Pitcher Chris Carpenter put it succinctly.
“My name will go down in history, I guess,” he said Tuesday.
It will indeed as Carpenter was named as the compensation for the Cubs hiring team president Theo Epstein away from the Boston Red Sox.
Although Commissioner Bud Selig's office had stepped into the talks between the Cubs and Red Sox, Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said the two teams settled the case between themselves.
Carpenter, a hard-throwing right-handed reliever, and a player to be named later will go to the Red Sox for a player to be named later. The additional players are involved, Hoyer said, because the transaction had to be conducted as a player trade.
“It's been something that's been worked on for a long time,” said Hoyer. Epstein was not in Mesa Tuesday. “I think the initial reaction is that both sides are happy it's behind us as we move forward this spring without worrying about the compensation.”
The Cubs named Epstein president of baseball operations last Oct. 25 after Epstein completed a successful run as Red Sox GM, winning world titles in 2004 and 2007. Epstein had a year left on his Boston contract, so the Red Sox wanted compensation for allowing him to come to the Cubs. The two sides could not agree, so the commissioner's office finally stepped in.
Carpenter's named had been one of several floated in various rumors. Others included starting-pitching prospect Trey McNutt and third-base prospect Josh Vitters. In the end, the Cubs lost an important player, but not anyone in their top four or five prospects.
“Chris is a very good reliever; he's a difficult guy to lose,” Hoyer said. “I think we all realized we were going to lose something of significant value when Theo came over here. This doesn't change that. I hope Chris has a lot of success over there. Obviously, the Cubs are very excited about the new management team with Theo leading it. There was a price to be paid for that. That price is Chris, and I think we all felt that was fair. He is talented. We wish him luck and hope both sides do well by this agreement.”
Carpenter, 26, was a third-round draft pick of the Cubs in 2008. He appeared in 10 major-league games last season, going 0-0 with a 2.79 ERA after spending time at Class AAA Iowa and Class AA Tennessee. Last season was his first full season as a relief pitcher. Some project him to be a major-league closer someday because of a fastball that clocks close to 100 mph at times.
“As soon as they called me into the coaches' office, I kind of had a feeling of what was going on,” Carpenter said. “I can't say anything bad. I appreciate everything the Cubs have done for me. It's been a great organization the past four years. I'm looking forward to going to Boston and helping them win now.
“If you're going to pick two teams to play for, why not it be the Cubs and the Red Sox? You can't complain about that.”
Hoyer said the compensation issue took so long to complete because of the lack of precedence. Last year, though, the White Sox and Miami Marlins conducted a trade to compensate the Sox for losing manager Ozzie Guillen to the Marlins. The teams in that case also completed a player trade, with two players coming to Chicago and one going to Florida.
Hoyer said the players to be named later in the Epstein deal should be known by April 15.Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.