Theo Epstein Talks Rebuilding, Sveum

The Cubs have the second worst record in baseball at 57-87 and were officially eliminated from playoff contention earlier this week. President of baseball operations Theo Epstein spoke to Doug Padilla of ESPN Chicago about a number of topics, including what the future holds for his team as they rebuild.

"I think obviously we really care about our fans and we want them to have a great experience, but we're trying to be transparent about it," he said. "We have a plan and we have a vision and it won't happen overnight, but given the way of things I think this is the best way to go."

"There might be some tough things we have to tell (fans) along the way, and there might be another trading deadline in our future where we trade away 40 percent of a really good rotation," Epstein added. "Again, our goal from the beginning was that we were going to do what we need to do to put ourselves in position to be a contending team year in and year out. So that means no shortcuts and taking a long approach."

Epstein went on to praise manager Dale Sveum, acknowledging that he is being evaluated more on his ability to help their young players develop than the club's win-loss record. 

As our Transaction Tracker shows, the Cubs have traded away Sean Marshall, Carlos Zambrano, Marlon Byrd, Geovany Soto, Reed Johnson, Paul Maholm, and Ryan Dempster since the Epstein and Jed Hoyer regime took over last offseason. Matt Garza likely would have been dealt as well had he not suffered an arm injury. He and players like Alfonso Soriano, David DeJesus, Bryan LaHair, and Carlos Marmol could be next to go as the team continues its rebuilding effort.


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39 Comments on "Theo Epstein Talks Rebuilding, Sveum"


ARod's Ring
2 years 11 months ago

Theo Epstein is overrated.

Lunchbox45
2 years 11 months ago

i dunno… nothing he’s said or done so far would lead me to that conclusion

Karkat
2 years 11 months ago

May I refer you to Messrs. Crawford, Lackey, Matsuzaka, Lugo, and Drew?

PWNdroia
2 years 11 months ago

This guy’s right on.

notsureifsrs
2 years 11 months ago

that’s roughly equivalent to looking only at all of albert pujols’ career plate appearances in which he struck out and concluding “albert pujols is an overrated hitter”

Karkat
2 years 11 months ago

I feel like you and I have had the Epstein debate on this site at least three times now xD

notsureifsrs
2 years 11 months ago

we have. that’s why i’m so comfortable with that analogy

sour grapes is one thing; you’re entitled to that. things ended badly and epstein left at the lowest point possible. similarly, when a guy like papelbon blew important games, you were entitled to calling him names and hating him for awhile

just don’t try to dress that stuff up as an objective review of either guy’s overall performance. mistakes included, papelbon was an elite closer and epstein was a great GM

ajclay
2 years 11 months ago

and you lose each time.

Karkat
2 years 11 months ago

Aww, you changed it before i could even comment :<

ajclay
2 years 11 months ago

figured it would be best to not try to be sarcastic.

Karkat
2 years 11 months ago

Usually a good call on the internet. But you deprived me of my chance to comment “But only with the sensationalist crowd D:”

Michael
2 years 11 months ago

You forgot Bronson Arroyo for Willy Mo Pena and Coco Crisp for Ramon Ramirez.

johnsilver
2 years 11 months ago

Crisp wanted a chance to start and he requested a trade.. After all, he WAS the best 4th OF in the game then.. Ramirez was a good 8thIP for the Sox a season, they did fair and really not much they could have done when Crisp made it known he wanted (and deserved) a starting role after losing CF to Ells and only getting 400PA a season filling in at LF/CF.

Not too mention, his 6m salary was a bit stiff for a 4th OF.. Can’t fault Epstein for that and the Sox did steal him from Cleveland anyway..

Karkat
2 years 11 months ago

I’ve been TRYING to forget the Arroyo/Pena thing

cubsman_07
2 years 11 months ago

Oh yeah and 2 world series titles…

johnsilver
2 years 11 months ago

Give him a draft budget, allow him to build up a decent scouting dept (2 areas the Cubs reeked at under Hendry) and Epstein will do a good job. Nobody can take away the fact that Epstein put together a fabulous farm system and excellent scouting dept in Boston that led to 2 WS and multiple PO teams.

It won’t be fast, since he is going to have to build from the bottom up after years of neglect under Hendry.

