Theo Epstein steps down from role with Cubs
It was a big day in baseball as one of the most famous and most accomplished front office heads stepped down from their role. That would be Theo Epstein, who announced on Tuesday that Friday would be his final day as Chicago’s President of Baseball Operations. Epstein, as we all know, got his start at Fenway as the Red Sox GM following the 2002 season. He quickly helped build the first championship roster for the franchise in 86 years, and then built another one three years later. He would leave before the Red Sox won their next title in 2013, but his fingerprints were still certainly all over that roster. In fact, they are still all over the organization as important parts of the front office are still carry overs from the Epstein era. After leaving Boston, he went to rebuild the Cubs and helped them win their first title since 1908 in 2016.
So, with all of that Epstein is clearly already a Hall of Famer. It had been looking for a while like his time in Chicago was coming to an end soon, with many believing he would walk away after his contract ran out following this coming season. As it turns out, it was even earlier than that. As far as the current Cubs go, they will be handing the reins to another former Red Sox front office member in Jed Hoyer. There has also been some anticipation that they will be looking to shed salary this winter, so some of their veterans could be available in trades.
Going back to Epstein, it’s not entirely clear what’s next for him. He spoke to the media on Tuesday and had some interesting comments on his role in this era of front offices in which we find ourselves and how it has led to a hyper-efficient, but less aesthetically pleasing, version of the game. He has made a point of saying he wants to fix it, but I’m not really sure how that happens. There has also been some indication he will want to move into more of an ownership role, and with his comments about fixing the game something in the league office could make sense as well.
Of course, there are also going to be teams who want him to run their front offices. And while Epstein has intimated he would like to take the 2021 season off before jumping into something new, we can expect teams like the Phillies and Mets, who have front office openings, to try and change his mind and take over their operations. Whatever the case, I can’t imagine this is the last we see of Epstein, though it will be the last we see of him in Chicago.