If Theo Epstein Negotiations Need Mediation, Bud Selig May Step In

Commissioner Bud Selig was interviewed during Thursday night’s World Series game on Sirius/XM radio about a number of topics. When asked about the Theo Epstein compensation negotiations between the Cubs and Red Sox, Selig’s response was intriguing:

“It’s a possibility,” Selig said on the radio. “No question, it is a possibility.”

Well. That’s a statement along the lines of “definitely maybe”. There is no precedent at all for such a mediation; teams negotiating for executive compensation are probably not subject to the terms of the MLB/MLBPA collective bargaining agreement, especially if (as has been reported) no major league players would be involved in such compensation.

Selig does have an interest in getting this dragged-out saga completed; it’s now been nine days since word leaked out that Epstein had agreed to a five-year deal to become Cubs — well, we’re still not sure of exactly what his title will be, although President of Baseball Operations has been mentioned. On Thursday, the sides were either “close” or “not close”, depending on which city’s reports (Chicago or Boston) you believed, and further reports indicated that Padres GM Jed Hoyer would be joining Epstein in Chicago.

Today is a World Series off day, and conceivably an announcement could be made today — if things are settled, which they apparently aren’t. Selig doesn’t like other events distracting from the World Series, and even without a news conference introducing Epstein, all of this has certainly received a lot of attention.

It’s in everyone’s interest to get this done soon. If Selig can help that along, he ought to go for it.

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