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.

First impressions: A good start for Rodriguez in 6-2 win

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First impressions: A good start for Rodriguez in 6-2 win

BALTIMORE -- First impressions from the Red Sox' 6-2 win over the Baltimore Orioles:

 

Eduardo Rodriguez's first start of the season was a good one.

Rodriguez, making his 2016 debut after a freak knee injury suffered at the beginning of spring training, tossed six innings and allowed two runs on five hits.

He flashed his trademark changeup on a number of occasions, getting a handful of swing-and-misses with it. His fastball velocity, which had been questionable in his rehab outings, was slightly improved.

He wasn't as efficient as the Red Sox would have liked, needing 89 pitches to get through six innings. But again, for his first start, there was little about which to complain.

 

Betts had a decent night at the plate.

Betts cracked three homers for five RBI, nearly single-handedly doing enough offensively to beat the Orioles.

He homered to center in the first, down the left field line in the second and, finally, to right field in the seventh to become the 27th player in Red Sox history to homer three times in one game.

Hitting at the top of the lineup, Betts is on pace to hit 36 homers and knock in more than a 120 runs. The power he generates from a relatively small frame is something to behold.

Betts is now second on the team in RBI -- again, from the top spot in the order, though that's been aided by the fact that Jackie Bradley Jr. has hit eighth or ninth for much of the season, providing Betts with plenty of RBI opportunities.

 

The Chris Young experiment in center worked well for the first night. With Jackie Bradley Jr. on paternity leave, the Sox will keep Mookie Betts in right and have Young play center.

Young was once a full-time center fielder earlier in his career, but in recent years, has been viewed by most as more of a corner outfielder, perhaps without the range to play center.

But Tuesday night, Young did a nice job chasing down a ball hit to the warning track by Adam Jones in the third, then capped it two batters later when he leaped above the wall in center and took away what was likely a two-run homer by Manny Machado.

 

Robbie Ross Jr. has been an overlooked part of the bullpen.

With improved velocity on his fastball, Ross has 24 strikeouts in 19 1/3 innings.

Moreover, Ross has allowed just two earned runs over his last 12 games and since April 17 -- about six weeks ago -- he has an ERA of 1.23.

Thought of as a low-leverage long man early in the season, he's earned the trust of the Red Sox to be used in more high-leverage spots as the season has developed.

 

Tuesday's Red Sox-Orioles lineups: E-Rod makes 2016 debut

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Tuesday's Red Sox-Orioles lineups: E-Rod makes 2016 debut

Eduardo Rodriguez makes his 2016 Red Sox debut tonight, and he'll have a different center fielder as he does so.

Jackie Bradley Jr. on paternity leave and Chris Young is taking his place in center. The rest of the lineup, however, remains intact as the Sox face the Orioles in their second game of their four-game series in Baltimore.

The lineups:

RED SOX:
Mookie Betts RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Hanley Ramirez 1B
Travis Shaw 3B
Chris Young CF
Blake Swihart LF
Christian Vazquez C
---
Eduardo Rodriguez P

ORIOLES:
Adam Jones CF
Nolan Reimold LF
Manny Machado SS
Chris Davis 1B
Mark Trumbo DH
Matt Wieters C
Jonathan Schoop 2B
Joey Rickard RF
Paul Janish 3B
---
Kevin Gausman P

 

 

Bradley takes paternity leave; Red Sox recall Castillo

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Bradley takes paternity leave; Red Sox recall Castillo

BALTIMORE -- The Red Sox will be without center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. for the next few days, as he is placed on the paternity-leave list to be with his wife for the birth of their first child.

Rusney Castillo, who was sent to Pawtucket in the second week of the season, has been recalled to take his roster spot. Castillo has a slash line of .241/.302/.317 with the PawSox, with 1 home run and 13 RBI in 37 games. 

Bradley is in the midst of a breakout season with the Red Sox, hitting .331/.409/.601 in 50 games with 9 homers and 37 RBI.