Chicago Cubs never became a dynasty because of Theo Epstein

(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /

Theo Epstein brought the Chicago Cubs a title – but at what cost?

Theo Epstein is a lifelong Chicago Cubs legend and for obvious reasons. The Curse of the Billy Goat has moved on from the lush Wrigley Field ivy to haunt greener pastures because of the 2016 championship team that Epstein constructed. Although he finally built the team that brought the coveted World Series trophy to the North Side, there is one team that got the best of him to cripple the “dynasty” before it even got started.

Looking back at the 2016 regular season, all Cubs fans can do is tip their caps to the New York Yankees for making one of the best front offices in Major League Baseball look like a church rec league GM. In what was a most questionable acquisition at the time it was made, the trade for Aroldis Chapman looks even worse almost four years later.

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The Cubs gave the Yankees one of the top prospects in all of baseball for a Chapman rental. Gleyber Torres has developed as advertised and is unfortunately showing off in the wrong blue-colored pinstripes.

For me, the salt in the wound is how Joe Maddon’s admitted overworking of Chapman in the postseason undoubtedly deterred him from even considering coming back to the Cubs in 2017 and, instead, returning to the Bronx.

The southpaw’s re-signing with the Yankees essentially means Torres was free. As pointed out by Tom Verducci in his book The Cubs Way, Chapman was visibly gassed from all the innings he had worked in Games 5 and 6. Maddon rightfully got heat for bringing him in with such a large lead in the penultimate contest.

The loss of Torres loomed large in recent years as Addison Russell went from one of the game’s most hyped prospects to a man no longer employed in light of disturbing domestic abuse allegations. That same infield hole left in Russell’s absence will be a concern this season, as well. Obviously, Epstein was left with no choice but to release him – for countless reasons. But losing Russell would have been an even easier decision had Epstein not dealt Torres in the Chapman deal back in 2016.

Next. Checking in on former Cubs right-hander Jeff Samardzija. dark

The Cubs are not in checkmate yet with Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant (for the start of the year at least) and Javier Baez, but the Yankees most definitely did their best to place the Cubs in check. Let’s see just how well Grandpa Rossy can do with the hand he’s been dealt.