A new era in Chicago Cubs baseball is dawning under Jed Hoyer
The Chicago Cubs are entering a new era – one that comes on the heels of the most successful stretch in the long history of the organization. It will be tough to replicate six straight winning seasons, three division championships, five postseason berths, three NLCS appearances, one National League pennant and the elusive drought-ending World Series championship.
Jason McLeod left the organization last week, leaving President of Baseball Operations Jed Hoyer as the last remaining member of the Epstein regime. The move adds to the philosophy shift the organization has been undertaking since the World Series win.
Carter Hawkins and Ehsan Bohkari have taken over as the General Manager and Assistant GM, respectively. This offseason is critical in terms of the future of the organization, with Hoyer clearly searching for new ideas to reinvigorate the franchise.
Hawkins came from the Cleveland organization – soon to be known as the Guardians – and Bokhari came from Houston, two teams at the forefront of pitching development. Everything about the Cubs’ moves says they’re going to be focused on pitching in the future. After all, there is no such thing as a sure-thing pitching prospect, so you can never have enough of them.
This is a change from the last regime that focused on hitters that could hit a baseball 752 feet routinely. That was fun, but we saw how stagnant the offense got after awhile. Not only pitching – but contact bats as well, with Nico Hoerner and Nick Madrigal as just the two top examples.
A new front office brain trust means a new brand of Chicago Cubs baseball
Along with new regimes comes new everything. New players, new philosophies, new strengths, weaknesses, etc. One thing the Cubs may do now is be more analytically-inclined then they already were with the addition of Bokhari. The Astros were already more analytic heavy than most teams, and maybe Bokhari can bring some of his wisdom with him.
Hawkins knows how to identify pitchers with the long line of pitchers that have come through Cleveland, or at least made their career in Cleveland, names like Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, Shane Bieber, Aaron Civale, Zach Plesac, Cody Allen, Josh Tomlin, etc.
Most importantly, these two joining the front office understand winning clubhouses and teams. The Guardians won 90+ games four years in a row and made the postseason four out of five years. The year they didn’t make the postseason, they still went 93-69. The Astros’ results speak for themselves. This is their third World Series in five years, winning it in 2017, and they won 100+ games three straight years from 2017-19.
Learning how to win is one thing, it’s a learned skill that talented teams learn over time, but it’s another to understand how to win from a front office perspective. Hoyer has made the right moves on paper to turn the Cubs competitive quickly again, now it’s about following through with his “not a quick rebuild” promise.