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Home Maury Brown The Salary Implications of Compensation for Resolving Theo Epstein Going to the Cubs

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The Salary Implications of Compensation for Resolving Theo Epstein Going to the Cubs PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 21 February 2012 15:07

Theo Epstein

It’s over. After written arguments were made to Commissioner Selig last week, the sides (finally) worked out a way to get a compensation package sorted out for GM Theo Epstien going to the Cubs.

The Red Sox aquire right-handed pitcher Chris Carpenter and a player to be named later from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for a player to be named later. To make room for Carpenter on the 40-man roster, the Red Sox placed right-handed pitcher Bobby Jenks on the 60-day disabled list as he recovers from back surgery.  With the trade, the compensation for Theo Epstein joining the Cubs as the team’s President of Baseball Operations is complete.  The transaction has been agreed upon by both clubs.

“I am relieved that this process is over and particularly pleased that the teams were able to reach agreement on their own without intervention from MLB,” said Epstein in a statement through the Cubs.  “I truly hope and believe that this resolution will benefit both clubs, as well as Chris, who is an extremely talented reliever joining a great organization at a time when there's some opportunity in the major league bullpen.”

“More than anything, I'm excited that we can all move forward and focus exclusively on getting ready for the season.  I wish Chris and the Red Sox nothing but the best in 2012 and beyond.”

Selig, who had threatened to get involved, was pleased that the deal was resolved without his direct intervention.

“I am pleased that the Cubs and the Red Sox have resolved this matter,” said Selig in a statement. “ It has always been my preference that Clubs resolve matters like this amongst themselves, as they understand their unique circumstances better than anyone else could.  Though the matter required time, both Clubs demonstrated professionalism throughout their discussions, and I appreciate their persistence in finding common ground.”

While there was talk of top-tier talent involved (and, we’re talking players as compensation, not Mr. Epstein), what, ostensibly is involved is one pitching prospect.

The righthander spent most of his time with Iowa, going 2-3 with one save and a 6.53 ERA (22 ER/30.1 IP) in 22 Triple-A relief outings.  Carpenter posted no record and when he made his Major League debut with Chicago in 2011 and posted a 2.79 ERA (3 ER/9.2 IP) over his 10 games with the Cubs, all out of the bullpen.  He limited left-handed batters to a .143 average (2-for-14) and held opponents scoreless in eight of 10 outings.  The right-hander also combined for 32 relief appearances between Chicago’s Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa clubs last year, going 3-4 with two saves and a 5.91 ERA (28 ER/42.2 IP) between the two stops.

How does it all pan out in terms of money?

In the end, it will nary put a ding in the Red Sox pocketbook, and doesn’t free up much of any for the Cubs.

Carpenter has 32 days of Major League Service Time (MLST of 0.032). According to The Associated Press, he had a split contract last season of $33,600 in minors, $414,000 in majors. To date, he has not yet been signed to a major league contract for the 2012 season. If so, he will have to earn at least the league minimum $480,000 for the upcoming season. If he signs a split contract, he will have to earn a minimum of $78,250 in the minors.

As far as the PTBNL on each side in the deal… it’s a technicality. Whenever a player is traded (and, in this odd instance, you are not counting Epstein as he’s not a player), another has to be involved. With Carpenter going to the Red Sox, another player had to be in the deal. The Cubs and Red Sox will likely swap inconsequential players in the deal just to satisfy conditions of the “trade”.

It’s an ending to a case that I’m sure the league would not like to see happen with any regularity. This off-season (okay, one was two days before the season ended), players have been involved in trades that, at their center, were not player transactions. First the Marlins sent minor leaguers to the White Sox in exchange for manager Ozzie Guillen going to the Marlins (right-handed reliever Jhan Marinez, plus infielder Osvaldo Martinez), and now the Epstein deal.


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He writes for Baseball Prospectus and is a contributor to Forbes SportsMoney blog.. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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