Chicago Cubs: Top three holiday gifts on Theo Epstein’s wish list
By Jim Guzior
Theo Epstein has made some drastic changes with the team already. What is the Chicago Cubs leader asking for on his wish list this holiday season?
‘Tis the season to remember all the good and bad times, great heroic plays and unmotivated performances. Chicago Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein took no break from his job as the 2019 season concluded.
Epstein decided to part ways with manager Joe Maddon, hiring former fan favorite and backup catcher David Ross to replace him and conducting player meetings with Cubs first baseman, Anthony Rizzo, shortstop Javier Baez and other players on the team, as well.
As we enter the holiday season, what are the top three gifts Epstein is asking for this holiday season?
3. Lock in perfect pitching
If there’s one thing that Epstein prides himself on, it’s his ability to field a dominating if not super competent pitching squad. Whether talking about bullpen arms or starters, Epstein approaches his acquisitions like a scientist searching for the cure for a deadly disease.
Reviewing stats, film and talking to other organizations, Epstein builds his case for pitchers that will work for the whole club while his scouts have marching orders on finding the next Yu Darvish.
Epstein already watched veteran starting pitcher Cole Hamels head to the Atlanta Braves this past Wednesday in a one-year $18 million dollar deal. Hamels was considered one the Cubs’ most reliable starters the last two years before injuries plagued the 35-year-old left hander last summer.
There is no stopping the suggestions coming from every sports writing hole in the country. In just the last few weeks we’ve seen suggestions of former Houston Astros pitchers Dallas Keuchel or Collin McHugh joining the Cubs ranks. We’ve seen names thrown out like former Brewers pitcher Junior Guerra and San Francisco Giants ace Madison Bumgarner.
One thing is an absolute truth: perfect pitching is still a major focus for Epstein and undoubtedly holds a spot near the top of his wish list this holiday season.