Chicago Cubs GM Jed Hoyer was on with David Kaplan and David Haugh today on 87.7 The Game, and Kaplan put it to Hoyer explicitly: if there is a player that the front office tells ownership is the right guy for the team, will the money be there this offseason (or next year, or whenever)?
“Oh, no question.”
Hoyer went on to compliment the Ricketts Family’s patience and the way they’ve bought in to what the front office is trying to do on the baseball side, and added, “There’s no doubt that if we need the bullets, and we need to put the hammer down, we’ll be able to do it. They’ve been totally on board with what we’ve been doing, and we’re excited that they’ve had that kind of patience.”
You can listen to the whole interview here. A paraphrasing of a few of Hoyer’s other notable comments:
- We need to add pieces, but we’re going to have young players up here, and with some tweaks, we could be very good and very dangerous, as teams saw late in the year.
- Unlike the last three Spring Trainings, where we said we had a “puncher’s chance”, we believe we’re now past that. Now the goal is to win the division.
- Although we want veteran leadership, it doesn’t have to come from the catcher (and then some nice things about Welington Castillo). We also can’t expect too much from 24/25-year-old guys like Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro.
- You go into free agency aware that guys generally go to the highest bidder. And if there are a lot of bidders, the bidding can get well beyond what you may have initially expected. We will have a lot of younger and inexpensive players for the long-term, so you can afford to try to find pitching, for example, externally. Free agency is best used to complete your team – doing the things you couldn’t do in your system.
All in all, the upshot here is that the messaging heading into the offseason is consistent: (1) the Cubs believe next year will be different, even if not quite the apex of the building process, and (2) they know they need to add externally, and, when they find the right guy(s), the money will be there “no question.”