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Today, the Chicago Cubs will introduce new General Manager Jed Hoyer, and new Senior Vice President of Scouting and Player Development Jason McLeod. It has been easy to lose these two in the Theo Epstein shuffle, but it bears repeating: had the Cubs hired *only* Jed Hoyer as the new GM, I would have deemed the front office search a success. I might have even said the same if the Cubs brought Jason McLeod in as the GM. To get those two, together, to serve under Epstein is a coup beyond words.

The press conference starts at 3 p.m. CT, and, as I did with the Theo Epstein press conference, I’ll be updating this post with salient points, bullet-style, as the press conference goes on. Among the topics I expect (hope) to be addressed: the future of the Cubs’ managerial spot, the anticipated makeup of the Cubs’ roster in the near and long term, the role of Hoyer vis a vis Epstein, and McLeod vis a vis Tim Wilken and Oneri Fleita, the planned utilization of resources, and the state of the Cubs’ farm system.

  • The press conference is under way. Theo, Jed, and Jason. *Swoon.*
  • Theo is introducing Jed and Jason. He regards them as a big part of building a competitive franchise from the ground up. Jed has been “thinking like a GM for a long time,” says Theo. Jed is “three steps ahead of everyone else,” and has “long been my right hand.”
  • Jed will have “traditional” GM responsibilities, day-to-day management of the club, and will have input on baseball ops. As expected.
  • Theo is extolling the virtues of Jason as a scouting/drafting genius. Heavy focus on the draft side of things – I’d say Jason is the Cubs’ new draft coordinator.
  • Jed speaking now, thanking the Ricketts family. “It’s such a privilege to be here.”
  • Jed acknowledges that the process of getting Theo/Jed/Jason here was a tough one, but it’s clear that the Ricketts are committed, as are the fans.
  • “It was an absoute pleasure working for [Theo] for eight years,” and Jed is looking forward to creating a winner with him in Chicago.
  • Jed thanks Randy Bush and the Cubs’ staff for its service during the interim situation. “I look forward to working with Randy for a long time.”
  • He loved his two years in San Diego, and he’s not running away from the Padres – he’s running toward the Cubs. (In a nice human moment, Jed thanked his wife and acknowledged that the move was, perhaps, not the best time for them personally, but he appreciated her support. I dig that, Jed. I dig that.)
  • Jed’s primary goal – as was also stated by Epstein – is to build a scouting and development machine. That’s a big reason the three of them work well together: they’re all on board with that philosophy.
  • A nice thought: fans love watching a kid get drafted, play his way up through the system, and then reaching the Cubs. Gotta agree with Jed on that one.
  • Jed turns things over to Jason, who also starts by thanking the Ricketts, and expresses his excitement about being with the Cubs.
  • Jason expressing a similar sentiment as Jed (and Theo): it was bittersweet to leave the last place, because I was happy there.
  • Surprise: Jason thinks scouting and development is key. These are great sound bytes, but there hasn’t been any “meat” yet. Prepared remarks at introductory press conferences are often like that, I suppose.
  • Jason is “excited” to work with Tim Wilken and Oneri Fleita.
  • First question goes to Jed, and makes a lame reference to the Beatles (who does that…?). Jed remarks that it’s great to be back together. Come on, folks: substantive questions only, please.
  • The Quade question. Theo jumps in to say we’re close to getting an answer on the managerial situation. He says the seven hour meeting last week was productive, calls Mike a good baseball guy, and says “we’re going to speak again shortly. We hope to have a resolution within a week.”
  • Bruce Levine asks about each of the three men’s roles. Theo answers by saying that Jed is the right-hand man for the Major League club, and Jason is the right-hand man for scouting and player development. Paraphrase: all GMs report to someone, and Jed will report to me. It takes more than one person, and we’ll all work together, including Randy Bush, Tim Wilken and Oneri Fleita.
  • Jed is asked about the makeup of the Cubs’ roster. He doesn’t want to say too much before he’s gotten into the clubhouse and had more conversations with the folks who’ve been around. Defense needs improvement, as well as pitching. He’d also like to add more athletes (hmm).
  • Jed is asked what it’s like when he disagrees with Theo, and how does that play out. He says that the two argue frequently, and present their points, and reach consensus. Debates will be frequent, but it’s important that the players not know who was on which side. Me: love the idea that they’ll argue with each other frequently – that’s how you take advantage of having so many smart people.
  • Jason is asked about who will have final say on draft picks, and Jason dodges the question. He’ll work together with Tim Wilken, but he wants to see how things work before committing to how it will work. Me: Theo brought Jason in to run scouting and player development. Jason will have final say (other than Theo and Jed).
  • Jason goes on to discuss player development, and how changes in that regard will be gradual. Getting the right players is a big part of “player development.”
  • Great question to Theo: how attractive would the Cubs’ job have been if you couldn’t have brought Jed and Jason in? Epstein artfully dodges, but says it’s important to bring some people along that you know and trust.
  • Jed is asked about Carlos Zambrano’s future, and Theo interjects: answering without having first spoken to Carlos would be premature. Theo has spoken to Zambrano’s agent, will speak to Carlos, and, as an organization, they’ll figure it out from there.
  • Compensation for Theo is not yet decided, and at this point, either an extension for negotiations will be granted by MLB, or it will be turned over to the Commissioner.
  • Jed is asked about Aramis Ramirez, and Theo jumps in again (“saving the softballs for Jed on his first day”). Theo says Aramis was a major contributor to the organization, “played hurt,” and “did things behind the scenes that helped the Cubs.” Theo won’t rule out re-signing Ramirez, but he says it’s likely that another team will offer him a contract that appeals to Ramirez, and the Cubs will be figuring something out. The “tea leaves” say “Ramirez will be moving on.”
  • Jed is asked about how he was allowed to leave San Diego, and he says if Josh Byrnes wasn’t there in San Diego, the move wouldn’t have happened. It sounds like there was a great deal of collaboration between San Diego CEO Jeff Moorad and Tom Ricketts.
  • Press conference over, and the Three-o are going into breakout sessions with the media.
  • All in all, it was a fine introduction, light on the meat. It touched on virtually all of the topics I expected, and stayed about as shallow as I expected. Theo’s confirmation that Ramirez is almost certainly moving on is probably the most “newsy” item. I’m glad to see them continue to pound the scouting-and-development fist, and Jed seems genuinely excited to be a part of the Cubs’ organization. Theo jumping in on roster questions could suggest that, while Jed will be the “day-to-day GM,” Theo is going to remain heavily involved in all roster decisions. While I do think that’s probably true, I also think drawing that conclusion from today, alone, would be unwise – Theo really was probably trying to spare Jed from having to discuss specific players in his very first press conference. After all, Theo wouldn’t address specific players in his first press conference, either. It is prudent to gather as much information as possible first.
  • jfish1219

