Jed Hoyer Speaks: Free Agents Tied to Compensation, Garza’s Rehab, Soriano’s Value, More

Jed HoyerChicago Cubs GM Jed Hoyer was a guest on “Chicago Baseball Hot Stove” on CSN yesterday, and he was asked a battery of questions about the Cubs’ offseason and expectations for 2013 (while looking a bit tired in the process – dude’s been working hard).

Among the bits he elected to share (the quotes come from the show, and from Patrick Mooney’s write-up), together with some of my thoughts …

  • On the propriety of signing free agents tied to draft pick compensation: “Where we are as an organization, we want as many draft picks as possible. We want as much money in the draft as possible. [But] we would have given up a pick, theoretically, for the right player, the right fit.” That squares with what Theo Epstein has said: you can’t ignore the value of the draft pick and the associated pool money. But if the right free agent comes along at the right value, it could be worth it.
  • HOWEVA … on when is the right time for the Cubs to start signing draft-pick-compensation free agents: “And we will [look at those free agents] going forward. But right now, I think holding onto our picks is something that makes sense and we’re looking to build as much talent in the minor leagues as possible. We need a lot going forward.” So, at bottom, it does look very unlikely that the Cubs will seriously pursue Michael Bourn, however many times they may have kicked those tires. It would seem that they’d have to get an incredible bargain on him to be willing to sacrifice the pick, and I still don’t think it’s likely that Bourn’s market sinks quite that low.
  • On Matt Garza’s rehab, which currently has him throwing from 150 feet, and will soon see him back on the mound: “Right now, he’s following the normal pitching progression. He feels really good and we don’t see any reason he’s going to be restricted going into Spring Training. At this point, he’s gotten over some of those early hurdles in the rehab and we feel like he’s just going to be a normal pitcher, a healthy guy in spring training ready to go. He’s excited. I always joke: You can see how he’s doing. He talks about it on Twitter all the time.” I reckon the Cubs will continue to be fine with Garza’s tweeting his rehab … unless the rehab hits a snag. And then they’re going to put the kibash on any negative tweets with the speed of a thousand missiles.
  • On Alfonso Soriano’s value to the club, and the lines of communication during a rumor-heavy offseason: “His preparation is off the charts. I think a dozen players in baseball went 30 homers and 100 RBI [last season]. What we got in our first year was terrific. He knows how we feel about him. We’ve had communication with him over the course of the Winter. We’ll keep having that communication. But all of our thoughts on Sori are positive. He was so good for us last year, both on [and] off the field. [It] wasn’t necessarily exactly what we expected going in. [It] was just a wonderful revelation for us.” That’s pretty much rumor-neutral there – equally consistent with speaking positively about a guy you really like and want to keep, and speaking positively about a guy for whom you’re trying to create a trade market. I suppose Hoyer could have said he fully expects Soriano to be the Cubs’ left fielder next year, but he wasn’t specifically asked about that.
  • On the need for any additional moves in the bullpen: “We’ll probably go forward with what we have now. Of course, if there’s just a bargain, or a player that we feel like is at an incredible price, we might add him. But at this point, we feel really good. There also is a point at which we’re full on the roster – [where we'd be] taking a spot away from somebody. We really do like the way our bullpen and our rotation fit together now.” The Cubs whiffed on a few bullpen targets this offseason – J.P. Howell, Mike Adams, and Jason Grilli were all rumored to have serious interest from the Cubs before choosing other teams – so Hoyer’s position could be as much a reflection of the Cubs not being enamored by anyone else left on the market as it is a reflection of his confidence in the currently-constructed pen. If the Cubs end up dealing Carlos Marmol, I could certainly see them wishing they’d been able to add another quality veteran arm.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

81 responses to “Jed Hoyer Speaks: Free Agents Tied to Compensation, Garza’s Rehab, Soriano’s Value, More”

  1. AP

    I know this is nothing more beating a long dead horse, but it’s so nice to hear the front office try to build up potential trade targets instead of doing everything possible to ruin their value then selling them for cents on the dollar.

