GM Epstein agrees to join Cubs

CHICAGO — Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein has agreed to a contract with the Cubs, the Associated Press reported.

Compensation issues must be worked out before the deal is finalized, according to AP. Several media outlets reported that Epstein will receive a five-year contract.

Epstein, 37, would leave Boston with a year left on his contract and take over what is expected to be an expanded role with the Cubs, who have gone 103 years without a World Series championship.

The Cubs declined comment Wednesday and Red Sox officials could not be reached.

Vice president of player personnel Ben Cherington is considered the top candidate to replace Epstein in Boston.

ASTROS TO AL?: Houston may move to the AL West as soon as 2013, MLB.com's Peter Gammons reported.

According to Gammons, the Astros' sale to Houston businessman Jim Crane should be finalized in November and a league switch announced around the same time, putting 15 teams in each league.

Rangers president Nolan Ryan embraced the idea.

"It would be good for us to have another Central Time Zone team in our division," Ryan said. "It would be great for baseball to have two teams in Texas competing against each other on a head-to-head basis."

INDIANS: Right-hander Justin Masterson had surgery on his left shoulder and is expected to be ready for spring training.

PHILLIES: First baseman Ryan Howard had surgery to repair his ruptured left Achilles tendon. Recovery time is normally five to six months.

GM Epstein agrees to join Cubs 10/12/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 12, 2011 10:40pm]

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