    I am really hoping that they tell us that the Q-ball will no longer be the manager of the Cubs.

    • Fishin Phil

      I do too, but I doubt it will happen today.

      • jfish1219

        Ya I know but a man can dream can’t he lol.

    • NL_Cubs

      Not likely to mix the introduction presser with an exit announcement as well.  They’ll wait until later this week to fire Quade and let the announcement stand on it’s own “merits”.

      • cccubfan

        Would be nice to see Sandberg sitting up there too….

  • Quinn

    I like watching the presser before it starts. Interesting who sits by who in the press corps.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I thought the same thing – also interesting to see who sits up front, and who sits in back. Also: the Chicago press corps skews olllllllld, a fact belied by all of their by-line pictures.

  • marc

    If you could ask them one question what would you ask them?

    • TWC

      “Hey, Theo, does Ricketts smile at you like that all the time, or was that just a press conference thing?”

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Ha.

    • hardtop

      “who is usually the meat in the man-wich”

  • Quinn

    He said that Jed also will “oversee day to day management of the big league club.” Hmmm…

  • jfish1219

    I for one am super excited for this years draft

  • jfish1219

     I for one am super excited for this years draft

    • Fishin Phil

      How excited are you? LOL!

      • jfish1219

        I’m SUPER thanks for asking……(please tell me some one get this reference.)

        • EQ76

          sounds like Big Gay AL!

