Chicago Cubs: Re-examining Theo Epstein’s first year on the job

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
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Chicago Cubs: The first offseason

One of Epstein’s first orders of business was to make a decision on manager Mike Quade. The team decided to let him go after only one year and brought in Dale Sveum. Sveum had little to work with, as most of us knew that he would be a placeholder while the team underwent some painful rebuilding. Indeed, Sveum lasted two years.

Aramis Ramirez, Carlos Pena, and Carlos Zambrano are among the Chicago Cubs who were not brought back for the 2012 season as Epstein decided to overhaul the roster. The club brought in veterans such as David DeJesus, Reed Johnson, and Paul Maholm via free agency to help fill out the roster, but those were just short-term moves while the team repositioned itself long-term.

The Cubs made three big trades that offseason; two were great, while one remains painful to this day. The first move was to trade DJ LeMahieu and Tyler Colvin to the Colorado Rockies for Casey Weathers and Ian Stewart, as the club believed that Stewart could be a viable solution at third base.

But Stewart was a disaster, as he played in only 55 games and batted .201 with just five home runs before suffering a season-ending injury. The next year, he criticized the team on Twitter while playing in Triple-A and was released without playing for the big league club in 2013.

LaMahieu, meanwhile, became a batting champion for the Rockies, and just this past year he was an All-Star for the third time with the New York Yankees. LeMahieu has also won three Gold Glove Awards.

This might be a little depressing, but read on, as it gets much better.