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Congratulations To The Cardinals; Now, Time For Theo To Get To Work

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It's no fun for a Cubs fan to have to congratulate the Cardinals for anything.

That said, I do offer congratulations to the Cardinals on winning the most exciting World Series to come our way in many years. They earned it.

These days, baseball doesn't rest for long. The free agency filing period will begin later today, after an agreed-upon delay:

The Office of the Commissioner of Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) today announced that in connection with the collective bargaining process they have agreed to delay the start of the free agency period for 24 hours, to 12:01 a.m. (EST), Sunday, October 30th.

The MLBPA will release the list of Free Agents and potential Free Agents on Sunday, October 30th. Free agents will continue to be able to sign contracts with new Clubs beginning 12:01 a.m. (EST), Thursday, November 3rd.

Nitpick: that should be "EDT", as Daylight Saving time doesn't end for another week. So later tonight (Chicago time), players can begin filing; the exclusive negotiating window for teams to sign their own free agents continues through late night Wednesday (Chicago time). That reduces what would have been a five-day exclusive window to just four days (Sunday through Wednesday, essentially).

There's one order of business for Theo Epstein and his newly hired general manager, Jed Hoyer, to finish up before that free agent signing period begins, and that's compensation to the Red Sox for Theo's own hire.

Friday night, Bud Selig reiterated that he might have to decide on compensation:

Baseball commissioner Bud Selig expects he will have to decide what compensation the Boston Red Sox should receive for allowing general manager Theo Epstein to leave and join the Chicago Cubs.

Epstein quit Boston with a year on his contract to became the president of baseball operations for the Cubs. If Boston and Chicago can't reach an agreement by Tuesday, the issue goes to Selig.

"If I had to guess today, it'll be another thing that I have to deal with on November 1st," Selig said Friday night before Game 7 of the World Series.

Phil Rogers hints at what compensation might be:

It is expected the Cubs will sent the Red Sox one or two minor league prospects, possibly one who is considered close to the major leagues and another from the lower minors.

That's kind of specific, but kind of vague, too. In any case, we should know about that by Tuesday.

Let the offseason begin -- and let it provide improvement for the Chicago Cubs.