10/26 Cubs add Hoyer, McLeod from Padres

Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod are together again, and they hope to do the same for the Cubs as they did for the Red Sox. The Cubs announced Wednesday that Hoyer and McLeod will leave the Padres front office to join Epstein’s baseball operations department in Chicago, effective immediately. The Cubs have agreed to send the Padres a player to be named later as compensation.

Hoyer, who was the Padres general manager, takes over as the Cubs’ GM, while McLeod will be the head of scouting and player development. Current Cubs player development director Oneri Fleita, who was given a four-year contract extension, and scouting director Tim Wilken, will report to McLeod. Both the Cubs and the Padres intend to hold press conferences after the World Series. At that time, the Padres intend to announce Josh Byrnes as Hoyer’s successor as general manager.

During Epstein’s introductory news conference on Tuesday, he said he wanted to bring in someone who is “one of the best and one of the brightest in the game and someone who can make a real impact or the Cubs.” That’s Hoyer, who rose from a baseball operations intern in 2002 with the Red Sox to an assistant the next year.

Hoyer was hired on Oct. 26, 2009, to replace Kevin Towers. Reading a slow-moving free agent market, Hoyer picked up two key pieces for the 2010 season – pitcher Jon Garland and catcher Yorvit Torrealba – at below-market value. He also added utilityman Jerry Hairston on the cheap as well. Before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline in 2010, Hoyer traded for outfielder Ryan Ludwick and shortstop Miguel Tejada, the latter being a pivotal acquisition for the stretch run. The results were a team that, built on the premise of run prevention, won 90 games, on a $37 million payroll and weren’t eliminated from the postseason chase until the final day of the regular season. There were other gains made during Hoyer’s two seasons in San Diego. He devoted more resources to player development, amateur and professional scouting and endorsed over-slot bonuses during the two First-Year Player Drafts he presided over.

Hoyer will be the 14th GM in Cubs history, taking over for Jim Hendry, who was dismissed in August.

– Carrie Muskat

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