          • jfish1219

            Ding Ding Ding we have a winner

  • CubFan Paul

    Crane Kenney was mentioned by Hoyer ..Theo mentioned him in his introductory presser also ..i wonder if its by “design” or does Kenney really have a say in on the field matters

    “I look forward to working closely with Crane Kenney” ..hmmm

    • hansman1982

      I don’t read too much into it other than Crane may be there to help them establish budgets.

      Either that or this is an organizational “vote of confidence” similar to the one Hendry got in early June.

    • Kyle

      Baseball and business still have to work together. Especially for Epstein, who seems to be focused on building the organizational infrastructure.

      They might be working together on the Latin American academies that Ricketts has talked about, for example.

  • butlerdawgs

    Did anyone else nearly wet themselves when the press conference started?

    • NL_Cubs

      I am thrilled at the vision these guys are planning to construct for our Cubbies! Exciting times to be part of Cubs Nation!

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Less so this time than the Theo one, but, yeah, I remain absurdly excited.

  • marc

    who arnt they excited to work with?

    • TWC

      Carlos Zambrano

  • Sayueri

    It’s safe to assume Aramis is gone.

  • Kyle

    Ramirez is gone, which is definitely the right move. He was a 3-WAR player at this point in his career (4 WAR offense, -1 WAR defense and baserunning), and we can put together an internal platoon that’s maybe 1 WAR worse and $13 million cheaper. He’ll be an okay pickup for someone at something like 3/$40, but not us, we have too many other holes to fill.

    Loved the line at the smarmy Chicago media about “Clearly you’ve made up your mind, but I haven’t yet” on Zambrano. Still might just be posturing to keep his trade value reasonable.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Yeah, that line was excellent.

  • Dan0mite

    I think we all assumed it, but after the presser it seems obvious that Quade is a goner, right?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I’ve been mulling that since the presser ended. I think it was Quade neutral – that is to say, I don’t think it increased or decreased the chances he goes or stays. Still right around 97% that he’s gone.

    • Jeff

      It almost sounds like they offered him a different position with the team and gave him a couple of days to figure it what he wants to do.  The timing is odd though, with free agency starting in a few days, you would think having the managerial situation figured out would be an important thing to get done.  I think the percentage of him going decrease the longer it goes.

  • Glenallen’s One Homer

    I thought it was all pretty standard, though the Aramis piece was way more than I expected out of that question. Also, my Squealmeter will probably never be this high ever again.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Oh it will be. October 2013.

      • hardtop

        whoa.  now is the time for bold predictions!  I’ve got Brett calling the playoffs in 2013, anyone care to up the ante?

        love this.  i agree.  the path to pecuring playoff personnel still puzzles me…

        … but i believe it can happen.

        • hansman1982

          I will go with 4 outs away in the 2013 NLCS and WS bound in 2014

        • NL_Cubs

          The NL Central is an 85-90 win division for top honors. I don’t see that changing in the next 3 years minimum. Cubs could compete any year. It will take some luck and good moves but it is possible.

          • Aaron

            Seriously, fix Marmol’s blown saves and the injuries, while adding a solid SP and you’ve got ~81 wins already. Oh the possibilities…

  • Dave H

    All I can say is “This is my kinda team, charlie, this is my kinda team.”

    • Katie

      Love that movie! I’ll adapt one of my favorite lines scenes:
      Theo: “I thought you said we didn’t have any high priced talent.”
      Tom: “Oh I forgot about Soriano because he’s just high priced.”

  • hansman1982

    I guess I don’t really know enough about what day-to-day GM responsibilites are to be able to care much about who has what responsibilities

    All I have to say is to get two really smart, developement orientated guys at the top of the baseball org chart is a HUGE win

  • Hawkeye

    Anybody know where I can catch the entire presser posted online?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Not yet – and, if I recall, the entire Theo presser never made it online. Which, to me, is just ridiculous given how many people wanted to watch it. Sometimes companies don’t know what they have – put the entire thing online, slap in a couple ads, and make some money while making fans happy.

  • jim

    Wild card playoff/playin round in 2015

  • jerry

    it was online at csnchicago

  • Cliffy

    Jed Hoyer will be in studio live on Kaplans show at 530.

