Hoyer: Cubs in position to deal, compete

The Chicago Cubs brass are confident in their present plan to move more players for young talent and stay competitive. As the trading deadline approaches, Chicago president Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer have been in a state of constant communication with numerous contending clubs. Hoyer admitted Wednesday that the phone lines have been busy.

"There are a lot of incoming phone calls," he said. “A lot about Matt [Garza], but a lot of them about our other players, too. In general in the game, phone traffic has picked up. I feel like there is a lot of interest in our players. The team is playing well and so are some of our individual players.”

Garza, closer Kevin Gregg and Alfonso Soriano might be the main focus of other teams; however, the Cubs will listen to offers for any of their players, according to a major league source. The Cubs missed in obtaining optimum quantity and quality for their moveable veterans last July. In 2012, right-handed pitcher Ryan Dempster blocked two trades to the Chicago White Sox and one to the Atlanta Braves with his no-trade rights.

The big blow came in late July when Garza hurt his elbow right before a deal was about to be consummated.

"Last year was pretty unusual; Dempster having the no-trade," Hoyer said. “Every year there is a different stamp or wrinkle, and you get to expect those things. They usually play out in a similar fashion.”

Rolling the dice on Garza this time around creates some discomfort for Cub executives.

"We worry about injuries every day,” Hoyer said. “Every time I see the [trainer's] name come up on my phone my heart skips a beat, so it doesn’t change in July -- it is the same all year."

The Cubs feel much better about competing the last two months of the season in 2013 than they did a year ago. With young starters evolving and some good arms on the way, including rehabbing veteran Scott Baker, Hoyer projects dual accomplishments in continued better play and retooling at the same time.

“This overall job is a lot of fun," he said. “I have known Scott Hairston since 2010, and calling him to tell him he was traded was not fun. Trying to assemble a ton of talent is the exhilarating part of the job."