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Thursday, February 20, 2020

Theo Epstein: Cubs will have ‘significant change’ if they don’t produce in 2019

Joe Maddon

The Chicago Cubs expected to win multiple championships with their current core when they finally broke a 108-year World Series drought back in 2016, but they are coming off back-to-back disappointing finishes. If things don’t start looking up next season, the man in charge of personnel decisions says there will be some major changes.

Speaking with reporters this week, Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein called 2019 a “pivotal year” for the organization.

While the Cubs have aging veterans like rotation leader Jon Lester, their infield is loaded with under-30 stud players including Kris Bryant, Javy Baez and Anthony Rizzo. They should also at the very least kick the tires on Manny Machado and Bryce Harper, so it’s not as if their championship window is going to slam shut.

If anyone should take note of Epstein’s comments, it is probably Joe Maddon. The manager is entering the final season of his contract, and the Cubs are not planning to talk about an extension with him this winter. There were reports that he was on the hot seat heading into the playoffs, and Chicago lost to the Colorado Rockies in the NL Wild Card Game. Maddon probably needs a deep playoff run next season to keep his job.

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