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Now it looks like Theo is out

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After an epic collapse cost the Red Sox the playoffs, manager Terry Francona is out the door. Is it possible general manager Theo Epstein follows? Speculation and reports have mostly pointed to Epstein being highly coveted by Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts, but that Epstein would still likely stay in Boston.

Of course, it's possible things have changed after the historic futility in September. Maybe Epstein would be open to a change of scenery, much like Francona. He does have one year left on his contract, so he'd need permission from the ownership to interview with anyone. And, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, Epstein is going to get that:

"I am shocked," Sherman tweets. "But in last 36 hrs every exec talk to says believe #Redsox will give permssion and Theo will go to #Cubs to be GM."

So, to those who don't understand Twitter speak, the basic summary is that Sherman has heard the Red Sox will allow Epstein to talk to the Cubs, and that Epstein is going to be the Cubs next GM. Not that he will simply listen to an offer, but that Epstein will take an offer and go to Chicago. Drama in Red Sox Nation

Now, even if Sherman is correct, this isn't a done deal yet. Epstein would still have to interview with the Cubs and both sides would have to leave the interview impressed. From there a contract would have to be agreed upon.

Considering the resources and history, the job would be similar to what Epstein took over in 2002 with the Red Sox in many ways, with two glaring exceptions. First of all, those Red Sox were a lot closer to winning a championship than the current Cubs are. On the other hand, Epstein had to deal with the big-spending Yankees in the AL East. In the NL Central, a good Cubs team has the ability to dwarf the rest of the division in the payroll department.

Would Epstein's ties to the Boston area -- he grew up in New England and attended Yale University -- be trumped by him seeking a new challenge or departure from the exceedingly high expectations in Boston now? Time will tell, but this is certainly a situation worth monitoring.

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