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The New Age: How the Chicago Cubs’ Plan to Build a Contender

July 7th, 2014 at 6:00 AM
By Tim Duxbury

Theo Epstein, Boston Red Sox from Flickr via Wylio? 2010 Scott Slingsby, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

Theo Epstein revolutionized the game of baseball when he won the World Series with Boston Red Sox in 2004 using the “moneyball” philosophy and it looks like he is about to make history again with the Chicago Cubs. Few understood the particulars of Epstein’s rebuilding plan until this past Friday when he pulled the trigger on a blockbuster deal that sent starters Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to the Oakland Athletics in exchange for a package headlined by top prospect SS Addison Russell. And at that moment the world knew how Theo Epstein was going to turn around the struggling Cubs franchise. Shortstops. The Cubs are going to acquire all of baseball future stars at the shortstop position so that other teams can't have them. Thanks to Epstein, the Chicago Cubs have the deepest pool of shortstops ever compiled. Addison Russell, ranked 11th overall by MLB.com, is just the latest addition to a collection that already features Starlin Castro, Javier Baez and Arismendy Alcantara.

It’s brilliant, really. If only the Cubs have elite shortstops, how will other teams fill the gaping holes in their lineups? With guys like Pedro Florimon? C’mon. And at this rate, by 2017 the Cubs will be the only team in baseball who will have competent shortstops making a World Series title will be inevitable.

Theo Epstein figures to be a shoe-in executive of the year. Not only has he made moves to make the Cubs better, but he is also taking actions to make other teams worse. That’s some next level stuff right there.  Touché, Theo. Touché.

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Tags: Addison Russell, Arismendy Alcantara, Baseball, Boston Red Sox, Chicago, Chicago Cubs, Jason Hammel, Javier Baez, Jeff Samardzija, MLB, moneyball, Pedro Florimon, Starlin Castro, Theo Epstein

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