(CBS) Asked what sits atop the Cubs’ wish list this offseason, general manager Jed Hoyer didn’t hesitate in his response.
“Focusing on our pitching will probably be most of our attention,” Hoyer said on the Spiegel and Parkins Show on 670 The Score on Thursday morning. “We have to address starting pitching, and we have to address parts of the bullpen.”
Hoyer largely echoed what presidents of baseball operations Theo Epstein hinted at in his end-of-season press conference: The Cubs will closely monitor the trade market for pitching. Of course, if the Cubs are to get a top-of-the-line starter that they desire via trade, they’ll almost certainly have to be willing to part with a talented young position player such as Kyle Schwarber, Ian Happ, Albert Almora Jr. or Javier Baez.
Hoyer understands that as the Cubs brace to lose rotation members Jake Arrieta and John Lackey in free agency.
“We’re in a position where obviously teams that like our young players are going to ask us about those guys,” Hoyer said, speaking generally. “I think we’ve been very committed to this group. The strength of our organization is our young hitters and our young players. We love that stability. But ultimately our job is to do what’s best for the Cubs and the Cubs fans. I think we have to listen. Nothing may rise to the level of making sense, but something might. And if that thing does, that’s our job. It’s similar to what we were talking about with the coaching staff (turnover). We have to make hard decisions. I think that will be an interesting conversation if someone brings something to us that makes a lot of sense. But we love those guys. We drafted these guys, developed these guys and certainly we really value these guys a ton.”