Theo Epstein compensation close

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- A resolution of the Theo Epstein compensation issue was imminent Tuesday morning, a major league source said, with the Red Sox receiving what was termed a quality minor leaguer back from the Chicago Cubs as compensation for Epstein's hire by the Cubs as club president.

"We are close to resolving this," the source said Tuesday.

The Red Sox and Cubs have been locked in a disagreement for months regarding the terms of compensation for Epstein, who left the Red Sox shortly after the end of last season to become president for baseball operations. The Red Sox initially asked for some of the best players on the Cubs' major league roster, including pitcher Matt Garza, but were rejected by the Cubs, with Epstein in the odd position of trying to set his own value to the Red Sox.

The matter eventually was referred to commissioner Bud Selig, who according to other major league sources had hoped that the teams would be able to strike a deal themselves. Both the Cubs and Red Sox presented written arguments to Selig last week, and have been in contact with the commissioner since.

The prospect from the Cubs is not expected to be on a par with such top prospects as outfielder Brett Jackson or infielder Josh Vitters, the source said, but is expected to be a legitimate big-league prospect.

Gordon Edes covers the Red Sox for ESPNBoston.com.