  • cubsklm

    That was definitely eye opening. I think Cub fans have to get prepared for a whole new way of looking at baseball. This trio was scary impressive. They not only want to build a winner, they are talking DYNASTY!

    Very impressive.

    I couldn’t believe the openness about Ramirez and Zambrano.
    The body language was obvious Quade is gone. Come on, can you see Quade sitting among these three. Or any of these guys saying “Quade’s our guy!”

    • Toosh

      Cub fans have been looking at baseball in a new way for many years.

  • Mike F

    Brett exciting stuff and incredible job. I guess I’m excited, but a little nervous. I’m pleased at how forthcoming they were on Ramirez. The tone was great. Handled the Zambrano well I agree. But here’s the concern and the dampening. I am generally pleased that they will rap the thing up with Quade and hopeful, best case scenario, they fire him and name the right guy for the job. But Levine maintains they need to give him an extension or let him go. To me, while I know a manager like this guy is cheap, that would be an idiotic decision and a huge mistake. Mike Quade is not a manager. So I am concerned, but I balance that by keeping in mind these are very low key, quiet, new school type guys. So they swing a more price less blunt axe. They are more laser and targeted, where a Dallas Green or say Gillick, would be more old school and fire him. I would say I’m 95 % confident that Theo is a heck of a GM and would want the right guy from day one, but wouldn’t do it loudly, but yeah I’m a little concerned.

  • Cliffy

    Good stuff by Hoyer on Kaplans show. Need more speed to counter the bad weather in Chicago. Better defense makes the piching better. Gotta get Marmol fixed 10 blown saves unaccepatble we can unlock his past talent.

  • http://TheoWaiting Cheryl

    Let’s not expect too much too soon. They have a long way to go to fix this team. A lot will depend on this off season moves and a new manager. They may not have much to work with until after next year’s draft and some more players are gone from this year’s team.

  • Cliffy

    Would anybody else watch if MLB did a reality show about the Cubs as they did with Ozzie and Kenny Williams. I think it was called the club. I think it would be fascinating to watch the behind the scenes interactions of the cubs hierarchy.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Absolutely – but, given Theo’s refusal to participate in the Moneyball book, I’m guessing he’d want to keep things under wraps.

  • Katie

    What about putting all the former Cubs managers together for a show? Lou, Dusty, Baylor, Zimmer, etc. That would be hilarious. Have them do the first rounds of managerial interviews.

  • Billy

    Okay, What’s your prediction as far as free agency etc. Who’s gonna play first? What about 3rd & the starting rotation?

  • Jason

    And starting at first base for your Chicago Cubs, Briaaaaaan LaHairrrrrrrr. Epstein’s press conference convinced me that this will happen

  • Jason *Thundermug*

    I can live with Bryan Lahair at 1st Base and Tyler Colvin for Right Field. I want to see resources in bringing in another starting pitcher or 2 and improved Defense

    • Kyle

      LaHair at 1b and improved defense are opposing ideas.

    • Lou

      Tyler Colvin’s not starting anywhere, sorry. It’ll be Byrd and Jackson before Colvin. Also, I sense a trade for a 1b. I think LaHair will platoon in the OF. Or start if Jackson can’t.

  • die hard

    somebody please ask him about sleeper Reggie Golden getting good look in Spring Training given combo of power and speed

    • Ced landrum

      A good look at what? He is going to start the year in Peoria tops

      • die hard

        watch and learn grasshopper

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Ced, I *literally* started typing the same response (got as far as “A good look at what? He …”) before I saw yours.

  • Jim Kress

    If you’re going to trade for any position player anytime in the near future it needs to be Matt Kemp. You can get by with LaHair at 1b and not signing some ridiculous Fielder/Pujols contract while getting a youthful, proven 5 tool player. Go after pitching this off-season. Get Sandberg as your manager. Continue to focus on scouting/drafting. But again I say, if you’re going to go out and trade for any position player, make it MATT KEMP!

    • Jim Kress

      Matt Kemp being the youthful 5 tool player here, not LaHair.

      • Sayueri

        Kemp is a great player but makes no sense to trade for him with Jackson waiting in the wings.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        I wouldn’t call him youthful – he’s 27 – but I would call him an attractive trade target. Would cost a boatload, though.

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