DALLAS – When is a deal only half a deal? When one side gives something, expecting something in return, and gets nothing.
That's where things still stand in the matter of compensation for Theo Epstein. As you know, Epstein has been president of baseball operations of the Chicago Cubs for more than a month now, yet the Sox still have not received anything for allowing Epstein to leave his post as executive vice president and general manager in Boston.
At the time, the decision was made to let Theo walk, with the understanding that the commissioner's office would ultimately decide on fair compensation if the two teams couldn't work things out.
As of right now, the issue is "still in the teams' hands," according to one MLB source.
Last month, the two sides announced the issue would be tabled until after the Rule V Draft, which takes place here on Thursday. Perhaps it will happen quickly once the draft is out of the way. Perhaps it will be tabled again.
Right now, it's starting to look like the Sox should've held onto Theo until the Cubs coughed up a player (or players) that satisfied the Sox. Any leverage they had is gone, since Epstein is already in Chicago, and his time in Boston is long gone.
That image will continue if the Sox ultimately get a low- to mid-range minor league in exchange for Theo.
It would go away if an equitable deal could be worked out. In recent weeks, there have been many reports that the Cubs are interested in trading pitcher Matt Garza. The right-hander has had proven success against AL East opponents, and would be a great addition to the Sox staff. It would be too much compensation for Epstein, but if the Sox could work out a trade that included Epstein, it would resolve the matter and make everyone happy.
For now, the clock continues to click on a half-done deal. And the commissioner's office is watching … and, at this point, still waiting on the sidelines.