When you end a drought that has lasted over 100 years, there’s obviously a ton of weight that has been lifted off the shoulders of not only the Chicago Cubs organization as a whole, but the fans too. To Cubs fans who have waited, in some cases, their entire life to witness that celebratory dogpile, congratulations! But let’s not dwell on this for too long. 2017 presents its own challenges & questions such as becoming complacent, and questions over whether Wade Davis will remain healthy. But the Cubs represent a possible front office shift in mentality for other clubs for years to come, demonstrating that success can be found by building from the ground up instead of spending millions on aging players like Yankees, Marlins, and Red Sox, who have all fell victim to in years past.
Theo Epstein is easily the greatest mind baseball has ever seen in a front office, and only 43 years old. Earning the nickname by many as “The Curse Breaker”, Theo has ended the two longest championship droughts in baseball by using this ground up method. Lets examine his time in Boston:
Most Notable Players Drafted:
- Dustin Pedroia (2004) – MVP, Silver Slugger and Gold Glove Winner
- Mookie Betts (2011) – Gold Glove, Silver Slugger and Wilson Defensive POY
- Jackie Bradley Jr. (2011) – College Word Series MVP (To me, He’s overlooked due to the AL’s OF depth)
- Brandon Workman (2010) – Isn’t a star, but he won a World Series.. So..
Most Notable Free Agent Signings:
- Xander Bogaerts (2009)- International FA pool.
- David Ortiz (2003)- 1st Ballot HOF in my book. (1 year, 1.25 mil deal, so this supports my argument)
- Junichi Tazawa (2008) 3 years, 3.33 mil.
The following notable players were on the 2013 World Series team, from the Theo era: Clay Buchholz, Junichi Tazawa, Brandon Workman, Xander Bogaerts, Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz.
His time in Boston is often forgotten by baseball fans, Just simply due to the fact that they won a World Series in the “Post Epstein Era” but when you examine even this year’s roster… Are we really “Post Epstein” in Boston?