Cubs don't expect to make coaching changes

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
 
 
Updated 10/22/2015 8:48 PM

Before the Cubs were eliminated from the postseason Wednesday by the New York Mets, manager Joe Maddon heaped praise on his entire coaching staff.

On Thursday, team president Theo Epstein said the staff is welcome back for 2016. However, it is possible, other teams could be interested in hiring a Cubs coach, and if a promotion came a coach's way, the Cubs might lose someone.

 

"You can definitely assume that everyone is going to be back," Epstein said "Talking to Joe briefly, we aren't even in consideration to make any changes. We're thrilled with the job everybody did.

"As of right now, everyone's invited back. It's such an important part of our ballclub and our infrastructure, Joe and the coaches setting the tone, and I look forward to working with all of those guys next year."

Maddon, who took over as Cubs manager last year, inherited the coaching staff of former manager Rick Renteria. He later added Dave Martinez to his staff as bench coach, a job Martinez had under Maddon at Tampa Bay.

Appreciating Arrieta:

Ace pitcher Jake Arrieta is one of several Cubs players eligible for salary arbitration. Theo Epstein was asked Thursday if the Cubs would be interested in signing Arrieta to a long-term contract extension.

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"He's a Cub for next season," Epstein said. "He's a Cub for 2017. I'm sure there will come a point in time where we'll approach Jake and his agent, Scott Boras, about seeing if we can extend that window. We'd be foolish not to want to do that.

"More importantly, we're appreciative of the person he is, the year he had and what at the very least the next two seasons in a Cub uniform look for him. I hope it's more."

The Fowler file:

Center fielder Dexter Fowler is a free agent this winter. The Cubs obtained Fowler last season in a trade with the Astros. During the regular season, he had a line of .250/.346/.411 with 17 homers and 46 RBI.

It's possible Fowler will want more than the Cubs are willing to offer, and they may seek a stopgap center fielder until prospect Albert Almora is ready.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"Dexter Fowler had an unbelievable year," Epstein said. "He fit in tremendously well in this organization. I think very highly of him as a player and as a person as do we all think. He made a wonderful impression. He's a free agent. He earned that status. It's not something I take lightly.

"Players rarely have the ability to see what the market is and what teams are interested in. He's earned it. We'll see what the future holds. Certainly there's an interest in setting down and the appropriate time and seeing if there's a way to keep him a Chicago Cub."

What about Theo?

Speaking of contracts, Theo Epstein said he's not concerned about extending his own five-year deal, which runs through the 2016 season.

"Honestly, that's the first time that I've thought about it since the last time you guys asked me about it," Epstein told the media. "Anyone's individual concerns are not nearly as important as the organization as a whole, the team on the field and what we're trying to do.

"That is not anywhere near the top of the list of priorities this winter. I'm sure this winter at some point we'll sit down and talk not just about me but about a lot of the guys in the front office who contribute behind the scenes and making sure this group can stay together for a while and finish what we started. But it's not something that's not top of mind."

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