    1. JR

      You mean like what the Dbacks have done with Upton?

    2. Spriggs

      It is. But I think there is something implied in Jed’s comments about Soriano that needs to be considered when you try to put a value on him. He builds him up, mainly by saying how surprised they were with him (as a player, his work ethic, being a good teammate,etc). He makes it sound like they were VERY surprised. The implication to me is that other teams probably (still) have a low opinion of Soriano – and probably still do (since they don’t see all the positives close up and personal like the Cubs FO does). So it is good that they are building him up.

  2. Edwin

    The speed of a thousand missiles?

    1. hansman1982

      Ya, either that was a play on our earlier Fukudome conversation (that whole phrase sounds very 1960′s movie token Japanese guy) or Brett isn’t familiar with physics (a thousand missiles strapped together (assuming they all light properly) would go the same speed as 1 missile)

      1. CubFan Paul

        ‘would go the same speed as 1 missile’

        i’m not to sure about that…at least not as far as takeoffs/space travel is concerned.

        1. hansman1982

          If you were to just strap a thousand missiles together you gain nothing, basically the thrust to weight ratio wouldn’t change in your favor.

          Now if you take the engines out of those missiles and put them in 1 housing (thereby cutting the weight down) you’d be getting somewhere.

          Not to mention the logistical nightmare of ensuring that those thousand engines lighting at the same time and thrust being applied evenly across the entire setup.

          1. Blublud

            This is why I love BN. You get the entire scoop on the Cubs and you get to learn physics.

            I think I’m going to take my son out of kindergarden and just have him sit on this site all day.

          2. CubFan Paul

            then why does (did) a shuttle need 2 rockets for a space launch. that’s one shuttle, with 2 rockets strapped to it for increased velocity to punch thru the atmosphere.

            just spit ballin here

            1. hansman1982

              To provide additional thrust to lift it into orbit and stabilize the thrust.

              Now that’s how they get more weight moving, but the two rockets don’t make it go faster.

              If you tied two cars together, would they be able to go faster than 1 car or would it work better to have two engines on one car?

              1. CubFan Paul

                But without that thrust the shuttle wouldn’t make it to space. I equate the extra thrust to speed (that’s what she said..). It would have to hit the upper atmosphere harder, hence the rockets.

                Im gonna do more research after lunch because i’m quite sure the shuttle wouldn’t be as fast (or make it) with only one rocket. A shuttle definitely couldn’t take off without the rockets (duh..not designed for that).

                1. Cubbie Blues

                  Thrust is a force whereas velocity is merely the change of position over time.

                  The amount of particles leaving the nozzle would have to move faster to increase the velocity not add more nozzles.

                  1. CubFan Paul

                    that makes sense (i think). I’ll do some shuttle research later.

                    kind of feel stupid for not watching Battlestar Galactica and Stargate (..i did watch all of stargate: universe tho)

                2. Twinkletoez

                  They key is your are talking about rockets lifting the shuttle. If you take all the weight off and just strictly talk about the rockets 1 will go just as fast as “pick a number it doesn’t matter”

                  Think about it this way. Take two cars that both can do 200mph, you put them together they are still not capable of doing more then 200mph, (same can be said for 10 cars they will never go any faster then 200mph) Now if you add a variable like say the cars are towing something of course the more cars will be able to tow more weight. But here we are talking torque and horse power not speed.

                3. hansman1982

                  The number of rockets don’t determine the speed, given a certain efficiency level.

                  If just having 1 rocket on the shuttle were to get the shuttle to the rockets maximum velocity (determined (more or less) by the nozzle design) then adding a 2nd rocket wouldn’t do anything other than allow you to get double the weight to maximum velocity.

                  Think of your biceps as the missiles. With nothing in your hand there is a set speed that your hands will lift up. If you tie your two hands together, you have more force that you can apply to the hands but they go the same speed.

