(670 The Score) A day after the Brewers made headlines and solidified their legitimacy as an NL Central contender with the acquisitions of outfielders Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain, Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer emphasized that his organization couldn’t let anything another team did sway its plans.
As a reference point, Hoyer reminded and he and Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein often watched the Yankees steal the offseason headlines with high-profiles additions when they worked for the Red Sox.
“We dealt with the biggest of the big fish in Boston, with the Yankees,” Hoyer said in an interview on the Spiegel and Parkins Show on 670 The Score on Friday. “Every year, they would have a bonanza of an offseason. And every year, we just had to be disciplined — ‘This is what we want to do, this is our plan.’ When you get in the game of reacting to what your opponents do, I think you can make a lot of mistakes. So you just have to stay with your plan, stay with what you want to do and know that teams are going to come after you and know that teams in your division are going to get better. This is a competition. They want to win just as bad as we want to win.
“But I do think it’s important not to react, to do the things you planned on doing and play the season out.”
The Cubs weren’t surprised by the Brewers’ big acquisitions.
“They were aggressive,” Hoyer said. “I think you always expect that. They were a really young, fun team to watch last year, probably a team on the come a year before they thought, similar to the ’15 Cubs. I think I’ve mentioned that few times last year. So it made sense that they would be aggressive. I think they have a chance to be really good. The Cardinals have obviously added a bunch of really good pieces this winter too. That’s just the nature — we’ve only been in first place (winning the NL Central) two years in a row, and I think you expect that teams are going to try to knock you off. That’s just the nature of it. You have to expect. Obviously, the Brewers had a good day yesterday.”
The Cubs would still like to add another starting pitcher before the season starts. With that in mind, they’ve remained interested in right-hander Yu Darvish and right-hander Alex Cobb in free agency. Jake Arrieta remains on the market as well.
Hoyer didn’t reveal much about those discussions, other than to emphasize that the supply of quality starting pitching remains the same as it did several months ago because of the slow-moving free-agent market. Hoyer also added that dialogue with a handful of free agents remains open and that negotiation — as opposed to each side digging in on certain numbers — is taking place.
“It’s been amazingly slow,” Hoyer said.