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Epstein, Cubs Discuss Recent Extension Talks
Tuesday, April 5
Jesse Rogers of ESPN.com reported Epstein, whose current contract is set to finish at the end of the 2016 season, and Cubs owner Tom Ricketts both expect a new agreement in the near future. The architect of one of the league's most talented rosters said it hasn't been a top priority.
"We had good, productive conversations," Epstein said. "Neither one of us had a ton of time to focus on it. No cause of concern. We had good talks. We both feel like it will get done sometime soon."
Ricketts added: "We talked about it at spring training. I think we'll get to a conclusion pretty soon."
Epstein, 42, joined the Cubs in late 2011 and has proceeded to oversee a comprehensive rebuilding project. The fruits of that labor finally began to show last season as Chicago, which finished last in the NL Central in each of his first three years, advanced to the National League Championship Series.
The Cubs opened the 2016 campaign Monday night with a 9-0 victory over the Los Angeles Angels. It marked the start of what should be another highly successful season, led by budding stars like Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Addison Russell and Kyle Schwarber.
Rebuilding is often a painful process, especially in a city like Chicago, where the Cubs have gone more than 100 years without a World Series title. But Epstein never wavered from the course, adding free agents like Jason Heyward while waiting for the organization's prospects to reach the big leagues.
Cubs Insider highlighted the vast difference in lineup strength as a result:
Now, just like Epstein's stint with the Boston Red Sox, his efforts have put the team in position for long-term success and, in a perfect world, multiple championships.
Getting him locked into a contract extension so he can see the process through is crucial. While the overhaul of the organization is complete, it's still going to take some tweaks along the way to keep the Cubs on an upward trajectory, and he's proven as adept as any front office executive at that.
With the Red Sox, he added cornerstones like David Ortiz and Curt Schilling. But he also picked up players like Kevin Millar and Bill Mueller to fill key voids. That's going to become the task for the Cubs for the next handful of years: finding the right fits to complete the roster each season.
Ultimately, it doesn't sound like Epstein or the Cubs have any concern about getting an extension done. That could change if an agreement isn't in place within the next few months, though.