Chicago Cubs: Pressure on Theo Epstein

Will the Cubs have more success in Theo's second season on the job?

Will the Cubs have more success in Theo’s second season on the job?

In 2011 he was signed to five-year deal worth $18.5 million. So far, the so-called savior has not made a huge impact on the Chicago Cubs, as they have not reached the post season yet under his regime. The man who was suppose to bring the Cubs a long awaited World Series has gave Cubs fans questions on when he will deliver.

Epstein has been very successful in his years as a GM, but thus far in Chicago he hasn’t been earth shattering. He faces a lot of pressure to win and win soon, although the state of this Cubs team remains up in the air. Loaded with talented prospects, the Cubbies seem primed for success, but will it happen? Has Epstein made the right moves?

 

Looking at his signings throughout his years, he has made some poor signings such as Edwin Jackson (4 years $52 million). However, he has redeemed himself with some good moves. Here a look at five significant (the good and bad) deals Theo Epstein has made during his time with the Cubs.

Hiring of Dale Sveum

Sveum was Theo’s first signing as a Cub and it turned out to be less than successful. Sveum had ties with the Red Sox and Epstein: he served as a third base coach from 2004-2005 for Boston. His record was a crummy 127-197 as skipper,and his lack of success led to his firing after just two seasons.

Anthony Rizzo trade

This was one of the more successful trades, as the Cubs acquired the first baseman that Epstein and Jed Hoyer had their eye on from day one.

Jed Hoyer, another signing by Epstein, was the assistant GM for the Red Sox until 2009, when he got the position as the Padres’ GM. Rizzo landed in San Diego as a part of the Adrian Gonzalez trade. So with ties to San Diego and Boston, the Cubs had to grab the slugger and traded ace Andrew Cashner. Cashner, meanwhile, has a career ERA of 3.55. Rizzo has had success as he hit 23 home runs last year. Rizzo agreed to a 7 year, $41 million deal in 2013.

Starlin Castro extended

Starlin Castro was in the Cubs system before Theo got to Chicago, but Theo extended Castro’s contract to seven years, $60 million in 2012. He would go on to hit .245, with 10 home runs and 44 RBI in 161 games played. The extension seemed a bit rushed and not necessary, since Castro still had years left on his original contract. The young shortstop has much to prove moving forward.

Sean Marshall for Travis Wood

Marshall was a stud left handed reliever but the Cubs didn’t see use for him and got prospect Travis Wood. Wood has performed solidly as a starter, posting an 11-10 record with a 4.18 ERA.

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International flavor

Jorge Soler, Jen-Ho Tseng, Eloy Jimenez, Gleyber Torres and Gerardo Concepcion are all international players that Epstein has brought to the north side. Time will tell if these international prospects will blossom. It is unknown if they will pan out or not, but the Cubs have invested a lot of money into these international signings which could help them down the road.

 

Notable mention: Alfonso Soriano trade, Carlos Zambrano trade, Paul Maholm signing, David DeJesus signing.

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