Chicago Cubs: Takeaways from Theo Epstein’s press conference

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Oct 9, 2015; St. Louis, MO, USA; Chicago Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein in attendance before game one of the NLDS against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein offered his take on several items of note in his end-of-year press conference Thursday afternoon.

First, and foremost, Epstein noted his team’s need to go out and add what he called “quality pitching” this offseason, which follows the Cubs’ 97-win regular season and subsequent NLCS appearance.

Despite a historic second-half performance, ace Jake Arrieta stumbled in the postseason and lackluster run support doomed veteran left-hander Jon Lester. Kyle Hendricks was decent come October, but there are certainly consistency questions about the starting rotation.

After that, Epstein pointed toward the team’s shortcomings on the field – including defense in the outfield and clutch hitting, while saying the club will continue to rely on defensive versatility, especially with players like Javier Baez and Kyle Schwarber.

This winter, the team has some big decisions to make – even some including players on this year’s club, namely outfielder Dexter Fowler, who Epstein said would get a sit-down with the front office in hopes of bringing the veteran back for a reunion tour in 2016.

So what does all this mean? Let’s dive in and make sense of it all.

Next: The free agent arms at-hand