deserves. 

Kennedy in April was unsure if anything would get done this year. 

As for the team's play without Ortiz, and Bogaerts' comments?

"This is an incredibly talented ballclub," Werner said Friday at a luncheon benefitting the Red Sox Foundation and the Foundation To Be Named Later. "I’m really not terribly concerned. Like all fans, I’m a bit frustrated when we don’t give great pitching run support.

"We struggled the last couple of nights. It’s frustrating to think that Chris Sale, who I think is the best pitcher in the American League, doesn’t have much run support. But it’s April. I've been taught to not really look at the standings 'til July. Frustrated by the past two days, but look at the standings, and we’re only one win behind the Cubs. So you know, I mean I wish we were playing a little bit better,  but the team is going to bounce back."

Werner reiterated the Sox have room in their budget to add players ahead of the trade deadline.