Chicago Cubs: An open letter to Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer


My plea to Theo & Co. on this year’s deadline

Dear Theo and Jed,

This is an important week for you. Chicago Cubs’ nation hasn’t been on this side of the fence as buyers in many, many years. You’ve done a fantastic–I’d call it a masterful job–of taking this franchise through some difficult seasons by drafting well, trading assets for valuable prospects, and making quality free agent signings (for the most part). When you arrived in Chicago and spoke of “the plan”, I don’t know that I could see the same vision as you. But here we are, nearing the deadline and sitting as buyers as the second Wild Card spot as of now. And a year ahead of schedule to boot.

As you maneuver the through the rumor mill and possible targets, please remember that while some would be happy to bet the farm on this year and go “all in”, most Cubs’ fans want to see sustained success. In fairness, if I was in my 70’s and wasn’t sure how many years I had left I may be screaming for you to acquire Cole Hamels, David Price, Ben Zobrist and Aroldis Chapman. I’m almost sure we have the prospects, but we also know what that’s going to lead to–or at least most of us do.

If this team was in first place or right on the cusp, I may side with those who want to see the big move at the deadline, the one that says we’re going for it. But we’re the second Wild Card in a division with two teams that ahead of us in the game right now. I believe we can make the postseason, but I’m not sure I’m comfortable with sacrificing top prospects for a rental that may or may not want to sign with us. For those that disagree, look to the Oakland A’s last year. They went all-in–how did that work out for them?

I see the reports. I hear the rumors. I write about them. It’s always an exciting proposition to think you could get one of the top pitchers or best bats at the deadline to make a push. Especially as a fan. And it’s easy to say that we have plenty of prospects to deal from because we won’t need them all. But as you’re well aware, farm systems exist because not everyone fulfills the talent they show upon being drafted. We’ve had plenty of “can’t miss” prospects miss. I like the safety in numbers.

So as simply a lifelong fan who’s old enough to remember the heartache of 1984–damn you Steve Garvey–and then of course the oh so close run in 2003–please don’t sacrifice the future of this franchise for a rental arm or bat. You’ve never led me to believe you will, as outside of Edwin Jackson and Jose Veras your decisions have been sound. And hey, nobody’s perfect.

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I’ve learned to trust in the decisions you guys have made, and you haven’t steered me wrong. We have the right man in place in Joe Maddon to get the job done. We’ve got a young–although inexperienced at times core that will only improve. The farm is rich in prospects, so that when the time DOES come–and that’s not necessarily now–we can go all-in.

So please, make the moves that are responsible for the franchise, but that will also help this team make a push in the postseason. People loved the Jon Lester signing. Then everyone hated it and said they knew it was a bad deal–especially when he was struggling. Now he’s looked like that ace the last handful of starts and I don’t hear much grumbling. I wouldn’t want your job.


Nicholas Blazek

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