|Theo Epstein: ‘No wrongdoing’ by Red Sox in Schilling case||02.10.13 at 6:50 pm ET|
Former Red Sox GM Theo Epstein, now the president of baseball operations with the Cubs, told reporters in Cubs camp that the Sox responded appropriately when former pitcher Curt Schilling alleged that a member of the team’s medical/training staff had suggested that he could consider using performance-enhancing drugs to prolong his career. Epstein said that the individual whom Schilling accused of the suggestion was exonerated completely after an investigation by Major League Baseball.
“It’s the only time in my career where a player mentioned performance enhancing drugs to me,” Epstein told reporters (as relayed here by the Chicago Sun-Times). “I immediately reported it to Major League Baseball. … The club did its own investigation. Major League Baseball did a very thorough investigation. … They had a lot of conviction about their conclusion that their was no wrongdoing and therefore no discipline of the individual in question.”
Epstein did not identify the member of the team’s staff who was accused by Schilling, but he did say that the individual was cleared after the investigations.
“I can only say that this individual was thoroughly investigated and came out with his reputation very much intact,” Epstein said. “Because of this investigation, the individual in question probably has been as thoroughly vetted as anyone in a big league clubhouse and came out extremely clean. So this incident should not be seen as an attack on his integrity.”
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|Theo Epstein on why a second-round pick matters||01.04.13 at 9:55 am ET|
Cubs president of baseball operations and former Red Sox GM Theo Epstein, in an interview on WEEI’s Red Sox Hot Stove Show on Thursday night, suggested that draft picks — even second-round picks — are more valuable than ever in the current baseball climate, helping to explain a reluctance for teams to pursue certain free agents. (To listen to the complete interview, click here.)
Like the Red Sox, the Cubs — who went 61-101 in 2012, the second-worst record in the game, thus entitling Chicago to the No. 2 overall pick in next year’s draft — have a protected first-round pick. Chicago thus could sign one of the players who received one-year, $13.3 million qualifying offers from their 2012 teams without forfeiting its top selection in next year’s draft. Still, like the Red Sox, the Cubs are extremely protective of the second-round pick that they would have to give up if they were to sign a free agent who received a qualifying offer (pitchers Kyle Lohse and Rafael Soriano, first baseman Adam LaRoche and outfielder Michael Bourn are the remaining free agents who would cost a draft pick).
In short order, the reasons for the Cubs’ protectiveness of the pick include:
– The second-round pick is higher than ever. In past years, under previous Collective Bargaining Agreements (when teams simply needed to offer free agents salary arbitration in order to secure one or two compensatory picks), there was a broader array of free agents whose departure would result in their former teams receiving one or even two compensation draft picks. The result was dozens of picks in the sandwich round that falls between the first and second rounds, on top of the 30 (or more) picks in the first round.
The result? In the last six drafts, the average top pick of the second round was the No. 56 overall pick in the draft.
This year, however, the number of compensation picks has been drastically reduced. In functional terms, the sandwich round has been almost eliminated. While there are six new picks at that stage of the draft (the result of a competitive balance lottery for small-revenue clubs), second-round picks now expose teams to a position in the draft where they should be able to make a more impactful selection. The top pick of the second round this year will be roughly the No. 38 overall pick in the draft. Read the rest of this entry »
|Red Sox CEO/president Larry Lucchino: John Farrell a ‘perfect fit’||10.23.12 at 2:41 pm ET|
Red Sox CEO/president Larry Lucchino, who was in charge of much of the responsibility for negotiating with Blue Jays counterpart Paul Beeston to release John Farrell from his contract, said that he was concerned at times in the process that Farrell would not be granted permission to come to Boston.
“Yes there was [concern that the Blue Jays wouldn't let him go],” said Lucchino. “That’s why the suggestion that somehow we were making a mistake in bringing in other people to interview is I think unfounded. There was a lot of uncertainty as to whether this thing could be done. We had to prepare for Plan B.”
Asked what happened to breathe life into the discussions between the teams, Lucchino suggested only, “I like to think it was sweet reasonableness that somehow reared its lovely head in the middle of the process.”
Still, he acknowledged that the discussions with the Blue Jays this year were dramatically different from the ones that took place a year ago, after Terry Francona was fired following the 2011 season, when sources have said that Toronto sought starter Clay Buchholz in exchange for Farrell. This year, the two sides ended up agreeing that the Sox could compensate Toronto by sending shortstop Mike Aviles to the Jays. Even so, Lucchino noted that a player who was an everyday shortstop in 2012 represented a more substantial form of compensation than Chris Carpenter and Aaron Kurcz, the players whom the Sox received from the Cubs in March as compensation for the departure of former GM Theo Epstein.
