Earlier this morning, new Cubs President of Baseball Operations Jed Hoyer held a much-needed press conference ostensibly on the big trade of Yu Darvish and Victor Caratini, but it quickly expanded into a much deeper conversation about the state and direction of the organization overall. Among the biggest revelations was Jed Hoyer’s plans (or lack thereof) to hire a new GM to replace him.
Jed Hoyer is not planning to hire a GM until *at least* this summer, so I actually expect that to end up being a post-2021 hiring. I don't see this as much of a problem, but that's a fairly big revelation.
— Michael Cerami (@Michael_Cerami) December 30, 2020
Previously, Hoyer had indicated a process and timeline that would take place this offseason, but that’s no longer the case.
He still fully intends to hire a GM – and one from outside of the organization, specifically – but that process is being bogged down by the limitations presented by the pandemic. For example, Hoyer understands that no interview process will deliver the sort of trust and intimacy a long-term relationship can provide (like the one he enjoyed with Theo Epstein), but he still does want to get closer than any Zoom meeting will allow. Along the same lines, he wanted his prospective hire to be able to fly his/her family out to Chicago to see how they like the city, the team, their new life, etc. (That’s actually something they often do with free agents).
As an aside, I do wonder if the sudden change of direction has anything to do with the fact that the leading candidate – Jared Porter – has since been hired by the Mets. Porter was technically from outside the organization and was a clear up-and-comer (and even front-runner for the Cubs gig, given his history with this front office), but he’s since been hired away and maybe the Cubs have changed directions? It’s all speculative, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that changed the horizon.
So when can we expect a new addition?
Well, Hoyer mentioned a couple different timelines, from “this summer” to whenever the pandemic allows more in-person meetings, both of which are pretty unclear. And if I had to guess, I’d say that means *after* the 2021 season entirely. Again, that’s a guess, but that’s my gut feeling. And frankly, that’s okay. Hoyer is more than capable of running this ship on his own for the time being and you don’t want to rush a decision this critical just to get someone on board. Yes, there appear to be a lot of big decisions going down right now and you’d love to have some additional, differing perspective from someone with some legitimate authority, but it’s still Hoyer’s ship at the end of the day. And who knows, maybe hiring a GM *after* this wave of change occurs will be freeing for him/her.
There was also a swath of internal promotions, elevating the voices of some really smart, and relatively new people like Dan Kantrovitz and Craig Breslow and more.
All things considered, this is big news, but perfectly fine news.