Theo Epstein’s fifth Spring Training as the Cubs’ President of Baseball Operations officially started Friday. Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are in the final season of the five-year contracts they signed in October 2011 to leave Boston and San Diego to make the baseball decisions for the Cubs.
Theo Epstein maintained Friday, as he has for the last 18 months, that he and Tom Ricketts are on the same page and he is not concerned about his contract. Epstein said there’s no sense of urgency to get his extension completed.
“It’s not a concern. I’m sure those conversations will take place in the natural course of events,” Epstein said to the beat writers Friday. “Spring Training is always a good time to have those types of conversations, but nothing’s scheduled and no sense of urgency. We agree on the fundamentals. I want to be here and I think he wants us here. It’ll take care of itself.”
Epstein thinks he and Tom Ricketts will likely sit down and discuss his contract at some point during Spring Training.
According to the Sun-Times, there have not been any meaningful talks between Epstein and Ricketts. Gordon Wittenmyer reported there wasn’t much to the “low-level rumors in recent weeks suggesting significant progress had been made toward five-year extensions for Epstein and GM Jed Hoyer … chatter that might simply be the byproduct of widespread sentiment that Epstein and chairman Tom Ricketts are thinking in lockstep on the subject.”
Comcast SportsNet reported earlier in the week that Epstein “knows he doesn’t have anywhere else to go, at least not until the Cubs win their first World Series since 1908.” There is not a better job available in baseball. And, according to Patrick Mooney, Ricketts “understands he can’t afford to let his President of Baseball Operations walk out.” As Mooney pointed out, if nothing else it would be a PR nightmare for the Cubs’ owners.
When Theo Epstein receives an extension his next five-year deal will shatter his previous contract (five years, $18.5 million) and should surpass the record deal Andrew Friedman signed with the Dodgers (five year, $35 million) based on his resume alone.
Theo Epstein’s contract extension is the Cubs top storyline of the spring. Once Theo Epstein has his extension wrapped up, a new contract for Jed Hoyer should not be far behind.