Theo Epstein Speaks: Ohtani Pursuit, Schwarber Trade Interest, Future *AHEM* Outfield Plans

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Theo Epstein Speaks: Ohtani Pursuit, Schwarber Trade Interest, Future *AHEM* Outfield Plans

Chicago Cubs News, Chicago Cubs Rumors

Chicago Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein met with the media this evening in Orlando, and shared some thoughts on the ill-fated Shohei Ohtani pursuit, the value of Kyle Schwarber, and the Giancarlo Stanton trade saga, among other things.

  • I’ll lead off with the bit that got me goin’ hmmmmmmm:

  • Other plans, eh? In the outfield, eh? Involving huge financial commitments, eh? WE READ YOU LOUD AND CLEAR THEO. WE WILL KEEP THIS CLEVER SIGNAL ABOUT BRYCE HARPER TO OURSELVES.
  • As for the Ohtani pursuit and presentation, Epstein disputed reports that there was a virtual reality angle to things, instead noting that it was a good baseball discussion, and this is what got them in the door:

  • Like we said all along: it was disappointing to not see the Cubs land the player, but given the hurdles that the Cubs had to face from the start of the process, getting themselves into the final group is a testament to the quality of the organization and the selling skills of the front office.
  • On his team’s two biggest outgoing free agents, Epstein holds the line:

  • Hanging around in their market makes perfect sense, since you just don’t know what might happen as we get deeper and deeper into free agency. It would surprise me, however, if the Cubs are going to be willing to go to the expected levels for either pitcher.
  • Epstein’s comments on trade interest in Kyle Schwarber pretty well sums things up:

  • I think a lot of Cubs fans feel the same way about Schwarber. As we’ve said: if a you-can’t-say-no offer comes along, well, then, you can’t say no. But since many other clubs will simply see Schwarber as a buy-low opportunity, I don’t see that offer coming this season, and I’m all too happy to see the Cubs just hang onto him. I believe in that bat.
  • Rightfully and thoughtfully, Epstein isn’t hung up on shoehorning a “leadoff hitter” onto the roster:

  • The reality of the roster is such that, even if the Cubs wanted to add a leadoff hitter externally, where exactly is that guy gonna go? The outfield is the only area where you can squint and see room for a regular, but adding one would come at the expense of plate appearances for any or all of Schwarber, Albert Almora, Ian Happ, Javy Baez, Ben Zobrist, and Jason Heyward.


Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.