The Cubs are still sorting out the trade compensation they’ll be sending the Red Sox for “acquiring” Theo Epstein. You may recall that this little matter was either to be settled by November 1st or at that time it would become a matter for the commissioner’s office. The organizations have mutually agreed to let it drag on this long for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the cozy relationship between Epstein (and Jed Hoyer) and Red Sox GM Ben Cherington.
The most obvious precedent for such a transaction is actually in the Cubs’ past. Andy MacPhail was hired by the Cubs in 1994 and in return the Twins received the forgettable Hector Trinidad. A hard throwing righty who had performed well at the A and AA levels for the Cubs, Trinidad wasn’t able to duplicate that success in the Twins organization.
Bud Selig, fresh off his most recent “I’m going to retire” contract extension saga, will be in charge of sorting out the requisite compensation. It’s reasonable to expect he’ll require the Cubs to send more than the 2012 version of Hector Trinidad.
Just this past off-season, the Marlins sent two players (Ozzie Martinez and Jhan Marinez) to the White Sox in return for Ozzie Guillen. Ten years ago Lou Piniella was “dealt” from Seattle to Tampa bay in return for Randy Winn and Antonio Perez. The Pirates traded for Chuck Tanner in 1976, sending Manny Sanguillen to Oakland in the process. And two years before they were the “Amazins” the Mets “acquired” their future World Series manager Gil Hodges by sending Bill Denehy to the Washington Senators (Texas Rangers). It was 1960 when the first manager was traded – for another manager. That year the Tigers and Indians swapped managers.
Trading a coach has happened in other sports, Jon Gruden and Bill Belichick (NFL) have been traded. Pat Riley (NBA) has been traded, in a manner of speaking; after the Heat tampered while attempting to lure him, the league ordered compensation to the Knicks. Yet trading an executive is still a relative novelty in most sports.
There isn’t a lot of precedence for this type of deal which makes Selig’s job even more difficult. If the Cubs can get away with something similar to the Marlins package for Guillen it’ll be a relative bargain. First though, Selig needs to identify assets within the Cubs system that Boston might possibly want – perhaps the toughest task of all.