Cubs were right to hand the keys to the franchise over to Jed Hoyer

Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /

Were the Cubs right in handing the keys to Jed Hoyer? All signs point to yes.

The Chicago Cubs, Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer thought it was best for the team to have Epstein step down and elevate Hoyer to president of baseball operations. Epstein had been at the helm for nine seasons and it was time for change. But it’s worth asking the question: was it prudent to give Hoyer the keys?

He is entering his 20th season in baseball operations and 10th with the Cubs. He’s followed Epstein to the Boston Red Sox and the Cubs, and he feels like the Cubs are ‘home.’ He was also with the San Diego Padres for a brief spell in the middle of his career (2009-2011).

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Epstein noted the decision to move on was based largely on the decisions and ‘period of transition’ facing the team this offseason. Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic changed everything, as well.

In the end, Kris Bryant and Kyle Schwarber should be traded. But we don’t really know what Hoyer will – or won’t – be able to do this offseason.

"“There are a lot of important decisions to be made that will have long-term consequences,” Epstein said, speaking generally of the team’s future. “Jed is ready, willing and able to make those decisions, along with our talented front office. That made the timing right.”"

Epstein and Hoyer made a great team. But in the end, the 10-year shelf life was hard to ignore. Hoyer was up, and Epstein left after nine years with the team – nine magnificent years. The Cubs reached the NL Championship Series three times in his career and won it all in 2016. The last championship? 1908. It was a long time coming.

Epstein admired his protege’s growth as a leader and wished him well in his his new role.

"“The peaceful transfer of power is getting rarer in this country, let alone in the sports world these days,” Epstein said. “I’m proud that we’ve pulled that off.”"

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I’m glad that Tom Ricketts and Epstein gave it to Hoyer, for the simple fact that it’s continuity between the staff and the team. Now, which way it goes is yet to be seen. Hoyer is coming up on his 10th year with the Cubs. I’m happy Epstein gets to take the next step in life. Now we wait and see how things are run under Hoyer.