By Sam Bush
Theo Epstein, who broke the Curse of the Bambino in Boston and the curse of the Billy Goat in Chicago, seems to be on his way out as Cubs big boss.
In an end-of-season news conference after the Cubs were eliminated from the postseason, Epstein hinted this may be his last season in Chicago and repeatedly mentioned a “transition” was likely coming.
“You have to be smart in discussing the timing and nature of a transition because it’s inevitable at some point,” Epstein said.
The big question is:
Why isn’t big-talking owner John Middleton burning up his cell phone getting Theo to come to Philly the way Elton Brand did with Doc Rivers last week?
Matt Klentak is gone as GM, buried after five years of failure, and if Epstein can win in Boston and Chicago why not in Philly?
Epstein, who has one year left on his five-year, $50 million contract with Chicago, spent about a decade with the Red Sox before coming to the Cubs in 2011.
“I think there are benefits to change after a significant amount of time on the job — about a decade,’’ he said. ‘‘And I think I have to keep that in mind without making any definitive statements.’’
If Epstein does end up leaving the Cubs but wants to continue working as a baseball exec, one possible landing spot is the Phillies.
The ballclub is seeking a leader of baseball operations after general manager Klentak’s departure from the role last week. His assistant, Ned Rice, is filling the role on an interim basis but is not considered a candidate for the permanent position, NBC Sports Philadelphia reports.
The Cubs scored one run while being swept by the Miami Marlins in two games in the wild-card round last week at Wrigley Field.
Core players Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, Kyle Schwarber and Anthony Rizzo will all be free agents after next year, and it is likely Epstein will put a couple of them on the trade block this offseason.