Theo Epstein reportedly meeting with Tom Ricketts to discuss his future with Cubs
|Saturday, October 3, 2020 3:39 PM- -|
CHICAGO — For three straight seasons, the Chicago Cubs have failed to reach the National League Division Series, a streak that is largely viewed as unacceptable for a team boasting as much star power as the North Siders. After the Cubs failed to reach the postseason in 2019, manager Joe Maddon and the Cubs mutually parted ways. Now that the Cubs have been swept in the National League Wild Card Series, President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein's job status is in the spotlight.
In the wake of the Cubs winning the 2016 World Series, Epstein signed a five-year, $50 million extension that ends following the 2021 season. Based on the sentiments expressed by Epstein and Boston Red Sox ownership after he took the Cubs job in 2011, it was previously believed that Epstein would move on to a new team once his "10-year shelf life" expired in the fall of 2021.
However, Epstein, who has been open about not wanting to linger at any franchise for too long, may be looking to pass the torch to general manager Jed Hoyer one year early, as Epstein is reportedly meeting with Chairman Tom Ricketts, one of the Cubs' owners, next week to discuss his future with the Cubs. A busy offseason likely looms for the Cubs, with the team's first roster shakeup in several years very much in the realm of possibility. Epstein might not be willing to stick around for another retooling effort and could depart in the near future.
When Theo signed the 5yr/$50m extension that runs thru 2021, it was viewed as his final contract in that position (because of his long-held, 10-year-shelf-life philosophy). So does he choose to hand off to Hoyer 1 year early (+ presumably free up $10m)?— Gordon Wittenmyer (@GDubCub) October 3, 2020
The scoop by @thekapman ?? https://t.co/OqqEMwWitm
At the very least, Epstein and Ricketts could potentially discuss a plan to gradually transfer Epstein's responsibilities to Hoyer over the course of the next year, making Hoyer a "president-of-baseball-operations-in-waiting." More will be revealed in the coming days, as Epstein's season-ending press conference will be held, via Zoom, on Monday, and Epstein is all but guaranteed to address his plans for this fall and beyond.