Cubs, Epstein agree on five-year contract extension

theo(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty)

Chicago Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts announced that the team and President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein have agreed to terms on a five-year contract extension.

“In the five years under Theo’s leadership, he has brought in a strong executive team and acquired and developed some of the best players in the game. Now, the results are on the field. My family and I have no doubt that we have moved closer to our goal of delivering Cubs fans the World Series Championship they deserve,” Ricketts said, adding that the contract “ensures the baseball operations team assembled by Epstein will continue its remarkable tenure of building a consistent championship contender.”

“Both on the baseball and business sides, I believe we have the best leadership in the league and we are well positioned for sustained success,” Ricketts said.

Epstein originally joined the Cubs on Oct. 25, 2011, under the terms of a five-year deal. The major-league club has progressed from a 61-101 record in 2012 to 101 wins with five games remaining just four years later, becoming just the third team in major-league history to win at least 100 games within four years of a 100-loss season. Since 2012, the organization progressed to a 66-96 record in 2013 and a 73-89 mark in 2014 before surging to a 97-65 mark in 2015, the third-best record in all of baseball and an eventual spot in the National League Championship Series.

The 2016 Cubs clinched the best record in all of baseball with more than a week remaining in the regular season, reaching 100 wins for the first time since 1935 and maintaining the possibility of posting one of the top three win totals in 140 years of Cubs baseball. The Cubs have qualified for postseason play in consecutive seasons for only the third time in their modern baseball history.

During his time with the Cubs, Epstein has expanded both the size and scope of baseball operations leadership, increasing the organization’s emphasis in amateur, professional and international scouting, player development, analytics, research and development, medical operations and beyond.

Since taking over baseball operations, Epstein and his group have rebuilt the organization by making more than 40 trades to acquire players such as Anthony Rizzo, Jake Arrieta, Addison Russell, Dexter Fowler and Kyle Hendricks; have been aggressive on the free-agent market to sign players such as Jon Lester, Jason Heyward, Ben Zobrist and John Lackey; selected impact talent such as Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber and Albert Almora Jr. in the amateur draft; selected Hector Rondon in the Rule 5 Draft; signed Jorge Soler and many other future Cubs in the international market; and hired 2015 NL Manager of the Year Joe Maddon.

Epstein joined the Cubs after 10 seasons with the Boston Red Sox, the last nine as the club’s General Manager. He built World Champion ballclubs in 2004 and 2007, winning the organization’s first World Series title in 86 years, and saw four teams advance to the American League Championship Series (2003, 2004, 2007, 2008).

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