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It was a startling fall for the Red Sox and Epstein, who attended Brookline High School close to Fenway Park and became baseball's youngest general manager ever at 28 years, 11 months when he was appointed on Nov. 25, 2002.
But he's been criticized for giving long-term, costly contracts to free agents J.D. Drew, John Lackey and Carl Crawford, none of whom came close to meeting expectations.
Hendry also was criticized for giving similar deals to pitcher Carlos Zambrano, left fielder Alfonso Soriano and right fielder Kosuke Fukudome, who was traded last season.
One of Epstein's highest priorities could be determining the future of manager Mike Quade, who has one year left on his two-year contract.
Oneri Fleita, the Cubs' player personnel director under Hendry, and director of scouting Tim Wilken already have been retained by owner Tom Ricketts.
Also to be determined is the future of the emotional Zambrano. He cleaned out his locker and talked about retiring after giving up five homers and being ejected during a loss to Atlanta on Aug. 12. He was suspended for 30 days without pay and then it was decided he would sit out the rest of the season one year after undergoing counseling following an outburst in the dugout against teammates.
Zambrano was 9-7 with a 4.82 ERA and has a year left on the five-year, $91.5 million deal he signed in 2007.
Ricketts has been impressed with the Red Sox model and how they overhauled Fenway Park and increased revenue streams by adding seats above the Green Monster in left field and other parts of the stadium. Fenway is the only park in the majors older than Wrigley Field.
Ricketts said he was seeking a general manager who could use the new statistical and analytical data in baseball in conjunction with traditional scouting, a description that fits Epstein.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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