Chicago White Sox fans should be grateful for Theo Epstein’s tenure with the Chicago Cubs.
On Tuesday afternoon, a big piece of news hit the baseball world as the Chicago Cubs announced that Theo Epstein will step down from his position as President of Baseball Operations. This is something that is going to take effect on November 20th which is just a couple of days away. Here on the South Side of Chicago, we have plenty of reasons to thank Theo Epstein for his contributions to the Chicago White Sox rebuild as well.
First of all, the Cubs winning the World Series in 2016 could be a big reason that the White Sox started their rebuild. You can’t help but wonder if that lit a spark under them as they saw the Cubs taking over Chicago even more than they already had. The White Sox needed to do something and just over a month later, they made some brilliant moves to begin a rebuild.
Theo also literally helped the White Sox advance their rebuild with roster moves. The Cubs gave the White Sox Jose Quintana for Eloy Jimenez, Dylan Cease, and two other prospects. We know that Cease is a wildly talented pitcher but he still has a long way to go. For Jimenez, he is already a superstar. He won the Silver Slugger for his work this past season and is simply one of the best power hitters in the world. Quintana is already on his way out of the Cubs organization so this trade was huge.
Without that trade ever happening, the White Sox would still have a bit more time left in their rebuild. Chances are that they would not have had that level of return for Quintana from any other teams. It gave the White Sox another pitching prospect to develop and a superstar bat with Hall of Fame potential.
Cubs fans will always see Theo as the most important figure to ever be a part of their franchise and they are right for thinking so. With that said, the White Sox will always be lucky that their rebuild was enhanced by the trade made between the Cubs and White Sox for Quintana. Rick Hahn deserves a lot of credit for winning a deal against one of the greatest executives in the history of sports.