At the GM Meetings, it was Jed Hoyer’s turn to talk to the media, where he offered up a few interesting bits to share. You can catch his quotes here at the Sun-Times and here at NBC, among other places.
- The biggest news bit from Hoyer is that the Cubs are hoping to have their coaching staff rounded out by the end of this week. Having added Andy Green as the new bench coach, having retained Will Venable as a base coach, and having brought in Chris Young as the bullpen coach, all that is left is another base coach and a quality assurance coach. It might not happen by the end of the week, but that’s the goal – the Cubs want the staff and new manager David Ross to begin the process of working together.
- There’s also this aspect, which is probably under-considered by fans: “You want guys to fill certain roles on your staff — coaching, strategy, etc. But there’s also a camaraderie you want to create. There’s a relationship with the manager that you want to give that manager. It’s a really hard and lonely job at times. Having someone on that staff that you trust that you’ve known from the past that you can vent to or grab a beer with or grab breakfast with and talk about it, I think that’s really important.”
- On the rumor side of the ledger, Hoyer is right there with Theo Epstein on both the need for change:
Cubs are clear that they will consider trading from their excellent core — Bryant, Contreras, Baez, Schwarber, etc. “We’ve had a stable core for 5 years … We’re going to have change.” — Cubs GM Jed Hoyer
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) November 12, 2019
- And the distain for rumors flying:
Jed Hoyer on trade rumors involving Cubs players:
"People are gonna put stuff out there about our guys and there's definitely some clickbait opportunity about our guys. We have a lot of guys who have been All-Stars and you can put a story out pretty easily that gets clicks."
— Tony Andracki (@TonyAndracki23) November 13, 2019
- Given those things, it remains fair to expect the Cubs to make big moves this offseason, but they aren’t going to give you what you want in terms of certainty on which players, or how many, will be moved: “We’ve had a lot of internal dialogue, not only this winter but going back [before the end of the season] to have a sense of the things we’d want to talk through. But it’s a market-driven thing. It could be an aggressive market in many different ways, or it could not be. We just don’t know yet. You have to maintain some flexibility when you go into this because you can’t force things. If you force things, I think you can make a lot of mistakes. I think we have to keep an open mind and talk to as many teams as possible, gather as much information as possible.”
- To that end, you can fairly presume that this week’s GM Meetings have been absolutely loaded with information-gathering meetings for the Cubs, trying to gauge the various markets for their players, sensing other teams’ needs, pressure points, flexibility, available players, etc. That doesn’t mean a trade will come together quickly – remember, there are so many related impacts in free agency and the trade market still to play out, and a big ole Kris Bryant service time grievance – but these are the talks that could easily lay the foundations.