Chicago Cubs GM Jed Hoyer spoke yesterday with Jim Bowden and Casey Stern on MLBN Radio on a range of topics. You can hear a bit of the interview here, you can see some notable bits in Bowden’s Twitter feed, and you can see a recap over at the CCO. Among the high points:
- Hoyer once again used his “we need more Matt Garzas, not fewer Matt Garzas” line when asked about the future of the Cubs’ ace. It is a plainly correct statement – the Cubs do need more guys like Garza if they want to be competitive – but one that leaves plenty of outs if the Cubs can’t put together an extension.
- As for the starting pitchers who don’t win rotation spots in Spring Training, Hoyer said that some could wind up in the bullpen, and others could head to AAA Iowa. In other words, Hoyer was avoiding stating explicitly that the Cubs will look to make a trade out of their surplus of starters – no sense in giving up that leverage publicly if you don’t have to. Hoyer spoke a fair bit about hoping that Chris Volstad and Travis Wood realize their potential.
- Hoyer indicated that, when the Cubs and Red Sox swap players to be named later in order to finally and fully resolve the Theo Epstein compensation issue, the Red Sox will probably get a better prospect than the Cubs. The players’ values will not be equal. Grumble.
- The Cubs are hoping that both Bryan LaHair and Anthony Rizzo are playing for the Cubs together at some point this season. LaHair will start the year as the first baseman, and Rizzo will start at AAA Iowa. But, if both are hitting well, the Cubs are willing to bring Rizzo up and then figure out how to get both at bats, which will probably involve working LaHair into the outfield. Hoyer raved about LaHair’s 2011 season.
- Hoyer expects both Marlon Byrd and Alfonso Soriano to be members of the Cubs on Opening Day. Both are in great shape, and looking for bounce-back years. What else would he say, right?
- Hoyer thinks that leaving the Rockies’ organization could be good for Ian Stewart. Not because there’s anything wrong with the Rockies, but because sometimes a “break-up” is necessary. In other words, it’s a classic “change of scenery” attempt.
- Hoyer said that he has plenty of authority and autonomy in his role as GM, serving under Theo Epstein. It’s unlike his time in Boston, where Hoyer was truly just an assistant to Epstein.
- When the Cubs’ Spring Training complex is completed in 2014, Hoyer thinks it will be one of the best – if not the best – in all of baseball.