Could Boston Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein be the next vital member of the organization to leave? Possibly, according to reports.

There's a lot of speculation coming out of Boston that Epstein might leave after 10 years with the organization and head to the Chicago Cubs as that organization's general manager.

ESPN's Gordon Edes reported that it's 50-50 on whether Epstein will leave the Red Sox and that the team's September collapse has complicated his relationship with the team.

I wouldn't be shocked either way,'' an unnamed source told Edes. I know he's not dying in the Red Sox job, and if he went to the Cubs and they won, he'd be a Hall of Fame general manager.''

Epstein has one year remaining on his contract, and it is believed Red Sox management wants to bring him back, but the former hotshot executive has taken some heat for his assembling of this year's roster.

John Lackey seemingly forgot to pitch this season, Carl Crawford slumped through the majority of the season, and a team that was picked by 45 out of 45 ESPN experts to win the AL East somehow managed to put together the worst regular season collapse in baseball history.

The New York Post reports that the Red Sox will grant permission to other teams to interview Epstein and the Chicago Tribune reports that Epstein is very interested in the vacant Cubs general manager position.

The Post's Joel Sherman reported that in last 36 hrs every exec (I) talk to say (they) believe Red Sox will give permission and Theo will go to Cubs to be GM.

Epstein's departure would mark a complete change in the Red Sox after the team refused to pick up Francona's two-year option.

Epstein, along with Francona, helped guide the Red Sox to their first World Series title in 86 years when the team finally triumphed in 2004 and again in 2007.