Cubs: Ranking the five best moves during the Theo Epstein era

(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs / Joe Maddon
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Cubs: Theo Epstein’s Greatest Moves: No. 4 – Bringing in Joe Maddon

After the Chicago White Sox dumped Ricky Renteria after he led the team to the postseason this year, you have to feel bad for the guy. Why? He bore the brunt of the rebuild on the other side of the city – only to have Theo Epstein fire him so he could bring in longtime Tampa Bay skipper Joe Maddon.

The move paid off immediately, with Chicago making an unanticipated run to the NLCS in 2015 on the heels of a 97-win regular season. The eccentric skipper won NL Manager of the Year, Kris Bryant earned Rookie of the Year honors and Jake Arrieta cruised to the NL Cy Young Award.

Of course, the Maddon-led Cubs followed that up by winning it all the next year, with Bryant winning NL MVP and Kyle Hendricks and Jon Lester earning two of the three NL Cy Young finalist spots. Those two years were remarkable on the North Side of Chicago.

Maddon led the Cubs back to the NLCS for a third consecutive year in 2017, but the team was running on fumes. While 2018 and 2019 paled in comparison, the three-time Manager of the Year left an indelible mark on the franchise – and will forever hold a spot in the hearts of all who witnessed this Golden Era.