In case you had any concerns about (1) ownership’s interest in retaining President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein for the long-term, and/or (2) Epstein’s desire to stick around for the long-term, you can put those concerns to bed. You probably didn’t have them in the first place, but, hey, you’re a Cubs fan. I wouldn’t blame you.
Although he’s under contract for two more years, an extension for Epstein has been the subject of discussion around here at least a few times over the past month or so. My rough take: Epstein deserves an extension, it’s probably better to have it in place before the final year of his deal rolls around, but it’s not something that has to happen immediately.
The good news is that Epstein, himself, confirmed this week that he and Cubs Owner and Chairman Tom Ricketts have discussed the matter generally, and it’s on their radar for a future conversation.
“Tom [Ricketts] mentioned earlier this year that he definitely would like to extend my contract, and I really appreciate that,” Epstein said, per Patrick Mooney, Bruce Levine, and Gordon Wittenmyer, among others. “That’s something I would like to have happen, too. But we’ve just been too busy …. At some point in the future, I’m sure we’ll sit down and try to hammer that out.”
There’s always been something of an unspoken expectation or hope, among fans if no one else, that Epstein would be around – assuming he was having success – for about ten years, or maybe longer. When he left Boston after ten years, Epstein made mention of that being about the amount of time folks should stay in one place, and I am hopeful that he remains in Chicago for at least that long.
Although the big league team hasn’t won many games yet, the organization progress under Epstein is borderline unbelievable. Allowing him to carry that progress forward into the Cubs’ upcoming competitive window is clearly the right way to go, and, at the proper time, I’m sure that all involved will be able to put together a deal that ensures that can happen.