Results tagged ‘ Jed Hoyer ’

9/11 Hoyer on Baez: “He’s not ready yet”

GM Jed Hoyer talked to Cubs beat writers in Cincinnati and said talented prospect Javier Baez, 20, will not break camp with the Cubs in 2014 despite hitting 37 home runs and driving in 111 runs in 130 Minor League games.

“Listen, he’s really talented,” Hoyer said Tuesday. “I still think he has development left. We’re going to go into Spring Training with that mindset.”

Baez committed 44 errors, one reason he might not be ready for the big leagues.

“Guys that do that at his age normally go on to have really good careers,” Hoyer said of Baez. “He’s not ready yet, either. But what he did was pretty special.”

The Cubs are having discussions about roster decisions for 2014. Hoyer said one of the hardest things is that “we all see these players coming and we’re excited about our future and where those guys are. But we also realize it’s likely that none of those guys are going to start the season in the big leagues. As we sort of make out the lineup card, the 25-man roster for next year, that’s not going not going to be part of it.”

7/31 Hoyer: Not close to deal

Cubs GM Jed Hoyer said they were never that close to making a deal at the non-waiver Trade Deadline.

“The good thing is we feel we were incredibly productive this month,” Hoyer said. “We made a lot of deals and feel we got better as an organization this month.”

There was interest in Nate Schierholtz, David DeJesus, Kevin Gregg, James Russell, Dioner Navarro and Carlos Villanueva, but no deals were made.

“We’re happy with the players we kept, if you want to look at it that way,” Hoyer said. “We thought we had a high, but not unreasonably high price on some of the guys. A lot of the guys who were being asked about, we control going forward. We feel it makes our winter potentially easier. We didn’t have the value there to make any deals today. It’s fine. I think our July was really productive and we’re happy about it and now we can move forward.”

Hoyer said when teams make deals early in the month, they’re pretty specific about what they want.

“It was strategic to move early and we’re glad we did it,” he said.

The Cubs’ plan is to continue to acquire assets. That won’t change.

“One thing is obvious from today if you look around the league is that people hold really tight to their young players,” he said. “We need to get a lot more of them. That part won’t change. I’d love to be in a situation where we’re on the other side of the conversation next year and years going forward.”

— Carrie Muskat

7/10 Cubs better prepared for roster makeover

A year ago at the Trade Deadline, the Cubs dealt two of their starters, lost another to injury, and then shut down another in early September. They had to scramble to fill in the gaps. This year, the Cubs have already traded one starter — Scott Feldman — and Matt Garza could also change uniforms by the July 31 deadline. But this year, the Cubs feel they’re better prepared to handle the moves.

“There’s no question the pitching staff we ran out there in September [2012] was short,” GM Jed Hoyer said Wednesday. “I think we feel a lot better about that. We have more depth in the Minor Leagues, more depth on the Major League roster. It was hard to watch [last year]. … Shutting down [Jeff] Samardzija was incredibly hard because we didn’t have anyone to fill in for him.”

The Cubs expect Scott Baker, who has been rehabbing from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, to be ready in about a month. Jake Arrieta, acquired from the Orioles in the Feldman deal, also could start. Plus, they already have Carlos Villanueva, who has gone from the rotation to the ‘pen and back to the rotation.

Chris Rusin and Brooks Raley, who both made their Major League debuts last season, also have another year of experience.

“There’s obviously no question we’re much more equipped than last year,” manager Dale Sveum said.

Garza is the prime pitcher on the trade market, and Hoyer acknowledged that he has received a lot of interest.

“There’s obviously a lot of incoming phone calls,” Hoyer said. “There’s a lot about Matt, obviously, but a lot about other players on the team, too. I think in general in the game, phone traffic has picked up. I feel there’s a lot of interest in our players. The team is playing well, and a lot of our individual players are playing well. I think that’s a big part of it.”

Scouts also are keeping an eye on closer Kevin Gregg and outfielder Nate Schierholtz.

— Carrie Muskat

7/6 Baez & Bryant

* GM Jed Hoyer said it was time for shortstop Javier Baez to be promoted from Class A Daytona to Double-A Tennessee. Baez was batting .274 and led the Florida State League with 17 home runs.

