Hoyer will have strong voice in front office

November, 1, 2011
11/01/11
7:41
PM CT
Levine By Bruce Levine
ESPNChicago.com
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The question of how much freedom Chicago Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer will have in making decisions was broached after his introductory news conference on Tuesday.

The 37-year-old Hoyer was on the job as San Diego's GM when new Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein called about the job. Hoyer admitted he surrendered some autonomy to join "The Theo Trio," along with VP of scouting and player development Jason McLeod.

[+] EnlargeJed Hoyer
AP Photo/Charles Rex ArbogastJed Hoyer's previous experience working with Theo Epstein was a major factor in his coming to Chicago.

"It's probably fair to say that I'm giving up some autonomy," Hoyer said. "But the big part of the reason I could make that decision is that I've worked with Theo so long. I know the kind of responsibility I'll have. I know how much he trusts me, so would I have entered in this arrangement with someone else? No. But with our relationship and our past together, I'm incredibly confident in the responsibility that I'll have."

Hoyer, according to major league sources, signed a five-year deal that almost doubled the $600,000 he made annually running the Padres' front office.

"The real joy I get out of this job is building a winner and a championship organization," Hoyer said. "That is so much bigger than a one-person job. Yes I gave up a bit of autonomy. But knowing our relationship, I know I'll have a significant impact. I am about building teams and not simply making decisions. I'm looking forward to that."

It's apparent that Epstein, Hoyer and McLeod really do believe it's about teamwork -- and they have a pair of world championships to show for it. Epstein pretty much admitted at the news conference that he wouldn't have accepted his current role with the Cubs if he couldn't bring in Hoyer and McLeod to hit the ground running.

Hoyer will handle much of the day-to-day operations, which includes a lot of hand-holding with the manager and coaching staff as well as dealing with the media.

Cubs fans should be impressed with this young, accomplished group. They challenge each other on all decisions and defer credit to one another in a very genuine and selfless way.

Hoyer put the media on warning that information about the team's offseason plan will not be forthcoming.

"We don't like leaks of information," Hoyer said emphatically.

It's pretty clear all confidential information will stay in the inner circle of the three-headed executive group.

Hoyer said he plans to add more front-office staff in the near future -- including a director of professional scouting. A major league source confirmed that the Cubs interviewed Arizona scout Joe Bohringer for the position of director of pro scouting last week. The Angels may also be offering Bohringer a position.

Hoyer will spend the next few weeks looking for a new home in the Chicago area and getting to know the employees he is inheriting from former GM Jim Hendry. In the mean time, the reunited three amigos will try to build a contender out of a team that finished in fifth place the past two seasons.

"I don't act like this is a small task," Hoyer said. "I know this is an incredibly difficult challenge. But that's part of the fun."


Bruce Levine | email

Chicago baseball beat reporter
Bruce Levine has covered sports in Chicago for over 28 years and hosts "Talkin' Baseball," heard Saturday mornings on ESPN 1000.

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BA LEADER
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