Jed Hoyer Concedes Cubs Will Have to Talk to a Lot of Teams About Pitching This Month

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Jed Hoyer Concedes Cubs Will Have to Talk to a Lot of Teams About Pitching This Month

Chicago Cubs

Chicago Cubs GM Jed Hoyer was on the Bernstein & McKnight show on 670 The Score today, and he was pretty candid about the Cubs’ need to be thinking about pitching this month in light of what competitive teams generally need, but also in light of Yu Darvish’s continued absence.

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Generally speaking, Hoyer’s comments square with the rumors that have trickled out over the course of the last couple weeks, which attach the Cubs to rental starters like J.A. Happ and Nathan Eovaldi, and also have them considering the reliever market (even though the bullpen is relatively overflowing).

On the starting pitcher front, the Cubs are in a tricky spot this month, and they are keenly aware of it.

On the one hand, you’ve got glimmers from Kyle Hendricks and Jose Quintana that they could rebound. You’ve got Jon Lester getting results like nobody’s business, and Mike Montgomery looks very capable. And maybe Yu Darvish recovers well, and is ready to go that first week of August. And maybe Tyler Chatwood finally figures things out, and starts commanding his fastball enough to make the rest of his pitches work. Then the Cubs suddenly have six very good starting pitchers internally by mid-August, and if they’d just spent capital to acquire a very good rental on July 31, they’re gonna look a little silly.

But you and I (and the Cubs) know that things rarely work out like that. It’s just as possible that Darvish comes back even later than expected (if at all), and struggles when he does. It’s possible Chatwood never figures it out this season, and that Montgomery regresses as he gets more and more exposure as a starter. It’s possible Lester’s tenuous peripherals finally cause result problems, and it’s possible Hendricks and Quintana just kinda keep languishing. In that world, not having traded for a good rental starter would be akin to criminal negligence.

So, like Hoyer said, it’s just an area that the Cubs are going to have to be realistic about, and really think about their depth. I just hope that the picture gets a little more clear in one way or another by that last week of July.

On the bullpen front, the calculation is no less crowded – as we just discussed this morning, the gang is back together, and that doesn’t even include a guy like Anthony Bass, currently on the DL, who has showed some real promise this year. But the calculation is also a little simpler from a roster perspective: the end of July is the only time you can freely add pieces without having to worry about waivers, and, even if there’s a roster crunch, you figure it out for August, and then everyone can be on the roster when things expand to the full 40-man in September. Then have even more options to choose from when it’s time – hopefully – to set a playoff roster.

I’m not necessarily saying the Cubs *HAVE* to go out and trade for another impact reliever. I’m just saying you shouldn’t call them crazy if they do it, even if you wonder how they’re going to fit them all. At first, they might not fit them all. And then they’ll just figure it out.

A lot of what the Cubs will do this month can be summed up by three words: Just in case.

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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.