Theo: No one satisfied with Cubs' standing
CHICAGO -- With the Major League non-waiver Trade Deadline just over a month away, Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein hasn't spent his time reaching out to every team in the big leagues trying to make a deal.
Besides, his phone contract won't let him, apparently.
"I'm sure we'll talk to them all, eventually," Epstein said, "but we're on a limited phone plan, so we'll have to spread that out."
His joking aside, Epstein isn't pressing to make a move immediately, even as he stresses that he isn't satisfied where his team stands now.
If the regular season ended today, the Cubs would be in the postseason for the first time since 2008. Chicago holds the second Wild Card spot in the National League, but it sits just 1 1/2 games ahead of the Giants. The Cubs trail the Cardinals in the National League Central by 6 1/2 games after Monday's 4-2 victory over the Dodgers and St. Louis' loss to the Phils.
"I don't think you're ever happy where you are," Epstein said. "Otherwise, you'd just go home or wish the season was over. We're just constantly trying to improve, gain more consistency, but, of course, we're thrilled with the character of the team, identity of the team.
"I don't think anyone in that clubhouse or in the front office is satisfied or feels like we've accomplished anything, just because we're in a certain position less than halfway into the season."
Epstein declined to comment on whether he has the salary to take on the payroll of other big names, "because it gives teams a feel for things we can and can't do."
Epstein has placed a bigger emphasis on the importance of "improving from within" the organization. It's worked so far, and he's hoping to see his team become more mature and experienced as the season continues.
"Any time you can improve from within, that's the best and most efficient way to get better," Epstein said. "You can't always count on that. … I think you know your own guys pretty well. It's projecting the other guys, that's where the rub is."
That doesn't mean he's not considering a move from the outside, though. Epstein noted he does have concerns about a player not fitting once a move is made, or dropping off from where they were expected.
His team's health has been critical to making plans. Jorge Soler, Tommy La Stella and Mike Olt were all Opening Day starters but remain at different places in their rehab spots.
"We've gotten along despite some injuries, " Epstein said. "We've kind of had to make it work without those guys, and they'll all come back at one point or another. But knock on wood that we stay pretty healthy."