Cubs, Red Sox Settle On Compensation For Epstein

The Deal
The Cubs agreed to send 26-year-old righthander Chris Carpenter to the Red Sox to compensate Boston for general manager Theo Epstein’s hasty departure last October. The GM had one year remaining on his contract with the Red Sox when he left to become Chicago’s president of baseball operations. The two parties also agreed to exchange players to be named, a situation they must resolve by April 15.

UPDATE: The Cubs sent 21-year-old righthander Aaron Kurcz to the Red Sox as a player to be named (March 15), completing their end of the transaction. About two weeks later, Boston sent 19-year-old first baseman Jair Bogaerts, twin brother to top prospect Xander, to the Cubs to tie up all the loose ends in the compensation package for Epstein (March 29).

The Cubs still owe compensation to the Padres for Jed Hoyer, whom Epstein hired as Chicago GM in late October.

With the trade of Carpenter, Chicago now has parted with its first four picks from the 2008 draft. They included first-rounder Andrew Cashner (19th overall) in their trade for Anthony Rizzo in January; they lost supplemental pick Ryan Flaherty (41st overall) to the Orioles in December’s Rule 5 draft; they released second-round righty Aaron Shafer at the end of 2011 spring training, and he played in the independent Frontier League briefly before latching on with the Braves; and now third-rounder Carpenter has departed in trade.

 
Red Sox Acquire
Chris Carpenter, rhp
Age: 26.
Born: Dec. 26, 1985 in Bryan, Ohio.
Ht.: 6-4. Wt.: 220. Bats: R. Throws: R.
School: Kent State.
Career Transactions: Selected by Cubs in third round of 2008 draft; signed June 17, 2008.

Club (League) Class W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
Tennessee (SL) AA 1 1 4.38 10 0 1 12.1 10 6 6 2 4 6 1.14
Chicago (NL) MLB 0 0 2.79 10 0 0 9.2 12 3 3 1 7 8 1.97
Iowa (PCL) AAA 2 3 6.53 22 0 1 30.1 32 25 22 3 23 28 1.81
Minors 3 4 5.91 32 0 2 42.2 42 31 28 5 27 34 1.62

On the heels of a bumpy 2011 season, Carpenter struck out 18 and walked two in 14 relief innings during the Arizona Fall League season. Though he made his big league debut on June 14, Carpenter also missed most of August with a strained oblique and when healthy struggled to adapt to life as a reliever, running up his lowest strikeout-to-walk ratio (1.3) and highest WHIP (1.62) as a pro. His mid-90s fastball and power slider play up in the bullpen, where he could grow to be a set-up man with much better command.

 
Aaron Kurcz, rhp
Age: 21.
Born: Aug. 8, 1990 in Las Vegas.
Ht.: 6-0. Wt.: 175. Bats: R. Throws: R.
School: JC of Southern Nevada.
Career Transactions: Selected by Cubs in 10th round of 2010 draft; signed June 14, 2010.

Club (League) Class W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
Daytona (FSL) HiA 5 4 3.28 32 12 0 82.1 67 34 30 6 34 91 1.23

Kurcz shows promising fastball velocity at 90-93 mph but lacks command of his secondary pitches. He throws a slow-and-slower curveball from 70-75 mph to throw off the timing of opponents, but his changeup is a clear third pitch. Kurcz went 2-2, 3.72 in 12 starts for high Class A Daytona last year before taking off after a move to the bullpen on June 23. As a reliever, he struck out 49 in 36 1/3 innings while allowing just 22 hits (two homers) and 12 walks.

 
Cubs Acquire
Jair Bogaerts, 1b
Age: 19. Position: 1B (35 G).
Born: Oct. 1, 1992 in San Nicolas, Aruba.
Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 230. Bats: R. Throws: R.
Career Transactions: Signed as nondrafted free agent by Red Sox, Aug. 23, 2009.

Club (League) Class AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB OBP SLG
DSL Red Sox R .288 47 156 17 45 8 2 2 27 19 43 0 .387 .404

Bogaerts signed on the same day and with the same organization as twin brother Xander, who mashed 16 homers in a half-season in the South Atlantic League to rank as Boston’s No. 2 prospect heading into 2012. Jair caught 17 games in the Dominican Summer League in 2010 but played exclusively at first base in his DSL followup. As a righthanded hitter who’s already pushing 230 pounds, limited to first base and hasn’t yet played in the U.S., he has his work cut out for him to put himself on the prospect map.

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