Who do the Cubs trade for Theo Epstein?

The Cubs hired Theo Epstein 4 months ago and it was about that time that we were told the two sides were on the 5-yard line regarding compensation. I can only assume that Ken O'Keefe is running the offense. Every week we're told that Bud Selig will resolve the compensation issue soon. Each week goes by without a resolution. Recently the Boston media has wondered if Reed Johnson and Jeff Baker might be the start of compensation.

I'll admit that I have no freaking clue who they end getting, but there are certain rules regarding transactions. That's what this is. You can call it compensation, but it's a trade. For Andrew Cashner, the Padres sent the Cubs Anthony Rizzo as compensation. Same thing. For example:

Florida Marlins traded RHP Jhan Marinez and SS Osvaldo Martinez to Chicago White Sox and Bristol White Sox traded RHP Ricardo Andres to Greensboro Grasshoppers.

That's the official transaction listed on the Miami Marlins website on September 29th when they traded those two players for Ozzie Guillen. It's quite clearly a trade.

Because of this, there are a few things to consider. First, players who are drafted cannot be traded until one year after they signed their contract. This eliminates all of the 2011 Cubs draft picks. Second, teams cannot trade a recently signed free agent until June 15th. This is why there are no sign and trades in baseball. Draft picks aren't signed and then traded and free agents aren't either. It's not allowed. A player could theoretically approve a trade as far as I know. At least with regards to free agents. It's entirely possible Reed Johnson could approve a trade to the Red Sox, but why would he?

He chose to sign with the Cubs because he likes Chicago. He could have chosen to sign with the Red Sox this offseason, but didn't. I see no reason to think he'd be willing to accept a trade.

In the article by Nick Cafardo linked earlier in the post he wonders if Anthony Rizzo might be in play. You've got to be kidding me. He's a top 100 prospect. The Marlins didn't get close to a top 100 prospect in return for Guillen and there was a possibility of tampering charges being filed. I actually find it hard to believe that a player on the 40-man roster would be traded to the Red Sox for this. I can't imagine Bud Selig deciding it's fair to send a rostered player to Boston when the Cubs could have used that roster spot to protect someone else earlier on. Someone like Ryan Flaherty. He absolutely would have been protected if Josh Vitters wasn't on the 40-man roster.

But who knows? Bud Selig is an idiot so I don't have any idea. He could give the Red Sox Matt Garza and Starlin Castro and it wouldn't even surprise me. I'd shrug my shoulders and say to myself, Bud being Bud.

When the media told us 4 months ago the Cubs were on the 5-yard line it would have been helpful to know that they were on their own 5-yard line, both teams had infinite timeouts and the Cubs had the ball for eternity.