Not unlike this week’s update on Eddy Julio Martinez, today’s update is a on another increasingly pressing, but probably-won’t-be-determined until after the season story; namely, a contract extension for Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein.
Last time we checked in, we noted that Epstein’s 5-year $18.5M contract is set to expire at end of the 2016 season, that no extension discussions had occurred since the conclusion of Spring Training 2015, and that both Bruce Levine and Jon Heyman expect Epstein to receive a record-breaking extension, larger than the deal given to the Dodgers Andrew Friedman. All of that still stands, and I continue to believe that Epstein will remain with the team for the long (but probably pricey) haul. There is nothing to sweat.
Indeed, today’s update – including comments from Epstein himself – serves to reaffirm those thoughts. In a series of stories here, here and here, Epstein expresses that he is very happy in Chicago and does not expect any hindrances to a future extension, whenever those discussions may occur.
Epstein, after saying that a contract extension is not really on his mind right now, told the media that it’s a subject that will probably come back to the fore when the team is done playing. Epstein believes that he and team owner and chairman Tom Ricketts are on the same page on this subject.
There was already no reason to be worried about an Epstein departure in the first place, but this further confirms that belief. It’s understandable to want to see this get done sooner rather than later, but those aren’t the comments of an executive that plans on leaving – or even one trying to gain any sort of leverage.
And to that end, Epstein also commented that he doesn’t expect to lose any of his front office personnel to better jobs throughout the league (which we know are available in spades). He believes that he has a “pretty tight-knit group,” and that everyone wants to see it through until the end.
This story may not conclude until several, somewhat unrelated events occur. And, at the end of the day, Theo Epstein will very likely be extended and it will probably come with a very large, but well-deserved price tag. Until then, there’s nothing to do but wait and enjoy baseball.