Change is likely for the Cubs’ roster after the swift postseason elimination by the Marlins, but the changes might not be limited to the roster.
Cubs president Theo Epstein will meet with chairman Tom Ricketts next week to discuss the long-term plan for the baseball-operations department, according to a report by NBC Sports Chicago.
Epstein likely will leave after his contract expires next season, but he could exit this year with the team finding a new head of baseball operations.
He is scheduled to meet with the media Monday for his season-ending news conference. Former Cubs skipper Joe Maddon managed the last year of his contract without an extension before the sides parted ways at the end of the 2019 season.
Epstein has been president of baseball operations since signing his original deal in October 2011 and has been in charge of the organization’s overhaul, helping to make the Cubs’ front office one of the most innovative and respected in the big leagues.
With three World Series titles and industrywide respect, he would be the top candidate for any job in baseball if the time came for him to leave the organization. Epstein is a firm believer that change is needed after 10 years, and he would reach the end of that timeline after the 2021 season.
Epstein’s skills could make him a perfect fit to run MLB as its next commissioner.
Rob Manfred’s inability to connect with players and fans and his lack of communication skills have become apparent during his tenure as commissioner. Epstein, meanwhile, always has demonstrated a keen ability to gauge the pulse of the game on the field and off.
But with his background and his success as an executive, it would not be a surprise if his next challenge is outside the baseball realm.