Hoyer Speaks on the State of the Cubs … and Other News, Notes and Rumors

Jed Hoyer addressed several topics with the mainstream media including Bryan LaHair, Anthony Rizzo, the roster, Jeff Samardzija and the Jorge Soler rumors in a sort of a State-of-the-Cubs address.

Hoyer said the Cubs are not done tinkering with the roster and they will be active in trade conversations as Spring Training comes to an end. Hoyer clarified his comment about possible trades by saying they would not be doing their job if they were not talking to other teams.

The Cubs are expected to announce another round of spring roster cuts prior to Thursday’s exhibition game in Surprise. The Cubs currently have 48 players in camp, 33 on the 40-man roster and 15 non-roster invitees.

According to reports, the team would like to finish the spring on a positive note and while win-loss records do not matter, they would like to improve on their 8-12-1 record with 14 games remaining on the Cactus League schedule.

Here is the update …

Paul Maholm
Paul Maholm took the hill at Fitch Park on Wednesday and got his work in against the Giants’ Single-A team. According to reports, Maholm struck out seven over five innings while giving up a run on two hits and a walk. Maholm suited up for the Daytona Cubs and retired 15 of the 18 batters he faced.

Carlos Marmol
The Cubs received good news during the off-day on Carlos Marmol. The MRI revealed no significant nerve injury and he remains on schedule to be ready for the season.

Jed Hoyer and the State of the Cubs
In bullet point format, here are the highlights from Jed Hoyer’s conversation with the mainstream media. The links to the reports are provided below.

  • Hoyer admitted that they are on the prowl for end-of-spring talent.
  • Hoyer is expecting his team to carry the same attitude and energy into the season that they’ve had throughout Spring Training.
  • Hoyer does not see any reason the Cubs cannot be incredibly competitive this season.
  • The Cubs will have money to add pieces during the season to add players. Hoyer said they are going to come in a little under the Opening Day payroll from a year ago and they left a little flexibility so they can make moves if they need to.
  • Hoyer described the reports that the Cubs have a deal in place with Jorge Soler as completely bogus and the rumors have no merit.
  • Hoyer said he would not be surprised if they made a move [trade] before the season begins.
  • Jeff Samardzija has been impressive this spring and Jed Hoyer described his performance as unbelievable.
  • Hoyer and Dale Sveum are on the same page in the belief that wins and losses in the Cactus League carry more weight over the last 10 days of Spring Training.
  • Bryan LaHair will be the Cubs’ first baseman on Opening Day and Anthony Rizzo will begin the season in Triple-A. The Cubs are not worried about LaHair’s struggles at the plate this spring.

ESPN Chicago: Hoyer Not Worried About Spring Struggles
Chicago Sun-Times: Could Cubs’ Glut of Starting Pitchers Lead to Trade?
Chicago Tribune: Cubs Not Done Tinkering

Minor League Transactions
According to Baseball America, the Cubs released several minor league players this week. Those cuts were made Sunday and made public Wednesday.

Right-handed pitchers Yohan Gonzalez and Jordan Latham, shortstop Rafael Valdes and outfielders Ben Klafczynski and Blair Springfield were released and are no longer in the Cubs’ organization.

News, Notes and Rumors
According to a report from the Tribune, front office personnel has begun moving out of cramped Wrigley Field offices to their new digs in a building on the corner of Waveland and Clark.

The Cubs could use another proven reliever and they might have enough depth in a few positions to use in trades according to the Sun-Times.

What was once one of the smallest front offices in baseball has changed. The Cubs new regime has increased the baseball operations department from a staff of around 90 to more a staff of more than 120 according to the Tribune.

According to a report from the Tribune, Travis Wood will likely make his next appearance in a minor league game or in a simulated minor league game as the Cubs try to get him on track.

Gerardo Concepcion is in minor league camp and he could still pitch in a Cactus League game this spring but that is not in the plans right now according to the Tribune. Concepcion is throwing bullpens and the plan is to get him in a minor league game.

Well there’s the update … Opening Day is in 14 days.

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