With big names likely to big flying around this trade deadline something that gets overlooked is the front offices that put these deals together. Phones are ringing year round but this upcoming week is when they earn their paychecks in preparing their teams for the future.
One front office executive in particular is Theo Epstein the current President of Baseball Operations for the Chicago Cubs and formerly the Boston Red Sox. Epstein became the youngest General Manager in the history of Major League Baseball in 2004 at the age of 28 with the Red Sox and hasn’t looked back since.
In 2011 Epstein took over the Chicago Cubs as the President of Baseball Operations, a seemingly impossible hole to dig out of. After some brutal years to start off for the Chicago team on the north side, in 2015 that got turned around. A 97-65 record propelled the Cubs into the National League Championship Series ultimately losing to the Mets. Nevertheless Cubs fans got a taste of what the future might hold for the Cubs with a roster and minor league system rich with talent.
Theo Epstein’s judgement and evaluations play a major role for the reasons of the Cubs likely continued success. Trading for Anthony Rizzo, Jake Arrietta and Addison Russell, as well as drafting Kris Bryant have put the Cubs core pieces in great positions to succeed. The signings of Jon Lester, Jason Heyward among others have also given the Cubs extra breathing room on their roster with even more talent. The recent acquisition of Aroldis Chapman may just be the cherry on top for the Cubs to finally end a World Series drought that has haunted them for over 100 years.
Perhaps what’s even more ridiculous is the fact that Epstein not only built the Cubs for what they are today, but also had a huge role in establishing the Red Sox as one of the best teams in baseball. Name a core piece that the Red Sox have under their wings and Epstein has most likely been responsible for bringing that player in. Xander Bogaerts, Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr. and David Ortiz have all been brought in under Theo Epstein.
Epstein ended the Red Sox much endured World Series drought and if history really does ever repeat itself then the odds are much in Epstein’s favor to bring the Commissioner’s Trophy to the Chicago Cubs.
Epstein’s resume speaks for itself, he is one of, if not the best, front office executive in all of baseball. While it can be up for debate, the Cubs’ roster may be the most loaded in Major League Baseball from top to bottom. Whether its 2013, 2016 or even 2018, Theo Epstein is a machine that doesn’t look to be shutting down any type soon.