If the Chicago Cubs don’t snap their World Series drought this season, at least they can take solace in the fact that Theo Epstein still will be at the helm.
Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts announced Wednesday that Epstein and the club agreed to a five-year contract extension. USA TODAY’s Bob Nightengale tweeted the deal reportedly is worth over $50 million, which would make Epstein the highest-paid baseball executive.
Esptein became the Cubs’ president of baseball operations in 2011 after nine seasons as the general manager of the Boston Red Sox.
“It’s everything I could have asked for,” Epstein said, via MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat. “There’s no place I’d rather be. I think I said five years ago, it’s a great day to be a Cub, and I still feel that way. I still envision feeling that way for the foreseeable future.”
Under Epstein, the Cubs have gone from bottom-dwellers to World Series favorites. They lost 101 games in Epstein’s first season, but this year, they’ve already won 101 games with five games left to play.
“We had some good pieces and we had some good players in the beginning, but the organization itself was not in a position where you could believe there was sustainability and consistency and success on the field,” Ricketts said. “Obviously, Theo and the guys he brought with him five years ago took the organization down to the studs and started rebuilding.
“I give a lot of credit to Theo and (Cubs GM) Jed (Hoyer) and everybody on that team, but I also give a lot of credit to all of our fans who basically heard our story, listened to us throughout. I think the time and energy to do it the right way has paid off with a team that should be successful for years to come.”
In addition to Esptein, the Cubs are expected to extend Hoyer and player development and scouting director Jason McLeod, too.
Thumbnail photo via Jeff Curry/USA TODAY Sports Images