Theo Epstein, Cubs ownership say new deal coming soon

ANAHEIM, CA. -- Both Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts and president of baseball operations Theo Epstein are in agreement that a new deal for the architect of the Cubs is getting closer. Epstein's five-year deal with the team runs out after this season, but he hopes to be in Chicago "for a long time."

"We had good, productive conversations," Epstein said before the Cubs' season-opening game against the Los Angeles Angels on Monday. "Neither one of us had a ton of time to focus on it. No cause of concern. We had good talks. We both feel like it will get done sometime soon."

Epstein has overseen the rebuilding of the Cubs from the ground up. They're a World Series favorite this year and still possess a robust farm system, despite graduating several key prospects to the major leagues.

"We talked about it at spring training," Ricketts said. "I think we'll get to a conclusion pretty soon."

Neither side could say for sure if a deal could be struck by the Cubs' home opener next Monday, but they aren't worried about the timetable. Part of the deal involves those under Epstein, as he wants his front-office team to remain intact.

"This is not a one-man operation," Epstein stated. "Everyone has different contracts, but our goal is to keep the group in the front office together for a long time."