XX Sports Radio: Jed Hoyer Interview with Darren Smith (MP3)
The Padres team is pretty close to being a finished product. There are still some minor league deals left. They just signed Gregg Zaun, who is a high school classmate of Mark Loretta. They will probably sign a few more minor leaguers before Spring Training.
- Hoyer first met Trevor Hoffman in Spring Training when Hoyer was getting his neck worked on by a trainer. When Hoyer closed his eyes, Hoffman took the trainer's place and started working on his neck as a joke.
- Hoyer talked to Hoffman again a couple weeks ago. Hoffman has been coming into the training room a lot to work out. "It was pretty clear talking to him that he was going to retire, so we started talking about next steps and what he wanted to do."
- Hoyer says it was the right thing to do to bring Hoffman home. Hoffman says he wants to be here.
- It makes sense to Hoyer to bring in players that recently retired.
"They're all young. They've all just got done playing so their knowledge of the players is very current. Sitting there watching games with them is invaluable. There are so many times during the course of watching games where they'll say things that you never think about as some one who never played in the big leagues."
- Hoyer tells the recently retired players to get away from the game a little bit and get involved with the Front Office and try and find something that they really want to do. He hopes they'll find an area that interests them in a couple years and then go after it full force.
"As far as Major League deals, I'd never say never, but I think we're pretty much done."
Hoyer and the Padres will lean more on Nick Hundley at the catcher position this year. Last year they tried to split the games 50-50%. This year they'll have Hundley catch 90-95 games, he doesn't want him to go over 100 games. Gregg Zaun will get the rest of the games. They'll give Hundley time to mature as a catcher.
If you look at Brad Hawpe's 2007-2009 seasons, he was outstanding. He struggled in 2010. It will be a trend with the Padres to sign players who have had success in the past but just came off a bad year. "I think writing guys off after one year is a mistake." Age is a determining factor in whether a player is on the decline for good.
"I think we'll be better defensively. I think we have more range at a number of positions."
He thinks Chase Headley will improve and Ryan Ludwick will get used to the ballpark. Hawpe won't be as good as Adrian Gonzalez, but the Padres will be as good or better at every other position.
Defense is important at every position and is always a factor. They feel terrific about Cameron Maybin's defense. Jason Bartlett and Orlando Hudson are always good defensively.
A lot more pitchers reach out to Hoyer and the Padres than hitters. Pitchers call him directly saying they'd love to pitch in San Diego. You're certainly not going to get a discount on hitters.
On Orlando Hudson
"I certainly don't think we overpaid for him I think we got him on a very reasonable two year deal."
He's not the most durable player they've signed, but he gives you a ton when he's in the line up. Hoyer feels they have plenty of depth with Everth Cabrera in AAA and Kevin Frandsen.
Centerfield is the most important position at Petco Park. Starting pitching is important too.
Hoyer doubts that the Padres will go to arbitration with Heath Bell. He's not sure if they'll give him a multi-year deal, but he's pretty confident they'll avoid arbitration. It's something they are open to and they've discussed. The real focus is to get a one year number done, but it doesn't preclude them from making a longer deal in the future.