“He’s similar to [Starlin} Castro,” Hoyer said of Baez on defense. “I think he’s going to have to eliminate some careless errors. He’s got great hands and can certainly play the position. He’s run the bases well, he had a monster month at the plate, played better defense, has been a good teammate. It’s time for a better challenge for Javy.”

Hoyer said Baez is ahead of schedule by about a month. They did expect him to get to Double-A, just not this quickly.

“We thought it was time for a new challenge for him,” Hoyer said.

There will be some growing pains, Hoyer said. Is there a chance Baez could join the Cubs in September?

“I think it’s highly unlikely,” Hoyer said. “I hate saying ‘no chance’ to take the carrot away from someone. That’s not our plan. The best thing to do is go prove he can dominate at Double-A.”

* The July 12 deadline to sign Draft picks is fast approaching. The Cubs have yet to agree to terms with their first-round pick, third baseman Kris Bryant. He’s one of five first-round picks who have not signed with their respective teams.

“We’re optimistic it will get done on the 12th, or hopefully before that,” Hoyer said. “We’re going to be fair to him with what we offer. We want him to be a Cub, and hopefully our offer will enable that to happen.”

— Carrie Muskat

7/2 International flights

Tuesday’s Cubs trades weren’t just to acquire more pitching for the current team, but to bolster the resources they have for international prospects.

“This is an international class that our scouts really like, and we felt it was very deep,” GM Jed Hoyer said Tuesday. “The addition of dollars can help us be aggressive in this international market.”

The Cubs have reportedly signed 16-year-old shortstop Gleyber Torres ($1.7 million), considered the best player out of Venezuela in this year’s class and ranked third among all international prospects by The Cubs also have signed right-handed pitcher Erling Moreno of Colombia ($800,000). The team would not confirm those signings; the players must pass physicals before those deals can be finalized.

The Cubs are reportedly in the hunt for Dominican outfielder Eloy Jimenez, ranked No. 1 among all international prospects. At 6-4, 198 pounds, Jimenez is an advanced hitter with quick hands and projects as a corner outfielder because of his arm strength and ability.

Tuesday’s deals allowed the Cubs to acquire four slots — two from the Orioles and two from the Astros — and they traded one to the Dodgers in the Carlos Marmol exchange. According to Hoyer, the net total was $963,000. The extra money increases the Cubs’ total international pool to $5,520,300, the highest among all teams. The Astros’ pool dropped from nearly $5 million to $4,159,000.

This is the first year teams are assigned bonus pool money to sign players not eligible for the First-Year Player Draft in June because they are from outside North America. Teams’ bonus pools are based on the previous year’s won-loss record. Each team has four bonus slots adding up to its total, and is allowed to acquire more slots worth as much as half of that team’s original allotment.

By moving Scott Feldman when they did, the Cubs could have the money available on the first day — Tuesday — of the new annual signing period for international free agents.

— Carrie Muskat

6/15 Hoyer on Draft, Bryant

Cubs GM Jed Hoyer talked to Chicago beat writers in New York about the recent Draft and the team’s rebuilding process:

“We know we need to continue to add pitching,” Hoyer said. “It is an organizational weakness. But they always say drafting for need in baseball is exceptionally dangerous. We just felt like for our money, we took the best player on the board. I don’t think it affects our timing, but it does mean that pitching will be an emphasis in future drafts and any kind of trades we might make and in free agency.”

The Cubs selected outfielder Albert Almora with their first pick in 2012, and chose third baseman Kris Bryant this June. But pitching dominated their other selections in the Drafts.

“It’s very difficult to find starting pitching, for sure,” Hoyer said. “But it’s also very difficult to find power bats. The demographic we ended up choosing is also difficult to find.”

The Cubs hope to sign Bryant by the July 12 deadline.

“We’d love to get him out playing and get his Cubs career started as early as possible,” Hoyer said of the infielder.

Fans eager to see the Cubs put a winning team on the field need to be patient.

