Jed Who? A Look At Jed Hoyer


While the Chicago Cubs continue their staring contest with the Boston Red Sox regarding the compensating being sent to Boston for allowing Theo Epstein to join the Cubs’ front office, the Cubs–through the help of Epstein–have a general manager in place. No Epstein will not be taking on dual roles with the Cubs’ organization, instead Epstein will serve as the President of Baseball Operations and then have is hand picked general manager underneath him. Jed Hoyer, current general manager of the San Diego Padres, is going to be named the new Cubs’ general manager as soon as the Cubs finalize the Epstein deal. The pairing of Epstein and Hoyer is one that was very successful for the Red Sox organization, and that success will likely be continued with the Cubs. National League Central teams beware.

The process of Hoyer being in the position to become the Cubs’ next general manager developed rather quickly. Considering that prior to this week, Hoyer was never mentioned as possibility in the Cubs’ general manager search. The initial idea was that Epstein would serve as both President of Baseball Operations and general manager with the Cubs. While there certainly would have been nothing wrong with that idea, the suggestion that Red Sox owner John Henry brought up a couple weeks ago when he said “there is a certain shelf-life to being a general manager” does hold some value. While Epstein is only 37, he has been the general manager of the Red Sox since 2003. Given the amount of success that Epstein brought to the Red Sox organization, a promotion to a President level position was warranted.

Epstein’s first decision as President of Baseball Operations for the Cubs–albeit an indirect one–was naming Jed Hoyer as the team’s general manager. While Hoyer’s deal is not completed yet, it is likely that Hoyer will be introduced shortly after Epstein is. For instance if Epstein is officially introduced today by the Cubs, then the introductory press conference for Hoyer will likely be early next week.

But what do we know about Hoyer? Sure we know that Hoyer is from the famous Epstein tree of front office executives, and the Padres’ were a 90 win team in 2010–Hoyer’s first season as Padres’ general manager. But the question that is going to be asked is how does Hoyer make the Cubs’ front office better. The simple answer would be in more ways than one. Everything that team Chairman Tom Ricketts laid out as criteria for the next Cubs’ general manager, Hoyer excels in. Hoyer thrives in the player development aspect of running a successful baseball operations. Hoyer believes that in order to be a successful organization, the front office must revert back to the foundation of baseball which he believes is scouting and player development.

But that is not to say that Hoyer is lacking when it comes to player acquisitions or the scouting side of baseball. Hoyer played a crucial role in the Red Sox acquiring Curt Schilling, and later was the one that completed the Red Sox trade for Josh Beckett. Also, Hoyer increased the amount of amateur scouts in the Padres’ front office upon taking over as San Diego’s general manager. The interesting part will be to see how Hoyer manages having a much higher payroll than what he had with the Padres. Though, I would imagine that Epstein will be the one to manager the Cubs’ payroll considering his familiarity with operating a big market team.

In addition to Hoyer, Padres assistant general manager Jason McLeod will also leave the Padres’ organization to join the Cubs. McLeod is essentially the “Tim Wilken” of the Padres’ organization. McLeod specializes in the player development side of a baseball operation, and it will be interesting to see how he co-exists with Wilken. Nonetheless, a scouting department that included both Wilken and McLeod will likely make the Cubs one of the premier spenders when it comes to signing international players, in addition to drafting amateur players.

In a matter of two weeks, Ricketts has thrown out the “old-school” mentality that the Cubs’ front office was operating under for this past decade and embraced the modern nuances of the game with open arms. This period in time could very well go down as the “Cubbie Revolution.”