Henry: Did everything I could to keep Theo

October, 14, 2011
10/14/11
5:59
PM ET
Negotiations continued Friday between the Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs for Theo Epstein's services, but Red Sox principal owner John Henry spoke as if the deal is done.

"I would love to have Theo back," Henry said on 98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston. "I would have loved for Theo to have been our general manager for the next 20 years. That was my hope. That would have been my hope. But you don't always get what you want. I did everything I could personally, and so did Tom and Larry, to make that happen. The fact is that being general manager in Boston, being manager in Boston, is a terrifically tough job."

For the first time, Henry acknowledged that Epstein has spoken to another team, presumably the Cubs. But a few hurdles remain to Epstein going to Chicago. The Red Sox are taking a hard-line stance that Epstein not take any of his top aides with him, according to a team source.

Sources said Epstein and the Cubs have reached agreement on on five-year deal for anywhere from $15 million to $20 million.

Henry has said that there's a shelf life for working for the Red Sox and that Epstein would not be the Red Sox GM forever. He started at age 28 in 2002.

"He never saw the general manager's role as longer than 10 years for himself," Henry said. "I mean, maybe he did early on, but certainly after a few years he knew the stress of this job was too much."

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