BOSTON – Ben Cherington is set to become the new general manager of the Boston Red Sox today, replacing his former boss, Theo Epstein.

Cherington’s promotion from assistant general manager will be announced at an afternoon news conference, the team said Monday. It had been expected for several weeks while the Chicago Cubs were working out details for Epstein to join them.

On Friday, both teams announced that Epstein had resigned from the Red Sox to become president of baseball operations for the Cubs.

The teams said then they would delay any news conference until today, a day off after Game 5 of the World Series.

Left unsettled is the compensation the Cubs will hand over for the Red Sox allowing Epstein to leave while still under contract for one more year. Cherington is likely to be involved in those discussions, perhaps with Jed Hoyer, who is expected to leave as general manager of the San Diego Padres for a similar job with the Cubs.

Cherington has been handling many of the duties of general manager because Epstein’s departure had been expected.

Cherington and Hoyer were co-general managers of the Red Sox for about six weeks after Epstein resigned after the 2005 season when an internal squabble convinced him he couldn’t put his whole heart into the job. When Epstein returned, team president Larry Lucchino alluded to the smoothing out of friction that had developed between the baseball and business sides of the organization.

A major immediate focus for Cherington will be the search for a new manager. Terry Francona left on Sept. 30 after eight seasons and two World Series championships. Two days earlier, the Red Sox were eliminated from playoff contention on the final day of the regular season.

They went 7-20 in September after starting the month in first place in the AL East and with a nine-game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays for a wild-card berth.

During that collapse, the Red Sox pitching rotation went 4-13 with a 7.08 ERA in September.

Cherington started with the Red Sox as a mid-Atlantic scout and joined the baseball operations department in May 1999. He spent two years as Boston’s international scouting coordinator then became assistant director of player development in 2002.

In December 2002, Cherington was named the Red Sox director of player development, a post he held until becoming co-general manager in December 2005. When Epstein returned as general manager, Cherington was named vice president of player personnel before his promotion in January 2009 to senior vice president and assistant general manager.

RATINGS: The World Series beat the NFL on Sunday night. A close Game 4 drew a higher preliminary television rating than the football rout. The Rangers led the Cardinals 1-0 into the sixth inning, winning 4-0. The baseball game on Fox earned a 10.1 overnight rating and 16 share. The New Orleans Saints led the Peyton Manning-less Indianapolis Colts 21-0 after the first quarter of a 62-7 victory to draw an 8.2/13 on NBC.

PHILLIES: Philadelphia declined the 2012 options for pitchers Roy Oswalt and Brad Lidge. Oswalt gets a $2 million buyout instead of $16 million next season. Lidge receives a $1.5 million buyout instead of $12.5 million next year.

INDIANS: Jim Thome said he still has the passion to play. Whether or not that is with the Indians or another team will be determined when impending free agents become eligible to start negotiations five days after the end of the World Series.

“I’ll keep playing,” said Thome, eighth on the all-time list with 604 career homers. “I just need teams to call me. I can’t go play in the backyard by myself. I don’t know the demand for a 41-year-old DH, but my passion is I want to continue to play.”