Let's Talk About Jed!
It's been a full week since the big bomb dropped that Jed Hoyer would be the Cubs' new President of Baseball Operations, filling a very big space left by future Hall of Fame executive Theo Epstein. We all know what Theo has done with the Cubs, but just in case you're one of those weird people who thinks Theo's tenure with the team has been a failure, here's a helpful graphic:
This also leaves out an NL Manager of the Year and an NL Rookie of the Year.
All of this said, I can recognize when it's time for fresh eyes, ears and a fresh start. In fact, even Theo himself acknowledged that he has flaws, and that just maybe he's better at building organizations up than he is at sustaining them long term:
But enough about Theo--it's time to talk about JED. Yes, Theo Epstein leaving meant his #2, his right hand man, AKA the other half of his brain Jed Hoyer slid right into the POBO slot as of Saturday. We've already heard stories of moves Theo made that Jed disagreed with, such as Theo's trade for Jose Quinana, or how Jed was the one who insisted that Cubs Legend Pedro Strop be thrown into the Jake Arrietta-for-Scott Feldman deal. This may or may not make you feel better about Theo leaving depending on how you feel about Q, or your level of love for Stropy and his left-leaning hat.
On Monday, Jed was officially introduced in his first presser in his new position, and you can still watch the whole thing here including comments by #CheapRicketts:
If you were hoping for more clarity on the payroll situation or whether or not the team is most definitely trading/non-tendering/extending Kris Bryant, well... sorry. You won't get it. What you will get, however, is a confident Hoyer handling the press just as well as Theo always has. You'll also get plenty of emphasis on continuing to contend while changing some things up, which tells me that we should prepare for some moves to give the lineup a new look. We might not love it at first, but then most fans haven't loved what's been going on the last few years either. Maybe Jed's touch is what we need to actually make it happen rather than just giving it lip service.
I guess what I'm saying is that I fully believe that Hoyer is up to the task of threading the needle of keeping a competitive roster on the field even if #CheapRicketts tightens the wallet. It doesn't have to be either a full-on fire sale or spending all the money. Something in the middle is fully attainable, and Jed might just be the man to get us there. After all, he's not exactly new at this.
The biggest adjustment for me will be separating Jed from Thed. They've seemed to share a brain for so long that it'll be strange seeing Hoyer finally getting some attention all on his own. I guess the man himself put it best, though.