Theo Epstein might want to take a break, but that shouldn’t stop the Mets

The hottest free agent of this offseason is … Theo Epstein?

In a surprise announcement on Tuesday, the Cubs announced that Epstein, Chicago’s president of baseball ops and ender of droughts, would be stepping down from his role with the club. Long-time concigliere and right hand of Epstein, Jed Hoyer, will assume Epstein’s role within the organization.

While reports have said that Epstein is expected to take the 2021 season away from the game, that should not deter the Mets (or any other team) from opening the checkbook, backing up the Brinks and making it rain Benjamins all over the Epsteins’ front lawn. 

Oh, how perfect would this be for the Mets.

As you may have heard, the woeful Wilpon family sold the Mets to billionaire Steve Cohen this offseason, ending an odyssey that was just about a year in the making. Cohen, as reported, is willing to go to any length to make the Mets winners and to build a stable and winning organization.

That’s where Epstein would come in — right the wrongs, forgive the sins of Brodie Van Wagenen and other past GMs and bring a winning mentality to New York. While the Mets already named former GM Sandy Alderson as team president, Epstein and the Mets would go together better than lamb and tuna fish (or spaghetti and meatballs, if you’re more comfortable with that analogy), for a new owner who has espoused a winning attitude.

Epstein’s mission with the Cubs was accomplished: He delivered a pipeline of quality talent to the organization, breathed life into a stale brand and helped deliver a World Series title. His fingerprints will always be on the Cubs and their history, and that’s respectable, regardless of the reasons he wanted to step down.

Usually when an executive leaves a role, it’s not worth time or effort to even mention it: There are far too many nameless, faceless executives across baseball who generally don’t amount to much when it comes to wins and losses. Epstein, though, is markedly different.

He’s a charismatic, front-facing and transparent executive, and throughout his tenures with both the Red Sox and Cubs has delivered sustainable winning formulas. Arguably no executive has received the praise or recognition that Epstein has since 2004, and he’s earned every bit of it. 

By the way, he’s also helped end 194 years of World Series droughts (or just over four Bartolo Colons) for both franchises. And he’s still only 46!

If Cohen and the Mets are serious about wanting to deliver championships to New York, then it’s time to flex the financial muscle and woo Epstein to Citi Field, to perform one more miracle: bringing a championship back to Queens.

Is it pie in the sky? Maybe. If Epstein is truly devoted to taking the year off, more power to him. He’ll have any number of suitors next year when he ultimately decides to return. But in this moment, the Mets should be slamming Epstein’s number to get him to fix the franchise.

Then maybe he can work another miracle and fix the Knicks.

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