Theo Epstein is known for pulling of stunning moves at the trade deadline but he out-did himself this year for all the wrong reasons: Sleep-deprived to the point of delusional exhaustion, the Cubs president of baseball operations acquired arms, but not as in pitchers.
“Everyone keeps saying ‘Go out and get arms’ so that’s what I did,” said Epstein. “I screwed up though.”
After working the phones nonstop for several days, Epstein reached what he thought was another GM who agreed to ship him a countless supply of arms. Instead, he had accidentally dialed the American Girl Store on Michigan Avenue.
“My wife used my phone to make a few calls in advance of a party we’re planning for our kids and some of their friends next weekend,” said Epstein. “I dialed the last number in my phone thinking it was another GM but it turns out it was American Girl who gladly delivered me a boatload of replacement parts.”
Epstein got a great deal: 50 arms for just $1,000, but it’s unlikely they’ll have any value down the stretch for the Cubs. Ever the negotiator, Epstein somehow was able to get American Girl to take on the remainder of Brandon Morrow’s $16 million contract, which runs through next season.
“In all fairness, a couple of these arms look pretty lively,” said Epstein, sorting through the American Girl box. “A few of them might be a better option for Joe [Maddon] in the eighth and ninth than what we’ve had this season.”