Jed Hoyer Focused on Current Players While ‘Always Looking for Upgrades’

If you’re still trying to cull meaning from Jed Hoyer’s public comments, well, your gluttony for punishment is more depraved than mine. But that doesn’t mean I’m above going over a little of what was shared during the first official press conference of the spring as Hoyer, Carter Hawkins, and Craig Counsell met with the media assembled at Sloan Park.

Much of the time was spent deflecting questions about free-agent pursuits, namely that of Cody Bellinger, as Hoyer repeated yet again that the Cubs continue to explore options.

“I don’t think we’re ever going to feel complete,” Hoyer said, echoing something Hawkins had mentioned earlier this month on the radio. “We’re always going to be looking for upgrades both now and all season long, and that’s our job.”

This was just a case of reiterating a strategy that you’re probably tired of hearing about at this point, which is that the front office is content to stick to its guns when it comes to player values. That means not spending more than their model says a player is worth, even if it means leaning on a prospect or reclamation project instead.

“We added some good players this offseason,” Hoyer explained. “That natural maturity and growth of our young players will add a lot as well. The hope is that we look back a year from now and five or six of those guys have established themselves as Cubs.

“I’m excited about where things are.”

A lot of people will probably be upset about that idea, but what else is he supposed to say? Given how many big names remain unsigned, this is as much about posturing as it is pandering. And to be fair, the Cubs do have plenty of young players to get excited about, it’s just that this group as a whole isn’t one that inspires folks to dream about postseason glory.

You can go back and view the presser for yourself if you want to get into more of what the triumvirate said, but I’ll just tell you right now that it’s nothing we haven’t already heard. If you checked in on Counsell’s introduction in December or the CubsCon panels in January, you’re just going to get more of the same information with maybe slight shifts in language.

The real value here is simply that this particular summit took place in Mesa with most of the roster working out in the Arizona sunshine. Even the Midwest is experiencing a surprising run of blue skies and moderate temperatures, so you really get the sense that baseball’s around the corner. That means good news one way or the other, at least until someone signs with another team and everyone freaks out.

Ed. note: Multiple quotes came with help from this X thread by the Tribune’s Meghan Montemurro.

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