While the window is just opening on Jed Hoyer’s time as the Chicago Cubs’ president of baseball operations, it’s closing on the Cubs’ championship-winning core.
The Cubs gave Hoyer a five-year contract on Monday that runs through the 2025 season, one week after his friend and mentor Theo Epstein stepped down as team president. The 46-year-old Hoyer was promoted from general manager to replace Epstein, who oversaw drought-busting championships with both Boston and Chicago.
Hoyer takes over a team in the middle of expensive multiyear deals with outfielder Jason Heyward and starting pitchers Yu Darvish and Kyle Hendricks. And four players who were essential contributors to Chicago’s 2016 World Series title — Javier Báez, Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and Kyle Schwarber — all are eligible to become free agents after next season.
Hoyer said Monday, quote - “You always have one eye on the present and one eye on the future. Given the service-time realities we mentioned, that eye may be more focused on the future than usual. But that doesn’t take away from the goal, and the goal is always to make the playoffs and give this organization an opportunity to go deep into October.”
The Cubs won the NL Central in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season but got swept by Miami in the first round of the playoffs, totaling one run in the two games. Chicago has not won a playoff series since 2017.
Third baseman Bryant has the highest salary among the Cubs’ potential free agents and is the most frequent subject of trade rumors. Hoyer declined to predict whether Bryant, coming off a down year, would be on the roster on opening day. But some changes are inevitable, he said.
Hoyer said he will search outside the organization for a new GM. And he said he believes he can retool the roster while keeping the team consistently competitive.