XX Sports Radio: Jed Hoyer Interview with Darren Smith (MP3)
- "It's a long Spring." Jed Hoyer is seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, the regular season is almost here.
- The Padres will lean heavily on Ernesto Frieri and Chad Qualls to get them out of 6th and 7th innings. There are so many close games in Petco Park that the bullpen will get "used a ton".
- Hoyer met with Heath Bell's agent for a couple hours. "Obviously we won't talk about the details of the conversation." They get along very well and had a good conversation. Hoyer appreciates that Bell wants to remain a Padre and likes the organization. Hoyer has to look at the desired Padres payroll, projected revenues and what percentage of that can go to any one player.
- Once Adrian Gonzalez made it clear that he was looking for more than $20 million a year, the Padres knew they couldn't keep him.
- Heath Bell made a quote to the North County Times that seemed to put his fate as a Padre in the hands of the fans:
"(Hoyer) said he really wants to keep me, but we have to just see where we are, if the fans are starting to show up. I understand the business part of it. This team's payroll is going to be down for the next couple of years. You can't sign big free agents when you don't have a huge fan base. The fan base is rising. We just have to see what happens."
"Obviously attendance and payroll - there is a correlation." Hoyer did not tell Heath's agent that if fans show up then he could remain a Padre. "Certainly not."
- He is still looking for a few positions out on the trade market. "We may or may not be able to update our bench in the next couple of days." Hoyer guesses that they'll acquire one player for a bench role and one of the positions will be filled internally.
- Bud Black will probably make an announcement on Thursday about the rotation. They are close to making a decision about the 5th starter.
- Hoyer was the most pleasantly surprised this Spring by Cedric Hunter. "He was probably our best hitter in camp before we sent him out."
- The Padres never had any interest in Oliver Perez. There was some people on the club that had some history with him, but ultimately it was decided not to go in that direction.
- Hoyer "absolutely" sells players on San Diego. "Players really want to play in San Diego." The catch is that you want players that really want to be here with a drive to win. You don't want players that want to spend their twilight years of their career in city.
Pat Neshek has a chance to be on the big league club, but he does have an option remaining. "He's a really good change of scenery guy." The Padres need players to refill the bullpen depth that was lost in trades for Cameron Maybin and Jason Bartlett. They are hoping to acquire more players in the next month or two to add depth as well.
- Hoyer has not made a decision on the back up catcher job. The decision won't be made until late this weekend. "It's most likely internal."
- Hoyer isn't going to make a prediction on the Padres record this year. He thinks it'll take 90-92 wins to take the division again this year.