Chicago Cubs: Grading Theo Epstein’s first year
We’ve now had seven years to see how Epstein’s first-year moves with the Chicago Cubs would work out. If we had to assign a letter grade, what would we give him?
Two moves deserve a solid A: the Rizzo and Hendricks trades. Those two moves will go down as two of Epstein’s best, regardless of how the rest of his tenure with the Cubs plays out. I’d also give him an A for the Wood trade. Considering that Marshall was a reliever, as good as he was, the fact that the Cubs could get a pitcher who contributed as much as Wood did for him deserves high marks.
For the 2012 draft, I’d give Epstein a C. They could have gotten a better player than Almora, but considering how some of the team’s previous first-round picks have worked out, he wasn’t a big miss. The fact that they missed on Pierce Johnson and on Blackburn knocks down the grade.
I’d give the Soler signing a B. It wasn’t a bad move to make; it just didn’t work out for them. Plus, they did get something of value in return, as they have for a few of their other young assets, so it wasn’t a total disaster.
The LaMahieu/Stewart trade deserves an F. They totally bombed on this one.
As for the managerial hire, I’m not sure what grade to assign. Sveum accomplished nothing with the Cubs, though he had nothing to work with, either. I don’t think Sveum did a terrible job, but he wasn’t the right man moving forward. I’ll give it a B.
So, overall, I’d give Theo Epstein a B for his first year on the job. He made a few moves that didn’t pan out, but the Rizzo and Hendricks trades were big hits and he deserves credit for that.