After ending two historic World Series droughts in a span of 13 years, we've come to learn that Theo Epstein moves at least a few steps ahead of the rest of the league.
On Thursday, Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer traded for team-controllable, overall cheap pitcher Jose Quintana for a four-prospect package that included the Cubs' top two names.
Epstein and Hoyer were absolutely planning for this offseason, where Jack Arrieta and John Lackey are free agents. The former will command a huge contract, but it's doubtful that'll come with the Cubs.
This Cubs writer has an interesting thought for why the Cubs unloaded star prospect Eloy Jimenez to a crosstown rival.
Hendricks UFA 2021— Aldo Soto (@AldoSoto21) July 14, 2017
Montgomery UFA 2022
Gray UFA 2020
Quintana <$30mil 2018-2020
Lester would be the only starter making big money.
And it continues on offense.
Rizzo signed through 2021.— Aldo Soto (@AldoSoto21) July 14, 2017
Kris Bryant under team control through 2021.
The Cubs will have their own TV network.
The money will be there.
Yes, the money will be there for the Cubs. Harper and Kris Bryant have expressed interest in playing together and Sports Illustrated's Peter Gammons believes Harper prefers to play in Chicago, which would reunite the two Las Vegas high school All-Stars.
Harper, who is set to become a free agent after the 2018 season, will probably command the largest contract in MLB history. A lineup that features the two Las Vegas natives and Anthony Rizzo would be downright scary.
By the way, the #Cubs had to trade Eloy because they wouldn't have room for him in the outfield after getting Bryce Harper. Duh.— Aldo Soto (@AldoSoto21) July 13, 2017
Hey, fingers crossed, man.
Epstein has had a serious track record of success with trades during his tenure on the Cubs. He acquired Arrieta and Pedro Strop for Scott Feldman and Steve Clevenger, he got Kyle Hendricks and Christian Villanueva for Ryan Dempster, and he pulled away Rizzo for essentially Andrew Cashner. Those are just three of the best.
Always a few moves ahead, perhaps the Cubs front office was looking to the 2018 offseason when they traded for Quintana. There might not be room for Eloy Jimenez in the outfield with Bryce Harper on the North Side.