A day removed from the Brewers adding Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain to their outfield, Cubs GM Jed Hoyer stopped by 670 the Score to join the Spiegel and Parkins Show. Below are some notable bullets from the interview, as well as the full audio link.
- On the Brewers’ aggressive activity, Hoyer says the Cubs weren’t surprised. “We’ve been in first place for two years in a row, and you expect teams are going to try and knock you off.”
- Hoyer talked about not reacting to what your opponents do, and that the Cubs need to stay disciplined and do the things they planned on doing, regardless of what the teams around them are doing. He said the Cubs didn’t make any calls or change any offers in response to the Brewers’ big day.
- In comparing the 2017 Brewers to the 2015 Cubs, Hoyer said they were “playing with house money,” given how fun that season was since expectations weren’t as high.
- “You have to look at it like 2018 is our focus…that ring is never going away…but that can’t have any impact whatsoever on our jobs. Theo and I never wear our rings for a reason. You feel like you’re celebrating something that happened in the past.” Hoyer really stressed how the front office is always focused on the future and making the team better, not celebrating things they have done in the past.
- Hoyer says this offseason has been “amazingly slow.” At the beginning of the offseason, he had expected they’ have signed a big-name pitcher by now, but each offseason plays out differently. He said the amount of work/talking to agents has been the same as any other offseason, but that the deals just aren’t coming together. He talked a lot about the “stare-down” going on between the front offices and the agents.
- When asked about the Cubs offense dropping from 1st to 17th in pitches per plate appearance from 2016 to ‘17, Hoyer responded: “That was one of the things we were all sort of frustrated by last year. It didn’t feel like our at-bats were quite as difficult last year as they were in 2016.” He said he doesn’t see the Cubs adding someone specifically to be a leadoff hitter and that the person who will lead off is probably already on the roster. “In 2016, I feel like we were an exhausting offense to play against..it didn’t feel like we were as challenging to pitch against (in 2017)…what we really want is a grinding team that gets on base.” He also talked about the need to improve areas of situational hitting, namely getting runners in from third base with less than two outs.
- Asked whether he has a desire to be “the top guy” again, Hoyer responded: “This is a really fun time to be with the Cubs…there’s nothing better than going to Wrigley on a day game with a good team.” He does have his own personal goals and aspirations, but he wants to be a part of the group and continue enjoying this period with the Cubs.
- He says part of the reason he and Theo Epstein work so well together is that they have can disagree with one another and still be able to have lunch together later that day. “We like to build teams in the same way, but when we disagree we’re not afraid to share it.”
Check out the full interview here: