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Theo Epstein doesn't have timetable to turn Cubs into contender

The Chicago Cubs are a work in progress, and team president Theo Epstein isn't ready to put a timetable on when the franchise will next become a contender.

Jonathan Daniel - Getty Images

Chicago Cubs team president Theo Epstein spoke with media in the wake of the team's brutal 101-loss season, in the emphasis of his message remained focused on the process of rebuilding rather than the outcome. Epstein was asked whether he expects the Cubs to be contending by the second half of the 2014 season, but he refused to endorse any sort of timetable.

Epstein told reporters that he hasn't considered a timetable for any specific year, and he redirected the conversation towards the organization's focus on developing young core players and defining the core so that complementary pieces can be added. Epstein went on to explain why no timetable will be offered up to fans (via ESPN Chicago):

"It's our obligation to maintain the discipline that is necessary to accomplish (our) vision. We owe the fans a tremendous amount of hard work to get there. We have to be tireless in our pursuit to get there, because maybe we'll get there a year earlier if we work harder than our competition ... If we don't stay committed to (our) vision, I think that's disrespectful to the fans as well, because we've made a covenant with them that we're going somewhere and that by buying tickets and showing tremendous support, as they have, they're buying in and they're a part of that covenant."

Epstein and GM Jed Hoyer joined the Cubs before the 2012 season, and they spent most of the year trying to shed questionable long-term salary commitments made during Jim Hendry's disappointing regime.