Tesseract
2 years 11 months ago

While he did a good job in boston he did not build their farm. They had a solid nucleus of players coming up.

johnsilver
2 years 11 months ago

Ah, but he did… Ellsbury, Pedroia, Masterson, Bucholz, Bard,Reddick, Middlebrooks. i can go on…

Duquette had signed Lester, Youk, Hanley Ramirez, Anabel Sanchez

johnsmith4
2 years 11 months ago

He also had a very good 2011 draft.

notsureifsrs
2 years 11 months ago

those two facts are not mutually exclusive. they had a solid nucleus and he built their farm

what you’re getting at is that he didn’t build 100% of the homegrown roster, which is pretty obvious. few GMs have

Tesseract
2 years 11 months ago

Exactly

johnsmith4
2 years 11 months ago

I think it will be faster than you think. Epstein is actively acquiring assets that can preserve their value. Chris Volstad for Zambrano is an example. I expect him to eventually flip these assets for good prospects close to being major league ready.

Anthopoulos took a similar approach with tearing down the Blue Jays and establishing a foundation.

notsureifsrs
2 years 11 months ago

what is his perceived rating level and what is his actual rating level?

Corey
2 years 11 months ago

Well, we’ve already heard this before the season started. We are going to end up pretty close to 100 losses this season. We get the idea, let’s just not talk about it right now. What else can you do or say as a Cub fan?

LazerTown
2 years 11 months ago

I wouldn’t be upset for you. The plan is hopefully that the cubs will be competing within a few years. It is better than mediocre teams every season with a big payroll.

Brent Lafond
2 years 11 months ago

Its the best option they have. Really its there only one. Ya it may be 4 years from now when they are a playoff team but it will be worth it when it happens because you will have a young and really good team with cash to spend.

PWNdroia
2 years 11 months ago

not with Theo at the helm.

Cubs27
2 years 11 months ago

can’t forget about Jeff Baker

baseball52
2 years 11 months ago

Mr Untouchable!

johnsilver
2 years 11 months ago

Marmol they don’t have to worry about attempting to trade at least, he is a FA after the year and teams generally don’t give up anything for relievers with nearly as many BB as IP. LaHair has done little to nothing since early May, Soriano is a DH playing LF and a team could sign ortiz over the winter for less than the 36m Soriano is owed thru 2014.

DeJesus has gone downhill the last 2 years, a light hitting OF that would end up costing 6m counting the 2014 buyout.. Nothing in those 4 teams are going to be giving up decent prospects for, either this September or over the winter.

Garza he can get a decent haul out of, but is going to have to wait a good long time now for him to prove his arm is healed.

2 years 11 months ago

Marmol’s signed through 2013.

johnsilver
2 years 11 months ago

Wow.. Just looked.. Owed 10m next year also, about what regular closers are making and marmol with his habit of coming in and either striking out the side, or walking the bases loaded.. Kevin Gregg with a FB 5mph faster.

Cubs27
2 years 11 months ago

marmol is averaging 93.8 on his fastball, his velocity is back to basically normal.

baseball52
2 years 11 months ago

Soriano’s defense has improved DRASTICALLY.

BosephHeyden
2 years 11 months ago

This progress shouldn’t take anymore than one more year to get a competitive team out there. This is the Chicago Cubs: the more popular of the two baseball teams in one of the largest sports markets in the nation. Hell, just get glimpses of any game this past month and you still see a pretty-well occupied Wrigley Field.

If Theo’s plan is to build this team purely from the farm system and have every single player on the team home grown, then he is an idiot, plain and simple. They’ll have high draft picks next year, which they can use to finish putting the preliminary touches to the farm system, then go into the 2013-14 offseason and stock up on every position they don’t have filled already with free agents. Hell, they can go into this offseason and try to start with that process by getting an ace (a REAL ace, and the one thing they’ve always lacked, which they won’t come close to developing in the next four years) by trade (maybe using some of the prospects Theo doesn’t seem to be too high on from the Hendry era).

If Theo decides to go this route with a multi-year rebuild before even considering fielding a competitive team, well…most Cubs fans are sheep that follow the team just to say they’re following the Cubs (and would likely stop following them once they win a World Series). The rest are likely not that loyal (nor should they be, since the Cubs have done nothing to earn loyalty), and, well, the White Sox are just one removal of Hawk Harrelson away from being a watchable team on TV (not so much live, because that is an awful place for a ballpark).

CubsFan5
2 years 11 months ago

2014 Draft – Cubs draft Carlos Rodon – LHP N.C. State *only a dream right now*

2 years 11 months ago

I am glad Theo is sticking with Dale. Good coach that coaches the way Theo/Jed like and will pay off down the road.

Karkat
2 years 11 months ago

Don’t get political on the baseball website dear god please.

PWNdroia
2 years 11 months ago

was only joking