Jed Hoyer's embrace of 'small market' mindset is rubbing Cubs fans the wrong way

The Cubs president of baseball operations embraced the 'small market' label some have attached to him during comments at Cubs Convention.

Chicago Cubs Introduce Shōta Imanaga
Chicago Cubs Introduce Shōta Imanaga / Nuccio DiNuzzo/GettyImages

One of the long-running knocks against Chicago Cubs president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer is that he doesn't operate with the same high-profile gusto as his mentor and predecessor, Theo Epstein.

Hoyer prefers working behind the scenes and has almost completely steered clear of high-dollar, long-term contracts since taking over from Epstein - the lone exception being Dansby Swanson's seven-year, $177 million deal last winter. But instead of taking folks saying he operates as a 'small market' executive as a knock, Hoyer fully embraces that assessment:

"I think that’s what I want to have. When people say a small-market mentality, they’re talking about trying to find value in deals and undervalued players. I always want to do that. Yes, we have the ability to go out and sign a Dansby Swanson and that’s an advantage we have that others don’t. But you don’t want to be profligate with your money, you want to use it wisely. That’s really important to me."

Jed Hoyer

At Cubs Convention, Jed Hoyer continues to play things close to the chest

These remarks have kind of split the Cubs fans in attendance at Cubs Convention this weekend, with some appreciating the concept of finding diamonds in the rough and avoiding being handcuffed by bloated deals on the back end, and others saying Chicago needs to flex its financial muscle in the same way as other large market teams like the Dodgers, who have dropped more than $1 billion on free agents this offseason.

But as Hoyer remarked this weekend at the Sheraton downtown, the offseason is far from over. The Cubs president of baseball ops said this winter is in the fourth or fifth inning - and with multiple big names, including Cody Bellinger, Matt Chapman, Rhys Hoskins and Jordan Montgomery, still on the board, the group introduced Friday night during opening ceremonies will likely have some new faces come next month in Arizona.

Hoyer knows there will come a time when he needs to push his chips in and make that big splash. But, for the time being, he's dead-set on walking a fine line between finding value on deals and replenishing the organizational long-term depth and helping the team win a postseason game for the first time since 2017.