“Let’s just say [the Blue Jays] made substantial demands on us throughout the process. It had to evolve over time for us to find the right combination of consideration, because they absolutely deserved important consideration, and they got it in our last year’s starting shortstop,” said Lucchino. “It’s a far cry from the process we went through last year with regards to our general manager.” Read the rest of this entry »
|Buster Olney on M&M: Red Sox lack ‘defined chain of command’||07.11.12 at 3:17 pm ET|
ESPN MLB analyst Buster Olney joined Mut & Merloni for his weekly appearance on Wednesday afternoon, saying the Red Sox need a stronger chain of command. To listen to the interview visit the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.
“That’s really what a lot of this stuff comes down to, without having specifics of who’s having disagreements with who,” Olney said. “Ultimately the reason why all this is happening, and the same reason why years ago there was the issue between Larry [Lucchino] and Theo [Epstein] was because there wasn’t really a distinct chain of command that was determined by the ownership. They need to [fix] that and [the problem's] not going to get solved until that happens.
“All these issues of who’s speaking to who and who’s not talking to who and who’s not getting along with who, that’s not going to be settled until they deal with that. Again, as we’ve said in recent weeks, they can still win in spite of that. They’ve got a tremendous amount of terrific players.”
The analyst couldn’t comment on rumors of Boston restraining Bobby Valentine from using his managerial style, but Olney said the problem — if it exists — stems from ownership.
“Here’s the bottom line: That’s something where the ownership, if that’s an issue, whether it’s letting Ben [Cherington] have full control or letting Bobby be Bobby and do what he does, that’s got to come from the top,” Olney said. “That’s got to come from John Henry in the same way that they had to decide, ‘OK Theo you run baseball operations. Larry, you stand over here.’ Or ‘Larry you’re going to run baseball operations and Theo answers to you.’ They have to determine those things but that’s clearly, it’s sort of at the root of the issues they have that there isn’t a defined chain of command where they need it.”
Olney said when he noted Red Sox problems in a column he was referring to ongoing issues as opposed to ones already reported.
“I kind of find it funny because, within the baseball industry, it’s not even a secret,” Olney said. “It’s such an open conversation about issues that different people in that organization have that it’s funny that it hasn’t been written about more there, to be honest with you.” Read the rest of this entry »
|Theo Epstein on D&C: ‘No villains’ in Red Sox management||06.14.12 at 10:52 am ET|
Theo Epstein joined the Dennis & Callahan show Thursday to talk about his time with the Red Sox, including his relationship with ownership and the difficulties of being a big market general manager.
As Red Sox GM, Epstein brought in John Lackey and Carl Crawford at a significant cost as free agents. When asked if he was pressured to do so by the team’s business interests, he waved off the notion.
“There are no villains here,” Epstein said. “It’s the reality of what happens in a big market, especially when you win, especially when there’s incredible performance on the field as well as off the field and things get bigger and bigger. … I always had a concern about it getting too big and when it starts to grow and it stars to become insatiable it becomes hard to take a reasonable long-term approach on the field and off the field.”
Despite not feeling pressure from ownership, Epstein wasn’t always perfect at handling his own pressure.
“If anything I blame myself,” he said. “At the end it certainly became too big. I didn’t do a good enough job of managing that tension, managing the reality of being a big market team when things start to fall off a little bit, which is natural. I certainly should have executed in big name free agency.”
He added later: “I finally gave into the [tension]. I started executing moves that gave into it and were a little more convenient and that is a lot of the reason I wanted to move on. … After ten years it’s hard to attack things from a fresh perspective. It’s hard to be as adamant about your philosophy as you are at the beginning.”
|Red Sox close out compensation for Theo Epstein with right-hander Aaron Kurcz||03.15.12 at 9:21 pm ET|
The book is now closed in terms of what the Red Sox got from the Cubs in exchange for GM Theo Epstein. The Sox will get Aaron Kurcz as their player to be named, making him the second player whom the Sox received from the Cubs (along with reliever Chris Carpenter).
Kurcz, 21, has had an interesting path as a professional. He initially enrolled at the Air Force Academy where he went for a year before transferring with the Academy’s blessing to go to the College of Southern Nevada to pursue his baseball career. The short (5-foot-11) right-hander ended up being taken by the Cubs in the 11th round of the 2010 draft. Read the rest of this entry »
|Randy Winn knows what it’s like to walk in Chris Carpenter’s shoes||03.09.12 at 4:03 pm ET|
FORT MYERS, Fla. — On one end of the Red Sox clubhouse sat Chris Carpenter, the hard-throwing reliever whom the Sox acquired from the Cubs as compensation for the departure of former GM Theo Epstein. In the middle of the clubhouse stood one of the few people in the world who can relate to Carpenter’s unusual path to the Red Sox.
Randy Winn spent 13 years in the big leagues, primarily with the Rays, Mariners and Giants. He was a versatile outfielder who could impact the game in any number of ways, and who earned an All-Star berth with Tampa Bay in 2002.
And he also was part of an unusual trade in 2002 that ended up assuming quite a bit of relevance this offseason. After the 2002 season, the Rays — who suffered through five brutal years — wanted to change the culture of losing that engulfed their organization. The team wanted to hire area native Lou Piniella away from the Mariners. Read the rest of this entry »
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