Hoyer: Cubs ‘Unlikely to Make Any Deals’ at Winter Meetings

If you’re feeling like the Winter Meetings have ground to a halt, you’re not alone. Things have been pretty slow, especially for the Cubs, though most of that is because everyone on the outside is looking for big moves. Or the Big Move, as it were. And while the Cubs have been active when it comes to laying the foundation for what will come later this winter, they haven’t done anything to reshape the roster.

Nor will they in the next few days, according to GM Jed Hoyer, who spoke with members of the Chicago media Wednesday evening.

“The dialogue’s been good for the whole industry, I just think it’s been slow,” Hoyer admitted. “You know, I think sometimes it probably takes a couple deals to break the ice and that hasn’t happened yet. So you guys are probably somewhat bored, it’s been a slow Winter Meetings. But I know it’s been productive for us. We’ve had a lot of conversations with agents, lot of conversations with teams, good time here with staff.

“So it’s been good and productive, but I think we’re probably unlikely to make any deals while we’re here.”

A lot of that is a simple matter of due diligence, particularly when it comes to seeking out bullpen help. The Cubs are said to be looking for two “not high end” relievers and they’ve already engaged in talks with at least Brad Brach and Jake Diekman. But there may be more to it than that.

The baseball industry has essentially become a heliocentric system with Bryce Harper as the superstar around which all else orbits. And if he’s truly waiting to see if the Cubs can rearrange things to make signing him a reality, the market stagnation Hoyer talked about takes on a different perspective. After all, whatever leverage the Cubs would have in moving unsavory contracts would disappear if they landed Harper first.

But until that happens — and the chances of it still don’t seem very good even if we put on our rose-colored glasses — the Cubs are going to remain steadfast in their belief that all the answers lie within.

“You’re looking at the roster, trying to figure out ways to make it better,” Hoyer said. “But as we’ve said all along, we really like a lot of the pieces we have.”

Notice he didn’t say all the pieces. Regardless of what they’ve said publicly, Hoyer and Theo Epstein have been working diligently to make moves. Some of those may be pretty significant and could even involve prospects as sugar to help nasty contractual medicine go down. Just don’t hold your breath on anything happening out in Vegas while the Cubs are staying in Vegas.

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Evan Altman

Evan Altman is the EIC and co-founder of Cubs Insider and has proclaimed himself Central Indiana's foremost Cubs authority. He is a husband, father, homebrewer, and award-winning blogger with entirely too much pop culture knowledge. Evan's greatest accomplishments include scoring 400 points in Magic Johnson's Fast Break, naming all 10 members of the Wu-Tang Clan in under 3.5 seconds, and winning the Meese Literary Award at Hanover College.

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7 Comments

  1. I have a thought for the perfect holiday gift the Cubs F.O. could get for the new office building this year. A Tri-Star coin counter! Then through the whole year everyone in the office could pool their change together then, come time for next year’s Winter Meetings, maybe Tom Ricketts will let Theo Epstein sit at the big boys money table.

    1. Even better, have those little donation jars at every concession stand and make sure all the prices result in change. Pool the coins and use the funds for free agents.

      1. Evan, As a very long time Cubs fan it really pains me to say this. I am getting a very eerie feeling that what is happening now financially with the Cubs as Theo’ contract is inching to it’s end, is starting to resemble Theo’ last 2 years in Boston. Where there were financial issues there also. For a good read on that is Forbes, August 27,2012 titled “Theo Epstein leaves the Red Sox in disarray”.The story is very enlightening, and well worth the read.

        1. Theo is great at building up a team, but terrible at maintaining one. Its about time more and more people come around to what I’ve been saying for a while.

          Theo’s bad moves killed the club in 2018, so now we are going to waste a second winter not getting better while Brewers and Cardinals are improving. Then to make it worse he’s looking to run Joe out of town if he can’t manage around Theo’s mistakes.

          1. Joe Maddon is being used as a scape goat. Theo Epstein is trying to come across as if he didn’t know this was the way Joe Maddon managed. I’m gonna break Theo’s bubble, He spent years in the same division as Joe Maddon. He knew dam well how Joe managed. If you read the article I had suggested for Evan to read, you will read in the last couple of years of Theo’s term in Boston he did the same thing finger pointing. Deflecting blame from himself and his close over paid friends Jed Hoyer and Jason McLeod. I think Jason McLeod should be fired immediately.Out of the 4 1st round draft choices 3 of them have question marks. Look around the team see how many other draft choices from the 2nd round down have made the Cub. Yes I know they traded a lot of talent from the minor leagues in bad trades. Not 1 pitcher, starter or qualified reliever have they drafted and made the Cubs team. McLeod is a buffoon. At least 6 weeks ago on WSCR Dan Bernstein talking to Bruce Levine made mention, Where the Cubs fortunate to win the World Series before the super teams got better. Bernstein mentioned the Astro’s Dodgers Boston and the Yankees. Unfortunately that subject was quickly dropped.

  2. I dunno, most of the other teams ended up signing a free agent or two, or making a trade….Something really strange is going on with the Cubs, something that is at least as psychological as it is financial, I think. They seem to WANT to disappoint the fans. They seem to WANT to cease to be “relevant” in what baseball people pretentiously call “the industry.” It was like this in the Wrigley years, before your time. There was the same sort of what might be called a will to fail. You folks don’t yet realize what a bad season 2019 will be.

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