Cubs reward Epstein with five-year contract


Chicago Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein has agreed to a five-year contract extension with the team.

Epstein, who turns 43 in December, inherited a Cubs franchise that had missed out on the postseason three consecutive years.

His first full season at the helm saw the team bottom out at 61-101, the franchise's highest loss total since 1966, before the rebound began.

He now presides over a group that has already cleared the 100-win barrier in the final week of the regular season and has been MLB's best throughout 2016.

He has engineered the construction of the current roster and, perhaps just as importantly, the decision to fire manager Rick Renteria when Joe Maddon became available following the 2014 season.

If Epstein can bring the north side of Chicago their first World Series title since 1908, he will cement his place among the game's most influential executives of all time.

The argument certainly could be made that he is already there, but adding a Cubs championship to the 86-year drought he helped snap in Boston in 2004 would make for a resume few in the game's history could approach. 

"In the five years under Theo's leadership, he has brought in a strong executive team and acquired and developed some of the best players in the game," Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts said in a release.

"Now, the results are on the field. My family and I have no doubt that we have moved closer to our goal of delivering Cubs fans the World Series championship they deserve."