“When the Cubs were trying to win in 2007 and ’08, the Pirates and the Brewers and the Reds were rebuilding,” Hoyer said. “All those guys they were building [with] at that time are now coming to fruition. … We know it’s cyclical, but those teams have built up nice cores. When it comes to the Reds and the Cardinals, those are really mature good teams right now, and the Pirates have obviously built a nice team and have a lot of good stuff coming. No one ever said our process was going to come without competition.”

6/12 GM Hoyer on MLB Now

Cubs GM Jed Hoyer was a guest on MLB Network’s “MLB Now” on Tuesday and talked with hosts Brian Kenny and Harold Reynolds about a few topics:

* On the bullpen’s struggles:
“I think we’ve outscored our opponents by 30-plus runs in the first six innings. But innings seven, eight and nine, we’re getting killed. Our bullpen hasn’t shut down games. We’ve tried to mix and match in the bullpen so far, but that’s been our biggest struggle. I think we’re a solid team, but ultimately, you look at the Pirates for example, they dominate teams at the end of the game and we’re not there right now. That’s our biggest struggle right now. That’s what’s really separating us from being a team that’s right around .500.”

* On the Cubs’ offense:
“We still need to get on base more. We’ve hit for some power this year, but the on-base percentage has been a struggle. I think until we get on base more and grind out at-bats – I watch the Reds play with Choo and Votto. We don’t have that quality of at-bat yet, so I think that’s really holding us back a little bit.”

* On getting Starlin Castro to be more patient:
“He’s a great hitter. I think by the end of the year he’ll be back up by .300 and he’s a hit-maker. I think, with him, he has power. He’s a strong guy. I think the biggest challenge for him is getting into those counts where you can drive pitches. You’re not gonna hit a lot of home runs 1-2 in the count. You need to be up 2-0, 2-1. He’s getting better at that. He’s still developing that, but I think his power will come if he gets in better counts.”

* On getting Castro to go deeper in counts:
“It’s one that we talk about all the time because this guy is a slasher. He’s a guy that barrels up pitches all over the zone. It’s a good question. Do you try to teach a guy like that to get on base more and to get in better counts or do you just let him be and let him get his 200 hits? I think that’s a big question. I don’t think he can be the type of power player we think he can be without getting in those counts.”

5/29 Fujikawa done for the season

Reliever Kyuji Fujikawa is done for the season. An MRI revealed ligament damage on his right elbow, and he will have Tommy John surgery.

“It’s the first big injury of my career,” Fujikawa said Wednesday. “I’m trying to look forward and trying to come back strong.”

The right-hander, who was placed on the 15-day DL Monday for the second time this season, felt some discomfort on the first pitch to the Reds’ Joey Votto in the ninth inning Sunday. That was his second inning of work, and Votto was the seventh batter he faced in the game.

“I was definitely disappointed,” Fujikawa said about getting the MRI results. “I gave it my all, and I don’t have any regrets.”

He compiled a 12.46 ERA in five games in April before going on the disabled list April 13-May 10 because of a strained right forearm. When he returned, he looked much sharper, and had given up one earned run over 7 2/3 innings in seven games for a 1.17 ERA. Sunday’s game was his seventh appearance since coming off the disabled list.

GM Jed Hoyer got the news Tuesday night and said the MRI revealed a rupture of the UCL in the right elbow.

“We’re disappointed, obviously,” Hoyer said. “Whenever we start talking about forearms, it concerns you. We were cautiously optimistic because the physical exam was positive. The thing about him saying he felt a ‘pop,’ to be candid, we were hoping
it might be something that was lost in translation. Obviously, he was right.”

The Cubs had MRIs of Fujikawa’s arm before they signed him last Dec. 7, and he was healthy.

“This was something that happened the other day,” Hoyer said. “It’s the nature of pitching.”

The Cubs and Fujikawa have not set a date for the surgery, nor have they picked a doctor. He was expected to have the procedure done in the U.S. The right-hander said he is confident he can come back and contribute to the Cubs.

— Carrie Muskat

5/11 Hoyer: “We need to win more games”

GM Jed Hoyer likes how the Nationals have built their team with good Draft picks and smart trades. The Cubs are trying to get there.