                  If one of your biceps can lift a max of 50 pounds then in order to lift 100 pounds you need both biceps. Now I can see where the confusion comes in because two arms lifting 50 pounds will travel slower than the 1 arm lifting 0 pounds.

                  So, yes, to an extent adding arms would make them go faster; however, if you were to have 1000 arms lifting on that same 50 pounds, adding another 1000 arms won’t appreciably change the velocity to which that 50 pounds can be lifted.

                  1. CubFan Paul

                    ‘adding another 1000 arms won’t appreciably change the velocity to which that 50 pounds can be lifted’

                    first off, i do think of my biceps as missiles. it’s the Gun Show for realz. (beta alanine)

                    and because of that i disagree with 1000 arms not changing velocity. the easier the weight the faster you can move/more reps you can do per minute

                    1. hansman1982

                      Brett, quit trolling our conversation here.

                      That’s the point though, now that the missiles/rockets have achieved 100% efficiency (meaning they are only lifting slightly more than their own weight) any further increase in this efficiency, basically, won’t change the velocity.

                      Think of it another way, tie each bicep gun missile together with a bar that has 0 weight (hooray anti-gravity technology) just so that they work together. Those 2000 biceps would all still move at the same speed.

              2. Gcheezpuff

                Actually by adding the second rocket, you would improve the weight to rocket ratio, thus making the shuttle go faster. The weight of the shuttle is constant and would stay the same whether there was one or two rockets…. the rockets are the variable. In the missile example you gave all parts are equal, but the shuttle example is a different equation.

                1. Cubbie Blues

                  Say you have a rocket that has a speed of 400 mph. You attach that to a shuttle and it goes less (say 100 mph). You attach another rocket and it goes more (say 175mph). You keep on attaching until you reach 400 mph. You will never reach more than that 400 mph. It is a measure of force vs. velocity. The more rockets you add the more force but not terminal velocity. For a rocket to go at a high velocity the propellant must have a higher velocity expelling the vessel.

                  1. CubFan Paul

                    I think you need to use bigger rockets. like, attach a 400mph shuttle to 1000mph rocket.

                    Your math only works with small rockets. They’re never small.

                    1. Cubbie Blues

                      The shuttle has no speed unless a force is acted upon it such as a rocket. (The numbers I threw out are for representation only not calculated.) The rockets can only go as fast as the propellant is be projected out the other end. Actually less when you figure in the weight of the vessel of the rocket and drag.

            2. Edwin

              Plus, a shuttle with just 1 rocket looks dumb.

              1. TWC


              2. hansman1982

                I will say that the shuttle was one of the sexiest space vehicles of our time…the Delta-V system in the Apollo launches is right up there with it though.

            3. Cubbie Blues

              I think you are mistaking velocity for force. F = mass*acceleration wheras V=Displacement/Time.

              1. SirCub

                Right, and the velocity of the rocket will be determined by the balance of the forces, ie- terminal velocity. First off, the force has to be sufficient for the weight of the rocket/shuttle to have an acceleration greater than the component of gravity acting against it. Then, the rocket will accelerate until the force of the rocket is equal to the force of gravity and the force of drag on the rocket (drag will increase with velocity). So in that light, yes more force will increase the terminal velocity of the rocket. But like Hans said, you are also increasing the ‘m’ side of that equation n addition to the ‘F.’ So the net gain might not be that much for a shuttle, and would likely be zero for just a bunch of rockets strapped together (possibly negative as you would be increasing the frontal area of the rockets, and thus the drag force).

            4. 2much2say

              2 Rockets creates balance. A thousand rockets strapped together and ignited at the same time would cause an explosion that would make Hiroshima blush.

          3. Cubbie Blues

            Don’t forget about the vector thrusters that must be used.

