Some discussion of, and reaction to, his comments …
- Hoyer emphasized that, even as a team becomes successful, you can’t stop thinking about being creative and finding value, and you can’t just rely on spending big in free agency for every need. We obviously know the latter is especially true for the Cubs right now, but being creative on some of the smaller moves will also remain important. For example, a Hector Rondon would be an important part of any team in baseball, regardless of how the Cubs got him (Rule 5 Draft), how much he costs (pre-arbitration), or how many games the team wins (he was just as valuable in 2014 as 2015).
- The Cubs.com piece focuses on Hoyer’s comments about pursuing “level 5” players, who are no longer just looking for stats or money, but really care about winning. To that end, the Cubs have the added edge of being able to sell the dream of being on THE Cubs team that finally wins it all. Now that the team is competitive, now that the ballpark amenities are improving, and now that there’s a little more money there, the Cubs have a heckuva tiebreaker in their pocket when it comes to free agents. (So, um, I guess never win it all?) (I’m kidding.)
- I like very much to hear that the Cubs are sticking to their guns about focusing on making the playoffs consistently, and not trying to contort the roster to win in the playoffs, given the randomness involved in short series (Tribune). You can be very disappointed, for example, if the 2016 Cubs do not make the playoffs. But if they do, and then get bounced in the first round? Well, OK, you can still be disappointed – but it would be unfair to act as though the season was a failure.
- Hoyer addressed the Rick Renteria firing in the context of him getting another shot in Chicago as the White Sox’s bench coach, and the feelings are still that tricky balance. Hoyer knows Renteria wasn’t treated entirely fairly, but he also knows that the circumstances kind of dictated that the Cubs had to do what they did. Hoyer also revealed that they stayed in touch throughout the year, and Renteria was texting congratulations after every Cubs win. What a guy. Seriously, that’s a good guy right there, and I hope he does well with the White Sox.