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MLB

Ex-Red Sox GM Theo Epstein is stepping down as Cubs president

Theo Epstein was in the final year of his contract and believed it was time to step aside.
Theo Epstein was in the final year of his contract and believed it was time to step aside.Ezra Shaw

Former Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein will step down from his position as Cubs president of baseball operations later this month, the team announced Tuesday.

Jed Hoyer, who worked alongside Epstein with the Red Sox and currently serves as executive vice president and general manager of the Cubs, will step into the position effective Nov. 20.

Epstein, a 46-year-old Brookline native, joined the Cubs from the Red Sox in October 2011. He is in the final year of his second five-year contract with the organization.

He will be remembered in Chicago as the architect of the Cubs' 2016 World Series-winning team, the club’s first championship in 108 years. The Cubs had five playoff appearances during Epstein’s tenure, including three consecutive National League Championship Series appearances from 2015-17.

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That success followed what Epstein accomplished as general manager of the Red Sox, a position he assumed in 2002 at the age of 28. He was the youngest general manager in MLB history. In 2004, the Red Sox won their first World Series in 86 years.

Epstein said after the season that he anticipated remaining on the job for at least one more year, with his contract set to expire in 2021. He had said repeatedly he thinks executives have about a 10-year shelf life in a job, and next year would have marked a decade since he left the Red Sox for Chicago.

Epstein said in a statement he will “cherish” his time with the Cubs and said it was simply time to make a change.

“The organization faces a number of decisions this winter that carry long-term consequences; those types of decisions are best made by someone who will be here for a long period rather than just one more year,” he said.

“Jed has earned this opportunity and is absolutely the right person to take over this baseball operation at such an important time.”

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Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts said the team is “grateful for everything he has given to this organization and this city.”

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.