This really shouldn’t even be a question.
Oh, sure. The Theo Epstein led Cubs have averaged 95 losses the last 3 years, but we knew that was going to happen. Could they have been better? Of course, but the CBA punishes mediocrity. Epstein could have overpaid players to come to Chicago and made them a .500 team, but to what end? For a lower draft pick? To have these players hanging around in the last couple of years of their deal taking up payroll space?
Epstein played the hand he was dealt and he played it remarkably well, stocking up a farm system that ranks among the best in the game. The Cubs enter Epstein’s 4th season with scads of the kind of currency every organization covets: young cost-controlled impact talent and payroll flexibility.
As we have mentioned, this first phase of the rebuild has gone swimmingly, but it is all prelude. The Cubs have put themselves in a position where they can easily sign free agents or trade for veterans. The best is yet to come.
And who knows the organization better when it comes to making the necessary moves for the next few years?
What’s more, one rival executive told me that Epstein himself is a draw to get these players.
I think the Cubs are in a unique spot because of the credibility they have with Theo Epstein. If he says they are on the brink of a championship, well, he should know since he has two World Series rings. I think it’s difficult for other GM’s who have never reached the playoffs — let alone won a World Series — to make the same proclamations because, how would they know?
He went on to say that this is a big offseason for the Cubs and he expects them make a couple of big moves. He also believes they should contend for a wild card next year. Now, if I were a player signing with the Cubs for an extended period of time, I’d want to be pretty darn sure Epstein is going to be there too.
There is no doubt Epstein wants to stick around, but he will let that take care of itself. It’s fitting for a man who understands that all he can do is control the process and the results are at least somewhat out of his control. But he also believes good results follow good process. The same should apply to him with the result, of course, being a contract extension.
“That’s really not a concern for me,” Epstein said. “I’m just focused on growing the organization. But I’m sure we’ll talk this winter about sort of longer-term plans and how all of the different personnel fit into that mix.
“It’s not really a pressing issue. I love coming to work each day. I love the people I work with. I love the challenge that we have here.”
Theo Epstein and his group have set up this organization to contend for years the next 5-10 years beginning with next season. He has brought good process to an organization that has lacked it for most of it’s history. That process is already beginning to bear fruit and Epstein should be here to enjoy the results when they come.
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