Are the New York Mets Going to Target Theo Epstein As Their New President?

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Are the New York Mets Going to Target Theo Epstein As Their New President?

Chicago Cubs

For as much yuks as the New York Mets provide baseball fans (well, non-Mets fans anyway), the reality is that they are a very high-profile organization in the most high-profile city, and the opportunity to put together a winner there for the first time in 34+ years is very alluring.

It’s part of the reason Steve Cohen put together a record-breaking $2.4 billion bid to buy them this month, and it’s part of the reason you’ll see stories like this that you can’t immediately call crazy:

To be sure, the first and biggest threshold issue on anything like this is whether Epstein, who has spent 20 years operating two franchises in Boston and Chicago, would want to spend another 5 to 10 years doing a similar job, simply with a different organization. I have zero insight into that question, but I doubt it would shock anyone if Epstein decided to move onto something completely different after his Hall-of-Fame-making turn with the Cubs. Maybe an ownership stake in the Mets would change the equation, as Joel Sherman suggests, or maybe Epstein just can’t get enough of the big-market challenge. But all that’s just speculation.

(One note there, though: Sherman was the guy who broke the news of Epstein to the Cubs, lo those many years ago. He may be a good source on Epstein-related rumors …. )

A lesser question, and less of a threshold situation, is whether Epstein and the Cubs will part ways after his contract expires following the 2021 season. Virtually all of us have been operating under the assumption that Epstein is gone after next year. Not necessarily because he’s unhappy or the money isn’t there or whatever; but instead it’s because (1) he has, himself, said that 10 years in one spot is about the right length of time (next year is his 10th year), (2) his contract is up and he’s currently making top-of-the-market money, and (3) the core he helped build is pretty much all up after next year also. The time for a transition is just going to make too much sense, as much as that may bother many fans.

I think you should expect to see more of this stuff this offseason, as the Cubs and Epstein both look ahead to what the future will be. As I’ve said before, what you don’t want for the Cubs is to not know at all what’s likely to happen. That is to say, they need to have a very clear succession plan in place, whether that’s bumping Jed Hoyer up to the top seat (most likely), or having Epstein shepherd the organization through a search process this year for its next leader. I know that sounds strange, but it’s rare that you have a situation where everyone is still very happy, but also kinda knows the transition is coming.

However it plays out, the Cubs will have an opportunity to not have this massive organizational gap in the transition from Epstein to whatever the next front office looks like. That’s what I want to see playing out over the next year, if indeed Epstein is going to be departing.

But, I mean, hey, if he wants to stick around for a little longer, it’s not like I’ll beef about it …

Author: Brett Taylor

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