Multiple outlets are reporting that the Cubs will officially announce the signing of Theo Epstein on Friday.
Other reports, however, say it will take longer.
Epstein and the Cubs reportedly agreed to terms last week on a 5-year deal worth somewhere around the $20 million range, but the announcement was held up by protracted discussions over what kind of compensation the Cubs would give Epstein's employer, the Boston Red Sox.
Now that those discussions are nearly complete, and with Friday being an off day in the World Series, the Cubs have apparently been granted permission to introduce Epstein to the media.
But, according to The Boston Globe, Red Sox owner John Henry said Boston was "not close" to reaching any agreement with the Cubs. And assistant general manager Ben Cherington characterized the reports of a settlement as "premature," according to The Globe. Still in question is exactly what title Epstein will hold with the Cubs. ESPN is reporting that Epstein will be named president of baseball operations and eventually hire San Diego general manager Jed Hoyer to serve as the Cubs' GM. Once Epstein is in place, the Cubs must seek permission from San Diego to talk with Hoyer.
Epstein was running the Red Sox when they won it all in 2004 to end an 86-year World Series championship drought. And Boston added another title, with Epstein at the helm, three years later.
Once Epstein departs, the Red Sox are expected to announce assistant GM Ben Cherington as his replacement. The Red Sox, who collapsed in September and missed the playoffs for a second straight year, must also find a new manager to replace Terry Francona.
One of the first chores in Chicago is the future of manager Mike Quade, who piloted the team to a 71-91 record in his first full season. He has another year left on his deal.
Associated Press contributed