I'm very curious to see how the die hard Cubs fans who frequent this fine site feel about the job that Theo (The-o, get it?) Epstein is doing. The idea is to post a number between 1-100 and to defend your rating. The rating should be a culmination of how well you believe Theo has done since beginning his tenure with the Cubs, while holding him responsible for the team's transactions. Let's call a score of 75 average, like a "C" and see what moves we add points for or which moves we subtract from. Please forgive the egregious hindsight, but I'm trying to go based on my initial reactions the best I can.
+ 5 for inheriting Jim Hendry's Cubs - Bad contracts - Barren Minor Leagues - Little sense of organizational direction
-1 Ian Stewart trade - It was an earnest attempt to fill a thin 3B position- but trading two pre-aribitration players for an oft injured arbitration eligible player seemed to belie the overall strategy of the FO, had it worked, it would have been great so only -1
-10 -Edwin Jackson signing - Hated it from the get - could have signed him for cheaper and less years after 2011. Jackson settled on 1 year/11 mil from the Nats, he didn't perform as well in 2012 (ERA+ 98) as he did in 2011 (ERA+ 108). Considering SP is always among baseball's most sought after positions, then 7 teams by age 28 is really saying something. Thank God he's turning things around, but I'm sticking to my guns here. Nothing is scarier than the prospect of this FO making bad free agent signing after what we experienced in the last administration. Also, it worries me that all this money we are saving will be spent poorly... Epstein is not immune to the bad FA signing, good thing the plan is apparently to avoid big FA signings I guess.
- 2 Castro and Rizzo extensions - too soon - Rizzo isn't Paul Goldschmidt yet, Castro seems to lack focus and motivation at times, quite often really - a long term extension is not the best way to motivate a player... make him earn it.
+ 20 The plan and the minor league system- We have a plan. One that makes sense. Our minor league system is something to be proud of. History hasn't been kind to Cubs prospects, but there's legit reason for hope. Ehh, feel like I've said that before.
-8 The negative of the slow rebuild - those poor season ticket holders in year 4 in a row of a barely watchable team, I feel for you Pops, 2015 is a long way off for people who attend over 10 games a year, let alone 40. 2015 isn't a guarantee either, look at the youth in the Pirates and Cardinals organizations. We're not the only guys with young guns stashed in the minors.
+3 2013 trades - Way to play the market - Great strategy by moving players early - Very nice returns.
The-o-Meter 82 B- What's yours?