Cubs president Theo Epstein has agreed to a five-year extension that will keep him in Chicago through 2021, the franchise announced Wednesday.
Epstein, who signed with the Cubs in October 2011, has successfully completed a massive rebuild of the franchise. The Cubs are the best team in baseball at 101-56 and will have home-field advantage in the NL Playoffs. During the season before Epstein came to Chicago five years ago, the Cubs won only 71 games and finished fifth in the NL Central.
“It’s everything I could have asked for,” Epstein, 42, said. “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.”
The Cubs have torn through Major League Baseball this season on the backs of Epstein’s acquisitions. Second-year stud Kris Bryant is among the NL MVP frontrunners with 39 home runs, 101 RBI and a league-leading 7.6 WAR. Veteran pitcher Jake Arrieta will fall just shy of his second consecutive 20-win season, and southpaw Jon Lester is a NL CY Young candidate going for his 20th win of the year on Saturday.
“Obviously, Theo and the guys he brought with him five years ago took the organization down to the studs and started rebuilding,” Ricketts said. “I give a lot of credit to Theo and Jed 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.”
Several high-ranking members of Epstein’s staff, including general manager Jed Hoyer and senior vice of scouting/player development Jason McLeod, are expected to receive extensions as well, according to the Chicago Tribune. Epstein, Hoyer, and McLeod combined to help the Boston Red Sox to World Series championship teams in 2004 and 2007.