Epstein said after the season he plans to stay at work for at least another year, with his contract due to expire in 2021. He has repeatedly said he believes executives have a retention period of about 10 years in a job, and next year would. have scored a decade since leaving the Boston Red Sox for Chicago.
Epstein said in a statement he would “cherish” his time with the Cubs and said it was just time to make a change.
“The organization faces a number of decisions this winter that have long-term consequences; it is better if these types of decisions are made by someone who will be here for a long time rather than just another year, ”he said. “Jed deserved this opportunity and is absolutely the right person to take over this baseball operation at such an important time. ”
President Tom Ricketts said the Cubs are “grateful for everything he has given to this organization and to this city.”
Epstein, 46, who led Boston to the World Series championships in 2004 and 2007, is one of five executives to lead multiple organizations to titles. Him, Pat Gillick, John Schuerholz and Dave Dombrowski are the only ones doing this with teams from each league.
Epstein oversaw a massive rebuild when he came to Chicago after the 2011 season. He overhauled the farming system as well as tracking and analysis operations, helping to produce one of the most successful stretches in history. of the franchise.
The Cubs reached the NL Championship Series three times in Epstein’s nine seasons and won the World Series in 2016, ending a drought dating back to 1908.
The Cubs won NL Central last season at 34-26 under rookie manager David Ross after missing the playoffs the previous year. But they were swept away by Miami in their wild card streak, scoring a point in two games.
With local stars Kris Bryant and Javier Baez, shrewd trades for players like Anthony Rizzo and Jake Arrieta, signing Jon Lester, and hiring former manager Joe Maddon, the Cubs have turned into perennial contenders. .
In 2016, they won 103 games to get away with NL Central, beat San Francisco in their division streak, and knocked out the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS for their first pennant since 1945.
The Cubs fell 3-1 behind the Indians in the World Series. In Game 7 at Cleveland, they took a three-point lead in the eighth, scored two in the 10th after a short rain delay, and hung on for an 8-7 victory when Mike Montgomery pulled out Michael Martinez on a soft ground at third base Bryant, triggering a celebration that has been brewing for more than a century.
The Cubs’ 505 regular season wins since 2015 only lag Los Angeles (528) and the Houston Astros (510). Chicago, the Dodgers, New York Yankees and Astros are the only clubs with at least five playoff appearances in the past six seasons. But the Cubs haven’t advanced to the playoffs since the 2017 team lost to Los Angeles in the NLCS.
Hoyer is a logical successor to Epstein.
They worked together in Boston when the Red Sox won two World Series and got together when Epstein took the job with the Cubs. In between, Hoyer ran San Diego baseball operations.
“I have been fortunate enough to work alongside Theo for 17 of the past 19 years,” Hoyer said in a statement. “I couldn’t have had a better mentor or a more loyal, loyal friend. He has already changed two legendary franchises with his passion, creativity, intellect and leadership. I have no doubt that the next chapters of his career will be just as impressive and impactful. ”