Hoyer repeats pledge that Cubs are ready to add pieces

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Cubs president Jed Hoyer continued to project the team being in position to add an important piece or two before the July 31 trade deadline. If current trends continue, starting pitching will be the primary need.

    Cubs president Jed Hoyer continued to project the team being in position to add an important piece or two before the July 31 trade deadline. If current trends continue, starting pitching will be the primary need. AP File Photo/July 8, 2020

 
 
Updated 6/12/2021 8:27 PM

Cubs president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer chatted with reporters on the field Friday and basically repeated what's he's been saying since the season began.

Hoyer expects to be able to add a piece before the trade deadline if the Cubs stay in contention, a starting pitcher is the obvious need, and he still has no idea what will happen with free agents Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and Javy Baez.

 

"I think our guys have competed and battled, but innings (pitched) are going to be so valuable, and we can't put that much pressure on this bullpen," Hoyer said. "(The bullpen has) been so good, but trying to get 12 outs a night can be really challenging. And so, whether it's starting pitching, whether its length in the bullpen, we know we have to cover a lot of innings over the rest of the season, and that will be something that we're looking at."

There's still about seven weeks before the July 31 trade deadline, so things could change. But the Cubs appear to have a team capable of challenging for first place in the NL Central. There's not much chance Hoyer would tear down a playoff contender, and a Cubs rebuild at this point, without any obvious position players ready to move up from the farm system, would probably be ugly.

"I want to be on the buy side," Hoyer said. "That's the place you want to be. That means you're winning. That means this place is lively all summer.

"The focus will be on, 'What can we do to improve this team?' I don't see the calculus changing based on what's going to happen in free agency. I think the calculus would be, if we're in that position, what can we do to make the 2021 team better? "

• Twitter: @McGrawDHBulls

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