Jed Hoyer has been ramping up the public statements lately as the Cubs continue to make about as much progress as a contractor waiting for the price of lumber to drop. Whether it’s reminding everyone that this isn’t a rebuild or giving David Ross votes of confidence, Hoyer is giving his platitudes a real workout.
Monday brought more of the same, though the president of baseball operations did offer a little more insight into his thought process. Well, that’s not exactly true. It’s probably better to say he provided a description of what his thought process is not during a conversation with 670 The Score’s Mully & Haugh.
“What we did when we got here in 2011 was very different than what we thought we were gonna do when we got here, and I think I’ve said that over and over,” Hoyer explained. “Our expectation of how we were gonna build it really changed as circumstances changed. And so this puzzle will be different. If I think that the same decision-making can work again exactly as it did last time, I’m not gonna be successful.”
Asked whether he’s following Theo Epstein’s strategy about avoiding the middle ground and either being very good or very bad, Hoyer deftly avoided a direct answer by citing changes in the CBA. He did, however, indicate that we’ll almost certainly see more of the same trade-deadline sales soon.
“When you’re in that position where the present is not going to be a great team or it’s not gonna be a team that goes deep in the playoffs, you have to make really hard decisions,” Hoyer said. “And when you do that, you’re doing it to provide a brighter future.”
Then, of course, the talk turned to payroll and whether or not the Cubs will once again increase it to a level that puts them back at the top of the league. After all, they’re sitting in the middle ground of around 14 or 15 now and it’s pretty clear how well that’s working out. Or not working out.
“I know that [the resources will] be there when the time is right,” Hoyer said. “We talk about the two types of currency that rule the game, you have financial currency and you have prospect currency and it’s really important to be as healthy as possible in both.
“The prospect health is certainly improving and on the way to being really strong and then I think from a financial currency, that’s something I feel really strongly about as well, making sure that we have the amount of money that we need to be really successful. And that’s something I don’t really think about. I know the money will be there when the time is right to be aggressive again.”
Exactly when that time will be, no one knows. Based on the current trajectory and the likelihood that several current cornerstone players could be on the move, it’s hard to see the Cubs being aggressive prior to 2024. But who knows, maybe they’ll surprise us.