Theo Epstein will step down from his role as Cubs’ president of baseball operations, the team announced on Tuesday. General manager Jed Hoyer will be promoted into Epstein’s old position.
The move comes amid an offseason of expected change in the organization with Epstein being the first domino to fall.
“For the rest of my life, I will cherish having been part of the great Chicago Cubs organization during this historic period,” said Epstein in a statement. “All of the things that have made this experience so special — the fans, the players, the managers and coaches, ownership, my front office colleagues, the uniqueness of the Wrigley experience, the history — make it so tough to leave the Cubs. But I believe this is the right decision for me even if it’s a difficult one.
“I am grateful to everyone with the Cubs: to the Ricketts family for this opportunity as well as for their loyalty; to the fans for their support and the depth of their emotional connection with the team; and to the players, coaches, staff and my front office colleagues for their friendship, excellence and dedication to helping us accomplish our initial goals of regular October baseball and a World Championship.”
During his end-of-season press conference last month, the Cubs’ former president didn’t shy away from the possibility that he and the team would part ways, but often used the words “transition” and “change” when speaking on what his future with the organization was.
Epstein, 46, came to the Cubs in 2011 and has been in charge of the organization’s return to respectability and credibility within the sport. Since taking over, the Cubs have gone 705-651 with five postseason appearances, three trips to the National League Championship Series and a 2016 World Series title.
“Theo and I have been communicating about this possible move for a couple of years, and we have been working together toward a transition that makes sense for the Cubs and for him,” said Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts said in a statement. “The timing is right for a number of reasons, and most importantly we are both thrilled that Jed is the person succeeding Theo. We have had our most successful period in over a century under Theo’s leadership, and we are grateful for everything he has given to this organization and this city. Jed has been a big part of that success, too, and offers a combination of continuity and a fresh perspective that will serve us well as we look forward to another period of sustained success.”
According to a source, Hoyer will be signing a contract extension to remain with the organization long term. With Hoyer becoming the new president of baseball operations, the search will now begin for a new general manager.
The team may look outside the organization, but could also hire a candidate internally. Several members of the Cubs’ front office have been sought after around baseball. Jason McLeod, senior VP of player personnel, was a finalist for the Angels’ GM opening. Former assistant general manager Scott Harris was hired as the San Francisco Giants general manager in 2019.
Current assistant general managers Randy Bush and Jeff Greenberg are also both highly regarded within the organization.