          4. Chaz

            I think you are right. One missile gives you a power to weight ratio. 2 exact same missiles give you exactly the same power to weight ratio, thus the same speed. But if you take the shuttle’s weight and add a rocket to it to thrust it you have that power to weight ratio but adding another rocket with thrust, your power to weight ratio would actually be greater.

            1. CubFan Paul

              “but adding another rocket with thrust, your power to weight ratio would actually be greater”

              I like what he’s trying to explain

              1. hansman1982

                Yup, that’s basically it.

                Heck, tie two bullets together and fire them, the projectiles won’t travel faster unless you remove one of them without removing the propellant.

                Ergo, tying 2 missiles together and doing nothing else will get you no additional speed. Taking the fuel and engines out and putting them into 1 housing (which is basically what most multi-engine rockets do (like the actual Orbital Vehicle of the Space Shuttle (Space Shuttle means the Orbiter, External Fuel Tank and the two solid-rocket boosters (interesting side fact, the Space Shuttle gains most of it’s velocity AFTER the solid rocketboosters separate))) to reduce the amount of weight that it is pushing.

                1. Edwin

                  It might work if they were those cartoon bullets from Who Framed Roger Rabbit. I mean, I’m no scientist, but I have watched it several times.

                  1. SirCub

                    Nope. I am a scientist and I know that the increase in the coefficient of drag would cause the bullets to be even slower than they would be separately. :)

                    1. hansman1982

                      Are you really a scientist or did you stay…damnit that joke is all worn out now.

                    2. SirCub

                      Nope, I can’t afford the Holiday Inn!

            2. SirCub

              Yea, but there’s an asymptote there. Neglecting air drag, once the shuttles speed approaches the rockets speed, the effect of adding additional rockets is small (considering the effect of air drag, the shuttle never approaches the rockets speed).

      2. Edwin

        Maybe he meant to say “force of a thousand missiles”?

    2. MichiganGoat

      Brett really needs the EBS to return he’s jonesing for a creative outlet.

  3. cooter

    I know this is selfish, but I hope we keep sori and garza just to watch us win a couple more games this year. But I do understand the trade value.

  4. North Side Irish

    I think Kyle Farnsworth would make a nice cheap addition to the BP…assuming the Cubs could keep him out the bars. He was injured for much of last season, so he may be willing to take a low money deal to reprove his worth and would likely be open to getting flipped. He would also give the Cubs another option at the end of the game if they can move Marmol.

    1. frank

      He’s still in baseball? I’d’ve thought he would have stupided himself out of the league by now.

  5. #1lahairfan

    What about Dallas Braden.

  6. North Side Irish

    ESPN Insider is running a series where they identify each team’s “optimal window of contention”…basically which of the next five years will each team be contending. Today was the NL Central and like most of us, they say 2015 for the Cubs.

    Lots of talk about when prospects will be arriving and how the OF is weak. Talked about how this might be Castillo’s only chance to prove he can be the catcher because McCann and Carlos Ruiz are FAs after this year. And how Castro, Soler, and E. Jackson are the only players with guaranteed contracts past 2014 so the Cubs will have plenty of money to spend locking up guys or brining in FAs.

    The thing that caught my attention was that they list Garza as an extension candidate. The article says “it shouldn’t be much of a surprise if they sign him to a contract extension”. Normally I would say this is ESPN not doing its homework, but the article is by Jason Martinez of MLB Depth Charts and I’ve found him to be more reliable than that. Probably just an overstatement on his part, but usually he’s better than that.

    1. yield51

      Why is it so hard to imagine Garza getting an extension? Just because the rotation is crowded this year, doesn’t mean Garza will be dealt for peanuts. What happens next year when Baker/Feldman/Villanueva are all gone? The team would be hurting for SP, having only Shark, Ejax, and possibly Wood. Unless the Cubs get exactly the piece, or pieces, they want in a trade, I fully expect Garza to be extended.

      1. CubFan Paul

        i expect a Garza extension also, because of the fallen-injury value. Plus I can’t see Garza saying no to another extension conversion considering he turned John Danks money ($65Mish) and he got hurt. John Danks took the $65M and got hurt, lesson learned Matt.

