Chicago Cubs GM Jed Hoyer travelled with the team to Boston, and addressed the media on a variety of subjects (in addition to his comments on Arismendy Alcantara, discussed earlier).
Among the tidbits …
- Apropos of yesterday’s quiet IFA day for the Cubs, Hoyer intimated that last year’s big Feldman/Clevenger/Arrieta/Strop/Slot deal was really the product of everything just coming together at the right time (and Baltimore’s sense of urgency in picking up a starting pitcher ASAP), and not necessarily because you can head into early July expecting to make a trade. Instead, Hoyer said, per the Tribune, that sometimes it just takes having a deadline in place to spur teams to action. I don’t think we can extract too much for Hoyer’s comments, other than to reinforce the idea that making deals early – before the market has fully developed – is rare and difficult on both sides of the aisle. Buyers don’t know whether they want to buy yet, and they don’t know what pieces will be out there later in the month … because sellers don’t know whether they want to sell yet, and they don’t know what buyers will be out there later in the month. It takes a perfect fit, with each side feeling like they’re getting exactly what they want.
- (All that said, yes, I do still expect to hear about Cubs efforts to move Jason Hammel earlier this month, and I also expect the Cubs to deal an international slot or two, either as part of a player deal or on their own.)
- The Cubs front office checked in with their IT staff and security protocols in the wake of the Houston Astros having their internal server/databases hacked (and, for the record, it was a serious external hacking that has caught the attention of the FBI), seeking to make sure they weren’t also vulnerable (CSN).
- Jed Hoyer mentioned that Tsuyoshi Wada, recently added to the 40-man roster, is a candidate to be the 26th man next week for a doubleheader in Cincinnati, though it hasn’t been decided yet (ESPN). With Wada figuring to be one of the top options to fill in the rotation if there’s an injury or a trade, it would be nice to get an early look at how his stuff plays against big league bats. Although he’s 33, Wada hasn’t yet faced big league hitting, after an excellent career in Japan, and then Tommy John surgery. If he shows well in the second half, he could emerge as a cost-controlled rotation option for the Cubs for several years.
- As noted in the same ESPN piece, Hoyer updated Kyuji Fujikawa’s rehab from Tommy John surgery, and there is no update. In April/May, it looked like Fujikawa was going to rocket back from his surgery (the Cubs didn’t even put him on the 60-day DL to start the year), but some kind of setback has (or setbacks have) clearly gotten its claws in Fujikawa. The bullpen has been fantastic and is very full, so you don’t feel the pain much (other than the loss of a possible trade piece), but it’s still a damn shame. Everyone forgets just how good Fujikawa projected to be (and how good he looked for that tiny two-week window last year when he was over his Spring Training arm issue, and before the UCL issue popped up).
- Hoyer also praised Jake Arrieta, and expressed concern about the strikeout issues for Junior Lake and Mike Olt, while noting that they do still have a lot of power (EPSN).
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