“You look at the Reds, you look at the Cardinals, you look at [the Nationals] and we’re not there from a talent standpoint,” Hoyer said Saturday. “Some of these clubs offer a nice blueprint. You look at [the Nationals] as to where they were in ’08, ’09, ’10, and where they are now, and it shows you the value of young talent and they’ve done a nice job mixing veteran guys with that [young] talent. Right now, I want to see us compete with these guys on the field. You look at how they built their team but at some point, I want to beat them.”

The Cubs are in last place in the Central division, and appear headed for another overhaul at the Trade Deadline.

“The things we need to solve offensively are pretty clear,” Hoyer said. “Our starting pitching has been good enough to be a contender. The bullpen has not been, defense has not been … and the offense hasn’t been.”

So, what can the team do?

“We can play better and win a lot more games,” Hoyer said. “We need to win series. We need to win more games to not be in that position.”

The Cubs GM doesn’t want to overhaul the roster again. He’d rather they were in contention.

“We don’t want to be a seller, that’s not a position you want to be in,” Hoyer said. “But if you are in that position, you want to take advantage of it. You hope you’re looking to buy. It’s a lot more fun.”

— Carrie Muskat

4/23 Hoyer: We’re in this together

Cubs GM Jed Hoyer said he and Theo Epstein share in the team’s poor start, and Hoyer made a trip to Cincinnati to give manager Dale Sveum a vote of confidence. Hoyer said Sveum, now in his second season at the helm, has their “full support” and the 5-13 start is not because of the Cubs manager.

“We’re all in this together,” Hoyer said Tuesday. “We’ve struggled, it’s been painful to watch because we keep on squandering leads. That’s on Theo and that’s on me. We have to figure out ways to get better. We’re not the most talented team in the league right now. We’re trying to build to get there but as we get there, we can’t continue to make the kind of mistakes we’ve been making. We have to clean it up and get better. Dale has our complete support. That’s not what he should be thinking about in the least.”

The Cubs rank among the NL leaders in errors and have the worst batting average with runners in scoring position. The miscues were evident during the Brewers’ weekend three-game sweep when the Cubs out-hit them, 22-16. Sveum said they would find other options if players didn’t perform.

“The point Dale is trying to make, and I support him 100 percent, is that at some point there has to be accountability,” Hoyer said. “If that means benching a guy or reducing his playing time, disciplining him in some ways, at some point, [Sveum] has to be able to pull the strings he has to pull to manage the team successfully and obviously, he has our total support to do that. He’s got a great feel for the clubhouse, players respect him, and if he needs to do something to emphasize his point, then he has to do that.”

The Cubs have wasted solid pitching. The starters have a 3.11 ERA combined, third best in the National League. But the Cubs have been able to drive in just eight of the 28 players on third with less than two outs. The Major League average is 52 percent. The team isn’t doing the little things, such as advancing runners.

“Our starting pitching has been real good and if you had told me we were going to hit the number of home runs we have and have the kind of starting pitching we have, we should have a much better record,” Hoyer said. “We should have a much better record regardless.”

Hoyer and Epstein have communicated with Sveum a lot over the last few days, but the general manager felt he needed to meet with the manager and the team face to face.

“We know how hard he’s working and we’re having a lot of sleepless nights as we go through it, and we know he is as well,” Hoyer said. “We’re in this together. The front office doesn’t watch the games and think things are happening on the field that shouldn’t be. We’re in this together. We have to figure out how to play smarter baseball, whether that means making personnel changes, whether that means tightening up the players we have here, it goes without saying that we have to do better.”

What the Cubs front office is looking for is progress.

“The biggest thing for us, and this is Theo, me and everyone, we have to keep getting better,” Hoyer said. “I think we have a better team this year than last year. We haven’t played that way yet. We’re building toward something.”

He said the Reds are a good example of a team that is relying primarily on homegrown talent. That’s what the Cubs want to do.

“You want to see progress,” Hoyer said. “It’s a black and white business — our report card is in the paper every day, and you have to look at it that way. Wins and losses, that’s how we’re measured. … I think that’s part of why all of us are frustrated. We have played better than our record so far. As Bill Parcells said, ‘You are what you are,’ and we are 5-13, you can’t deny that. Feeling we played better doesn’t mean anything. We have to be better at converting these games to wins.”

— Carrie Muskat