Today, the Chicago Cubs formally introduced their new general manager, GM Jed Hoyer, and Senior VP, Jason McLoed. Here are some of the main points from the press conference:
In his opening statements, President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein praised both Jed Hoyer and Jason McLoed for their past contributions -- naming McLoed a chief contributor in the drafting and developing of Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, and a number of other Red Sox stars.
During the Q&A segment, Epstein delved into some more specifics concerning the current state of Cubs affairs:
- Epstein met with current manager Mike Quade and feels they are approaching a resolution on the manager situation. Epstein said he wanted a "resolution within a week." Epstein is largely expected to release Quade, who does not particularly fit well with the analytically progressive new front office.
- In explaining the roles and responsibilities of the new executives, Epstein said Jed Hoyer will run day-to-day baseball operations, while Jason McLoed will be in charge of scouting and player development -- but that Epstein himself will still very much be a part of the Cubs operations.
- The phrase of the day seemed to be sustainable success. None of the executives today were willing to stake a claim on the 2012 season, but instead focused on their intentions to build a team that can compete year-after-year.
- Epstein admitted the position with the Cubs became much more attractive once he knew he could bring Hoyer and McLoed in as executives.
- Concerning Carlos Zambrano: Theo claimed it would be "premature" to forecast how he will handle the embattled pitcher: "It sounds like you've [the media and fans have] reached your conclusion, but [we need to go through our process] to reach ours."
- Concerning Aramis Ramirez: "Aramis was a major contributor [to the Cubs' past success]... We wish him well in the future." Theo added that Ramirez is a top 3B free agent, so it's likely the Cubs will look another direction for 3B in 2012.
Epstein deflected several of the more difficult questions (Zambrano, Ramirez) away from Hoyer, laughing that it was his first day on the job. In general, though, Hoyer focused on the sustainability topic that is an axiom for most progressive front offices:
- Hoyer: "There's no short cut; there's no magic bullet. You have to have a good farm system [and good scouting]."
- He also claimed "the ultimate goal is obviously to win the World Series," but that it is more important to have team capable of reaching the playoffs at camp every single year.
- Hoyer also noted that the Cubs defense was "a clear area for improvement."
McLoed, who will act as Epstein's liaison for all matters player development and scouting-related, spent the least time answering questions, but like Hoyer, stayed focused on the long-term picture:
- McLoed: "...All the decisions we made in Boston, all the good decisions we made in San Diego, were because we had a [strong front office team.]"
- He also claimed he looked forward to working with scouting director Tim Wilken and minor league VP Oneri Fleita, McLoed saying he has for some time admired their work from a distance.
- McLoed: "The scouting and player development departments have to work in concert."