Theo Epstein has been the Chicago Cubs president of baseball operations since 2012, yet he managed to have a lasting impact on this year’s Boston Red Sox.
Chicago Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein has come a long way since being named the youngest general manager in MLB history in 2002. At the age of 28, Epstein embarked on a journey that will likely end with him receiving a plaque in Cooperstown someday.
Just two years after Epstein took over as the Red Sox general manager position, the team won its first championship in 86 years. While Epstein should be credited with putting together trades and signing free agents to help the Red Sox get over the hump to end a long championship drought in 2004, it’s what Epstein did in the aftermath that has allowed him to solidify himself as one of the greatest executives in sports history.
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Epstein made his mark on the Red Sox organization immediately after his arrival in 2002 acquiring some of the key performers of the 2004 World Series run.
In 2003 he signed David Ortiz, traded for Curt Schilling, purchased Kevin Millar and claimed Bronson Arroyo off waivers. He went on to fire manger Grady Little and hire Terry Francona prior to the 2004 season.
Epstein has been lamented for the talented he’s been able to acquire in the draft since becoming the president of baseball operations in 2011. Since the 2012 draft, Epstein has drafted Albert Almora, Kris Bryant and Kyle Schwarber, all who played pivotal roles in the 2016 World Series and remain important pieces for the Cubs future.
Before leaving Boston for Chicago, Epstein was able to draft players that remain integral parts of an elite Red Sox team.
World Series contributors
Epstein set the foundation of drafting position players and building his rotation through trades and free agency since he began with the Red Sox. This model has given him immense success with both the Cubs and Red Sox. It remains the model for both franchises.
Epstein’s successful drafts have become a norm wherever he goes, and allows his teams to have long competitive windows. It has now been eight seasons since Epstein left Boston, and the team still has a young core, a lot of whom were the product of an Epstein draft class.
After Pedroia and Ellsbury, Epstein drafted the likes of Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley, Christian Vazquez, Xander Bogaerts and reliever Matt Barnes (who got the win in Game 1 on Tuesday night). All of the aforementioned players have had a huge impact on the historical success of the 2018 Red Sox.
If the Red Sox are able to finish off the Dodgers, they can, once again, thank Epstein for his large role in making it happen.