  7. Adventurecizin' Justin

    If they do sign Bourn, I will be fine with that. I’m just glad they aren’t pursuing him out of desperation

    Poll Question (of sorts): Would you rather the Cubs sign Bourn OR sign Dariel Alvarez/Aledmys Diaz and keep the 2nd rounder?

    1. yield51

      I think the only way they sign Bourn is if Soriano is dealt. They will not platoon Soriano or Bourn, so the team would be stuck with a RF of DeJesus/Schierholtz/Sappelt. This scenario is not maximizing talent, or helping the trade candidacy of DeJesus. If Soriano is dealt however, an OF of: LF DeJesus, CF Bourn, and RF Shierholtz would make sense with Sappelt, and another RH corner OF spelling them.

      1. CubFan Paul

        DeJesus could/most definitely be traded if Bourn was signed

        1. yield51

          Yeah, good point. Will he have any value though? The Cubs are in the position to eat large chunks of salary. DeJesus is on a pretty friendly contract, so the only value the Cubs would get would be the value of the player only. If Soriano were dealt, the team trading for him could get him for half of his worth. I don’t really care either way, because I don’t see the Cubs making a legitimate push for Bourn.

          1. CubFan Paul

            DeJesus makes $4.25M and $6.5M in 2014. There’s value come the deadline if the Cubs eat all but $500K of his 2013 salary.

            Or in any trade before the season, Dejesus could bring back nice pieces depending on who goes with him in the deal and/or if the Cubs make DJ a $2M/year player for a cash strapped team (Phillies, Rays, & BRAVES (desparate for a leadoff OF))

            1. North Side Irish

              The $6.5 M in 2014 isn’t guaranteed. He’s got a $1.5 M buyout, so it could cost the Cubs even even less. Send money for his 2013 salary and another $1.5 for his buyout.

              1. yield51

                I’m not sure if a team is allowed to send more money then the contract is worth. I think the most money that the Cubs can send trading DeJesus would be 4.25M. And like we talked about above, DDJ is worth more than that. He was 1.6WAR player last year, so he was worth about 8M. I don’t see the Cubs getting anything close to his value since teams wouldn’t need the Cubs to pay his contract.

                1. CubFan Paul

                  a team wanting Dejesus just for the league minimum ( about $1M) would want the Cubs to pay $3.25M because of the $1.5M buyout they’d have to pay ($2.5M total for the new team). theres your value right there.

                  1. yield51

                    I just don’t think another team will part with a notable prospect for DDJ when there are similar players that they can either sign themselves for cheap, or probably bring up from the minors. He is not that unique of a player. Of course many teams would be interested in him for league minimum, but I doubt the Cubs would bite unless they got back a decent player. Soriano on the other hand is a unique player. It is hard for teams to find RH power hitters right now. I hope I’m wrong, and you’re right. If Feldman and DDJ could bring another Vizcaino to Chicago i would be elated.

            2. Voice of Reason

              Dejesus won’t bring much in a trade!

              He’s a fourth or fifth outfielder on a good team.

              Some team in contention down the stretch might want his bat off the bench.

              1. CubFan Paul

                right. Reed Johnson was a 4th/5th OF also.

                Coupled with a #3 starter (Scott Baker, Scott Feldman), Reed turned into Arodys Vizcaino and Chapman.

                David DeJesus wil be traded for another Vizcaino/Villanueva at some point.

  8. steve

    I think Garza coupled with DeJesus would give us a big return, I’d jump at it if we have the opportunity. I am also intrigued by Dallas Braden. He likely could be had on a low ball prove it kinda deal. It would further log jam the rotation, but the fact is we are gonna trade some of the arms in the rotation, and he would give us the depth to not fall off, or have a rookie struggle.

  9. Muck

    Bamm Brian Wilson wait till the market really dies down so we can sign him really cheap