Phillies: 3 reasons to pursue Theo Epstein for front office

Chicago Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein (Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports)
Chicago Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein (Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports) /
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Theo Epstein would immediately transform the Phillies front office.

The Major League Baseball community learned surprising news Tuesday afternoon, as the well-regarded Theo Epstein stepped down as the Chicago Cubs President of Baseball Operations with the intention to take the 2021 season off. With a similar position up for grabs in the Phillies organization, rumors immediately began to swirl that maybe he could come to Philadelphia.

MLB Network’s Jon Heyman even reported that the Phillies and Seattle Mariners, among others, “have at least considered Epstein.” NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Jim Salisbury later confirmed that the Phillies will “check in” with him to gauge his interest.

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There is no doubt that Epstein would be a great fit in the Phillies front office. The Yale University and University of San Diego Law School alumnus has spent 18 seasons as either a general manager or president of baseball operations and has won a World Series championship in three of them — twice with the Boston Red Sox (2004, 2007) and once with the Chicago Cubs (2016).

Epstein’s first championship ended an 86-year championship drought in Boston, whereas the most recent ended a 108-year drought. The Phillies finished the 2020 season on a 12-year championship drought of their own; if the organization is not careful, this number will only continue to grow.

Here are three reasons why the Phillies should pursue Epstein to join their front office.

3. Theo Epstein has ‘Pat Gillick pedigree’

If Epstein returns to Major League Baseball in 2022 or sooner, it will mark his milestone 30th season in Major League Baseball. His most recent positions include being the Red Sox general manager from 2003-11, and the Cubs president of baseball operations from October 2011 to now.

Epstein is one of just five executives in Major League Baseball history to lead multiple organizations to World Series championships; also, he is just one of four to do so in both the American and National League. Among the others to accomplish this feat include former Phillies general manager and current senior advisor Pat Gillick (1992-93 Blue Jays, 2008 Phillies).

For the postseason-starved Phillies, they could use some consistency as far as qualifying for Red October like they saw in the late 2000s and early 2010s. During his nine seasons as the Red Sox general manager, his clubs missed the postseason just three times, and won at least 89 games in all but one. The Phillies have not won more than 81 games since their franchise-best 102-win season in 2011.

Also, when leading the Cubs, Epstein’s teams won six postseason series across just three years; the organization had won just one such series in 105 years spanning 1909 to 2014.