17 years ago, a young pitcher with some promise named Hector Trinidad was sent from the Cubs to the Minnesota Twins as compensation for Andy MacPhail coming to Chicago with a year left on his Twins contract.
Tuesday, in an identical scenario, Chris Carpenter was awarded to the Boston Red Sox as compensation for the Cubs signing Theo Epstein to be President of Baseball Operations with a year left on his Boston deal. There's a bit more to the deal, says Bruce Miles:
It's officially Carpenter and PTBNL for a PTBNL from Red Sox. #Cubs— Bruce Miles (@BruceMiles2112) February 21, 2012
The Cubs and Red Sox could not agree on compensation and so, the teams submitted lists of "want" and "available" to the commissioner's office. After dithering for a couple of weeks, the teams came to an agreement. According to Jed Hoyer, the teams decided, not the commissioner's office.
There's been far too much teeth-gnashing and tweeting about this issue over the last few months, in my opinion. While Carpenter is a decent major league prospect, his time in the major leagues has been brief enough that there's no way that any real solid opinion can be formed about how he will do in the future. It's possible he'll be the next Carlos Marmol or Daniel Bard. Or he could be the next Hector Trinidad. I've liked Carpenter in the past... but the Cubs need to move on.
The best thing about today's announcement is that we don't have to hear about "Theo compensation" any more. It's done. Well, except for the PTBNLs, who are supposed to be decided by April 15.
Now, the Cubs still owe a player to the Padres as compensation for bringing Jed Hoyer aboard as general manager. That's not likely to be a player as valuable, nor should it take as long to send someone over (and since both teams train in the Phoenix area, there shouldn't even be any travel expenses). It might be that this compensation had to wait until the first one was settled.
Get it done, Theo & Jed.