GM Jed Hoyer: Cubs not close but moves are coming

CHICAGO -- Chicago Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer says the team isn’t close to making a big move but anticipates action over the next 14 days, which includes the winter meetings in Nashville.

“Over the next two weeks, there will be a lot of activity,” Hoyer said on ESPN 1000 in Chicago on Monday. “I expect as the market picks up, we’ll be part of that market.”

Hoyer couldn’t pin down whether the Cubs would add via trade or free agency, calling both markets “developing.” Several free agents have signed contracts, including pitcher Jordan Zimmermann, who agreed on a deal with Detroit over the weekend. The big question for the Cubs has been whether to spend a limited increase in their budget mostly on one player or to spread it around to various needs, which include center field and starting pitching.

“Those are the philosophical questions we’ve all been having over the last couple of months,” Hoyer said. “There’s good with both. Elite players can change a team.”

The “elite” players on the market who the Cubs have been tied to include pitcher David Price and outfielder Jason Heyward, but Hoyer indicated it’s the smaller moves that are sometimes just as important. The Cubs have signed or picked up several relievers over the last few weeks but still haven’t made the one or two big moves many are expecting.

“Depth is underrated, especially in the winter,” Hoyer explained. “Everyone will write out lineups in the offseason and they don’t focus on bench, they don’t focus on the bullpen, they don’t focus on guys in Triple-A that are going up and down. Over the course of six months, those are the little moves that make a huge difference.”

One notion Hoyer stressed was staying ready for the unexpected. That’s likely to happen in Nashville where all 30 teams plus many agents will congregate next Monday through Thursday.

“You have to stay nimble and know things will come at you that you might not have expected,” Hoyer said. “Some team will throw an idea at us that we never thought about.”

In the meantime, the Cubs will continue to explore both the free-agent and trade markets for a center fielder as well as both starting and relief pitching.

“Both those markets are still developing,” Hoyer said. “I think moves (in baseball) will start to happen this week and next week.

“Being prepared for Nashville is the most important thing. I'm sure it’s going to be a fascinating week.”