DALLAS Remember when two baseball cities were obsessed over the compensation for Theo Epstein?

Almost two months ago, people were saying that the Boston Red Sox should ask for Matt Garza or Starlin Castro. Cubs fans couldnt wait for their savior to get to work in Wrigleyville and wondered what was holding up the deal.

Even Epstein later joked about this existential question: What am I truly worth?

It helps that Epstein remains good friends with Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington. The two had agreed to take the matter out of ownerships hands and table it until after Thursdays Rule 5 draft.

I teased (Cherington) for referring to the compensation issue in a radio interview as cleaning out the garage, Epstein said. His analogy (was): You know you have to do it, but youll think of anything else under the sun to do first.

So I said that was a good point and I offered him two bags of ice melt and an old rake. Thats whats in my garage.

The Cubs president of baseball operations has a good sense of humor, and acknowledged that there isnt much of a deadline other than: It behooves both organizations to know whos on their club coming into spring training.

Epstein got a bigger job and a better title. Cherington got promoted to a job many believed he was ready for. As the winter meetings ended and the industry began checking out of the Hilton Anatole, this is where the rhetoric has gone.

 

Weve loosely defined a strategy of talking at some point in the near future, Cherington told reporters on Thursday. Well resolve it at some point Im sure.

There doesnt seem to be much urgency for the Cubs or Red Sox. Reporters still have to ask about it, but they know its not much of a story anymore. A good guess is that the Red Sox will get one or two players you may have never heard of before.