Theo Epstein fielded the question about his contract status Monday and according to a report from Bruce Levine, an extension for the President of Baseball Operations could be the next announcement from the Chicago Cubs.
Theo Epstein is under contract through the 2016 season and he just signed a manager to a five-year deal through the 2019 season. Epstein has said publicly that he has been focused on the team and not his contract.
It has been expected for a while that Tom Ricketts would extend Theo Epstein’s contract with the turnaround the organization has made under his watch. Epstein acknowledged Monday that he and Tom Ricketts have discussed an extension.
“Tom talked to me a while back about extending my contract,” Epstein told Bruce Levine. “I really appreciated that, and that is something I would like to have happen, too. We have been too busy, and the organization comes first. We have had a lot on our plate and this [Maddon] was a more pressing matter. At some point in the future, I think we will hammer it out. This is where I want to be. I am fully invested in what we have going on, and I love the people I work with. I wouldn’t trade our future for anybody’s out there.”
Theo Epstein signed a five-year, $18.5 million contract in Oct. 2011 to run the baseball side of organization and both Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod signed five-year deals at the time to leave San Diego to reunite with Epstein to help turn the Cubs around. McLeod received a two-year extension to his deal during the season after he removed his name from consideration for the GM opening in San Diego. And Crane Kenney inked an extension last winter that runs through the 2019 season.
Reports have not surfaced about the Cubs extending Jed Hoyer’s contract. But it is believed that he would remain the Cubs GM under Epstein and his contract could be extended in the near future as well.
Bruce Levine reported Epstein could receive a three- to five-year extension. A three-year deal would not only align Epstein with Crane Kenney and Joe Maddon, but after the 2019 season the Cubs gain control of all of the team’s TV rights.
A report last week suggested Tom Ricketts was working on a contract extension with Epstein at the same time the front office hammered out a deal for Joe Maddon to align the front office with the Cubs’ new skipper. But Patrick Mooney shot down the report.
Theo Epstein and Tom Ricketts reportedly have a good relationship and Epstein has not given any indications he does not want to see The Plan through the he set three years ago. When asked about his contract and future with team in September Epstein said,” It’s really not a concern for me. I’m just focused on growing the organization. But I’m sure we’ll talk this winter about longer-term plans, and how all the different personnel fit into that mix.”
“I love coming to work each day. I love the people I work with. I love the challenge that we all have here. And I’m probably more optimistic right now that I’ve ever been that we’re going to accomplish our goals, and I very much want to be a part of it when it happens.”
It appears to be just a matter of time before Tom Ricketts locks up Theo Epstein for at least three years beyond the 2016 season.