Theo Epstein To Step Down as Cubs President

Theo Epstein

On Tuesday morning, the Chicago Cubs announced that team president Theo Epstein will be stepping down. Jed Hoyer will take over the position on November 20th. Hoyer has worked closely with Epstein throughout their time with the Cubs, and even before their arrival. He has held the roles of Executive Vice President and General Manager. They have both been with the team since 2011, but it is now time for Hoyer to take control. Epstein came to Chicago after a successful stint with the Boston Red Sox. His goal was to bring the franchise its first championship in over a century and he did just that. The 46-year old has an impressive resume. He will be heavily sought after by many organizations, that is if he decides he wants to take on another role as President of a team. Epstein has yet to indicate what his future plans are.

Jed Hoyer Has a Big Responsibility

Hoyer was the obvious choice to replace Theo Epstein. He has been involved in every important decision made by the Cubs in the past decade. In a statement released by the team, Theo Epstein had this to say about his counterpart: “Jed has earned this opportunity and is absolutely the right person to take over this baseball operation at such an important time.” There are so many questions surrounding the team going into the off-season, and Hoyer is going to have to answer all of them.

The fate of this Cubs’ core is now in his hands. He’ll have to decide which players will be apart of the team’s future. Much like the fans, Chicago’s stars are very uncertain about what the future holds. Hoyer helped put this team together, and will now be the person tearing it apart. That is something that Epstein refused to do because he knew he wasn’t going to be with the team in the long term. With his departure, this off-season will show the direction in which Hoyer wants to steer the Cubs.

Chicago’s Future

First and foremost, he will have to choose between Javier Baez and Kris Bryant. It’s unlikely that they can keep both players. On one hand, there is a star shortstop, who captivates the fans with his flashy field play. He is arguably the face of the franchise. On the other hand, there is a former NL MVP, who was the catalyst to an incredible championship run. It won’t be an easy decision to make, nor will it be easy to find quality trade offers. They are in the last years of their contracts, and coming off the worst statistical seasons of their careers. It is a difficult situation to navigate.

They aren’t the only players that could be available either. Willson Contreras would draw attention from multiple teams in trade talks. Contreras is dangerous at the plate, but more importantly, he has improved behind it. His framing and pop time are among the league’s best. Don’t be surprised if Yu Darvish‘s name ends up in the rumor mill as well. Darvish finished the season with a 2.01 ERA, 93 strikeouts, and only 14 walks. He quickly became the Cubs ace and was runner-up for the NL Cy Young award. Not too many teams would pass up on an opportunity to land him or Contreras.

All of this depends on the new team president Jed Hoyer. He won’t start a full-on rebuild, but this roster could look a lot different in 2021.  “Ultimately, this transition is about the future, and I look forward to constantly pushing the Cubs to evolve and grow to ensure that there is sustained success at Wrigley Field,” Hoyer said in a statement. This will be one of the most significant off-seasons in Cubs’ history.

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