Theo Epstein Talks Tanking, Adding Pitching on Spiegel and Parkins

Theo Epstein joined the one-year anniversary episode of the Spiegel and Parkins Show on 670 the Score Wednesday morning to discuss the Cubs’ offseason thus far. Here are some noteworthy tidbits, as well as a the full interview below.

  • While he can’t comment until it’s official, Epstein said Brian Duensing would be a “nice addition, and really good fit with the club…he commands four pitches, is really prepared, is a great teammate…and became a really reliable guy for us last year.”
  • He talked about how he feels for some of the free agents who may find themselves in a less-than-favorable market, as he knows some of them are trying to sign a big contract for the first time in their careers and make fair money based on comparable players in the past.
  • Asked for his simplest explanation on why the free agent market is playing out this way, Epstein said “each of the 30 teams is making decisions on their own for what makes sense for them, given the new CBA, given their place in the competitive cycle, given what they think lies ahead in the near future in future free agent classes…I think it’s just a collision of those factors.” He said sometimes those factors can lead to a feeding frenzy for certain players, leading to bigger contracts, but this offseason seems to have gone the opposite direction.
  • On the topic of teams deliberately trying not to be competitive, Epstein said that is “not something to be lauded in it of itself…It’s a means to win a championship, and you better pull it off if you do it.” He doesn’t think any teams have malevolent intentions, but that this is simply how the market is playing out.
  • On adding more pitching, Epstein believes the Cubs “have brought in a lot of pitching this winter, and that was the plan…You’d rather stock up in the winter and not have to trade prospects mid-season if possible…We’d love to add another starting pitcher if it’s possible, but we feel like we could certainly break camp with what we have right now, we don’t quite have the depth that we’re looking for if we do that so we are going to keep working on it.”
  • He talked about the balance of keeping young position players while still trying to maintain a high-performing pitching staff. While he would love to keep all of the young position player talent year-to-year, Epstein admitted it’s tough to consistently rank at the top of the league (as the Cubs have the last three years) in pitching without that influx of young pitching talent.

Check out the full interview here:

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